Ocean Drive - - September 2017 - BY JON WARECH

Heat star Udo­nis Haslem plans for life after bas­ket­ball by tak­ing his lead­er­ship skills from the court to the busi­ness world.

As the heart and soul of the Mi­ami Heat, Udo­nis Haslem won three championsh­ips and be­came the team’s all-time re­bound leader. Across 14 sea­sons (Haslem re­cently re-signed for a 15th year) and nearly a life­time as a lo­cal, U.D. be­came the face of the city where to­day he’s a fran­chise in­vestor in five Sub­ways and two Aun­tie Anne’s. Through South Florida-based food and bev­er­age operator JFC Mi­ami, where Haslem is a part­ner, he’s also a li­censed operator of an Ein­stein Bros. Bagels and a Star­bucks at Jack­son Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal. Haslem told us about his busi­ness ven­tures, his postre­tire­ment plans, and re­main­ing a peren­nial Heat player.

How did you get started with JFC?

My busi­ness part­ner, Ra­mona Hall, and I both lost out on bids for spots at Jack­son, but she no­ticed I was very am­bi­tious, and I no­ticed she had a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in li­cens­ing and in op­er­at­ing food and bev­er­age con­cepts. We cre­ated a friend­ship that be­came a part­ner­ship and were able to bid when another spot opened up. You’re open­ing spots along the Bright­line that will con­nect Mi­ami, Fort Laud­erdale, West Palm

Beach, and Or­lando. Will the train change the city?

It’s huge. With the growth of down­town Mi­ami, a lot of peo­ple will be tak­ing it. You can live up north and work in Mi­ami, or vice versa. There’s a lot of Heat fans in Or­lando, so you might get some [trav­el­ing] down to catch a game and get back to Or­lando at a de­cent hour.

Part of your goal was giv­ing peo­ple jobs, right?

I have a lot of fam­ily and friends who just need an op­por­tu­nity. They prob­a­bly made mis­takes in the past, and it’s not easy to come by a job. They have the right heart and mind-set, and I want to give them the op­por­tu­nity to reach their goals.

How much of this is an in­vest­ment ver­sus an after-bas­ket­ball job?

I can’t do any­thing halfhearte­dly, so I wanted it to be some­thing I could be in­volved with when I re­tire. I stop by my stores once a week. We’ll land at three or four in the morn­ing from a West Coast trip, and I’ll stop by my 24-hour Star­bucks. I’m mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing is go­ing well and check­ing on my crew.

Who has in­flu­enced your busi­ness ca­reer?

One would be my busi­ness part­ner; she’s very in­spi­ra­tional. I’d also have to say Dwyane Wade, a very close friend of mine. I’ve al­ways ad­mired him for be­ing will­ing to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. And my busi­ness man­ager, Sylvester King, is prob­a­bly the most in­tel­li­gent per­son I know. He pushes me to want to con­tinue to ed­u­cate my­self.

Do you see your­self in bas­ket­ball in any way after re­tire­ment?

My hope is to be some­what in­volved on an or­ga­ni­za­tional level with the Heat. I’ll con­tinue with my busi­ness ven­tures. And I have three kids. My old­est son is a foot­ball player; he’s a fresh­man at the University of Toledo on a schol­ar­ship. Elijah, 6, is ath­letic and very ac­tive, and my 10-year-old plays travel base­ball. A lot of things will take pri­or­ity once I walk away from play­ing bas­ket­ball.


The Mi­ami Heat’s all-time re­bound leader, Udo­nis Haslem has won three championsh­ips in his 14 sea­sons with the team (here dur­ing a game against the Philadel­phia 76ers at Amer­i­canair­lines Arena in Fe­bru­ary).

Haslem on-site dur­ing the con­struc­tion of his 24-hour Star­bucks fran­chise at Jack­son Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal (ƚƛƨưƞ last year. “I have a lot of fam­ily and friends who just need an op­por­tu­nity, and I want to give them the op­por­tu­nity to reach their goals,” he says.

Team JFC Mi­ami: Haslem with managing part­ner Ra­mona Hall.

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