What Would You Do with $97 Million?

shutterstock_19351639What would you do with $97 million?

I have a sad story of how $97 million was earned and lost.

While most of us can’t lose $97 million, we can certainly follow the same path as Vin Baker, four time National Basketball Association all-star and outstanding basketball player in the NBA for thirteen seasons. He had a promising career with money to provide for his family and to help others as well. He turned that promise into one of the too many sad stories of life. The same kind of sorrow can come to you or to me.

Vin Baker is now 43 years old and the father of four children. He works at a Starbucks in Rhode Island, trying to provide for his family and get back on the right track.

Vin Baker’s story and advice for young basketball players in particular and people in general sounds like the kind of wisdom you would find  in the biblical book of Proverbs. The Proverbs deal with practical wisdom, the kind Vin Baker dispenses.

According to a story in the Providence Journal, Baker struggled with alcoholism during his playing career.

Baker’s explanation and what happened does sound like the advice to a son as that found in Proverbs: “When you make choices and decisions and think that it will never end, and then you get into spending and addiction and more spending, it’s a definite formula for losing . . . I would insist that you surround yourself with the person you trust the absolute most, someone who can tell you, ‘You’re wrong, don’t buy that, don’t go there, that person’s no good.’ I would also say be able to monitor every single dime that comes out of your account as if you’re a Starbucks barista.”

Baker is determined to take something bad and turn it into something good. “For me, I’m 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I’m a father. I’m a minister in my father’s church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back.”

Vin Baker is determined to make it back and to help other people make wise decisions.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard, consider her ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gather its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-7).

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