The first player ever from a Division III school to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft, Devean George is still defying expectations nearly 20 years later. With three NBA championships under his belt as a former Laker, one might assume George continued his post-NBA career in sports. But you know what they say about assuming...
After his NBA career came to a close in 2010, George embarked on a new chapter back in his hometown of North Minneapolis. With an impressive resume of charitable endeavors throughout his 11-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors, George decided to take his passion for philanthropy back to the community that raised him, educated him and helped propel him to basketball stardom at Augsburg College in Downtown Minneapolis.
With a strong interest in community development, George established George Group North, a real estate company specializing in multi-family residential development, mixed-use projects, redevelopment and management. In conjunction, he founded its charitable subsidiary, Building Blocks, a nonprofit organization focused on mentorship programming, affordable housing and sustainable community development.
With several successful projects completed, including The Commons at Penn, a 45 unit mixed-use green apartment building located just blocks from where he grew up and where his father still lives, George is gearing up for his next undertaking. For his upcoming project, he’ll be teaming up with former Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett and a South Carolina real estate firm to construct a 64-unit affordable housing apartment complex nearby George’s other properties.
Like George, Garnett is committed to rebuilding communities close to his heart. Garnett even named his company OBF Real Estate LLC, short for Official Block Family, after his childhood friends in South Carolina. Other athletes are investing in economic development around the country as well, including NFL players Ted Ginn and Roman Harper who are currently working on a building in New Orleans.
Outside his real estate work, George actually spends a majority of his time in Los Angeles raising his young sons. Nevertheless, for the week or two each month when he’s not taking his sons to school or coaching their teams, you can find him with his North Minneapolis family rebuilding and revitalizing communities one block at a time.