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Sport of Money: How David Robinson's Business Found a Solution for America's Schooling Problem

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David Robinson spent 14 years as one of the most dominant players in the NBA. His on the court accomplishments include two NBA Championships, an MVP Award, ten time All-Star and an induction to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

After Robinson's basketball career ended, he and his business partner Daniel Bassichis formed the Admiral Capital Group. Their mission is to combine their knowledge of private equity and “desire to make a positive social impact” in an effort to “create a long-term sustainable business.” Their company helped contribute to building 20 new schools and IDEA Carver Academy now has nearly 100 schools and is one of the fastest-growing charter schools in the country.

Why the focus on education?

Robinson credits that commitment to the values his parents instilled in him as a child. The Spurs star says his parents always focused on him getting a proper education. While attending the Naval Academy, Robinson says he would do community work for the Police Athletic League and tell kids to focus on doing well in school. However, Robinson quickly realized that goal was much easier said than done given the educational systems available in urban and inner-city areas.

That’s when the idea for the Carver Academy was first created.

“Playing basketball was a lot of fun and fantastic. But if I didn't use it for something much larger, then I was wasting an amazing opportunity. So I started to use that platform to really create an opportunity to help change kids' lives,” said Robinson in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Bill Enright.

“Seeing what David was doing in the San Antonio community inspired me and I wanted to help him and work together and be partners to build a business that also helped him scale up his work. David was an inspiration for me,” said Bassichis of his now business partner.

Focusing on helping communities is at the forefront of the duo's mission. “Instead of some people going to work every day and then thinking about how to help others, we decided let's try to integrate the two and make that part of our daily work. And so it's been an incredible journey the last 12 years” Bassichis told TheStreet.

The Carver Academy is now part of IDEA Public Schools, a nonprofit charter school organization based in Texas. The tuition-free program's main goal is to prepare its students “for success in the nation’s most competitive high schools and will display the highest levels of leadership, discipline, initiative and integrity."

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