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From Pro Basketball Player to Entrepreneur

From Pro Basketball Player to Entrepreneur

Houstonians may remember Reggie Slater when he played basketball for Kashmere High School but many remember Slater when he played professional basketball for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and Toronto Raptors.  Today Slater is an entrepreneur and the owner of six oil lube businesses in the Houston area and Slaters Sports Zone in Richmond, Texas.

Prior to retiring from pro basketball, Slater prepared for a transition in his career by purchasing an oil lube business in Houston.  He later purchased five more lube businesses, some financed with loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Retirement from the hectic basketball player’s lifestyle gave Slater the opportunity to spend more time with his wife and children.  While coaching his son’s basketball team, Slater realized there were no sports facilities that can hosts tournaments in south Houston, where he resides.  Motivated by the desire to help and encourage young people to better their lives through health, fitness, and sports he built Slater’s Sports Zone in Fort Bend County.  Prior to building the sports complex, Slater contacted the Ft. Bend County Small Business Development Center, a resource partner of the SBA, for technical assistance. With the help of Ft. Bend County SBDC Director Joe Decker, Slater was approved for a SBA 504 program loan to help finance the project.  The SBA 504 loan program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing for the acquisition of fixed assets for expansion or modernization.

The 63,000 sq. ft. state of the art sports complex, located near a master planned community and schools, offers training in volleyball and basketball, including a strength and conditioning facility and lease space to a martial arts academy.  The gym houses 8 volleyball courts, 4 basketball courts, a cafeteria, pro shop and is also available for rent.  Slater’s gym is home court to the Fort Bend Fire Volleyball Club.  Slater’s Sports Zone employs 75 people and their staff of experienced professionals is committed to providing the best youth sports experience possible while maintaining the standards and values that Slater founded the facility on.  “It’s important to have great key employees and I’m blessed to have that at this facility,” said Slater. 

Starting a business involves a lot of planning and research.  A successful business owner for many years, Slater advises aspiring entrepreneurs to follow their dreams, plan early, and hire good employees.  “I enjoy being a business owner and I hope to be able to continue to employ people,” said Slater. 

Slater maintains dedicated and committed to helping young people and is also proud to help the community through job creation and local charities.  For more information on Slater Sports Zone, visit their facility at 727 Plantation Dr., Richmond, TX 77406 or their website at http://www.slatersportszone.com.  For more information on the SBDC and SBA, visit http://www.sbdc.uh.edu and http://www.sba.gov.