The majority of the San Diego Chargers left last week, heading home to work out individually before returning July 24th for the beginning of training camp.
The rookies, however, stayed behind, getting in some additional work and training as they begin their professional lives. On Tuesday, they had the unique opportunity to meet with members from another professional sports team, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ronny Turiaf, DaJuan Summers, Ryan Hollins and Maalik Wayns travelled the 120 mile trek down I-5 to give life lessons to 26 Chargers rookies. For over an hour, they spoke on a wide array of topics, including money management, dealing with family and friends, interacting with fans and many other life lessons. They alternated giving advice and examples they lived through of the perks and pitfalls of being a professional athlete.
“Basically today what I was trying to tell them was that the earlier they realize that this is a business first and foremost, then you can utilize your skill and your network to build something greater than the sports that you play,” said Turiaf. “I think that the sooner you realize that, and the sooner you realize the little nuances of being the newfound head of the family financially per se, that it comes with a lot of responsibilities. So I was just trying to tell them to be ready for it and to realize that now they are stepping into a different world.”
“Coming from a professional athlete in the NBA, hearing them tell the stories meant a lot because we can relate to them,” said
The symposium is just one of many programs cultivated by Chargers Director of Player Engagement Arthur Hightower that the rookies will experience between now and the end of the 2013 season.