Pro athletes have often dealt with the challenge of family members and friends asking for financial help. But longtime Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem has an alternative for those in need of money — he can give them a job.

“I have an opportunity to provide some new jobs to people in my city of Miami,” Haslem recently told The Undefeated. “It’s crazy. I just hired one lady that went to school with my dad. That felt good. I hired my best friend’s sister and he is also my driver now.

“So I’m employing and empowering people around me. I’m putting them in situations where they can grow. It’s different than giving somebody a handout. When I first got in the league, I was like, ‘You need some help? Take a dollar.’ But when you do that you put a cap on people. They aren’t able to grow and there is a ceiling. With this opportunity, if they are willing to work hard as my business grows, they can grow.”

If any Miami kid was in need of a role model on and off the court, they could look no further than Haslem.

Haslem was born in Miami less than 10 miles from where the Heat now play. He grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, which is ridden with violence and crime. Haslem won two state titles at Miami High School in 1997 and 1998 while playing with former NBA guard Steve Blake and being coached by the University of South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin. He went on to play for the University of Florida from 1998-2002 and studied leisure service management.

Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heats shoots against Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls during the game on April 9, 2015 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

However, the 6-foot-8 star wasn’t drafted into the league out of college. With the NBA uninterested, he played for France Chalon-Sur-Saone during the 2002-03 season and lost 50 pounds. He returned back home to Miami for good, signing with the Heat in 2003 and has been on the team ever since.

“My story started in France,” Haslem said. “I had a great college career. Did what I was supposed to do. Stayed out of trouble. And I didn’t get drafted. I went all the way around the world and then had the opportunity to sign with the Heat.

“Now, 14 years later, it makes sense why it had to happen that way. It’s a blessing. I’m trying to take advantage of it and use this platform.”

Haslem has more than taken advantage of his lengthy time with the team, becoming one of the most notable players in Heat history.

Haslem earned a NBA championship with Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade in 2006 and two more with Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2012 and 2013. He is in the midst of his 14th season with the Heat and is the franchise’s all-time leader in rebounds. He has played in 828 regular-season games, just 27 games shy of tying Wade’s Heat record of 855.

The Heat has retired both O’Neal’s and Alonzo Mourning’s jerseys and will likely retire Wade’s down the road, too. Haslem’s jersey can also easily be considered a possible candidate.

“There is a lot to talk about that. Right now, I am still enjoying the opportunity to play the game,” he said. “Trust me, when I can’t compete at a high level and I can’t keep up, I’ll be the first to step away. I got too much pride. I got too much. I got too much love and joy for the organization.

“I will never put them in a bad position as far as having me out there if I can’t perform. When that day comes, I will step away. I would gladly like to see my jersey go up if that’s the opportunity they give me.”

Haslem is one of the few players left of the Heat’s last championship team since James and Wade are now gone and Bosh may never play again due to blood clots. The Heat is now struggling as one of the worst teams in the NBA. With a 15-30 record, the team is back in rebuilding mode with young, talented players such as Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson.

Through the transition, Haslem has been the veteran who has kept the locker room professional despite not being on the court as often.

“I wouldn’t change it, because every year and every opportunity I’ve been in, I’ve learned more about myself,” he said. “I had an opportunity to play with some of these great players and then settle into a more backseat role player and had to step up when my number was called. People don’t know how hard that is. You get into a playoff series and you really haven’t played that much and then all of the sudden Game 6 in Indiana, you got to be the guy that steps up.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself with this situation. I’ve always been a guy who has led by example, worked hard, played hard and got guys to play off my energy. But now I am more of a vocal leader.”

For years, Wade was the leader of the Heat on and off the court as he set up dinners and other off-court functions for his teammates. With Wade now gone to the Chicago Bulls after a lengthy Heat career, Haslem has stepped up to fill that void. The big Miami Dolphins fan has set up team trips to the movies, dinner and a Dolphins game this season.

Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat huddles with the Miami Heat before the game against the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 30, 2016, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

An appreciative Dragic called Haslem one of his “favorite all-time people.”

“He brings it every day and he’s still passionate,” Dragic told The Undefeated. “What I like the most about him is he’s always giving back. Maybe this season we are not giving back to him so much in playing time. He’s always there to give back to young players.

“He’s just a great guy who understands basketball. He’s always there to help.”

Haslem, 36, is in the final year of his contract with the Heat paying $4 million. He hopes to finish his career with Miami and join the likes of recent NBA retirees Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as well as Dirk Nowitzki, who have had long careers with one NBA franchise.

“My body still feels good,” Haslem said. “I plan on being around at least another year after this year.”

Haslem has long been prepared for the end of his NBA career, as he has Miami-area business ventures that are already thriving and growing.

Haslem says he has majority ownership in five Subway franchises and two Auntie Anne’s Pretzels franchises in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. He is a partner in JFC Miami Management Holdings, where he is a co-licensed operator of an Einstein Bros. Bagels and a 24-hour Starbucks at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital with one more of each on the horizon. He also has some pizza franchises in the works that he plans to bring to Miami soon. He credited Wade’s past business success as his motivation.

“I wanted to find another passion,” Haslem, who is also very instrumental with his charity work in Miami, said. “I’m not someone who is just an absentee owner. I don’t just put my money into something and watch it grow. I really want to be involved in things I invest in.”

Haslem also has a mentor in Ramona D. Hall, the managing partner of JFC Miami Management Holdings. Hall is responsible for daily business operations and brand relationships of JFC Miami Management Holdings. She is also active in new business development, positioning the company and brands for opportunities in nontraditional settings in airports, train stations, hospitals, university and college campuses.

Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem signs autograph on the wall behind the Starbucks counter at the VIP preview of Starbucks hosted by Haslem and Ramona Hall at Jackson Memorial Medical Center on Oct. 24, 2016, in Miami.

“We actually became business partners after we both lost a bid [at Jackson Memorial Hospital] and through that she saw that I was passionate about what I was doing,” Haslem said. “I saw that she had a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience about the business she was in. We kind of took to each other. She was mentoring me. I was like a sponge.

“She has the experience and I was hungry to learn the business with a couple extra dollars to put out there. It’s been a good relationship so far.”

Haslem’s passion on the court has transferred to his business ventures as well. He is often on conference calls and reading e-mails during his downtime with the Heat. He has shown up at his Starbucks at 4 a.m. after flying in from Heat road trips to check in unannounced. He has even had the difficult duty of having to make the call on firings.

“I take meetings before practice and sometimes after practice,” Haslem said. “Sometimes I have full days. I got to get up in the morning, hit the weight room, I have to get my workout in and then I have to go to practice. After practice, I might have a meeting and not get home until 8 [p.m.]. But I like it, I enjoy it and I enjoy working.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.


The Ten Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants in South Florida

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2017 AT 12 P.M.

6. The Woods Jupiter
The greatest golfer of his generation, Tiger Woods continues his stroke of talent off the golf course and into the dining scene with his Jupiter eatery, the Woods. It boasts delicious American fare and exceptional service. Starters include everything from spinach and artichoke dip ($13) to lollipop lamb chops ($18), but save your appetite for the real show-stopper: the meat. From the rib-eye steak sandwich ($19) and the Woods burger ($17) to the center-cut pork chop ($24) and the ten-ounce Wagyu strip steak ($48), the meats are varied enough to satisfy any whim. Fresh seafood selections such as Chilean sea bass, Atlantic salmon ($23), and local hog snapper ($31) round out the menu.

Photo by Natalia Molina

7. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza 
The dough is made fresh in-house every day. The plum tomatoes are imported from Italy. The coal-fired brick oven leaves the crust blackened and bubbly. Oh, and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino is a restaurant partner of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. With locations popping up left and right, CEO Anthony Bruno and Marino must be doing something right. Try the pizza named for the legendary QB himself — the Eggplant Marino — topped with fresh tomato sauce, thinly sliced eggplant, grated Romano cheese, and fresh basil. The oven-roasted chicken wings, priced at $8.95 for ten or $14.95 for 20, make a great side.

Courtesy Bokamper’s

8. Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill
Broward and Palm Beach Counties are home to Dolphins legend Kim Bokamper’s namesake restaurants, serving game-day classics plus the real game-changer in the sports-bar world: sushi. Sample Bokampers’ collection of small shareable bites, comfort-food favorites, craft beer, waterfront views, and an unmatched ambiance that lets you root for the home team.

Courtesy of Offerdahl’s Café Grill via Facebook

9. Offerdahl’s Café Grill
Bringing the bagel craze to a conveniently local zip code, former Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl and his wife Lynn sold their chain of bagel shops to Einstein Bros. Bagels before expanding on the concept and devising a menu full of fast-casual American fare to create Offerdahl’s Café Grill. Think fresh fire-grilled chicken, steak, salmon, and shrimp. Stop by for breakfast at the Palmetto Bay location (14685 S. Dixie Hwy.) and get a taste of what started it all: Johnny O’s famous bagels, which come in must-try flavors such as chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, and a cheese blend. The bagels go best with one of Offerdahl’s specialty coffee drinks.

nis Haslem and business partner Ramona D. Hall.

10. Einstein Bros. and Starbucks
With beloved Heat lifer Udonis Haslem and business partner Ramona D. Hall at the helm, their company, JFC Miami, opened a Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels on Jackson Memorial Hospital’s campus, located at 901 NW 17th St., in late 2016. Two other locations, at Miami Central Station, are also slated to open. The venti iced coffee and everything bagel are just two other reasons to love Haslem. The Miami Heat power forward continues to make a lasting impact in the city as the longest-tenured player in franchise history and through his community-building work with his children’s foundation and JFC Miami.



December 30, 2016 11:54AM

  • Miami Heatplayers worked up an appetite last week after distributing toys and visiting patients during their annual Heat hospital visit to Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center where they made stops at The Miami HEAT Home Court for Kids Wing and The Carnival Cares for Kids Center. In true Team Captain form, Udonis Haslem, who is a licensed-operator of the neighboring Einstein Bros. Bagels, then joined Miami Heat guard, Josh Richardson and Coach, Erik Spoelstra, for lunch.
  • On Thursday, Kellan Lutz stopped by the newly renovated GNC for some of his favorite MusclePharm supplements to stay on track for 2017.
  • Tameka “Tiny” Harris took her kids to Orlando to Disney World before celebrating Christmas in Atlanta.
  • Adrienne Maloof held her annual Holiday Party last weekend with Never Too Hungover and was joined by close pals including former RHOBH cast mate Camille Grammer.
  • Luke Perry backstage at the Wynn Theater with a few cast members from Le Rêve – The Dream. Perry and his family enthusiastically enjoyed the award-winning aquatic show on Tuesday.
  • Mariah Carey‘s annual holiday festivities in Aspen continued to roll out throughout the week. The music legend treated her friends and family to sledding and sleigh rides with horses dressed as reindeer in the backyard of the luxury Airbnb estate.
  • Bravo TV star and CBS Play.it GLAMMIR Podcast host Tabasum Mir (pictured below) showing support for US Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov at their annual holiday ice show, The Magic of Beauty, at The Rink at Brookfield Place in Tribeca.

    By Jaime Rabb

Heat forward Udonis Haslem shows Miami ‘pride’ by giving back to community

Anthony Chiang
  2016-17 seasonAnthony ChiangUdonis Haslem.

MIAMI — Udonis Haslem is proud to be from Miami.

The Miami native has proven that with his loyalty to the Miami Heat organization and even his tattoos. Haslem has the state of Florida mapped out in dark ink across his back.

As the 36-year-old Haslem has grown older, he’s also proven his love for Miami by giving back to the community. Haslem is getting involved in projects that are creating jobs for unemployed candidates from low-income families in South Florida.

Haslem’s latest venture is an Einstein Bros. Bagels at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The Heat forward, who grew up in Liberty City, was at the bagel and coffee shop Monday to celebrate Wednesday’s grand opening.

“You think the best way to help somebody is just to give them something,” Haslem said at the ceremony Monday. “But as time goes on, you realize that you’re really just crippling people and you’re really just taking away from their growth process. As I’ve gotten older and my career has grown, I look for opportunities to empower people around me and to put them in positions where they can grow.”

Haslem also helped open a Starbucks right around the corner from Einstein at Jackson Memorial Hospital earlier this year in a partnership called JFC Miami. He will add another Einstein and Starbucks in 2017 at the All Aboard Florida train station in Miami.

In addition, Haslem is the founder of the Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation, which is meant to promote youth development and self confidence through programs and services designed to enable them to reach their full personal and educational potential.

It’s all just a part of giving back to the city that he loves.

“If you’re from Miami then we got to have a lot of pride,” Haslem said. “We’re at the bottom of the map. We often get overlooked. For us, we got so many different cultures and so many people who have been through so many struggles just to be able to get to Miami whatever their situation may have been. And if you were born and raised in Miami then you’ve been through the struggles of just being born and raised in Miami. I tell people all the time that South Beach is not considered Miami. So if you were born and raised in Miami then you understand the challenges out there for the youth and even the grown-ups and some of the people who’ve been through some things and need a second chance. You understand all those things if you’re from this city.”

Udonis Haslem: ‘The Real Miami’

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

by  in CommunityFirst Person

Udonis Haslem is Miami.

The longtime native is a successful product of the rebuilding Liberty City neighborhood; a positive leader through the years overcoming the surroundings of homelessness, drug addiction, and family and friends perishing from disease and gun violence in Miami; a former star at Miami Senior High School; a Heat player since 2003—the longest-tenured in the franchise’s history—with three NBA titles; and a recent inductee into the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Champions.

Haslem, 36, has also made a big impact in the Miami community with building his Children’s Foundation, focused on youth development in the classroom, and becoming a franchisee with four Subways and two Auntie Anne’s Pretzels in the city. His latest endeavor is recently starting a food and beverage company called JFC Miami, which operates licensed stores, including a new Starbucks on Jackson Memorial Hospital’s campus. Next month, a neighboring Einstein Bros. Bagels will open, and he’ll have a second Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels coming next year.

With the help of CareerSource Florida and the Employ Miami-Dade Project, Haslem has hired and trained 66 people who were previously unemployed to work at the Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels. In fact, one lady had been homeless and another landed her first job ever. Also, Haslem donated the initial profits to the Jackson Health Foundation, tying in with his youth initiatives.

In an extended interview with the NBPA at his Starbucks, Haslem shared his life-changing story of his experiences through the years in “the real Miami,” which he refers to his city. Through family hardship, emotional pain and a low point in his life after another friend was shot and killed, Haslem has grown to be an inspiration for many of those in need in Miami—far removed from the bright lights of South Beach. His conversation is presented below in a first-person perspective and edited for clarity and length.


As the great Shane Battier would say, “Touch the people.” And I’ve never separated myself from that. I’ve never separated myself from the city of Miami.

I’ve never had a security guard in my life. If you see me out, you can come speak to me. I stopped at a gas station on 54th Street the other day, and a lady almost fell out of her car, like, “What you doing over here?” I was, like, “Everybody else comes here. Why, because I play for the Heat? No.” I’m never going to separate myself from my city or my people. And all my family is still here.

First of all, we have a lot of pride to say “I’m from Miami.” Miami has great people, the food is amazing, there’s so many different cultures. I tell people all the time, “I can barbecue on Christmas.” I’m an avid Dolphins fan, I love the Marlins, and even though I’m a Gator, I love the Hurricanes. That’s what we are down here.

Haslem with his family, from L to R: son Kedonis, 17, son Elijah, 5, wife Faith, and son Josiah, 9. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

Haslem with his family, from L to R: son Kedonis, 17, son Elijah, 5, wife Faith, and son Josiah, 9. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

I take pride in telling people when they ask, “Where you going to dinner tonight?” that “I’m going to my mama’s house.” I take pride in being from this city and I take pride in being able to give back to this city. And I know everybody. People will be, like, “You know Flo Rida?” I’ll be, like, “Yeah, we grew up together.” I knew Flo Rida before he was Flo Rida. I just call him Tramar. I know him by his real name. With Flo Rida, Rick Ross and Pitbull, we all came up together through different outlets. We all were able to meet each other and we all built our own little empires.

I even have relationships with Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon. They represent the true Miami—not the glitz and glamour of South Beach. They’re dedicated to Miami like me and I have a lot of appreciation for them. They don’t separate from the people and they’re involved with the community. They’re approachable and they don’t walk around with security.

Secondly, if you’re really from Miami—and I mean the real city of Miami; I don’t mean South Beach—you’ve probably been through something, you probably saw something, you probably had the opportunity to go the other way. I’m not ashamed to say I was one of those kids who could’ve went the other way if I chose to, but I didn’t.

I had friends who went the other way and they had suffered the consequences for those things. But I have a lot of pride to say that I’ve been through a lot of things, and I’m still here today, setting an example for the kids to say that you don’t have to be a victim of your circumstances.


Haslem with his mother, Debra (middle), at her 50th birthday party in 2006, along with his youngest sister, Sheana. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

I actually lost a cousin and two of my best friends to gun violence in Miami, and it’s all been since I’ve been in the NBA. We also have a family friend who lost her father through violence in Miami, and my aunt took the daughter in and we raised her as part of our family. You almost become immune to death because it happens too often and you build thick skin.

In 2006, my friend Chip was shot in the back leaving someone’s house. I got a tattoo on my forearm that says “R.I.P. Chip.” And about two years later, my other friend Frank was shot in the head coming out of a hotel. They had both grown close to me like family. After Frank died, I broke down. It was a struggle for me because I felt like every time I turned around, my friends were dropping. I don’t cry often, but it was one of those days that I was really feeling it.

I also lost my older brother, Sam, to AIDS in 2000. He actually took me to the basketball court and first put the basketball in my hand, because my father was working. And I lost my mom, Debra, to cancer in 2010. Debra was my first love, and I have a tattoo on my arm that says “First Love.”

My mom was the strongest person that I’ve ever known. She came back from drug addiction and homelessness. She was able to recover from both and other challenges, being robbed and raped. She went to homeless shelters and recovering addict seminars, encouraging those people. She was an inspiration to other people who went through the same struggle. We started to get back in contact over time and our relationship just grew, and she became pretty much my best friend. Later on, Debra and my stepmom, Barbara, formed a great relationship.

Haslem with his stepmother, Barbara. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

Haslem with his stepmother, Barbara. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

Debra was always positive and very religious with the Bible. I actually have Bible scriptures on my rib cages. She would always read Proverbs 3:5-6 to me. Whenever I’m going through something, I always say it to myself, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” She would always say it to me over and over. Whatever I go through in life, whatever hits me, I always resort back to her.

When I’m in Miami, I’m in the city every day and I see what’s going on. I see the struggles, I see the lack of opportunity, I see other people who have been knocked down so many times and just feel like they can’t get a break. I actually have relationships with a lot of friends of mine that just feel like they can’t get a break.

That’s where the idea came from me to start JFC Miami, just wanting to help the people close to me—people who are from the real Miami. Instead of crippling somebody giving them a dollar, I help them earn a dollar. Now you’ve got room to grow. There’s no ceiling. You can continue to empower yourself.

Haslem at the Starbucks opening with special guests, from L to R: Heat president Pat Riley, Haslem’s JFC Miami business partner Ramona Hall, former Heat player Alonzo Mourning and the team’s coach Erik Spoelstra. (Photo by Bob Metelus)

Haslem at the Starbucks opening with special guests, from L to R: Heat president Pat Riley, Haslem’s JFC Miami business partner Ramona Hall, former Heat player Alonzo Mourning and the team’s coach Erik Spoelstra. (Photo by Bob Metelus)

It’s real special to be able to provide jobs for my people. And when I say my people, it has nothing to do with color. I think of people who have been through the struggle. I call them “the strugglers.” I think of people who have seen the down part of life and feel like they can’t get a break. I’ve seen the people who have been knocked down a lot of times. I’ve seen the people who might have made a mistake, but need a second chance and got a good heart.

So I look at an opportunity to provide for “the strugglers.” And when you struggle, it builds character. I have no doubt that these people who I’m employing, they have character because they’ve been through some things.

Haslem’s favorite Starbucks drink is drawn from his former Heat teammate Chris Andersen. Haslem: “It’s three shots of espresso, five pumps of hazelnut, five pumps of melon and almond milk. I’ve been drinking it before every game for the last four years.” (Photo by Bob Metelus)

Haslem’s favorite Starbucks drink is drawn from his former Heat teammate Chris Andersen. Haslem: “It’s three shots of espresso, five pumps of hazelnut, five pumps of melon and almond milk. I’ve been drinking it before every game for the last four years.” (Photo by Bob Metelus)

When I was congratulating the new Starbucks employees I hired, I learned that one lady had been homeless and another was getting her first job ever in her life. It was funny because a couple of people knew me. One lady actually knew my father and there was a lady who was a sister of one of my best friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. So not only am I impacting the people who are in my circle, I’m impacting their family, I’m impacting their friends, and the relationships go on and on. It’s just as powerful as impacting the people who are around me.

Growing up, I was always a kid that was taught to help others. Barbara was the most influential in that area because it takes a special woman to raise a kid that’s not her natural-born son. She treated me just as good as she treated her other kids. She was always the person that when my friends couldn’t get a decent meal or they were having trouble at their house, they could always come to our house and spend a night with us, eat at our house. We didn’t have much, but we were always willing to share and help others.

Haslem signs his name and jersey No. 40 at the Starbucks. (Photo by Bob Metelus)

Haslem signs his name and jersey No. 40 at the Starbucks. (Photo by Bob Metelus)

When I made it to the NBA, I started to donate to my mom’s church. Then after our close friend, Kim, passed away from a brain tumor about 10 years ago, I started my Children’s Foundation, taking care of kids in Miami. We started with lending school supplies and the foundation grew to back-to-school, reading and writing, and drug addiction programs, and partnering with the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Association. We also have an honor roll program where I take an amount of kids with certain GPAs shopping around the holidays, just to provide opportunities for them.

Now, we have another opportunity through JFC where we can provide for the children, by having donated the initial profits to the Jackson Health Foundation. When the Starbucks opening happened, I had a special moment with my parents, Barbara and Johnnie, just looking at how happy they were for me. It was an emotional thing because they worked so hard and sacrificed so much, and I’ve been able to show my appreciation and take care of the people who took care of me and sacrificed so much for me.

It’s also important that I take my young Heat teammates around the city. I spent a lot of time with the guys this summer taking them to the inner city. I took them to my barbershop where I go on Fridays, Razor Ray’s. They play Dominican music there. Even next door we had Spanish food. I wanted to let them know there’s a lot of people in the city that love you and just want to see you and shake hands with you. A lot of the true die-hard Miami Heat fans for 20 years can’t afford to come to the games. So I wanted to introduce my teammates to the people who are going to be down for you no matter what.

Haslem with his father, Johnnie. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

Haslem with his father, Johnnie. (Photo courtesy of Udonis Haslem)

It’s an honor to be the longest-tenured Heat player. I think I’m the longest-tenured undrafted player with one team ever. I’m a three-time champion, the leading rebounder in the organization and I represent the organization being from the Miami. It’s just a dream come true, and I’ve played with guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Gary Payton, Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning. In the future, one of my goals is to do something like what Alonzo did, opening his Overtown Youth Center years ago.

I know a lot of people who I’ve seen in my life have been through a lot of adverse circumstances. They’ve had a lot of failures, they’ve been knocked down, made mistakes and they tend to give up. But I just don’t want those people to give up.

It’s all clear to me now why I’m here—why I had to go to France after going undrafted, and why I had to fail and fall down and get up to be here.

It’s all clear to me now what my purpose is, and it’s just to help others.

Udonis Haslem’s VIP Preview of New Starbucks in Miami

OCTOBER 26, 2016

Here’s a recap from last night’s VIP preview of Udonis Haslem’s new Starbucks located at Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami. Udonis Haslem’s new Starbucks opens to the public on Monday, November 7th.  His Einstein Bros. Bagels opens on November 14. Who knew Udonis was such an entrepreneur.-TO



Miami Heat Captain Udonis Haslem Opens Starbucks in Miami

OCTOBER 25, 2016


Monday night was all about the caffeine.

Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem hosted a preview of his new Starbucks location, which officially opens at Jackson Memorial Medical Center Nov. 7, with some of his closest friends and colleagues like NBA legend Alonzo Mourning, coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley.

Riley was milling about the space sipping on a cocktail called the Cinni-Pumpkin Collins (Crop pumpkin vodka with Cinnabon liquor, Starbucks dark roast and a pinch of cinnamon).

“I usually don’t drink coffee at this time of the day but this is really delicious,” said Riley of the adult beverage that was made specifically for the party. “That cinnamon kind of does the trick.”

Spoelstra said he was a big fan of Starbucks, but keeps it simple.

“I never look at the menu or the seasonal offerings,” said Spoelstra. “Like all that pumpkin or fancy stuff. I barely look at the menu.”

Wife of one year, Nicki Sapp, offered Spoelstra’s usual order: Regular coffee with a couple of ice cubes (to keep down the temperature) and a dash of cream.

“Every morning it’s the same — pretty easy,” informed Sapp, a former Heat dancer, adding that his breakfast is “blueberry oatmeal with all the toppings.”

As for Haslem’s poison? A dirty chai — that’s three shots of espresso, milk (2 percent), and five pumps each of hazelnut and vanilla syrups.

Other topics besides coffee were discussed — namely the Miami Heat, which is entering a basketball season without one of its most major players, Dwyane Wade-less.

Spoelstra didn’t seem worried in the least.

“Udonis is great— one of the best — he’s our captain and he’s kind of carrying the torch.”

During the event, Haslem and his JFC Miami franchise partner Ramona D. Hall presented a donation of $10,000 to Jackson Health Foundation. JFC Miami-operated Einstein Bros. Bagels next door will open Nov. 14.

This Miami Heat Forward Is Bringing More Jobs to the City

OCTOBER 19, 2016

JFC Miami business to open Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels locations

Miami Heat’s star forward and team captain Udonis Haslem, who along with his JFC Miami business partner Ramona D. Hall, is set to open two Einstein Bros. Bagels and two Starbucks locations in The Magic City. The new franchise outlets add to Haslem’s portfolio that includes five Subway sandwich shops and two Auntie Anne’s.

JFC Miami Management Holdings L.L.C. (“JFC Miami”) is a food and beverage operator headquartered in Miami. Collectively, the company has owned and operated fast-casual, nationally branded dining concepts throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties for more than 10 years.

A Power Player On and Off the Court

As a Miami Heat veteran, Haslem has appeared in over 777 games during his 12-year NBA career. However, his career only shadows his business acumen. He reportedly has been an essential part of the Einstein Bros. Bagel and Starbucks acquisition process and will pivot into day-to-day operations once he transitions from his professional basketball career. JFC managing partner Hall has been a fixture in the South Florida business and political community for over 20 years, owning and operating three regional and national brands.

Of the four new franchise locations the company owns, an Einstein Bros. Bagels and Starbucks are slated to open this October on Jackson Memorial Hospital’s campus with financial partner Florida Community Bank. Two respective locations will soon follow in the new Miami Central Station, which will serve All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passengers.

Creating Local Jobs In Miami

Through the NBA’s player’s continued efforts to invest and help shape the future of South Florida’s economic community, JFC Miami aims to hire local unemployed job seekers, as well as young adults from low-income families to provide them an opportunity to enhance their work-readiness skills while earning an income. The four new franchise locations will create an estimated 120 new jobs.

JFC Miami has partnered with CareerSource Florida and the Employ Miami-Dade Project to assist with identifying qualified employees. The goal of JFC Miami and its partners is to provide employment opportunities for those job seekers who are often overlooked in order to help them support their families.

“Many of our new team members have been unemployed or underemployed for two or more years. Our goal moving forward to our opening is to provide comprehensive training to our new employees to include customer service training, conflict resolution in the workplace, and extensive brand training in-store,” said Haslem in a released statement.

“My partner Ramona and I, along with our incredible team at JFC Miami feel very fortunate that we can make a positive impact on our community with the opening of our Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels locations,” he added. “With everything happening in today’s world, it ‘feels good to do good.’”

Heat Forward Udonis Haslem Creating Jobs For Underprivileged Through His Many Franchises

OCTOBER 13, 2016

JFC Miami business to open Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels locations
by Tom D’Angelo

MIAMI – Heat forward Udonis Haslem continues to set himself up for life after the NBA.

Haslem is adding two Einstein Bros. Bagels and two Starbucks franchises to his portfolio that includes five Subway sandwich shops and two Auntie Anne’s. The projects that are creating jobs for the youth from low income families.

An Einstein Bagels and Starbucks will open Oct. 24 at Jackson Memorial Hospital in a partnership called JFC Miami. He will add another Einstein and Starbucks in 2017 at the All Aboard Florida train station in Miami.

“I … feel very fortunate that we can make a positive impact on our community with the opening of our Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels locations,” Haslem said.  “With everything happening in today’s world, it feels good to do good’”

On Wednesday, Haslem met with his employees that will work at the franchises at Jackson Memorial.


“I had the pleasure of introducing myself to my Jackson Hospital Starbucks and Einstein Bagel employees today,” Haslem posted on Instagram. “The looks and the smiles was worth the 14yrs years of blood sweat and tears. If I could do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even getting drafted.”

Haslem, the team captain, has forged a 14 year career with the Miami Heat after going undrafted out of the University of Florida. He has been an intregral part of three championship team.

Through Haslem’s continued efforts to invest and help shape the future of South Florida’s economic community, the company aims to hire local unemployed job seekers, as well as young adults from low income families to provide them an opportunity to enhance their work-readiness skills while earning an income.

In addition, Haslem is the founder of the Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation. As part of his continued philanthropy goals, both locations will support the Children’s Foundation and the Jackson Memorial Foundation through various fundraising efforts.

Applications are being accepted for both Einstein Bros. Bagels and Starbucks stores. To apply visit http://www.jfcmiami.com/careers or contact Marie Avera at mavera@miamigov.com or call (305) 372-8300.

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