Former Lady Devils star pens book
West Memphis alum Tywanna Inmon Smith hopes to help professional athletes develop a better sense of money, life management
WM School District Tywanna Inmon Smith was quite a star basketball player during her days at West Memphis High School.
She was good enough to play at Ole Miss in college and then on to a pro career in Europe.
Her pro career and her acumen for business have come together as she's authored a new book entitled 'Surviving the Lights: A Professional Athlete's Playbook to Avoiding the Curse.'
It has been well documented that well over 50 percent of professional athletes wind up broke just a few years after retirement. Smith's book is designed to help aspiring professional athletes and their families avoid the curse that, often times, comes with the professional sports culture.
Smith is the president and founder of The Athlete's Nexus, a sports marketing and business management group for pro athletes. Among her clients is former West Memphis Blue Devil basketball star Sonny Weems, whose career has taken him from the NBA to the pro leagues in Europe.
'As a former college and pro athlete myself and now a business manager, I am fully aware of a lot of issues that plague pro athletes in regard to money management,' Smith said. 'I just wondered how we could address these issues, and so I decided to write a book.'
The release date on the book is March 1. It will be available on hardback and online. It is set to hit Amazon.com on March 1. The publishers are Crescendo Publishing out of Los Angeles.
Smith addresses the pro athlete's struggle to lead productive, successful lives when they retire.
'Why do they invest in their talent, but not their life,' Smith asks. 'Perhaps the bigger question is why don't college athletes prepare to be professionals like they prepare to be professional athletes? '
Smith's approach to the book was to be 'pro-active' in reaching the athletes before they reach the pro level.
'Think about a normal college student who gets to make mistakes at a smaller level in regard to money management and their careers,' Smith said. 'Pro athletes don't get that luxury. They miss out on that growth period.'
Smith said it took her an astounding two-and-a-half weeks to write the book.
Smith has worked with elite NBA, NFL and overseas athletes in both a financial and business capacity for a decade. She is married to former Palestine-Wheatley/Ole Miss basketball star Jason Smith.
By Billy Woods