Too often, athletes are remembered for the not-so-positive events that occurred when they were in the spotlight. Lawrence Funderburke fits into that category for many despite a playing career that saw him star with the Buckeyes and last a decade in the pros.
Funderburke had his share of issues coming up including getting kicked off his juggernaut Wherle team in high school and taking impermissible benefits from Kentucky before bolting from Indiana and Bob Knight after just six games. If you recall, Dickie V even got caught slamming Funderburke on air, during what he thought was a commercial break, bringing smiles to many across the universe.
Since his playing days ended, Funderburke has been up to nothing but good. He's now a certified financial planner and has earned three degrees from Ohio State. Back in 2000, he started the Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization and the non-profit is doing great things. From the venerable Bob Baptist:
Some pro athletes sponsor summer camps to help children develop their athletic skills. Funderburke’s “camps” help children with life skills such as budgeting, investing and donating their money. He augments the lessons with field trips where the children learn tools such as proper etiquette, how to present themselves and communicate effectively in public, and how business gets done on a golf course.
He estimates he also reached more than 4,000 students in five central Ohio districts during the past school year with “Mr. Fundy’s Math Basketball Challenge,” which also is available on the organization’s website, LFYO.com.
Baptist also notes Funderburke has shared his message with athletes such as at the NBA rookie symposium and through an invite by Thad Matta to speak to the Buckeye basketball team.
“I also told them, ‘You’ll be fortunate if two of you play in the NBA’ . “I said, ‘Listen, fellas, I have three degrees. There really are no excuses for you not to get one'. I said, ‘When you guys get done playing here, it’s on to the next group. There is no hand-holding by the coaching staff. You’ve had your opportunity.’ It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”