Turning My Greatest Struggle into Success

In the fall of 2012, I became ill very unexpectedly.  Having been a professional athlete for many years, taking care of my health was always very high on my list of priorities.  Sure, I’ve had to nurse myself back from a number of sports-related injuries, but nothing could have prepared me for just how sick I got that September.  

I was on the basketball court when suddenly started to feel an allergy attack coming on.  I also felt a pain unlike anything I experienced in my chest, so I went to the nearest hospital.  I was treated by the emergency staff for an allergy attack and given a steroid for treatment.  In a very unfortunate twist of fate, I wasn’t given the proper dosage of the drug, and this sent my body into complete tailspin.  For the next two to three years (and even still today), I dealt with anxiety and other health issues I couldn’t understand much less even begin to explain.  I could no longer play basketball.  I couldn’t focus on my personal business.  I couldn’t maintain friendships.  I spent every day just trying to get through the day and exist.

I left LA for Denver in early 2013, to get treatment and seek to restore my health at Muscle Pharm, where there was a top-notch doctor (Dr. Kim) who said he would work with me to reclaim my life.  Little did I know this move to Denver would change my world again, but this time, in a good way.  I reconnected with a college friend who was part of a local Denver hip-hop group, Top Flite Empire.  Although the group achieved a great level of success in the local hip-hop scene, they were looking to get their music beyond Colorado.

Music has been my greatest passion since I was young.  In 2006, when I was playing basketball in Australia, I met Simone "Boss Lady" Kapsalides.  At the time Simone was an up and coming journalist, having founded Urban Hitz, Australia and New Zealand’s highest selling on-sale urban music and culture magazine.  I wrote a few pieces for the magazine and Simone and I became great friends.  When she moved to New York to further advance her journalism career, I used to visit her every summer, meeting and mingling with her colleagues in the industry.

When I decided to venture into music management, Simone put me in touch with  some of the very best in music.  I established Fogo Management Group that same year, and since then have signed one more artist, Sabryna, and created an educational music conference, Proximity Music Conference, which is now hosted in partnership with Sony/Blueprint/Maverick.  

If I hadn’t gotten sick, I'm not sure I would have left the basketball court to start a new career in music.  Despite the hardship, music became a silver lining to the most difficult time of my life.