We had the good fortune of connecting with Arize Ifejika and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Arize, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Was really inspired by the modern day hip hop mogul and didn’t see that on the sports side specifically basketball. Where the platform built by basketball could be leveraged into other endeavors. I’m passionate about so many other things and it was always a hard sell to potential employers. They didn’t understand YouTube, social media, PayPal and how those things plus an LLC could blend and the result would be an amazing business.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My story isn’t very different than the majority of the entrepreneurs or entertainers who’s product, services or talents we enjoy today which was always the frustrating. People didn’t believe in me and I would try to explain that most if not all of your favorites went through the same thing and it looked the same way but I realized the difference was that the majority don’t have the opportunity to see a Steve Jobs or an Elon Musk or a Jay Z build their empires from scratch. So they only see the finished product. So those who watched us struggle, myself specifically, financially or having failures early on  jumped off the bandwagon. I’m arguing with my mother, friends, siblings, women I was dealing with like “just google the owner of your favorite business or brand and see how they got their start. See their trials and tribulations.” But no one cared. It was then that I learned the harsh realities of the game. It’s a what have you done for me lately results based thing. Ain’t no A for effort little engine that could I think I can stuff. You constantly have to update your resume. It’s a constant battle between being one right move from proving everyone wrong and one wrong move from proving everyone right. And that was a scary place to be in for so many years as you’re getting older and your peers going on vacations, driving nice cars and getting nice apartments cause they never took that risk and had well paying jobs.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business partner Rodney DuBose. Been with me from the beginning. We are from separate parts of town and met in college in Florida so when we got back home our friend groups mixed and majority of his friends didn’t believe in me and would question why he’s with me and so loyal. He never listened. Him and my father are the only two people in this world who I know would give me their last. It’s one thing to go hard for your dreams but to go hard for another person’s dream takes a special person.

Website: www.morethanbasketballthebrand.com

Instagram: _Arize

Twitter: _Arize_

Youtube: Morethanbasketball

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.