NBA’s Trevor Booker shares how he turned a training camp into an international boarding school

Mildred Europa Taylor June 08, 2023
Trevor Booker turns training academy into school. Photos: Combine Academy/Linkedin

Former basketball players Trevor Booker and Jonah Baize were roommates and teammates at Clemson University, where they created a bond that would lead to several business ventures. Combine Academy, a top International Boarding School and Professional Sports Performance Center is one of their greatest achievements so far. 

The two turned what was once a basketball training camp into the Academy, which they also describe as a nationally accredited sports boarding school offering basketball, soccer, golf, and baseball. Located in Lincolnton, NC just outside of Charlotte, NC on a beautiful 56-acre campus, Combine Academy began as 3-month off-season training with a $2,000 investment before it grew into an international sports boarding school with not only four sports but students from over 40 countries.

“We actually started it with little to no money,” Booker told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think the only thing we really invested in was the website, which was huge for recruiting, and that was about $2,000. But after that, the money came from the kids and families up front, so we would house and feed them off that.”

Twelve students participated in the Combine Academy and lived in Booker’s home during the first year before later moving into apartment complexes. “With Combine Academy, we were housing the staff and we were renting, and we thought about it and it was just dumb. We knew Combine was going to be here for a while, so why not just buy and own? So we just started buying real estate wherever we saw the opportunity for it,” Booker said.

The NBA veteran’s real estate investments would not only include the residential and commercial Combine buildings but other commercial and residential spaces in several states. Today, Booker and Baize have amassed a 300+ unit portfolio of single-family, multi-family, properties. They are also owning partners of Combine Enterprises, the parent company of their academic investments, and JB Fitzgerald Venture Capital. A venture capital arm to their business, JB Fitzgerald Venture Capital has invested in over 30 companies and startups including D.C. United, huupe & Nohbo, Booker told the WARMUPS podcast.

Still, Combine Academy seems to be their best investment. The Academy has helped over 500 student-athletes to advance to the college level on Athletic Academic scholarships since 2012.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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