MARIETTA, Ga. — Former Stephenson and Georgia Tech standout Alade Aminu has traveled the world playing basketball and now he's thinking about life beyond the court.
“I knew you can’t do basketball forever, so I was trying to figure out something exciting and something cool enough to do after basketball,” said Aminu.
Former Stephenson and Georgia Tech standout Alade Aminu is currently a free agent but wants to continue into his 14th year as a professional basketball player.
“I just played in Puerto Rico, it was an amazing experience. Played right in San Juan. The Puerto Rican people are amazing. The mofongo, the food there is incredible,” said Aminu.
He's trying to juggle life as a professional basketball player and as a businessman.
Aminu has always been an entrepreneur but getting into the restaurant business is a first for him. To honor his athletic roots, he opened Bar 44, a lounge in Marietta.
“My high school number was 44 and it’s kind of how my basketball career got started. I’ve always been keen on entrepreneurship. I know you can’t play basketball forever. I know you need to have something after that life," he said. "If 44 did good for my basketball career, let me see how it can do for my business career."
The two-time Olympian wants Bar 44 to be a reason that people pinpoint wanting to come to the city of Atlanta. LeBron James has already come by the lounge.
“I’m proud of how I was able to believe in myself. This is not an easy thing to do, even though I am receiving a lot of success now. The restaurant business is probably one of the hardest industries to get into. I also want to be an inspiration," he said. "I know athletes sometimes get a bad reputation. People think they blow their money on silly things, they don’t know how to invest. What I do is try to coach and tell people to put their money away and invest."
Beyond trying to help other athletes, Aminu’s staff and the people around him are incredibly important. His goal is to bring them along for the ride and help elevate their careers, whatever they are passionate about doing.
“Our motto is ambition over excuses, so everybody around me with Bar 44 has been growing with me. I haven’t just been growing by myself, I’ve been sharing with my community and people around me so those are the two biggest things that I’m really proud of honestly,” said Aminu.
People can visit Bar 44 at 2755 Canton Rd, Marietta, GA 30066. It's open five days a week and closed Tuesday and Wednesday.