To an outsider, the game of basketball and financial planning might seem to have little in common but on Thursday, Sept. 21 former Auburn basketball standout Daymeon Fishback provided a number of key examples how the two intersect as he served as the keynote speaker for the College of Human Sciences Women Philanthropy Board’s (WPB) 2023 “Fall-Star Luncheon” held inside Neville Arena.
In a packed scholarship terrace typically reserved for Auburn basketball home games, the enthusiasm remained just as high as guests listened to Fishback’s remarks on what basketball can teach us about our finances and philanthropy. In addition, Auburn’s Men’s Basketball Associate Head Coach Steven Pearl spoke at the luncheon to give a preview of the 2023-24 Auburn Men’s Basketball team’s upcoming season.
Before the talk of basketball, finances and philanthropy College of Human Sciences Dean Susan Hubbard opened the luncheon with a tribute to the late visionary leader and former longtime College of Human Sciences Dean and Founder of the Women’s Philanthropy Board June Henton, who passed away on Aug. 22.
“Today, as we begin I’d like to recognize our mentor and our cherished friend June Henton,” Hubbard said. “June served as the dean for the College of Human Sciences for 34 years before retiring in 2019. Even though she retired more than four years ago, June’s impact remains throughout the College of Human Sciences and especially in the Women’s Philanthropy Board. In 2002, June formed a small group of women with a common desire to equip women with skills to become personal financial decision makers and inspired philanthropists. These women became the founding members of the Women’s Philanthropy Board from that small group. After 2002, it has now grown to include more than 200 individual and corporate members.”
Before Fishback took the podium he was introduced by WPB President Joanne Schrantz where she mentioned some of his career highlights both on and off the court including working in the financial services industry at Morgan Stanley and working as an SEC Network game and studio analyst since 2014. Fishback graduated from Auburn University with an international business degree in 2000 and was a captain on the 1999 Auburn Men’s Basketball SEC Championship team.
When addressing those in attendance, Fishback lightened the mood with several jokes but became serious when addressing important ways to be successful with your finances. Those tips included staying disciplined, budgeting, giving back, running at your own pace, focusing on your role, having a strong work ethic and keeping perspective.
“The first thing that I learned is discipline,” Fishback said. “They say a goal without discipline is just an illusion. For me, as much as you have to sacrifice in the game of basketball I think you have to do it in finances. When I speak to professional athletes about managing money the first thing I teach them about is FICA and the second thing is discipline they have to have to budget. I still think that’s something that people don’t put as high of a priority on. If you want to be wealthy and accumulate wealth, it starts with that budget.”
The advice Fishback gave that closely correlates with the Women’s Philanthropy Board is the importance of giving back. Personally, Fishback chooses to give back to organizations aimed at finding a cure for cancer because his mother fought and beat cancer four separate times before passing a few years ago. He also chooses to give back to church and tithe because of his faith.
“There are so many ways to give back and there’s not one time where I gave back in the game of basketball did it not pay off for me,” Fishback said. “I think people undervalue just the impact of giving back and how it impacts your family.”
Lastly, and one that Fishback reiterated as extremely important is keeping the right perspective. He gave an example by asking the audience how great they would feel if they woke up tomorrow with an extra $100 million? Of course, everyone raised their hand. But then, Fishback asked ‘how many of you if you received that money feel like it would be worth it if you didn’t wake up tomorrow?’ No hands were raised.
“Right, that’s perspective,” Fishback said. “Just being able to wake up today changes the perspective of life. No matter how hard you work, no matter how much discipline you have, no matter how much you try to run your race and play a role you have to keep things in perspective.”
To close out the luncheon, Steven Pearl took questions from the audience about the upcoming basketball season that begins Tuesday, Nov. 7 against Baylor in Sioux Falls, S.D. Steven Pearl and his dad, head coach Bruce Pearl, are starting their 10th season on the Plains and Steven Pearl was happy to discuss how much Auburn basketball has accomplished in the last decade.
The Women’s Philanthropy Board is the flagship program of the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. WPB’s mission is to inspire, educate, and enable individuals to develop their full leadership potential; achieve independence as financial donors and decision makers; serve as mentors for future generations of philanthropists; and broaden the base of financial support for the College of Human Sciences. WPB provides yearly educational programs to inspire and enable attendees regarding financial responsibility and philanthropic engagement.
To request information and to receive emails about upcoming WPB programs, please register at aub.ie/wpbinfo.