From an early age, sports has been a central passion for Drew Stephens, CEO, and founder of Beyond the Legacy, and a die-hard fan of the New York Knicks, New York Mets, and San Francisco 49ers. From early childhood through high school, Drew spent his free hours playing basketball in neighborhood driveways, parks, gyms, and YMCAs. While a career playing basketball would never be in the cards, he always aspired to work in the professional sports industry, particularly with the NBA.
Drew earned an Associate’s degree in Office Systems Management from Berkeley College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems at Montclair State University. While finishing up at MSU, he interned and worked part-time with a large real estate firm in New Jersey. That position, in turn, led to a meeting with a sports executive seeking an intern for the National Basketball Retired Players Association. This was the opportunity he knew he was looking for.
Drew would spend the next nine years working full time with both the organization and its members. In his work, he managed and produced the website, which included writing a wide range of content including feature stories, Q&A, weekly blogs with basketball legends, and more. Additionally, he led event planning for NBA All-Star Weekend and other organizational events and outreach, and proactively assisted NBRPA members and their families. Out of everything he did, his greatest affinity was and continues to be, the human connection he has experienced with this exceptional group of people.
After a long and storied nine-year professional career in the sports industry, Drew made a personal decision to explore new ventures. Having earned the respect of and built long-lasting relationships with sports executives, basketball legends, and their families, this was a difficult decision to make. Despite leaving the industry professionally, Drew has maintained many of these relationships and views them as dear friends and extended family.
The decision to change career tracks coincided with an exciting opportunity in digital technology. Since 2009, Drew’s work has explored areas including human resources, operations, event planning, project management, and account management for Fortune 500 clients. Despite the challenge, success, and overall happiness this direction has yielded, the draw of working with basketball legends and their families has never really left him. In 2017, he decided to seek out a passion project that would grow and impact these long-time relationships in a new way.
After much introspection and exploration, the idea for Beyond the Legacy was born. Drew recognized that while the stories of legends’ careers are well-known, there’s so much more to tell after they leave the game. With Beyond the Legacy, Drew seeks to give former professional athletes a channel for telling their stories, showing who they really are on a more human level, and continuing their impact beyond the world of sports. For more about Drew Stephens and the origins of Beyond the Legacy, read his personal story, Returning with a Purpose.