There are many different ways professional athletes choose to spend their offseason — from traveling and relaxing, to practicing and preparing for the upcoming season.
For a group of NBA players, they decided to spend this offseason as interns at one of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies, preparing for life after basketball.
C.J. Watson, Wilson Chandler, Dahntay Jones, and D-Leaguer Moses Ehambe were among the players who interned at Google's headquarters last week, getting a crash course in how a tech giant operates. It's a smart decision by the seasoned veterans, as the average NBA career lasts less than five years.
This opportunity was part of the NBA's "Career Crossover" program, which the league launched in 2011 to help players prepare for their "second life" after basketball — something very few players plan sufficiently for.
In fact, in 2009 Sports Illustrated reported that 60 percent of former NBA players are broke five years into their retirement, and even highly-paid superstars like Allen Iverson, Latrell Sprewell, and Scottie Pippen have run into tremendous financial trouble after their playing days were over.
"One of the top priorities in regards to player development is talking to guys early and often about the importance of thinking about what you are going to do career-wise after the ball stops bouncing and your playing career is over," said Greg Taylor, the NBA's senior vice-president of player development, via VICE Sports.
Watson, Chandler, Jones and Ehambe spent their time at Google learning about how the company builds their products and makes money, as well as discussing platform analytics and YouTube.
The tech industry has been the top choice from NBA players in career discussions, leading the league to partner with companies such as Google and Facebook for offseason opportunities for players.
Just a short time spent preparing for life and a career after basketball will go a long way for these athletes, and who knows, maybe they'll be back at Google next offseason, or at the end of their time in the NBA.
Read the full story from VICE Sports here.