Preview our NEW Educational Series
Lawrence Damon Funderburke
was born on December 15, 1970 in Columbus, Ohio where he grew up, raised
by his single mother Laura Funderburke, on the tough streets of the west
side Sullivant Gardens projects.
Lawrence spent an abundance of his youthful days in the Boys and Girls
Club of Columbus, where he gained many valuable skills both on and off
the court. Back in the early 1980's as a teen, he was also afforded the
opportunity to work with the local AAA-baseball affiliate to the New York
Yankees, the Columbus Clippers. It was then that his drive to work in
the community began. Through his exposure to baseball stardom and celebrities,
he was led to realize how all opportunities need a calculated direction.
Lawrence's calculated direction led him to great heights. As a junior
in high school, he led his team to a state basketball title and became
the Ohio Division IV Player of the Year. He was recruited to Indiana University
with a full scholarship, then transferred to Ohio State after his freshman
year and enrolled as a finance major. While playing for Ohio State, he
was awarded Third-team All Big Ten Conference honors all three years and,
as a junior, was named Ohio State's Co-most Valuable Player, before graduating
magna cum laude in 1994 with a degree in Business Finance.
Funderburke wears jersey number 51, symbolic because he was selected as
the 51st draft pick by the Sacramento Kings. He played in Greece and France
from 1994 to 1997, prior to joining the Sacramento Kings. Throughout his
years in the NBA, Funderburke has been one of the most active players
in his communities; participating in such events as NBA TeamUp, Stay in
School, the Kings' Reading Challenge, and TLC Soup Kitchen Thanksgiving
Dinner with the Sacremento Kings. In 2001 Funderburke received the NBA's
first ever "Hometown Hero of the Month" community service award for his
work with kids, established a $100,000 endowment at The Ohio State University
to provide scholarships for disadvantaged youth, and was recognized by
Sporting News in its "Good Guys Honor Roll."
Out of this undying commitment to the betterment of his community, The
Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization was born. In 2000, Lawrence,
along with his wife Monya, created the program targeting 9-14 year-olds
who want to succeed. Lawrence's vision was to use financial concepts in
the investment world and apply them to kids. He urges kids to see themselves
as investments that must appreciate in value to succeed.
Lawrence and his wife are very active in LFYO and continue to encourage
countless youth to appreciate their value on a daily basis.
Are YOU a
Breaking the Mode of the Zero
In theory, a sedentary
position is negative because it does not appreciate in value. If you do
not strive or continue in a positive direction, others will surely pass
you by. We live in a world of constant change, and those who move in the
direction of continuity will obviously have an inherent advantage over
converts of stationary complacency.
In the investment world, the analogy I like to use since I graduated in
Business Finance from The Ohio State University, is this: If you have
an investment which does not appreciate in value, but stays in a zero
position, it actually decreases in value since we know that inflation
steams ahead at a definite pace. If inflation increases and your investment
remains constant, you will end up losing money due to the fact that inflation
is taking away some of your buying power. How so, you might ask? As prices
increase in relation to the rise of inflation, the invested dollar on
a sedentary investment will actually buy less.
Again, an investment that does not increase in value will end up producing
a negative return. You do not necessarily need money to get started in
the Plus One Negative Zero campaign - what you need are critical
factors that you can control - time, honesty and effort. An honestly timed
effort will propel you in the right direction. Are you going to make the
necessary choices to reach your goals in life? Will you invest in yourself
today, tomorrow and in the future?
Oftentimes, adults come up to me and say, "Boy, I wish I had applied myself
more when I was younger; I could have turned out to be this or that."
The truth of the matter is this: You do not have time to make up for squandered
time lost yesterday - it is gone. You can avoid this dilemma by planning
on how to build on yesterday by continuing today. Do not give up! It is
In my old neighborhood, I often heard people constantly trying to plant
the seeds of failure in my mind. They exclaimed, "Lawrence, you grew up
in this troubled environment, and no matter what you do, you are not going
to make it." If I had taken their advice, I would have never achieved
the goals I set during my formative years. Furthermore, would I have had
the opportunity to speak about Plus One or Negative Zero? Most likely,
I might have been in a situation which caused innumerable pain and suffering
to those who are concerned about my personal welfare - my family and friends.
Am I so fortunate to have come to this point in my life, while others
more talented than me stumbled by the wayside? Yes, but continuing to
gain the prize ahead, convinced me that I could not, would not, give in
to the negative. Pursuit of my goal as a successful member of society
was my number one objective growing up. Continuing in your education to
the best of your ability will help you to become a productive person,
not only to the world at large, but also to those who deeply love and
care about you - your family, friends and your teachers.
In closing, these three principles will help you to become a better student.
First of all, ask questions when you may not have fully grasped your intended
area of study. Fear of your peer's reactions will cause you to avoid asking
for help. Oftentimes, many of them will probably experience difficulty
in understanding the very same thing you might be having trouble with.
You might not know it, but you will most likely be helping them as well.
Secondly, review homework and notes prior to tomorrow's assignments. When
you refresh your memory on a particular subject matter, this seemingly
insignificant habit will carry you down your road to success. Lastly,
study ahead when you feel you have met the previous two conditions. This
will certainly help you to be one step ahead. This is what life is all