The company co-owned by Miami Heat forward and captain Udonis Haslem was awarded Franchise Company of the Year Thursday at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit Small Business Awards ceremony in Houston.
Haslem, who has spent his entire 14-year NBA career with the Heat, and his business partner Ramona Hall own a Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels on the campus of Jackson Memorial Hospital with additional locations set to open in MiamiCentral Station this year. The businesses are operated and licensed by Miami-based food and beverage operator JFC Miami.
Haslem’s portfolio also includes five Subway sandwich shops and two Auntie Anne’s. Each of his locations have emphasized creating jobs for the youth from low income families.
Haslem, who is not under contract for 2018-19, turns 37 next month and despite having played in just 17 games last season expects to return for a 15th season with the Heat.
“I got no reason to stop playing,” Haslem said last month. “I still got a lot of gas in the tank.
“When you get to this point you have a decision to make, do you want to be around an organization to help rebuild or do you want to go somewhere and try to help somebody win a title? That’s a decision I’ll be faced with. For me I enjoy being a part of the rebuilding process.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and president Pat Riley have talked about Haslem’s presence, his leadership and how respected he is by the players.
“He’s invaluable in so many aspects on the court, off the court,” Riley said.