Former NBA Player Junior Bridgeman Turned $350,000 Into $800 Million

Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images


I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the name Ulisses Junior Bridgeman, but you should take a look at this insane story.

Bridgeman was an NBA player in the seventies and eighties who played in the league for 12 years. He’s had a pretty decent career and even had his number two jersey retired by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1988.

Bridgeman was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975 but was immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks (the huge Kareem Abdul-Jabbar trade). Bridgeman, who came off the bench as a 6th man for most of his career, scored 11,517 total points and had 9 consecutive seasons in which he averaged double figures. His career averages are not too bad either, coming in at 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game.

Being an NBA player during that time, wasn’t as lucrative as it is today… by a landslide. While almost every player in today’s NBA is a multi-millionaire, money back then was not as loose and present as in today’s league. Most of the stars made their money through endorsement deals and commercials. In 1985 Bridgeman’s peak salary was $350,000 during the time he played for the Clippers. Enough money to live a good life, but not enough to stop caring. That’s why Bridgeman already started to take care of his post-NBA career, during the offseasons. He was studying the Wendy’s franchise business and even spent a lot of time working in a local Wendy’s to learn about the company. Yes, an NBA player was working in a fast-food restaurant in the offseason – That’s dedication! During his active career, Junior started to build and open up Wendy’s restaurants and by the end of his career, he already owned three restaurants. After his NBA retirement, he went all in and today, is the largest Wendy’s franchise owner in the world with over 160 restaurants. On top of that, he didn’t only focus on the Wendy’s franchise, but also invested in others, mainly Chili’s. On top of all the Wendy’s, Bridgeman also owns over 120 Chili restaurants across the US and has become an incredibly wealthy man due to his smart investments. Today, his net worth is estimated to be over $800 million.

According to the Black Wealth Channel, Bridgeman has been married for 35 years showing his commitment to family and success. All three of his children have MBAs and are contributors to the family business.

With so many players going broke in the first 10 years after retiring, this is a great counter-example of how to do it.

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