Every Sunday CFO Entertainment will focus on someone who is up and coming in the business or sports world that is trying to make there dreams into reality..Fans will vote for the best up and coming success story and the winner gets the new IPAD 2 donated by CFO Entertainment..If you already know who you want to vote for then just shoot us an email with VOTE in the subject line and the name of the person or company you want to win otherwise polls will be up in a few weeks after we gather more contestants…Do you have any suggestions on who should be the next person spotlighted?..Email us at firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow @IAMCFO
Week 5..This Sunday CFO heads to the hardwood to shine its light on Justin Ayers who is a 6’3 215 pound shooting guard from Division 1 Nicholas State University in Louisiana. This standout basketball player originally comes from Fresno, California where he played his high school and junior college ball. Before landing at Nicholas State, Justin help lead Reedley College to an Elite 8 showing and a 25-7 record which was best in school history. After finishing up his career at Nicholas state, Justin is now on course to play Professional basketball overseas. CFO checks in to see his journey leading up to the pros.
Tell us a little about where you’re from and your background.
My name is Justin Ayers, I was born and raised in Fresno California (July 16, 1988) and is the youngest of four siblings. I have lived in Fresno all of my life until I entered college. My first year of college I attended San Jose State University, and then transferred to Reedley Jr. College for 2 years, then ended off my last 2 years at Nicholls State University in Louisiana. I have played basketball all of my life but played for an actual team since 4th grade. I am very close to my family and they are a big reason why I have made it as far as I have made it in my life.
Describe your playing experience at Nicholls state? How was it living in the Deep South?
It took me a while to adjust to the different lifestyle that being down south had to offer. Me being from California and living there all of my life had no idea what was in store for me once I went down there. But one of the qualities that I have is making new friends and the people down south are so friendly and loving it became a great experience for me. Basketball was great also, I went from being the star on the teams I played on in California to becoming a role player and it felt good playing not being face guarded or double teamed. Nicholls State brought along a lot of competition from different types of players and the practices were like no other that I have ever experienced; but at the same time made me tougher player and a tougher person overall. I got the opportunity to play against players outside of California and got a chance to see how well I faired against those other players.
Was it your dream to play Division 1 basketball?
Yes it was my dream to play Division 1 basketball as it is of any other player. After leaving Reedley College, Nicholls State University was the only Division 1 scholarship offers that was on the table; however, I also received scholarship offers from NAIA schools as well as Division 2 schools. The NAIA and Division 2 schools were stationed here in California and they were very appealing to me since I have never lived outside of California, but I had a dream in mind and had no other choice to accept my letter of intent at Nicholls State University and compete at the highest level as I could.
Describe the journey you been through in the last 5 years to get to where you are today?
There is a big difference from playing high school basketball and college basketball with the main difference being the competition. I had to adjust my game and the way I played it in order to succeed on the court especially playing Division 1 basketball. I believe that red-shirting my first year of college at San Jose State University and playing at Reedley Jr. College the next 2 years really helped me expand my game and take it to another level; a level that helped me to be successful as well as my team to be successful. It takes more than just practice to be successful, I had to put in extra time to fight for playing time and prove myself to the coaching staff and once I did that, I got the chance to be on the court where I deserved to be. The old saying is true, “practice makes perfect”.
What accomplishment in your basketball career are you most proud of?
I am most proud of myself for the fact that I was able to graduate college while being an athlete. Being a student athlete is a lot of work I don’t think people really understand the pressure that us athletes are under. Another accomplishment that I am proud of is that I made my dream become a reality; playing Division 1 basketball is a once in a lifetime thing.
Who has been the most motivating figure in your life during this whole process?
I can honestly say that it hasn’t been just one person, my entire family has supported me and motivated me through thick and thin no matter what the circumstances are; I could count on them to be there for me. My mother is the strongest person I know and she is at the top of the list when I say my family. My nephew (Cj) looks up to me, does what I do, and went to every one of my games while I was in California and once I am done with basketball as a career, I will make sure that he will be better than I ever was. But without my family I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today.
If you had the opportunity to pick one country to play professional ball in which would it be and why?
To be totally honest, I don’t really have a preference on where I would like to play. I would love the opportunity to learn another language no matter what that language is but the main focus of me going overseas is to further my basketball career. My hope is that wherever I end up playing will be the best fit for me and is where I can showcase my talents.
What are your salary expectations when you start playing overseas?
I am open to what teams are willing to pay me, but as long as I am financially stable with a place to stay and a car to drive I will be happy. I understand that starting off I won’t make as much but I will build up to where I will be making more than the majority of players overseas; but it depends on my performance.
What is the first thing you are going to do when your first pay check?
The first thing I am going to do with my first paycheck is send some money home to my family to show my appreciation of them helping me to get to where I am today. Money really can’t show how thankful I am but it will be a start.
How long do you plan on playing Pro ball?
I really can’t envision myself retiring from the game of basketball but if I had to choose an age I would have to say somewhere in my mid 30’s. My goal for playing overseas basketball is to make a career out of it and it possible, enter the NBA draft where there is better talent and more money.
Which team in your past was the best you played for? Why?
My two years at Reedley College we basically had the same team and that would be the best. We were strong at every position and were a force on the court. The year before I got to Reedley College their record was well below .500 and I knew that it would look good on me if I went there and turned that program around. In my two years playing at Reedley College, we were 45-17, the best two year record in school history. My team and I were like a family; spent time together off the court as well as on the court. We had an instant chemistry and that caused us to go far into the playoffs both seasons and to also have a great record.
What is your training schedule like this summer so that you can get ready to play overseas?
I have a really good workout schedule; Monday-Friday I workout by getting some cardio going and running in the gym. Then I begin to do drill; but the drills that I do have running in them so it won’t be as if I am relaxing everything I do is game-like speed. After the drills, I do stationary shooting so I can get a lot of repetition of shots on all areas of the floor. Once I am done with that, I run some more to end off the workout in the gym. The last thing I do is go lift weights; I must maintain my strength so I can continue to be strong at my position.
Do you have any websites dedicated to you so that your fans can check up on you while you’re overseas?
As of now, the only website that fans can keep up with me is on twitter. Fans can follow me on twitter @MrAyersIfuNasty and on Facebook as well (just type my name in the search box). But as time goes by I will get more places where fans can keep up with my progress.
Week 4 Brings the spotlight to the grindiron with an interview with the top receiver and play maker of the semi pro football team Metro west Colonials. Steve Sanders who comes in at 6’3 and 195 pounds is the biggest threat to the defense every time he steps on the field. If hes not pushing corner backs to there limits, you can usually catch him on the highway maxing out one of his motorcycles. Ether On or off the field people have a hard time catching this kid. Before his scrimmage last night where he had over 80 yards receiving and a TD, we sat down with Steve to dig deeper into how he became so successful on the field.
Tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m Steve Sanders born and raised in Marlborough MA. 23 years young. Attended Marlborough High School. Starting wide receiver for the Metrowest Colonials football team of the NEFL AAA division.
Did you play football in high school?
No, i never played in high school. I never really wanted to stay after school everyday for practice. looking back now, i regret not playing through high school.
What kind of a rush do you get when you are playing a game?
Adrenaline, right before the ball is snapped, i get that feeling in my stomach its crazy.
Would you trade football for any other sport? Why or Why not?
I dont think i would. Football is really the only sport i could ever see myself playing. I dont really have enough interest in any other sport, to play at a high level.
What inspires you to play football?
I love the game, and playing it competitively.
What was your favorite moment in a football game?
Favorite moment? Last regular season game of last year, we had to win to make the playoffs. i had two 82 yard touchdown receptions, one in the second quarter and one in the fourth, and we won 17-0.
Being the #1 Receiver on your team, do you feel pressured to make the big time plays for your team to win?
Not at all. this team has some good talent at receiver. were all capable of breaking the big one at any time.
Do any past athletes motivate you to do your best during a game?
Barry sanders because he is quiet on the field and lets his play do his talking
Whats in your IPOD during the pregame to get you pumped up?
I listen to a lot of different stuff to get my ready to play. I have some rock music, hip-hop, and just instrumental stuff. anything with a good beat, that can get me a little angry. I feel like when i play angry, i play well.
What are your team and individual goals for this upcoming season?
The team goal is to win the championship of course! this being our first year in the top division its gonna be tough. More wins then last year would be nice also. As far as individual goals, im just trying to improve from last year, more catches, yards, and touchdowns. Try to be a leader on the offensive side of the ball, do my part to help the team win.
Playing Semi Pro Football is tough..How do you deal with practice, team meetings etc and life off the field?
I mean practice is only 2-3 times a week with games on Saturdays so its manageable. but once games start its tough dealing with the little nagging injuries that affect my life off the field at work etc.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing football?
Off the field, my favorite thing is probably, going out on my motorcycle, it helps me get my mind off things and relax.
So whats next? Do you have plans on moving up and going pro in the near future?
Right now im just focused on this season, and playing well. next year im looking to play college ball, and go from there.
When is the first game of the season? How is the team looking this year?
The first game is the second week of July. The team is looking strong, we have a good squad. It should be a fun season, i think we’ll have a successful year.
Week 3..This week we got a chance to talk to former American Idol Contestant Johnas Street, who is making his way to the top of R&B world as we speak. He is a hard working singer/songwriter who also was a star basketball player in college. What cant he do some might say? Well we were thinking the same thing..He is living the American dream while on his way to the top of the billboard charts.
When did you first start singing?
I first started singing at the age of 6 around the house and in church at Sunday School.
Who else in your family sings?
My entire family sings. We are like a big choir when we get together because my grandparents had 20 kids and they all sing. Also those twenty kids each averaged about 5 kids. My mother however had 10 kids. My family is very large and we all love music.
Being a college basketball player and Singer must be stressful? How do you handle that? Did Basketball commitments and Singing commitments over conflict with each other?
Being a college student-athlete and an aspiring singer at the same time can be stressful at times. The way I handle it is by understanding that nothing in life is giving to us. We have to earn our place in history so I think about where I want to be 3 years from now and know that I have to do everything I am doing now and more to get there. Yes it is quite difficult to do but I have to. There were only one time that basketball and singing commitments conflicted with each other and that was this year when I made it to Hollywood on American Idol Season 10 top 120 contestants.
Describe for us your American Idol Experience?
My American Idol experience was amazing and so surreal. To this day I am still shocked and happy that I was able to experience that. My success on the show made me want to pursue singing much harder because I saw just what hard work could do for me. As soon as I got off of the plane in Hollywood to get my luggage, the camera men where there filming all of the contestants. That was new and different but I got used to it quick because cameras were in all the contestants faces at all times. A defining moment for me was when the judges gave me their feed back. Steven Tyler said, “Johnas you sound like an angel.” Jennifer Lopez said, “Johnas you have a great voice, a great smile, and the look of a star.” Randy Jackson said, “Johnas you got it man, you got potential.” I was able to meet good peers down there who which I am continuing to work with today.
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
If I was not singing, well I never thought of that. Singing is my life so I must live it.
If you had to pick between Playing basketball or singing which one would it be and why?
I would do them both. I am actually working on doing them both at this present day and moment. It is possible and we only live once right so why not do all that we can.
If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?
If I could do another genre of music besides R&B I would do Gospel because I grew up in the church. I know that God is the only reason that I am able to be successful today.
What was your greatest moment while playing college basketball?
My greatest moment while playing college basketball was to win the Cal-Pac Tournament to advance to the National Tournament the same year that I made it to Hollywood in American Idol. I would have to say that I am very blessed and highly favored.
Do you have any new songs being released soon? any shows?
Yes I am currently working with a couple producers and we are getting some hot songs that will be ready for the summer. I do have show coming up. I have a show Friday at Club Paradiso in Oakland, Ca at 10pm.
Where do you see your music career 5 years from now?
That is not for me to say, for the Lord my God is control of my career. However, I pray that I am in a better situation so I can give back to my poor community back home in McLain, Ms.
Do you enjoy writing music and/or lyrics?
I love writing lyrics because it is therapy for me. When I write, I usually write from experience or experience of others.
If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
I would love to open up for Jamie Foxx. He is a great artist and I enjoy and respect his style.
Do you have a twitter or facebook that people can follow you at?
Yes I do. You guys can follow me on twitter.com/JohnasStreet or @JohnasStreet
You can add me on facebook.com/johnasstreetmusic
You can see videos of me singing on youtube.com/johnasstreetmusic
More updates coming soon!!! God Bless!!
Week 2..This Week we interviewed an aspiring rapper/college student named John Kennedy. JFK as he goes by in the rap world has been through struggles and hardships in his life. Battling everyday to survive, JFK beat the odds and is now an aspiring rapper and college student. JFK has plans to reach the top of the music industry in the near future and if he keeps the hard work and dedication he has been showing throughout his life then the path to success should be paved smoothly.
When did you first start Rapping?
I made my first actual song in 2006 but I have been writing since I was about 12
Tell us a little bit about your background? Any struggles that you been through?
I am 19, Was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Moved to California when I was about 15 or 16. Went to a private boarding school for my High school years, and now attend Holy Names University in pursuit of a soon to be Business degree.When I look back on my life and think about struggles, I always think of the fact that my Father was in prison for most of my life, my mother which whom I was living with at the time was a drug addict and was never home. I have two little brothers and basically had to take care of them by any means. We were poor and had no money so I couldn’t go out and just buy food, I had to steal it. And whatever I stole I gave to them to eat and because of that I barely ate which was fine to me as long as they were content. Our mom failed to keep up with the rent and due to that we were evicted. We did not have a car so whatever we could fit inside a garbage bag and carry is what we took with us, needless to say it was not much. We ended up living in a two bedroom apartment with seven other people who were doing the same thing my mom was (drugs). So I slept on the floor. I slept covered in shirts because we didn’t have blankets. And I didn’t go to school because I felt like I had to take care of my younger brothers because that was more important to me. So I never knew what it was like to be a “kid” so to say and rapping helps take me back to those days.
What did your family do to encourage you?
Well to be honest it’s not what my family did so to say, it’s more of what they didn’t do that encouraged me. Like I mentioned my parents weren’t really around so I knew what not to do in the essence of being a parent. Well now that I think about it that actually isn’t encouraging but what is is the smiles that my little brothers gave when I was able to provide for them. That right there encouraged me to do good so we wouldn’t have to live like how we were living at the time
Whats the best advice you were ever given?
The best advice i was ever given came from my high schools basketball coach, who is like an uncle to me. He said “No matter what you do in life, make sure that your happy. Because if you’re working and you’re not happy, then there is no point of doing it” and I don’t get paid at all for the songs that I make but thats when I’m the most happy is when I’m writing
Who are your musical inspirations?
I look up to Eminem. As more than just a rapper but as a person too. I feel like what he has been through in his life and what he has had to face growing up, and what he talks about in his songs, I can relate too. Now he is one of the most successful lyricists ever. I know that I could never get to where he’s at lyrically but I thrive to be that good. And that’s another reason why I write. I also look up to 2pac, in the same way pretty much. I can relate to some things that talks about in his songs. But I mainly look up to him because he always stood up for what he believed in. That’s encouraging and inspirational to me as well.
What kind of music do you listen to today?
It’s funny actually. I catch a lot of heat from my friends about what I listen to. I listen to Rock n’ Roll from like the 70’s and 80’s. I listen to Kiss, Metallica, ACDC. And I like listening to Motown music. Like Marven Gaye, Tammi Terrel, The Temptations. So basically like music I can feel, and rap as well obviously.
Do they have any new music coming out?
I have a few coming out soon. They are in the process of being complete, I look forward to getting them complete and sharing with everybody.
What embarrassing songs might people find on your MP3 player?
One of the most embarrassing songs is probably a song “Who Is It” that I made that has a Michael Jackson sample. I couldn’t think of a hook to put on it so the hook that i have for it I repeat “tell me who it is tell me tell me who it is”…ect So thats one. But the most embarrassing by far, not that it’s a bad song but it’s not really a guys song i guess. It’s “Every time We Touch” by Cascada. I like it but people look at me weird when i play it loud.
You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Well my mind wonders a lot and when I really get into a deep thinking mode, I usually think of something that had happened to me when I was younger, or a current situation thats going on. My favorite part of the process is when I’m writing, it always takes me back to whatever I’m currently writing about. Usually when I’m writing my goal is to aim for something thats true, and something that people can relate too. I feel like those are the best type of songs
If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
If I could open for any artist. It would want to open up for Drake or Eminem. That I feel like would be a life changing experience
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself graduating from college with a degree in business, have a good paying job and maybe start a family. I would be content with that.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
The most influential person in my life, hands down, my little brother Robby. Everything that we have been through together and everything that we have seen and overcome, there is no body closer to my heart than he is. Thats really the main reason I thrive to succeed is to show him, and lead by example that no matter what we have been through if I made it then so can you. And I need to be a positive influential role model to him.
If you weren’t rapping, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t rapping, I would for sure be writing poetry. After all thats what rap is right?
Check out JFK’s single Into the light..
Week 1..CFO Entertainment sat down with the Co-owners of Goodbye Bunny Clothing line Alexis Lemus and Royce Veal from Boston, Massachusetts.These guys know their trade are trying to rise to the top of their game while trying to break down the walls between them and their competition at the same time.
We had a bunch of characters lined up for the line and they were killing each other in different forms. After producing a bunch of draft designs we realized it was to broad and to much going on. We thought the teddy bear and bunny were the most appealing so decided to go with the two. Then we sat and thought to ourselves now what are these two going to be doing??? that’s when we came up with the idea of the bear killing the bunny countless times saying “Goodbye Bunny!”
How did the Clothing Line come about? any help?
The “Goodbye Bunny” t shirt line came about in an American Sign Language (ASL) in college where Royce Veal and Alexis Lemus originally met. The two not comprehending anything going on in the class took forth the opportunity to actually get to know the person they were sitting next to through whispers and notes, since it was a class where u were not expected to speak in. Identifying each others major, (Royce) Fashion Design Retailing and (Alexis) Arts and Illustration..they figured it was meant for them to start a clothing line together. After countless ASL lectures the two took the time to brainstorm and come up with a brand that would be a cross between punk, urban, and upscale, through the quality of printing, t shirts, and originality of art work.
You entered the fashion industry with no formal experience. What tips do you have for a someone who wants to jump into the fashion industry?
Lemus has always intended to try and develop a t shirt line but didnt quite have the know how or push to actually follow through and completing it. Veal has been down the road of starting a t shirt line a few times but was never satisfied with the quality of work that was put together, ether it be his name of a brand, designs, to lack of knowledge of inputting tags on the neckline of a shirt. After going down the roads of failure many times, Royce has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge of what NOT to do!. With Alexis ability to create original designs brainstormed by the duo, the two feel they have created a new Boston brand that will leave its footprint!
Veal: For someone who is looking to jump into the Fashion Industry, I would recommend them to identify an identity. Determine your brand Image without being to broad. Narrowing down your brand is key and will keep a lot of stress off your mind making the journey smoother.
Can you give us some background on your company?
Goodbye Bunny is a Boston based t-Shirt line where we do everything here in the U.S and use 100% cotton.
Question that might arise are: Why is this bunny being killed all the time?? and in a horrific way…yet so funny?? what the hell did he do to deserve this?? Well long story short, Bunny knocked over bears favorite ice cream (the logo) and promised to buy him a new one. Bunny never kept his promise and now Teddy is getting vengeance for his spilled ice cream! hence the name “Goodbye Bunny”
What are your 2011 summer goals for the Goodbye Bunny clothing line?
2011 summer goal is to just create a tremendous awareness of the t shirt line. We want to inform people as much as possible about the line through hosting different events such as fashion shows, pop up promotion booths, and handing out flyers. Summer of 2011 is planned to be the Foundation of getting us an appearance in the Las Vegas Magic Show in 2012.
What’s on your iPod playlist? Does music influence Goodbye Bunny?
Anything that is uptempo/house music influences the creativity behind the designs we create. (ex. dubstep, ratatat)
Where do you see the Good Bunny clothing line in 5 years?
In 5 years we hope to have a self standing store where we will be able to sell our brand exclusively throughout a few cities country
Other than T-shirts, what is the next expansion to the good bunny line?
looking into the future of probably 2 years down the line, we look to produce hooded sweat shirts, and fitted caps, and other accessories items that way Goodbye Bunny can be worn other places than your body.
If you could give a Goodbye Bunny shirt to any celeb who would it be?
Kanye West would be an ideal celebrity. His uniqueness in the fashion industry, arrogance, and don’t give a f*ck attitude really portrays the image we create.
Does Goodbye Bunny have a twitter or Fbook link fans can follow?
Yes! you can actually Follow us on twitter.com/@Goodbye_Bunny and Like us on facebook.com/GoodbyeBunny. On these sites you will get the latest info and updates with the line.