Raiders talk to Bay Area students about their futures, life after football

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- What kid doesn't dream of becoming a professional athlete? On Tuesday, some Bay Area teens got up close and personal with Oakland Raiders players and executives to talk about their futures. And in the process, they learned some valuable lessons about life after football.

"You guys are taking the first step into your careers, and hopefully you guys will learn a lot today," said an executive with the Oakland Raiders.

It's a side of the Silver and Black the teens hadn't seen before. 700 of them packed into the Coliseum's East Side Club; not to watch football, but to learn about how these Raiders players and executives got where they are.

"I was fortunate enough to get accepted to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York," said offensive lineman Kevin Boothe.

Boothe may have an Ivy League bachelor's degree, but he didn't stop there. Studying in the off-seasons, he's also just earned his MBA.

"I've been very lucky to be able to have played in the NFL as long as I have," he said. "But I also realize that there's gonna be a point where football will be over. And I'll still have a lot of life to live."

Life after football is something young athletes don't always consider.

"It's kind of weird to think about it," said Mercy High School sophomore Marena Kibblewhite. "Because you think, oh I'm a football player, I'm gonna be that for the rest of my life, like this is now my career. But then you realize there's no 70-year-old football player, they're not gonna do it for life. So they actually have to do something after that."

The program was eye-opening for some of the teens, especially ones who are serious athletes and some who dream of being involved with pro sports off the field.

"I want to maybe possibly do marketing or in sales," said San Ramon Valley High School freshman Chase Uejo.

Uejo said he was inspired by team executives who worked their way up from the bottom.

"Every single day I had to be the best that I could be," said an executive with the Oakland Raiders.

And players can have a second career in management. Just ask cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, who has a degree in accounting.

"You know, guys understand that NFL stands for 'Not For Long,'" he said. "So they really understand that they you know, need to figure something out so that when this thing is over with, so that they have something to fall back on."

Kibblewhite is already laying that foundation.

"One hundred percent I want to be an athlete in college," she said. "I think I'd major in business for sure, something like this would be awesome."

"There's a lot of bright kids here and I see their eagerness to get involved with sports, and hopefully they'll hire me one day," Boothe said.
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