Top-Ranked U.S. Men’s Professional Basketball Prospects Participate in New iShares Future Baller$ Program

15 June 2022

BlackRock announced today the launch of the iShares Future Baller$ Program supporting top-ranked U.S. men’s professional basketball prospects as they work to achieve long-term financial well-being. The iShares Future Baller$ team includes five of the game’s most promising new stars: Bennedict Mathurin, E.J. Liddell, Jaden Hardy, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren.

“On the court, these players have captivated fans with their extraordinary athleticism and commitment to reaching the pinnacle of their sport,” Armando Senra, Head of Americas ETF and Index Business at BlackRock said. “We are excited to launch the iShares Future Baller$ Program, which reflects our purpose to help more and more people experience financial well-being. Through this program, the players are demonstrating a commitment to playing the financial long game and taking steps to inspire all investors to take control of their financial futures.”

The iShares Future Baller$ Program

As part of the iShares Future Baller$ team, each player has dedicated a set portion of their total iShares sponsorship compensation to an investment portfolio and will participate in an individual financial coaching session with personal finance expert and iShares Future Baller$ coach, Lauren Simmons.

During the financial coaching sessions, Ms. Simmons and the players will discuss their relationship with investing and Ms. Simmons will educate the players on financial wellness principles. Ms. Simmons was one of the youngest Black women to become a full-time trader working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”).

“These up-and-coming players are entering a phase in their lives where familiarity with core investing concepts will be imperative,” Ms. Simmons, personal finance expert, said. “I’m thrilled to be working with iShares to empower these talented individuals to join the next generation of investors. I hope our work together inspires others to take steps to improve their own financial wellness.”

Investors seeking to learn alongside the iShares Future Baller$ team and invest using iShares ETFs can access and purchase over 350 iShares ETFs commission free on Fidelity Investments, the official brokerage service provider of the iShares Future Baller$ Program.

Economic Uncertainty Underscores Importance of Long-Term Investing

Undeterred by the financial upheaval caused by the pandemic, a surge of first-time investors entered the market. Estimates indicate that roughly 40 million new self-directed investment accounts were opened globally since 2020, and the 30 million new accounts opened in the U.S. alone surpasses the total from the prior decade.1

Yet, according to a May 2022 survey of 1,000 Americans, BlackRock found that less than 1 in 3 Americans feel confident in their investing knowledge. 88% said they would like to take a more long-term approach to investing and 91% conceded it is easy to be misled by short-term gains.2 Moreover, today’s investing environment—characterized by increased volatility, steep inflation, rising interest rates, and fears of a recession—has challenged investors’ confidence in the long-term.

Among the new generation of investors are professional basketball players, who have also demonstrated a greater interest in planning for their long-term financial future and emerged as role models in the business realm—making investments that last well beyond their time on the court.3 But like millions of Americans, many new players are only beginning to learn how to build for their financial future. The iShares Future Baller$ Program sets out to inspire greater commitment to long-term investing for all investors.

About iShares

iShares unlocks opportunity across markets to meet the evolving needs of investors. With more than twenty years of experience, a global line-up of 900+ exchange traded funds (ETFs) and $3.15 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022, iShares continues to drive progress for the financial industry. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock.

About BlackRock

BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit | Twitter: @blackrock | LinkedIn:

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About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $ 10.5 trillion, including discretionary assets of $4.0 trillion as of April 30, 2022, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers. Privately held for over 75 years, Fidelity employs more than 58,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit

1 Second Annual iShares Report on Investor Progress.

2 Pollfish survey of U.S. investors, May 2022. N=1000.

3 Business Insider. “NBA stars like Kevin Durant and Kyle Lowry are increasingly pouring money into startups for the thrill of investing and a chance to break down barriers for people of color.” March 14, 2021.


Paige Hofman
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Tim Quinn
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Guy King
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