How Pro Basketball Skills Translate to Franchising

The third overall selection in the 1972 NBA Draft, ‘Double D’ partners with his wife to transition from blocking shots in the NBA to helping seniors rebound, following the trend of former professional athletes finding success in franchising.


Dwight Davis played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.


By J.P. Carroll

Former NBA and University of Houston Cougars player Dwight Davis may best be known for his professional basketball career, having played for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, and being inducted into the university’s “Hall of Honor” in 2006, while still holding many of the school’s records for rebounding, shot blocking and scoring. These days, the 6-foot-8 Davis — nicknamed “Double D” — has also achieved success as a businessman and example of the power of the franchise business model. The Senior Helpers franchisee for the Greater Seacoast told @OurFranchise about his life and career both on and off the court, and the current challenges he tackles head on as a businessman.


Davis knew early on that he wanted to own a business, and he made sure that while he was focusing on his basketball career, that he could also learn lessons to eventually transition to a second career. “I knew when I was in middle school that I eventually wanted to own my business,” he said. “By the time I entered college in the late 60s, the term ‘entrepreneur’ was commonly used to describe a businessperson who could think outside the box and was willing to take on an extraordinary challenge,” Davis said. The term entrepreneur “perfectly describes an athlete, and basketball players in particular,” he added.


Dwight Davis and his wife, Gayle, are Senior Helpers franchisees.


There are differences as well, Davis noted. In basketball, there’s a direct and tangible set of opponents on the teams you play against, while in business you must deal with the complexities of the marketplace, he explained. Describing himself as “very fortunate” to have his wife as a business partner in the couple’s Senior Helpers franchise, Davis said she has “an incredible resume with a personality to match.”


Davis has applied many skills from his basketball days toward his success as a Senior Helpers franchisee. “There are so many skills that are transferable from the NBA to running a business similar to Senior Helpers, but a few that come to mind include discipline, preparation, anticipation, long-term and short-term goal orientation, leadership and learning how to play to win when the scoreboard says you’re losing.”


When Davis and his wife Gayle grew older, after very successful careers, they had to take care of their aging parents and realized that this was something many families go through. With the experiences of looking after their own parents in mind, this inspired Davis and Gayle to consider Senior Helpers. “When we decided that we were going to take our experience and look to start a business, we began looking at the franchise route with Senior Helpers,” Davis said.


Dwight during his days at the University of Houston.


The franchise business model made a lot of sense to Davis due to the similarities in the relationship between a “coach” in Senior Helpers and a “player” as a franchisee. “Senior Helpers gives you the playbook,” he said. “However, it is up to each franchisee to learn the plays (become a student of the industry and your business), execute and strive for continuous improvement.” Ultimately, Davis is enthusiastic in his belief that at the core of the franchise business model is “for all to succeed!” The lessons learned from the basketball court paired with his wife’s business acumen have translated into a basket-ball-sounding award at the franchise brand—the couple won Senior Helpers’ Rookie of the Year Award in 2016.


J.P. Carroll is Associate Editor of IFA’s Franchising World Magazine.