secure�when he retired in 1998 after 16 NBA seasons with eight teams, 6'
4" swingman Ricky Pierce did what many 39-year-olds would love to do: He
played golf and tennis; he rode his five horses on his 10-acre ranch in Sugar
Land, Texas; and he spent time with his family--wife, Joyce, a former member of
the R&B group the Fifth Dimension, and their three children. When Pierce
went to the YMCA to watch his son Aaron play hoops, he also gave advice to
parents eager to teach their kids the art of the jump shot. The player known as
Deuces for his uniform number had hit his fair share of twos and threes,
averaging 14.9 points on 49.3% shooting for his career.
Pierce came up
with the idea for the Accushot22, a specially designed basketball with 10 oval
indentations to indicate how and where to place the fingers. "A lot of kids
today are shot-putting the ball," says Pierce, 47, the 1990 Sixth Man Award
winner with the Bucks. "If you keep your palm off the ball, you get more
consistency in your follow-through and are more accurate."
While Pierce runs
his company as a for-profit venture--he has a five-man staff and sells the
product for $37.95 at Accushot22.com--he also gives away hundreds of the balls
to underprivileged children. Each comes with a workbook that emphasizes not
just basketball fundamentals but self-motivation as well. "I've found my
calling," says Pierce. "I feel like this can help put kids on a pathway
of success in life."