ICYMI | Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing Talks about the American Dream

Last Updated by Lea Vigi on

Dave Bing was a former seven time All-Star NBA player, and that is the least successful career move he made, he says.

Growing up, Dave learned entrepreneurial skills from his father, a bricklayer and deacon. Although his parents didn’t focus on his athleticism as a baseball and basketball player, Dave went to Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship.

After graduating and entering the NBA draft, Dave came to Detroit to play for the Pistons. With 12 years in the NBA and seven All-Star appearances behind him, Dave hung up the high tops and traded them for dress shoes.

He founded Bing Steel which became a multi-million dollar enterprise. At the age of 64, he became mayor of Detroit. But the fragile city filed for bankruptcy and Dave didn’t run for reelection.  His fourth career has brought him the most enjoyment: Dave now mentors young African American men in the Detroit area at Big Youth Institute.

“I don’t think everybody has the same opportunity,” Dave said. “Our society isn’t built like that, and everybody would like to think that all of us should have the same kind of opportunities. That’s not our reality. Some people are born with better opportunities than others. Some people are more prepared than others for opportunity.”

To Bing, success is God-given talent followed by entrepreneurial drive.  He just hopes he has the time to give to help the youth in his city flourish.

One Detroit - Four million people. One story.

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