Basketball legend Nancy Lieberman and SEQL co-founders Robert de Wolff and Bryant Drayton are leveling the playing field for student-athletes

SEQL is a social impact platform that seeks to level the playing field for all athletes. Co-founded by former college footballers Robert deWolf (Virginia Military Institute) and Bryant Drayton (Ferrum College) who were teammates at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia. Drayton and de Wolff are also CEOs of the free sports equality app backed by the basketball legend Nancy Liberman and several other sports stars like Barry Sanders, DeAndre Hopkins and Quinn Cook.

Lieberman, Drayton and de Wolff joined Sportsjam with Doug Doyle to discuss why the social impact app and platform is designed to help the 21st century student athlete.

Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman and SEQL co-founders Robert de Wolff (bottom left) and Bryant Drayton (bottom right) share a laugh on SportsJam with Doug Doyle

Even in our day and age with huge budgets for college athletics and vast networks of scouts, high school players fall through the cracks. That’s where SEQL comes in. With its nationwide network of videographers (“Vuber” – videographer meets Uber), SEQL enables athletes who have been overlooked or just not spotted at all to put up a tape for the recruiters. In turn, they are able to amplify this to college decision makers.

According to various media, 41% of high school athletes are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

This motivated former Trinity Episcopal defensive lineman Rob de Wolff and his close friend, former teammate and quarterback Bryant Drayton to return to Richmond and start their own business.

Rob says they wanted to start a business that would provide a free opportunity to help all students achieve their dreams.

“We backed off. We were hanging out one day, honestly, we were having an in-depth discussion about inequality in sport. That was around the time equality became a big discussion in today’s world. We talked about how can we create a more equal future for athletes. I grew up in a very fortunate financial environment. Bryant grew up in a different environment than mine. I had access to resources. My parents had the means to pay for highlight bands, coaches, etc. Bryant grew up in a different household where access to capital like that just didn’t happen He was a better athlete than me, but because that I had access to all of those things, I had a different athletic trajectory. I had all of those opportunities that came my way. Bryant didn’t. We ended up saying that’s not fair. color of your skin, the financial situation of your parents and the end Regardless of where you are geographically should not affect your athletic career. sports that we could really do something positive.”

Drayton says it’s about giving back.

“We want to empower athletes, especially this next generation, to know they have a chance to be seen. In this age of NIL (name, image and likeness) and scholarship money declines due to the results of COVID and the economic situation were are currently, how can we still ensure that athletes feel safe and that their play on the field provides them with opportunities.So we are happy to to be here. We are happy to be on this road.

SEQL is the app for sports equality and is a social impact platform co-founded by Bryant Drayton and Robert de Wolff

SEQL works with a variety of companies (over 50 so far) from Adidas to Lasso to Legends who cover the costs of the videographer network in exchange for access to these rising high school athletes via the application SEQL. Athletes know which brand is sponsoring the videographer to come and capture their highlights.

Nancy Lieberman created incredible highlights on many levels, including her All-American career at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. During this time, she and her team won two consecutive AIAW National Championships (1979, 1980) and a WNIT Championship in 1978. She was the first to twice winner of the prestigious Wade Trophy, a national player award from the year in women’s colleges. basketball. On November 5, Old Dominion University will honor Lieberman for her achievements on and off the court by unveiling a 6-foot bronze statue of the legendary player.

NL ODU.jpg
Nancy Lieberman became All-American and two-time AIAW National Champion at Old Dominion University. ODU will unveil a 6-foot bronze statue of the legendary player on November 5.

Lieberman is a supporter and partner of SEQL. She pointed out that growing up in Queens, New York, she didn’t have the family support or resources to fulfill her dream of playing basketball at a high level.

“There was a lot of discrimination, racially, there was a lot of sexism. I don’t have anger today but I had disappointment growing up because I had all those times where Nancy can’t Nancy, you can’t play with men Nancy, you won’t get a scholarship Nancy, you’re a tomboy Mrs. Lieberman, what’s wrong with your daughter? aren’t you taking him to a psychologist?

Lieberman says SEQL addresses all of these questions and concerns.

“We have a psychologist, it’s called SEQL. SEQL empowers you, mentally and emotionally. And then you go to this app, and you don’t have to worry, can I pay for this or not pay There’s someone There’s this next generation of hope, love and kindness trying to give you an opportunity Today’s athletes don’t have to fight for their scholarships Women don’t have to fight to break every glass barrier My generation did this because we didn’t have that opportunity I could have only wished I’d had a Bryant, Robert and a SEQL My track was different, but it’s okay. Someone has to be strong enough. I was strong enough. “I don’t make mistakes and he picked me. Now I can associate with these guys. They don’t want people to break the glass ceiling. They’re trying to make things normal.”

Lieberman knows all about breaking down barriers. She did it as a player and a coach. The court magician was hired in 1998 as the general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock. She coached for three seasons. After leaving the Shock, Lieberman worked as a women’s basketball analyst on ESPN.

Nancy Lieberman, Shannon Johnson

Karen Warren/AP


txhou Chronicle of Houston

Nancy Lieberman of the Detroit Shocks, right, looks to pass the ball as Shannon Johnson of the Houston Comets defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday July 24, 2008 in Houston. (AP Photo/The Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren)

In 2009, Nancy became the coach of the Texas Legends in the NBA Development League (now NBA G League), a subsidiary of the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first woman to coach a professional men’s basketball team. The team started playing in November 2010.

In July 2015, she was hired by the Sacramento Kings as an assistant coach, becoming the second female assistant coach in NBA history. After the Kings, she became a host with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Three years later, she was hired as the head coach of Power in the BIG3 league.

Lieberman, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, says the SEQL social impact platform will make a huge difference in so many lives.

“Everyone is throwing around words like diversity, inclusion and equality, but what they (Robert and Bryant) are doing right now, they’re encouraging all ethnicities to participate in sports that are healthy for mental health, for healthy physical , to build the bond of friendship, but is also a representation for me of all levels of participation. What Robert and Bryant have done is they have taken these young athletes who may not have money this platform for people to see their skills.”

While attending Far Rockaway High School in Queens, Lieberman established herself as one of the top basketball players in the country by earning one of the coveted 12 spots on the United States National Team. . In 1975, while still a teenager, Lieberman was named to the designated U.S. team to compete at the World Championships and Pan American Games, where the team won a gold medal.

She wore No. 10 because former Knicks great Walt Frazier was her hero.

Nancy Lieberman (10) stands in front of her legendary ODU teammate Anne Donovan. Donovan, who died in 2018, was also a guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle.

You can SEE the full interview with Nancy Lieberman, Robert de Wolff and Bryant Drayton here.

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