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Former NBA Star Plans $1B Investment Fund For Sports Real Estate, Health

Metta Sandiford-Artest, then known as Ron Artest, playing with the Sacramento Kings in 2008.

Former NBA star Metta Sandiford-Artest, formerly Ron Artest and Metta World Peace, is launching an investment fund that aims to raise $1B and target several sectors, including real estate. 

Through his management company, Artest Management Group, he is working on the fund with advisers like Houlihan Lokey Inc. co-founder Jim Zukin and Boost Mobile CEO Stephen Stokols, according to Bloomberg

Sandiford-Artest plans to focus investments in the U.S. and Asia. The fund would in part look to buy sports real estate, including a potentially large investment for a Las Vegas professional basketball arena, according to Bloomberg. The fund would also invest in professional teams and startups across the health, sports, technology and real estate industries.

The former NBA player founded Artest Management Group in 2015. He has invested in Charge Enterprise Inc. and Planet Based Foods Global Inc., which both went public, according to Bloomberg. 

Throughout most of his playing career, which spanned from 1999 to 2017, Sandiford-Artest was known as Ron Artest, but he changed his name to Metta World Peace in 2011 before changing it again in 2020. He played with several teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won a championship in 2010. 

Artest is one of many current or former professional athletes who invested in real estate. In February, boxer Floyd Mayweather partnered with CGI Merchant Group to launch an investing platform targeting celebrities and athletes.

In May 2021, former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez partnered with a former Walmart exec to form a venture capital firm to invest in digital retail, the latest in a series of investing ventures for Rodriguez. Last year, four NBA All-Stars helped to fund a new $1B Harvard University development.