He started as a kid on the West Side of Columbus. A standout basketball player from a young age, Michael Redd would grow from there to become one of the best players in Ohio State men's basketball history and an NBA star who enjoyed a lengthy professional career.
But once the ball stopped bouncing, Redd chose to return to where it all started. Firmly entrenched in Columbus, Redd is enjoying a second career as an investor and philanthropist while helping to enrich his local community. To date, he has invested in nearly 100 different companies, many in the tech and media sectors, and now has purchased his own yoga studio.
Michael Redd stars at Ohio State
When he signed to play for Ohio State, Michael Redd was committing to a program on the verge of change.
It was 1996, and unbeknownst to everyone at the time, coach Randy Ayers was in his final season with the program. The Buckeyes would go 10-17 that season and, by the time Redd officially arrived on campus, Jim O’Brien was the new coach. From that inauspicious start, Redd would blossom into one of the program’s all-time greats during his three years at Ohio State, a 12-year NBA veteran, a gold medalist and now a business entrepreneur.
He burst onto the scene as a freshman, averaging 21.9 points and earning both Big Ten freshman of the year and team MVP honors on an Ohio State team that would finish 8-22 overall. The Buckeyes would break through in a big way the next season, where Redd teamed with Scoonie Penn and others to lead them back to their first Final Four since 1968. As a sophomore, he averaged 19.5 points as Ohio State went 27-9 and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
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Redd’s junior year would be his last, and he would average 17.3 points while earning first-team all-Big Ten honors as the Buckeyes lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He left Ohio State as the program’s No. 6 all-time scorer after tallying 1,879 points.
It was a career that was especially impactful for a local kid who had starred at West High School. He was named to the Ohio State athletics hall of fame in 2009.
“Redd just lives the game,” Ayers said when Redd signed with the Buckeyes. “He's always in the gym, and he'll be a player that people will love to watch. To me, the real key for us is that he plays as well as any (high school) two-guard in the country.”
Michael Redd, NBA star and Olympic gold medalist
After leaving Ohio State, Redd was eventually taken in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft when Milwaukee used the No. 43 overall pick on the Buckeye. It turned out to be a steal.
Only five members of the 2000 draft class wound up playing more NBA minutes than Redd, who spent the next 11 seasons with the Bucks before playing one final NBA season with Phoenix in 2011-12. He was an NBA all-star during the 2002-03 season, when he started all 82 games and averaged 21.7 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 44.0% from the floor.
It marked the third of six straight seasons in which Redd increased his scoring average, topping out at 26.7 points per game during a 2006-07 season where he also set a franchise record by scoring 57 points in a game.
That helped earn him a spot on the 2008 United States Olympic team, where he joined Jerry Lucas (1960) and Bill Hosket (1968) as the only Ohio State players to earn a gold medal.
After injuries, Michael Redd launches second career
Knee injuries eventually curtailed his playing career. Redd played in only 33 games during the 2008-09 season after tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee. He returned for the start of the 2009-10 season and played in 18 games before suffering the same injury again, and this time it would sideline him for 14 months. He would play only 10 more games for the Bucks during the 2010-11 season before signing a one-year contract with the Suns during the 2011-12 season.
Redd averaged 20.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 44.9% from the floor and 38.3% from three during his 11 seasons with the Bucks. He retired with 11,972 career points, averaging 19.0 in 629 games including 429 starts.
Since retiring from basketball, Redd has founded 22 Ventures, a company that has made more than 85 investments in tech and media industry. In 2020, Redd joined ADvantage Sports Tech Fund, a Columbus-based $50 million fund that will invest in 15 early-stage tech companies in the sports world.
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Most recently, Redd has purchased YogaSix, a yoga studio in Upper Arlington, with an aim on making the practice more accessible to all walks of life.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Michael Redd: Ohio State product, NBA star and Columbus native