Lanny Smith from NBA Stardom to Entrepreneurial Success

Lanny Smith was born in Missouri City, Texas. Smith played basketball at High Tower high school before attending and playing college ball at the University of Houston. With the dream of reaching the highest level of his favorite sport he did just that in 2009 when he signed with the Sacramento Kings.


I’d be willing to bet a lot of listeners have wished that they could just do something to fix the situation when they see injustice happening, but few have actually taken action the way today’s guest has. If FUBU was the inclusive and empowering brand of the 90s, Actively Black is quickly establishing itself as today’s equivalent, and today I’m sitting with the founder and former professional basketball player Lanny Smith.

Lanny launched Actively Black in 2020 in response to George Floyd’s death and its impact on the Black community in particular. He noted that so many major corporations were sharing statements against racism and promising to make an effort to promote Black communities more, but he felt that the real way to make an impact was to launch his own Black-owned business that he could guarantee was giving back.

He didn’t become an entrepreneur by choice, though. Lanny signed a contract with the Sacramento Kings after an impressive college basketball career. If it wasn’t for a knee injury, he might never have taken the leap into business but in his recovery from surgery he had the idea to launch a sports apparel brand with faith-based messages. Active Faith Sports grew online and was backed by athletes like Steph Curry, which encouraged him to hone in on Actively Black in 2020.

Today, Actively Black doesn’t just invest monetarily back into Black communities, but it gives opportunities to Black talent, Black photographers, Black videographers, Black designers, Black marketers, and everyone in between. And it does all that while also generating over $30 million! There’s so much that anyone in business can learn from Lanny, and I’m excited for listeners to add him to their radars.


Show Notes:

Lanny Smith is one of those people who you come across and automatically want to root for, and I’m so proud of all that he’s accomplished with his brand Actively Black and prior company Active Faith.

Despite his impressive career and successes, he remains so humble. When he came onto That Moment with Daymond John, Lanny was transparent about the struggles that came before the success, how he’s hungry for even more with Actively Black, and how the mission behind the brand comes before anything else. It’s always refreshing and inspiring talking to people who truly emphasize giving back to the community in need over generating sales, and I know listeners will walk away with actionable steps for making their own goals come to fruition.

 Tune in now to get can’t miss reflections on:

  • The life-changing injuries that halted Lanny’s dreams..and how he channeled that into a successful company
  • Why people want to support his brand - and how you can build your own community
  • How to respond to people who don’t understand the mission behind his brands
  • His experiences working with powerhouses and getting to see his product on people like Barack Obama
  • Noticing injustices and taking action, rather than waiting on others to take that first step and more!

Listen on Spotify, iHeart or Apple Podcasts

🎧 Catch the full episode on Apple Podcast Here

🎧 Catch the full episode on Spotify Podcast Here

🎧 Catch the full episode on iHeart Podcast Here 

Host: Daymond John

Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus 
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