Wwjd greg ivory
Photo Credit: Greg Ivory

WWJD #43: One-on-One With Greg Ivory From Winners Only

Franchise Sports Media

 

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?” – 2Pac

Winners Only host Greg Ivory has an inspiring story.

WWJD Greg Ivory
Photo Credit: Greg Ivory

Richmond, California, is located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Richmond covers an area of 52 square miles and has a population of around 110,000 people, making it the third-largest city in the county.

Historically, Richmond is known for its diverse population, with significant African American, Latino, and Asian American communities. However, Richmond also faces significant social and economic challenges, including poverty, crime, and pollution.

Richmond is also known for the bio-pic “Coach Carter,” starring Samuel L. Jackson.

 

WWJD Greg Ivory and Mattress Mack
Photo Credit: Greg Ivory

The movie showed the true story of the daily challenges faced by the Richmond High School basketball team, including poverty, violence, and low academic performance, and Coach Carter’s efforts to empower the players to take control of their lives and futures. Coach Carter set high standards for his team. He required them to sign contracts committing to attending all their classes while sitting in the front row, maintaining a minimum GPA above the standard of 2.0, and wearing suit coats and ties on game days.

Despite facing opposition from parents, administrators, and some of the players themselves, Coach Carter remained committed to his principles. Ultimately, the team succeeded on and off the court, transforming the team into a group of disciplined and successful student-athletes.

Now, meet Greg Ivory. You may know Greg from his “Winners Only” segments on Bleacher Report Betting. You may know him from jet-setting with Mattress Mack during the World Series or other high-profile sporting events. But what you don’t know is Greg has persevered and grinded his way to where he is now.

From Richmond to attending the world’s biggest events with some of the biggest stars, Greg Ivory is that rose that grew from the crack in the concrete. I sat down with Greg to talk about how he made it from out of the hood in Richmond to the bright lights on the biggest stages.

Let’s get to know Winners Only host Greg Ivory.

Now, let’s go one-on-one with Winners Only’s Greg Ivory

Winners Only host Greg Ivory in his own words.

Greg, tell me what it was like growing up in Richmond.

Growing up was a challenge because I always had the struggle between being “cool” while running the streets with my friends or staying in the house where it was safe. 

 

What was it like playing sports in that type of environment?

It was tough, from one of my coaches being shot at to one of my coaches being killed to even a shooting while playing little league, but there was also beauty to it; I’ve met lifelong friends and made lifelong connections. It also connected me to my community which taught me the importance of that to this day.  

 

Wait, that really happened on the baseball field?

Yeah, it was crazy and also traumatic, but that was living in Richmond, CA. 

 

What was high school like?

High school for me was unique. I went to a private school, and it was a culture shock partly due to being 1 out of the 5 Black students that graduated in my class. Another struggle that I overcame was not graduating on time. In fact, I had to attend summer school in order to start college that fall. Despite all that, High School is where I found my passion for media.

 

WWJD Greg Ivory
Photo Credit: Greg Ivory

After high school, you went to Sacramento State initially to play baseball. What happened there?

I got into Sacramento State but got cut from the baseball team, and I thought it was all over for me. After two years, I transferred.

 

How did you end up at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco?

After two years at Sac State and not playing baseball, I started to lose focus and struggle with my academics, so I made a phone call to Brian Guinn, who was the head coach there at the time. He told me to transfer and come play for him. That was really a blessing in my life. Not only was I walking into the structure, but I was going back to my first love, and that was baseball. 

 

Was there a big adjustment going from Sac State to the Academy of Art?

Yes, a huge adjustment. I went from being on my own to having to move back into my parent’s house, going from walking to class on campus to commuting to class by public transportation.

 

So, how did you get into the sports wagering side of things?

My best friend J’ron Ervy showed me a stack of money when we were in college, and I asked where’d you get it from? He said, “sports betting,” and me already being a sports guy, that was my introduction. It came easily to me.

 

How did you come up with the Winners Only concept?

I was trying to figure out a way to show love to the community, so I started putting people on the Bleacher Report betting platform. This started the Winner’s Only movement. 

 

WWJD Greg Ivory
Photo Credit: Greg Ivory

Did you ever think it would take you this far with this much access?

No, if you would’ve told me that I would be one of the faces of BR Betting four years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. I never thought I’d make it this far. 

 

What’s the craziest story you have seen or been a part of regarding sports wagering?

It was being with Mattress Mack when he won the $75 million bet on the Astros winning the world series. 

 

How has the success you have had inspired you to help others? 

Coming from where I come from and experiencing some of the sports moments that I have been involved in, I want to be an inspiration to the youth. I want to show them that inner-city kids can be anything they put their minds to, despite the obstacles they may face.

 

Do you have any advice for a person wanting to get in?

Intern early in college. It will set you above the rest when you graduate. 

Greg Ivory is winning at life. 

Greg Ivory has turned Winners Only into something special thanks to a restless attitude and a tireless work ethic.

Greg Ivory shows that you can do anything you put your mind to. 

WWJD Greg Ivory
Photo Credit: Greg Ivory

Greg has persevered through some rough times, whether admittedly self-inflicted or out of his control. He saw his opportunities and worked his ass off to make his own lane. He didn’t take no for an answer and hustled his way to where he is now. He bet on himself, and, not surprisingly, he is winning.

Greg’s story should inspire all who know it. You can achieve anything you want if you dedicate yourself to it and work hard at it. Never give up, never stop hustling, and outwork your competitors. Everyone sees the finished product, but they don’t see the hard work or the obstacles that one has to overcome.

Greg’s vision to help and inspire others to accomplish their dreams speaks to the man that he is.

Rapper, thespian, activist, poet, and revolutionary Tupac Shakur wrote the following poem entitled “The Rose That Grew From Concrete.” I feel that it encapsulates Greg Ivory’s story perfectly.

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.

Greg Ivory is beating the odds.

Greg Ivory named his show Winners Only, and for a good reason. Greg is winning in life, and it couldn’t happen to a better dude.

 

-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on Twitter and Instagram: @JoeArrigoFSM

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