Jerry Stackhouse made a name for himself as part of a final four team for Carolina basketball a few years back. Today, he is a millionaire star in the NBA, and he is investing in a community that he says the public has turned its back on.
It seems that Jerry Stackhouse is always jumping. Usually it is on a basketball court, but this time he's jumping into the retail clothing business.
"It is a dream that I've had since high school and college to have my own line," Stackhouse said. "I guess the best way to introduce a new line is to have your own retail store."
Jerry's line of clothes bears the same name as the store, BIL.
"It stand for Brothers Inspiring Loyalty," store manager Chuck Jones said.
Loyalty and brotherhood are the words that Jones uses to describe his long friendship with Stackhouse. They both say that the name is also the focus of the store's mission in the community.
"We are doing a lot of stuff with the schools," Jones said. "We are going in and getting kids to come in here and work with us, and we are teaching them some business skills."
Stackhouse hopes to open more stores in the future, and each one will be in the heart of communities that need an economic spark.
"I could have easily gone and put my store in a mall, but I didn't want to do that," Stackhouse said. "I wanted to come to a lower economic area. Of the whole Triangle, Durham is not looked at in a real positive light."
He says he wants the place to be a classroom as much as a store. A place where young entrepreneurs can learn what it takes to succeed in the business world.
"I've learned a lot, and hopefully through the store I can take some kids and show them what I learned," Stackhouse said.