My friend Corey “Homicide” Williams is the voice of the National Basketball League (NBL)

On the court, he is known as “Homicide” and was MVP in 2010 when he played in Townsville.

On this vlog (Part 1 of 3) we actually didn’t talk much basketball. Instead, we chatted about how NBL is more like a startup. Australian professionals are incredibly smart and gifted and yet we have a hard time (historically) commercialising our talent.

In most recent years Larry Kestelman (founder of Dodo) purchased and took over NBL. They resurrected NBL by having a startup mentality enabled them to have:

  • A dedicated team that goes above and beyond
  • A strong belief in the vision and product
  • A strong leadership
  • who leads from the front
  • A strong sense of getting shit done

Watch today’s vlog to learn how your business can apply the NBL startup mentality.


Tobi Skovron:                Corey Williams is in the house, everyone.

Corey Williams:             What’s going on? What’s going on, bro?

Tobi Skovron:                How are you?

Corey Williams:             I’m fantastic. I’m alive.

Tobi Skovron:                Is that the third time we’ve asked today?

Corey Williams:             That’s the third time. Health is wealth and I’m just happy to be alive.

Tobi Skovron:                I’m glad you’re here.

Corey Williams:             I’m glad to be here too.

Tobi Skovron:                I’m glad you’re healthy, I’m glad you’re wealthy, I’m glad you’re here. Corey is a friend of mine. You may know him from the NBL, you may know him from some streetball. He played in the NBL as well.

Corey Williams:             Yes.

Tobi Skovron:                Townsville?

Corey Williams:             Townsville for three years, Melbourne Tigers for the fourth season, fourth year.

Tobi Skovron:                Incredible.

Corey Williams:             Hashtag incredible. It’s just programmed in my head.

Tobi Skovron:                Okay. We can do with that. So Corey and I have chatted, we actually went for lunch, and one of the things I wanted to talk about was the NBL, the National Basketball League. I don’t want to talk about the sport necessarily as a sport, but I want to talk about it from the lens of it being a startup. I feel, correct me if I’m wrong, shoot me down as you please, I feel like the NBL actually for the first time has an owner that is entrepreneurial that knows how to get shit done, knows how to execute and has actually taken the league where at the junior level is the most played sport in the country. Yet at the professional level we’ve struggled to actually monetise that and actually turn it into a profitable entity, much like your startup or your business or your company.

Tobi Skovron:                So Corey, you’d been a player in the league, you’re now sitting as the voice of the league and I’m curious to hear it from your lens, what you think about, what’s going on here.

Corey Williams:             Well, first of all, thanks for having me.

Tobi Skovron:                Of course.

Corey Williams:             Here’s how I see the NBL. As you said a while ago, for me the NBL is a startup. You have a successful business owner, successful business mind, and a businessman that has resurrected this league. This league was in the dirt. It was dead. It was gone.

Tobi Skovron:                Multiple times.

Corey Williams:             I won’t say single-handedly, but he single-handily from money, from the money perspective, brought this league back to life. He’s built it with his crew and he has a team. You are as strong as your team, and he has a team of dedicated individuals, from top to bottom that is going above and beyond because they believe in the product. I think that, we talked about it walking over, with organizations that are successful it starts from the top. And I see as well as everyone else in the organisation sees how hard Larry goes. So, if the man that is your boss, my boss is going as hard as he’s going, how can I not give 200% to this product? You know what I mean?

Corey Williams:             So, in any startup phase, you wear more than one hat, whether you like it or not, you know what I mean? It’s a startup. So there’s a lot of things that we all do more than we are paid to do, than we are… our job description is. I wear as many hats as I deem fit that I can bring value to this thing. This thing of ours, the NBL. I say ours because emotionally I am invested in this as well as everybody else. We all wanted this to do well and to succeed. So when it starts like that, it becomes contagious watching him do his thing and that allows me and everybody else to do their thing and more.

Tobi Skovron:                I love it. We actually talked about leadership at lunch and leading from the front. So it’s amazing. I don’t have firsthand access to Larry and be able to watch him, but I do watch him, where we’re connected on LinkedIn. I do watch what he’s doing with the league. You and I are mates. I watch everything that you post on almost every channel and I think it’s huge.

Author Tobi Skovron

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