Vin Baker leads a very different life from the one he’s known for as a four-time NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist.
Baker has four children and is newly married. Oh yeah, he’s also part of the Starbucks management training program.
The 43-year-old turned his life around after a battle with alcoholism led him to blow through close to $100 million in career earnings; Baker says he’s kept his demons at bay and found true happiness.
Per the Providence Journal:
The world’s tallest, and perhaps most famous, barista is stationed behind a busy coffee counter. His smile and easy-going style welcome customers looking for their Starbucks fix as they fastbreak to work or South County’s beaches. […] “I love North Kingstown. It reminds me of my hometown, so it’s comfortable,” says the man, who stretches to 6-feet-11. “I like this community. Starbucks draws a lot of repeat customers and so many know me now.”
He thanks CEO Howard Shultz, the former Seattle SuperSonics owner, with this opportunity. He’s also a trained minister who savors work at his father’s church in Connecticut. Most important, he has been sober for more than four years. […] “In this company there are opportunities for everyone. I have an excellent situation here at Starbucks and the people are wonderful,” Baker says.
“When you learn lessons in life, no matter what level you’re at financially, the important part to realize is it could happen,” he said. “I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they’re like ‘Wow.’ For me, I’m 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I’m a father. I’m a minister in my father’s church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back. If I use my notoriety in the right way, most people will appreciate that this guy is just trying to bounce back in his life.”