Athletes facing issues ranging from addiction to depression now have a place to turn that was started by one of their own, along with a leader in the behavioral health field.
Former Cardinal and Charger Cornerback Kenny Greene, along with his wife Tina Hunter Greene, have tackled these serious subjects by not only providing the proper medical programs, but by doing so in a serene setting outside Houston.
The couple are proving to be the perfect team to open Athletes Recovery (www.athletesrecovery.com), with Kenny bringing his seven years of NFL experience along with a college coaching career and Tina offering her 20 years as a healthcare executive, and best of all, both are entrepreneurs who know how to start and grow a business.
A business that clearly crosses over into highly emotional and sensitive territory.
“Most every family has been affected by substance abuse, and I have seen some of my former teammates fight it, so we have taken a holistic approach in hoping to help people,” stated Kenny, who noted that some athletes encounter issues when they leave the game without having a transition plan.
“I used to take half of my bonus money in St. Louis and San Diego and put it away as savings, but not every athlete did that, so I have seen how the financial side can contribute to other problems,” observed the former cornerback, who worked in the construction business after 13 years coaching at Fresno State, Purdue, and Washington State (his alma mater), where 18 of his student-athletes went onto the NFL.
So after such a successful transition from the field, which included his marriage to Tina, the couple teamed up in the health care arena, and even participated in The Amazing Race television show, where they came in second place.
“We have a passion for athletes who need a specialized facility so they can make their recovery and sobriety a priority,” Tina stated.
And quite the facility it is, opened earlier this year and located on 50 acres about 45 minutes from Houston, with a capacity of 35 or so at any given time.
“We found a beautiful facility where athletes can comfortably be around other athletes, and while in recovery can also be doing everything from walkabouts to training to become whole again,” said Tina, adding, “We have everything in place, which makes it a lot easier, and it has been really well received.”
Most likely received well since this highly delicate and sensitive topic requires much more than a desirable physical facility, and this power couple have prioritized personnel and staffing.
“We have built a consortium of medical and mental health experts, including top sports psychologists, and also have a culturally competent and licensed staff including nutritionists and trainers that understand sports,” said Tina.
They are also constructing the appropriate alliances to raise awareness among athletes.
“We already have relationships with leagues, teams, and organizations as we make our facility available to NFL, NBA, MLB, and professionals in other sports, and additionally work with colleges as well,” according to Tina.
The organization also features an Advisory Board comprised of professionals with a wide variety of credentials and backgrounds, which Tina emphasized by saying, “We want and need an active Board to work with us.”
They even envision an active alumni support component where those who have stayed there can support each other in the aftermath of their mutual recovery.
That could turn into a growing group since the Greene’s, who live in Tampa, are already anticipating additional sites with their facility partner, with the West Coasts of both Florida and the United States being the most likely locations for two future facilities.
“We know that athletes often need a specialized facility, and have heard from many heads of sports that this is really needed, so hopefully we can change lives by making it easier to seek help,” closed Kenny.