By Chris Rovzar

Miami Heat player Amar’e Stoudemire watched the way the fashion and sports worlds have connected in recent years—with Anna Wintour sitting courtside for tennis and basketball games, and players like him, Russell Westbrook, and Victor Cruz sitting front row at Fashion Week—and he had an idea. What if he could connect the stars of sport with the art community?

The logic goes this way: Top pro athletes have the money to spend on art. Emerging artists need that money to survive and continue making art, and the exposure of having famous collectors can go a long way toward building a name and a career. By connecting the two previously distinct groups, Stoudemire hopes to help both—financially and culturally.

“We’re going to educate the rest of the sports world how important it is to collect art, and how important it is to connect with emerging artists who are going to be great, but no one knows they’re going to be great yet,” Stoudemire says. He sees athletes purchasing art now at a reasonable price. “Five years from now, it becomes triple the amount, and now you have a gold mine on your hands.”

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