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Tech Industry

NBA players union holding first-ever tech summit in SF

Golden State Warriors star Andre Iguodala to spearhead the three-day event seeking to link NBA players with Silicon Valley tech companies for potential opportunities.

Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala is helping his basketball brethren learn more about Silicon Valley.

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP is spearheading the National Basketball Players Association's inaugural tech summit to be held in San Francisco later this month. Iguodala has become a renowned tech investor and is a vice president for the players' union.

The three-day event announced on Tuesday will bring current and former NBA players together to network with key tech and media executives. There also will be presentations and workshops to help the players seek current opportunities and after their days on the hardwood are over.

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Golden State Warriors star Andre Iguodala is the among the notable NBA players who have made tech-related investments in recent years.

NBAE/Getty Images

Noted venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and SV Angel and health/wearables company Jawbone are among the companies participating at the summit, which starts on July 19.

NBA stars have embraced tech in many forms. Besides Iguodala, the list includes New York Knicks' All- Star Carmelo Anthony (and another players' union VP), who along with longtime media executive Stuart Goldfarb, formed M7 Tech Partners, a two-year-old VC firm that invests in early stage digital media and consumer technology such as Los Angeles-based audio wearables startup SubPac. There's also fellow All-Star, L.A. Clippers point guard and players' union president Chris Paul, who co-created an app, Game Vision, that uses games it claims will increase court vision awareness.

The tech summit was inspired by the players' growing curiosity about tech, said Roger Mason Jr., the NBPA's deputy executive director and a former NBA player.

"Our guys increasingly have interest in emerging technologies, such as wearables and new media content platforms, so we want to provide an environment for them to learn more and get educated with some of the best in the industry," he said. "This will be the start of something special."

Iguodala has been immersed in the Silicon Valley tech scene since joining the Warriors in 2013. He's invested in numerous companies and considers tech magnates Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz as his buddies. Iguodala also has been the menswear director for startup Twice, an online site that buys and sells secondhand clothing. The company was sold to eBay in 2014.

Iguodala said in a release that he hopes the tech summit will allow his fellow NBA players to reap similar benefits.

"The close relationships and experiences I have developed with many of the CEO's have allowed me to strengthen my knowledge about tech and digital media, and apply many of the same principles to my game, like team building and leadership," he said.