Former Miami great McClinton paving his way as entrepreneur
When Jack McClinton graduated from Miami in 2009, most projected him to be on the path to stardom in the NBA but as he quickly learned, sports are a business. So it is a business career that he turned to when basketball was no longer an option.
One of three players to have his jersey number retired in UM history, McClinton was a two-time first-team All-ACC guard and holds the record for career three-point percentage and is second in career free throw percentage. His success at the college level was not enough to keep him in the NBA for long.
“I was supposed to go first round to the Knicks. On the morning of draft day, (former Miami coach Frank) Haith called me and said that they were going to take me at 29,” McClinton recalled. “When the 21st pick came, one of the reps from the Knicks called and said they found out about my wrist injury and they were concerned about it.”
The San Antonio Spurs drafted McClinton with the 51st pick, but he did not end up making the team, so he packed his bags to play in Europe for his rookie season.
“It was tough because I wanted to stay in the states, but at the same time I needed to go overseas to get paid for my craft,” said McClinton.
After playing three years overseas including a season in Turkey where he averaged 16.1 points per game, McClinton was feeling the grind that most professional athletes experience.
“I started doing it just because it was what I did. I lost my love for the game over there because I thought I was an NBA player. I had so many ideas on the business side that I couldn’t really do everything I wanted while I was in Europe,” explained McClinton.
A micro fracture knee surgery was the final chapter or McClinton’s basketball career. The injury was a wake-up call for him and his career.
“I had to step back and ask myself if basketball was really for me,” said McClinton.
McClinton officially stepped away from the game of basketball early in 2013 in order to focus on the business endeavors that he had been thinking about for years.
McClinton has a compression gear line in the works as well as another project he is excited about.
“I also have a yacht wear line coming out called Loaded Dock. That will be based on fitted trunks and matching tops sort of like Tommy Bahama, but it will be more for the younger age group.”
His prized project, though is a social media application known as The Cliq App. McClinton holds the title of the business developer for the company.
“I got involved in some social media stuff and tweeted out that Vine was going to be the next big thing. My boy messaged me and said that Cliq was going to be even better. We talked about it and we’ve now raised $1 million and are about to launch,” said McClinton.
The application’s beta is now available in the App Store. The best way to describe it is multi-functional. The app combines the best aspects of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the varying group chat applications on the market.
“It gives your group the opportunity to have a voice,” he said. “Your clique can post out pictures within your group or chat privately, which is called your huddle. Your group’s top interests get sent to your chat, which serves as a conversation starter.”
Cliq has investments from four NBA players, Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings, Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls, Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets, and Dorell Wright of the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Basketball opened so many doors for me to do what I’m doing today,” McClinton said. “I was able to make a lot of connections through that experience.”
Now 29, McClinton says he has only scratched the surface of what he can do off the court.
“I really think that God put me on this earth to be a pioneer. I know I’m here for a reason, which is to change lives. I know that you can do anything if you put God first and work hard.”