SPEAKER

Devean George

3X NBA Champion

Born and raised in North Minneapolis, Devean George developed a strong drive to succeed at an early age. His parents worked two jobs to send their son to high school at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, and he pushed himself physically and mentally to become a college basketball player. Devean went on to become a standout at Augsburg College, and was named MIAC Most Valuable Player for two consecutive years (1997-98, 1998-99).  In 1999, George made history and overcame enormous odds when he became the first-ever NCAA Division III basketball player selected in the first round of the NBA draft, by the Los Angeles Lakers. In his first three seasons with the Lakers, the team won the NBA Championship. Throughout his 11-year NBA career, Devean played seven seasons with the Lakers, three with the Dallas Mavericks, and one with the Golden State Warriors.

During his career in the NBA, Devean demonstrated his dedication to making a positive impact on children and families. In each city he lived, Devean became involved in programs serving inner city youth. It was during this time that Devean developed the vision for his own nonprofit, and in 2011 he founded Building Blocks with the mission of combatting generational poverty by creating high-quality and self-sustaining housing, business, and recreational opportunities.

Today, George’s post-NBA career combines this dedication to service with his passion for real estate. In 2009, he established George Group North, a company that specializes in both affordable and market-rate multi-family residential development, mixed use projects, and property redevelopment. He serves as the company’s President and C.E.O. and the President of Building Blocks.

Past and current development projects include Marketplace & Main in Hopkins, featuring 63 apartments and 7 townhomes; Commons at Penn, a 47-unit mixed-use affordable housing/integrated services  complex in North Minneapolis; Penn Avenue Union, a 64-unit mixed-use affordable house/integrated services complex. And numerous single-family properties in the Twin Cities area.  Devean has an active pipeline of development initiatives to transform communities, as he has in North Minneapolis, in Milwaukee, Atlanta, Oakland, New Orleans and other markets desiring a Building Blocks Community model.

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