By Jori Davis
Pro basketball player Jori Davis interviews current and former athletes and those who work with them to share their truths about their lives and careers. Authentic and raw, each episode will feature conversations about the highs, lows, successes, failures, insecurities, hopes and challenges experienced by elite overseas athletes. These are the stories of a lost community. Unguarded is brought to you by Wevolv. Produced by Hyun Kim.
Unguarded Phonecalls Episode 5: Isabelle Harrison
Host Jori Davis is joined by co-host L’oreal Gamble and guest Isabelle Harrison to talk about her experience during the first AU (Athletes Unlimited) Hoops basketball season, where she was able to deepen her understanding of the coaching side, as well as the mental part of basketball on a not that politically oriented league where "every player got to tell their story". The phone call also goes over Izzy´s possibility to return overseas and her opinion of the overseas lifestyle, the evolution, and importance of branding, her internship with the Dallas Mavericks, and even hints at an upcoming shoe deal for the WNBA star. Edited by Víctor Revenga
May 23, 2022
Unguarded Phone Calls Episode 4: Jean-François Reymond
Host Jori Davis is joined by co-host L’oreal Gamble and guest Jean-François Reymond to talk about his playing days and his transition to the player´s union, how unions are distributed, the benefits professional basketball players can get while playing in Italy, the need of active leaders and how player´s unions could help the Britney Griner situation in Russia. Edited by Víctor Revenga.
May 06, 2022
Unguarded Phone Calls Episode 3: Stephany Skrba
Host Jori Davis is joined by co-host L’oreal Gamble and guest Stephany Skrba to discuss having kids while being a professional athlete, navigating the dating scene as a single mom while playing overseas, differences between men and women in the industry, the lack of support to women and the community the kids help build. Edited by Víctor Revenga.
March 27, 2022
Unguarded Phone Calls Episode 2: Vernon Taylor
Host Jori Davis is joined by co-host L’oreal Gamble and guest Vernon Taylor to discuss a the changes and challenges for pro athletes making their living overseas. The trio discuss safety when going out as an athlete overseas following the recent assault of Corey Manigault in Cyprus, as well as advice for new athletes moving overseas when it comes to lifestyle and relationships, using your background to embrace your journey, achieving your dreams even when they don’t come in the amount of time you expected, interactions between leagues, teams, and players while in Europe, new FIBA rules, previous personal experiences and future plans in Europe, and problems with the current agent and sport business culture. Unguarded is brought to you by Wevolv. Edited by Kayla Kamil. Jori Davis is a pro basketball player and founder of Wevolv, a platform empowering elite athletes around the globe to manage their own careers and ways of life. L’oreal Gamble is a former pro basketball player now taking on the challenge of motherhood abroad while also opening her own consulting firm for expats and athletes, Crossover the Net Consulting. Vernon Taylor is a 10-year pro basketball veteran currently playing for SAM Basket Massagno in Switzerland.
March 12, 2022
Unguarded Phone Calls Episode 1: Ike Udanoh
Host Jori Davis is joined by co-host L’oreal Gamble and guest Ike Udanoh to discuss a the changes and challenges for pro athletes making their living overseas. The trio talk everything from motivations in going pro overseas, the mentality needed, asking for help from those around you, standing together as an athlete community, the function of players’ unions, how social media has changed, the benefits and problems with new athlete-led leagues, and whether L’oreal and Ike would let their kids play in a high school pro league in the future. Unguarded is brought to you by Wevolv. Edited by Kayla Kamil. Jori Davis is a pro basketball player and founder of Wevolv, a platform empowering elite athletes around the globe to manage their own careers and ways of life. L’oreal Gamble is a former pro basketball player now taking on the challenge of motherhood abroad while also opening her own consulting firm for expats and athletes, Crossover the Net Consulting. Ike Udanoh is a 9-year pro basketball veteran currently playing for SIG Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France.
January 01, 2022
Intro: Unguarded Phone Calls
Host Jori Davis is joined by co-host L’oreal Gamble to introduce and discuss a brand new season of the Unguarded Podcast: Unguarded Phone Calls. The duo talk everything from the challenges of moving and playing overseas to current events, social media, and plans for the upcoming season. Unguarded is brought to you by Wevolv. Edited by Kayla Kamil. Jori Davis is a pro basketball player and founder of Wevolv, a platform empowering elite athletes around the globe to manage their own careers and ways of life. L’oreal Gamble is a former pro basketball player now taking on the challenge of motherhood abroad while also opening her own consulting firm for expats and athletes, Crossover the Net Consulting.
November 20, 2021
NATALIE VAN DEN ADEL
NATALIE VAN DEN ADEL gets Unguarded about working with a psychologist to work on her self-esteem and learning how to love herself. She talks about finding herself unmotivated after playing non-stop for different teams, leagues, and tournaments and how working with a mental health professional allowed her to let go of her perfectionist and self-critical ways. She played one year at Colorado State before playing pro in Holland, France, Australia, and Spain. She has also played for the Dutch National Team. Episode features guest host Hyun Kim.
April 30, 2021
POKEY CHATMAN gets Unguarded about her thoughts, experiences, and feelings about the past, present, and future of women's basketball as well. The Louisiana-native talks to us about how she was able to re-center herself during her time in Russia when she was the coach of the Spartak Moscow team. She is a legend who has achieved success as a player and coach of the LSU Lady Tigers, as well as the head coach in the WNBA for the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky, where she was also a GM.
April 16, 2021
TAMARA SEDA gets Unguarded about the importance of having a positive attitude and staying focused on her goals during different transitions in her life and career. She had never traveled outside of her native Mozambique until she flew to Liberal, Kansas to attend a community college. Although she'd only played volleyball until she was 17, she blossomed into a basketball star and was able to transfer to UTEP. Since graduation she has played pro in Spain and has also played for the Mozambique National Team. Episode features guest host Hyun Kim.
April 02, 2021
IKE UDANOH gets Unguarded about how he was able to use jealousy, envy, and anger to further his career while admitting that it got in his way at times. The graduate of Wayne State, a DII school, started his pro career playing in Uruguay and Qatar and always felt like he could compete at a higher level while comparing himself to other players who were already doing so. In addition to those two countries he has played in Austria, Finland, France, Kazakhstan, Italy and is currently playing in France. The Detroit-native of Nigerian-descent is based in Milan where he lives with his wife and son. Catch up on his life and funny antics on YouTube and TikTok. Episode features guest host Hyun Kim.
March 19, 2021
Valeriya Berezhynska gets Unguarded about her past struggles with self-confidence and how that's motivated her to apply her life coach certification to help pre-teen girls with their sense of self-worth. She talks to us about growing up in Ukraine and later adjusting to life in America as a high school student. She has played professional basketball in France, Poland, Turkey, and is currently in Spain. The 13 year pro is a graduate of Rice University. Episode features guest host, Hyun Kim.
March 05, 2021
Toccara Renee gets Unguarded about the importance of embracing her sexuality and standing in her truth after the death of her mother as well as healing from the trauma of sexual assault. She talks about how identifiers can be empowering and her mission to show up and support the communities she identifies with. The Southside Chicago-native graduated from Iowa State before playing pro basketball in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Colombia, Taiwan, Finland, Romania, Israel, Switzerland, Australia and France over 11 seasons. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she serves as an advocate and mentor for LGBTQ athletes when she's not busy working on her publishing company that focuses on telling the stories of the communities that hold meaning for her life.
February 19, 2021
Esther Wallace gets Unguarded about the importance of vulnerability in her life and career. She talks about her struggles with admitting that she was suffering from injuries such as concussions and her need to always have things in perfect order. A former overseas baller who played and coached in England, she is the founder of Playa Society, a successful clothing brand celebrating women that has been worn by stars from the WNBA, NBA, USWNT and more. The Springfield, MA native played and graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson, has a Masters from England and previously worked at MIT.
February 12, 2021
Taylor Wurtz gets Unguarded about her Christian faith and what role it has played at different moments in her life and career. A graduate of University of Wisconsin she is currently in her 7th season playing basketball overseas where she has played in Luxemburg, Norway, and France. The Bard, Wisconsin native is currently playing in Spain where her fiancé Preston Purifoy, a fellow overseas baller, is also playing.
February 05, 2021
Peter Philipakos gets Unguarded about his struggles finding his footing after retiring from his soccer/football career, managing with his OCD and finding new creative passions to pursue. A native of Glen Cove, New York, Peter attended St. John's and American University and played professionally for nine seasons in Greece and Czechoslovakia. He currently lives in Athens.
January 29, 2021
On the 1st episode of our 3rd season Abiola Wabara gets Unguarded about how she deals with anger and racism stemming from growing up Black in Italy. Abiola played pro basketball for 10 years which included stops in Israel, Spain, Hungary, Italy and UK. She currently lives in Houston and in addition to her full-time job as a digital strategy consultant she is a successful painter and runs Globall Life, a service that helps athletes prepare for the workforce outside of sports.
January 22, 2021
LIAD SUEZ-KARNI + KATIA LEVITSKY
Liad Suez-Karni and Katia Levitzky get Unguarded about the 2011 strike of the Israel women's basketball league (Jori's rookie season in Israel) which involved limiting the number of American players on the teams in an effort to protect the development of national players and how others tried to pit American players and Israeli players against each other. They also discuss how both sides can help each other improve. Liad was a captain of the Israeli National Team and has played in Poland, France and Israel. Kat was born in Ukrania but is a naturalized Israeli citizen who played in Romania and Israel. They both played at Villanova University and are currently retired.
November 06, 2020
Sydney Wiese gets Unguarded about what she appreciates about being able to play in the WNBA and play overseas, what she likes about the overseas lifestyle, the importance of checking in with yourself and embracing the constant endings and beginnings in our lives, how the fun really begins when the tag of being a player from the W fades and her overseas teammates see her as just one of them, and how her heart will go on and on. Syd is a Phoenix-native who graduated from Oregon State and is currently a member of the Los Angeles Sparks. She won a gold member as a member of the USA basketball team at the 2015 World University Games and has played pro in Australia, Israel and Spain.
October 30, 2020
Kyle Hines gets Unguarded about the why behind his work with ELPA (EuroLeague Players Association), what they're fighting for, the challenges of getting fellow athletes to participate, how overseas basketball has become better during his 12 year career and how he's happy that his dream of playing in the NBA never came true. Kyle is a 4 time EuroLeague champion (2x Olympiacos Piraeus + 2x CSKA Moscow), a 2 time EuroLeague Best Defender and was named to EuroLeague's 2010-2020 All-Decade Team. He has also played in Germany, Greece and currently plays for Olimipia Milano. The Sicklerville, NJ native is a graduate of UNC Greensboro.
October 23, 2020
Tinara Moore gets Unguarded about her struggles during her pro rookie season, how she improved drastically her second season thanks to a change in environment as well as a shift in her diet and focusing on herself, and what advice she would give her rookie self today as a 3rd year player. Tinara is a proud Michigan native who graduated from Central Michigan University. She has played pro in Spain for two seasons and is currently playing in Hungary. Her and Jori played together during the 18-19 season for Valencia. Last year Tinara was named MVP of the Spanish league. Episode features the song "Life Goes On" feat. The Pocket Queen & Dmitry Gorodetsky by Nikko Ielasi
October 16, 2020
LORENZO + MARIO of TWO POINTS AGENCY
Lorenzo Gallotti and Mario Scotti of Two Points Agency get Unguarded about the role of agents in a player's career, how agents and players can work best together, the limitations players and agents face within the FIBA system, how players can best handle situations that arise with their teams and leagues and how the market impacts players' salaries. Two Points, founded in February 2002 by Mario Scotti, represents basketball players all over the world with offices in Italy, Germany and in the US. Lorenzo represents female basketball players including our host Jori Davis and he kicks off the episode while Mario represents male basketball players and his segment kicks off at the 34:55 mark.
October 09, 2020
Taneka Rubin gets Unguarded about struggling and working through imposter syndrome, not giving her at best during her NCAA years, her experiences at Europrobasket and what players should expect at such academies as well as dealing with crazy living accommodations while playing abroad. Taneka was born in Germany, grew up in Arizona and graduated from Florida A&M after transferring from a junior college. She received a Masters from the University of East London and recently published her first book, Winners Win. Taneka has played in Portugal, Spain and is currently playing again in Portugal.
October 02, 2020
Shelby Cheslek gets Unguarded about how she's built a big social media following (currently 21.9K on IG), how teammates and opponents make assumptions about who she is as a result of it, wanting tall women to feel beautiful and empowered (she's 6'5"/196cm), how she works with brands for sponsorships and how she deals with the highs and lows of being an American playing overseas. Shelby currently plays for Fenerbahce in Istanbul and previously played in Greece, Australia and Hungary. She is a native of Pullman, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University. Check out her performance of Adele's "Rollin' in the Deep" dedicated to us on her IG.
September 25, 2020
Rashuan Willliams gets Unguarded about investing with some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment, what he learned about accumulating wealth during his time as an investment banker, the qualities that athletes possess to be great at things outside of sports as well as the internal and external barriers that prevent them from working together off the playing fields. Rashaun has invested in AirBNB, Ring, Casper, Lyft, Dropbox, Draftkings and more. The Chicago-native is a graduate of Morehouse College and currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and their son.
September 18, 2020
Mohamed Kherazi gets Unguarded about growing up in Morocco, how he dealt with the passings of his mother and brother, immigrating to the Netherlands, finding a new passion in photography and playing against the Moroccan national team as a member of the Dutch national team. Mohamed has played his entire pro career in the Netherlands where he has won one league championship and the defensive player of the year three times.
September 11, 2020
L'OREAL & JULIAN GAMBLE
To kick off our new season we are proud to have our guests L'oreal and Julian Gamble (our first ever couple) get Unguarded with us about what it's like to be married to a fellow pro ballplayer, the sacrifices they've made together to have a family during their playing careers, the importance of supporting each other in every facet of their lives, what it was like to return to playing pro ball after having a child and advice for overseas athletes thinking about starting a family L'oreal is a graduate of Fayetteville State University and has played pro basketball in Serbia, Romania, Germany and has coached at the University of Brussels. Julian is a graduate of University of Miami and has played pro basketball in France, Belgium, Germany and Italy where he currently plays for Virtus Bologina. They both hail from Raleigh, North Carolina.
September 04, 2020
LAURYN WILLIAMS "Other athletes will look at me and think, you're just like me so you can't know this either."
Lauryn Williams is Unguarded about the challenges she's faced as a former Olympic athlete who entered the world of finance and the challenges she's faced trying to help athletes with their finances. The former Olympic sprinter and bobsleder is the first American woman to medal (2 gold and 1 silver) in both the summer and winter games. She spoke to Jori about how she channeled the discipline and focus of being an elite athlete to pursuing her studies to hurdling the worlds of real estate and now finance. During the interview Laura was not afraid to mention some financial mistakes she's made in the past and how tho she set out to help other athletes with their finances she isn't always seen in the same light as other financial advisors because of her athletic background. The Pittsburgh native currently resides in Dallas with her husband and last year published a book to help future track stars with their careers. This is the final episode of the very first season of Unguarded!
July 28, 2020
CHRIS SQUIRES "It's not about what's trendy, it's about what you like and self expression."
Chris Squires is Unguarded about his passion for fashion and his desire to help everyone, especially pro athletes, dress, look and feel better. The second Indiana University alum guest on the podcast talked to Jori Davis about his athletic journey as a pro baseball player which took him from city to city and country to country gave him insight into fashion and lifestyle. Plus he talks about how it's built into his genes as his grandmother used to make clothes in her Harlem home back in the day. The Fort Wayne, Indiana-native has had stints with the Miami Marlins organisation to Rookie Ball to Double A to Independent Ball to playing in Canada, Mexico and Europe. He is currently based in Austria where he is working on his fashion and lifestyle blog and online store, Luvet Lifestyle.
July 18, 2020
LAURA GIULIANI "Our common point has always been football, our whole life runs around it."
Laura Giuliani is Unguarded about the relationship with Christian, her boyfriend, who has been by her side during some of the most important and crucial moments in her career. Most of the time we hear about the women who support male pro athletes but this time we get to hear the other side: what sacrifices were made, how they were able to help one another adjust to living in new countries and cities and doing what it takes to balance it all, including taking a part-time job together at a factory. Now that's amore. Laura is currently the goalkeeper for Juventus and the Italian National Team. She is a native of Milan and also has played for teams in Germany,
July 06, 2020
ACHEIL TAC "Instead of thinking why did this happen to me, I started thinking what is the purpose in this?"
Acheil Tac is Unguarded about finding the motivation to tackle whatever new challenges come her way. Her journey as a refugee has been well documented. From South Sudan to Egypt to Dallas, Texas, Tac with her parents and three sisters (who are also ballin' out in Texas) always found a way to not only adjust but also to thrive. She started learning English at age 9 at ESL classes and only started playing basketball in high school and didn't know anything about athletic collegiate scholarships but still thrived at the University of North Texas. She talks about wanting to play for a South Sudan women's team in the future and helping to improve the basketball program in her homeland. She is the author of The Reality of Behind the Glamour of College Athletics and has played pro basketball in Switzerland, Czech Republic and most recently in Greece.
June 28, 2020
DARIUS WILLIS “I quit my job and got fully invested in helping athletes achieve their dreams.”
Darius Willis is Unguarded about how to navigate a life in sports when dreams get deferred, multiple times. Jori and Darius both attended Indiana University at the same time (he graduated a year after her) and later on they were both playing in Switzerland at the same time. A severe knee injury sidelined Darius' chances to play pro (American) football in the US. After not getting a callback from a tryout with the NY Jets, he took on several jobs from Toys R Us to Fed Ex to pay the bills but his dream to play pro football never went away and he finally got his chance in Switzerland...until another injury made him pivot to coaching, mentoring and training future American football stars in Europe. Darius is a native of Indianapolis, is the CEO/Founder of Willis Sports Organization and is currently the head coach of the Bern Grizzlies in Switzerland.
June 21, 2020
LANDON MILBOURNE "We are a product and if we don't want to be used as someone's product then that's on us."
Landon Milbourne is Unguarded about his struggles to create change for himself and other players in the business of sport during and after his overseas pro basketball career as an athlete and later as an agent. Landon is an author and an entrepreneur who owns several businesses including those in personal care, cosmetics, trucking, real estate development, e-commerce and more. The Maryland-native graduated from the University of Maryland before playing pro in France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico and Israel. (Pardon the quality of the audio of the interview, it was conducted before we stepped up our equipment)
June 16, 2020
GIO SOTTANA "We are on our own, we need to figure it all out ourselves"
Gio Sottana is Unguarded about the important role of education in the lives of athletes and the advantages and disadvantages of Europeans going to America to play in the NCAA and staying in Europe to play pro. She also talks about the importance of athletes being seen more than just athletes but as individuals with interests and thoughts that go beyond the courts and fields of athletics. Giorgio "Gio" Sottana is the captain of the Italian National Team and has played Euroleague since 2011. She has had success playing for three teams in Italy, one in France and currently plays for Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Gio is also the founder of an online magazine, 4FourAM, where she interviews fellow athletes about life and the co-founder of Playground Basketball Camp.
June 11, 2020
ELLY PAVEL "I will always stick up for women no matter what they look like."
Elly Pavel is Unguarded about her struggles with her body image. And how playing basketball opened up a new world for her, taking her to new cities and countries which allowed her to meet diverse groups of people which helped her to not only accept herself but to also appreciate her own body. That strength lead her to support women, feminist causes and made her focus on a healthier lifestyle. Elisabeth "Elly" Pavel has played in her native Romania, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Italy and will be playing in Poland next season. She is also a member of the Romanian National Team.
June 03, 2020
HORACE WORMELY "I took a stance and got blackballed for it."
Horace Wormely is Unguarded about the importance of making connections in the global athlete network. The "Gingerbread Man" (nickname he earned in the legendary Drew League) played pro basketball for 12 years on six different continents. The Pasadena-native is currently the managing partner of Layercake Group and co-director of DSTRKT. 8:00 // Having a mentor gave him the confidence to re-negotiate his first overseas contract 10:36 // In China he learned about the business of basketball which helped set up his life after sports 18:00 // His network of athletes gave him access to various contracts and he used that info to help others 25:00 // Negotiating his own contract got him blackballed 33:32 // No regrets but having an agent would have resulted in a more financially prosperous career 41:48 // Deciding to quit playing ball 47:30 // How he's helping current and future athletes today
May 20, 2020
DEQUAN JONES "Fire can cook your food or it can cook you."
Unguarded's 1st ever episode features DeQuan Jones! Jori caught up with him soon after he returned to America during the pandemic outbreak in Italy where he was playing his first season with Pallacanestro Trieste. DeQuan talks to Jori about their similar overseas journeys and shared appreciation for experiencing other cultures. A recent father, he shares the challenges of balancing of being an overseas athlete, husband and father and what hopes he has for his family's future along with his wife, Allison Mathis Jones.
May 04, 2020