It was 11:00 p.m. in Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. In the locker room, standing alongside reporters and clamoring family members, was a 22-year-old frum kid from the Five Towns. He was an agent, one of the youngest at the time to ever sign an NBA player, and he was waiting to talk to one of his clients. Although Nachi Gordon had spent his life dreaming about having this job, finishing school early to pursue the dream and achieving astonishing success, something was off. He could feel the strangeness of the life he was living and knew that something had to change. In that moment, the seeds were planted for Meaningful Minute, the Torah content network that has revolutionized the way people find inspiration.
It began as a solo project, something Nachi would assemble late into the night in his bedroom with just a laptop and headphones. Today, only a few short years later, his work is reaching thousands of people every day. The network he created has grown into a real company with seven employees, an app, a podcast network, and more importantly, a far-reaching vision for the future of Torah-centric inspiration for a contemporary audience. To hear Nachi, now 26, tell the story, the exponential growth of Meaningful Minute was a natural outcome of his own search for inspiration and his desire to share it with others.
Nachi’s journey from sports agent to Torah facilitator is an unlikely one, full of twists and turns, and illuminated throughout by Nachi’s honesty and self-awareness. Nachi had played a lot of sports as a kid and had gotten involved in selling tickets to pro sports games on the secondary market. Everything about the world of sports seemed cool and exciting to Nachi, and he wanted to be a part of it.
“When I was in Yeshiva of Far Rockaway for high school, I was very passionate about being either a lawyer or an agent for basketball players,” he recalls. He was young and ambitious, and he put himself on track to follow his dream. “My parents were always very supportive. I took all my state tests in 11th grade and skipped 12th grade because I wanted to pursue and accomplish things right away, and I felt like I was wasting time in high school. I went to college, but academics didn’t really speak to me. It was all about getting my feet wet with real experience, putting myself in situations where I could learn and move forward.”
After finishing college and completing the required training, Nachi was all set. “I was certified by the NBA Players’ Association. Agents represent the players in negotiating their contracts with the teams they play for, as well as endorsement deals with brands looking for players to represent them. I worked for a few different agencies and achieved a surprising level of success.”
Although Nachi was younger and less experienced than most other agents, the players liked him and were willing to sign with him. “That’s just the nature of how things are these days,” he explains. “Young people are being given more and more responsibility. I signed a few clients who were playing primarily overseas, but one player ended up signing an NBA contract, even though he was cut before the season started. There was also one player represented by my firm who was playing in the NBA for the New York Knicks, so I spent a lot of time in Madison Square Garden both with him and with Knicks officials.”
As Nachi explains, there are a lot of responsibilities and challenges that come with the job. “I mainly dealt with players we had to prepare for the draft, which is when the NBA teams select new players,” says Nachi. “We had to pay for their trainers and fly them from place to place, after which my job would be to communicate with the teams that wanted to bring them in for private workouts and coordinate the scheduling. The teams spend a lot of money on scouting because they’re going to be investing millions of dollars in them, and they want to make sure that it’s a worthwhile investment. They are constantly looking out for the next big star. I would go to a lot of games and watch a lot of film to see which players we should try to recruit because it’s a big investment for the agency as well. You have to have a good eye, and also the foresight to see that this player has the potential to grow into a particular position.”