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Some Florida residents may feel ashamed for needing to file for bankruptcy when in reality, it is the only logical option remaining on the table. Many highly successful entrepreneurs have had their day in bankruptcy court and managed to turn around their fortunes once again.

Consider the case of former Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker. The National Basketball Association veteran became a multi-millionaire while playing for the Heat, the Celtics, Timberwolves and Grizzlies.

But he got caught up chasing the gambling lifestyle and was charged with felonies over debts. In 2010, Walker was forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Miami. He acknowledged owing $12.7 million in debts that stemmed from his out-of-control gambling. During the proceedings, the NBA champ had to sell everything he owned of value. Sadly, this included his championship ring as well.

Walker intends to help young and financially inexperienced athletes avoid the pitfalls that ensnared him. For the past two years, he has been filming a documentary titled “Gone In An Instant,” which relates his story of going from riches to rags because of poor lifestyle choices and a lack of investment knowledge.

“I’m telling my life story about the trials and tribulations I went through throughout my career, on and off the court,” he said in a CSN Chicago interview. “I’m just trying to make it a learning tool.”

Part of the bankruptcy process is acknowledging and taking responsibility for debts that were incurred. Once the process is completed, debtors have their slates wiped clean and can begin taking the necessary steps to make wiser choices with their money.

Source: Comcast Sportsnet, “Antoine Walker hopes to help young athletes in documentary” Mark Strotman, Jul. 17, 2014