Posted on 07 August 2011.
The man who’s buying the Atlanta Hawks played basketball himself — at Don Bosco Technical Institute, a Catholic high school in Rosemead, Calif. Alex Meruelo became a starter for the Tigers as a junior, whereupon vocational opportunity intervened.
“My father gave me the chance to run my own business,” Meruelo said, speaking on a conference call with two AJC writers. “He had a bridal-and-tuxedo business. He leased the tuxedo part to me.”
That was it for his hoops career. (Couldn’t stay for practice when there were groomsmen to be measured.) Thirty-two years later, it’s no longer an either/or consideration. Alex Meruelo has made a bunch of money, having gone from renting out cummerbunds to building a chain of Southern California eateries — La Pizza Loca — to owning a TV station in Los Angeles to buying a hotel and casino in Reno. And now the entrepreneur is about to diversify into basketball.
“This is more than a dream for me,”