Carolina Panthers Defensive Lineman opens business in Downtown Binghamton
DaQuan Jones grew up in Johnson City, was drafted by the NFL in 2014, and is now opening a business in the community that once helped him achieve his goals.
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- DaQuan Jones grew up in Johnson City, was drafted by the NFL in 2014, and is now opening a business in the community that once helped him achieve his goals. Now, he’s inspiring others in the process.
For Jones, life wasn’t always easy while growing up in Johnson City.
“I didn’t have the best upbringing,” Jones said. “However, at the same time, I had a great supporting cast around me. I always said that it takes a village to raise a child and Johnson City has done that with me. As far as the school system, the coaches that I’ve met and the teachers that impacted my life, they truly help me keep my head on straight and they help to push me towards my goals.”
Jones said with inspiration from those around him, he was able to progress with his vision. He went on to play in the NFL and is now a defensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers. Now, Jones and his family are preparing for the grand opening of their new business, Legacy Lounge.
“It means a lot just because I was fortunate being one of the ones that made it out of the area and made my situation better for me and my family,” he said. “For me to bring a business back here means a lot because I can offer jobs to people and offer insight of a little bit about my life that I’ve gotten to experience. I want to kind of bring a taste of that here, be able to mix-and-match that, and bring something that locals and students especially enjoy.”
Now, Jones is aiming to help those who have found themselves with a similar upbringing as his.
“I wanna make sure that I show my face here a lot,” he said. “I want to make sure that when you come here, you meet me and we can talk. I talk to everybody. I’m very open and I just wanna make sure that everyone can see that it’s possible to do it - whatever you want.”
In fact, the pro-football player turned entrepreneur said owning a business like Legacy Lounge has always been a dream.
“Growing up I always wanted to open up a lounge or something like a bar. I don’t know why I wanted to, but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it. I want to show you that whatever you want do in life, you really can do it with hard work and grit. I want to be here and support people the best I can - I think this is a great steppingstone for me to put my mark on the community and go from there.,” Jones said.
However, while a business like this has been a lifelong dream for Jones, it’s a family ordeal.
“I came up here and really, really helped get this place to be where it’s at right now. My dad is known in the area for cooking, so he’s in the food truck cooking. My brother DaShaun help me out with doing everything. Really without them I probably wouldn’t be open right now,” Jones said.
As for the name, it’s about leaving his mark on a community that has helped guide and shape him.
“We’re all going to be gone someday and how do you want to be remembered? For me, it’s always been to create your legacy. To me, what that means is how you carry yourself, how you build yourself up. I don’t want to be known as just a football player. I want to be known as a business man, and I can do kind of anything. It’s kind of doing everything - a jack of all trades,” he said.
The Legacy Lounge is located in the 20 Hawley Street apartments across from City Hall in Downtown Binghamton.
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