The NBA's <strong>All-Star Weekend</strong> is in full swing. Bringing together the brightest and most exciting players in the league for a spectacular match up in Los Angeles, Calif. While everyone is focused on the men on the court, <strong>BlackEnterprise.com </strong>took a moment to turn the spotlight on some of the women behind the scenes posting up in the boardroom and scoring big bucks. Our starting five consists of <strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/02/10/shaunie-oneals-tips-for-scoring-a-reality-tv-deal/">basketball wives</a></strong> who have stepped out on their own with noteworthy business ventures. Here's the tip off. <em>—Janel Martinez</em>
After Johnson, 52, struggled to find a jean that fit just right, the denim duchess took matters into her own hands, launching <strong><a href="http://www.cjbycookiejohnson.com/" target="_blank">CJ by Cookie Johnson</a></strong>, a premium jean enterprise catering to real women with curvaceous figures, in 2009. The wife of basketball legend <strong>Earvin "Magic" Johnso</strong><strong>n</strong> aligned herself with the best in the denim business: <strong>Michael Glasser</strong>, founder of 7 For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity. Since starting her line, Johnson has made it onto <strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/02/18/what-you-can-learn-from-iyanla-vanzants-flubbed-exit-strategy-from-oprah/">Oprah</a></strong>’s Favorite Things list for 2009 and is available in Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale's department stores across the country.
ALANI "LALA" VASQUEZ: POWER FORWARD The newlywed is proof that hard work really does pay off. <a href="http://www.iamlala.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Vasquez</strong></a> worked her way up from intern at an Atlanta radio station to <strong>MTV</strong> VJ, hosting shows such as <em>Direct Effect</em> and <em>TRL</em>—interviewing stars such as <strong>Beyoncé</strong>, <strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/28/jay-z-marketing-power-decoded/">Jay-Z</a> </strong>and <strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/02/16/diddy-talks-branding-at-grammy-awards/">Sean “Diddy” Combs</a></strong>—but her career changed gears after becoming a mom. In 2008, the Latina launched <strong>Krossover Productions</strong> in collaboration with her then-fiance, Denver Nugget <strong>Carmelo Anthony</strong>, film producer <strong>David Haines</strong> and actor <strong>Kevin Phillips</strong>. Vasquez has at least two reality TV shows in the works with Krossover and is one of the executive producers of <em>Tyson</em>, the award-winning independent documentary on former weight champion <strong>Mike Tyson</strong>.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: SMALL FORWARD <strong>VH1</strong> viewers know her as <strong>Evelyn Lozada</strong>’s BFF (and, of course, the wife of retired baller <strong>Eric Williams</strong>) on <strong><em>Basketball Wives</em></strong>, but <a href="http://www.iamjenniferwilliams.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Williams</strong></a> has a business side as well. This spring she will release her own lip gloss line <strong>Lucid Cosmetics</strong>. The spokes model for <strong>Glam Luxe Luxury Hair Extensions</strong> is also principal owner of <strong><a href="http://www.flirtygirlfitness.com/" target="_blank">Flirty Girl Fitness</a></strong>, an upscale women-only fitness center located in both Toronto and Chicago.
KIMBERLI RUSSELL: SHOOTING GUARD <br />Not only is Kimberli the wife of retired baller <strong>Byron Russell</strong> (pictured, right) but also a personal fitness guru who specializes in group training and nutritional counseling. She started <strong>Faith N Fitness Mind, Body and Soul </strong>after becoming a mother and realizing she could share her fitness pointers. Russell has additional projects in the works, including several products released under the <strong>K Russ</strong> brand.
NIKKI SHAW: POINT GUARD <br />When she's not sitting court side as her husband <strong>Brian Shaw</strong> (pictured, right) is handling assistant coach duties for the Lakers, the celebrity chef is making appearances as a finalist on season 3 of the <strong>Food Network</strong>’s <em>Next Food Network Star</em>, <strong>Donald Trump</strong>’s <em>The Ultimate Merger </em>and <strong>Jamie Foxx</strong>’s reality show <em>From G’s to Gents</em>. <a href="http://www.chefnikkishaw.com/"><strong>Chef Nikki</strong> </a>is the owner of <strong>Flavor Caterer</strong>, located in Oakland, California and currently hosts <em>Today’s Flavor</em> on Sirius Channel 106 The Foxxhole, 102.9 KBLX in San Francisco, which is also streamed on 107.5 in New York.