How an idea on a whim turned Buffalo attorney Cheryl Meyers Buth into the one-woman show of sports agents

If​ a sequel​ to “Jerry Maguire”​ —​ the​ memorable 1996 sports​ drama featuring a wayward​ sports agent determined to uphold​ his​ moral fiber​​ and not value corporate interest over his clients — were in the works, the organizers might consider casting Cheryl Meyers Buth as the lead.

The 52-year-old Buffalo-based criminal defense attorney has been working a side gig as a sports agent since 2015, having come up with the idea while on a vacation in Florida. Laid up with a foot injury thanks to a moody stingray, she said she spent the bulk of her time pondering life and what she wanted to pursue after her days practicing law were over. The idea of being a sports agent popped into her head.

“It was always meant to be something, you know, down the road that I could use to supplement what I’m doing here at the firm,” Buth says. But it turned into something much more than that.

After doing some research on the industry, Buth became officially certified by the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and just like that, she was off and running.

Buth created R1 Sports Management — short for Round One draft pick, meaning she wanted to represent the best of the best talent-wise — and signed her first client, Trahson Burrell from Memphis University. She says she landed Burrell after cold-calling then-head coach Josh Pastner and inquiring about NBA prospects who needed agents. With Buth’s help, Burrell went on to play in the G-League for the Long Island Nets and the Memphis Hustle.

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