- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - The retired player turned commentator, turned coach, turned front-office executive - their stories are out there.

The sporting spotlight is still on those groups of men and women, albeit in a different form.

But what happens for everyone else when the cheering stops, when the hefty paychecks stop rolling in?

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David Ostrowsky, a 29-year-old Natick resident, sought out the answers.

Ostrowsky, a marketing writer at WinterWyman as well as a part-time SAT/ACT tutor, was welcome to taking on another challenge.

His book, “Game Over or Game On? How Pro Athletes Leave Sports and Enjoy the Game of Life” hit shelves on Feb. 4.

According to the book’s inside cover, it is “an account of how various pro athletes from the past several decades have made contributions in the fields of entertainment, business, politics, community service, coaching, management, and broadcasting upon retirement.”

For Ostrowsky, the idea hit him upon reading Sports Illustrated’s annual “Where Are They Now?” issue.

“I realized there weren’t too many books on this topic at all,” he said, “and I felt like it was the kind of thing that deserved more than a once-a-year issue.”

So on New Year’s Day 2013, Ostrowsky got cracking. After doing interviews and writing over a nine-month period, he sent in his manuscript in September.

“It was kind of a thing where you go one by one, talking with former players who became lawyers, businessmen, politicians - it’s interesting to find out everyone’s path,” he said.

He admits that the process wasn’t seamless from the beginning.

“At the beginning, I got off to a slow start,” he said. “I spoke with (former Buccaneers and Falcons running back) Warrick Dunn, and he gave me quite a bit of time. I talked to one person after another, and with each interview it built confidence in the work.”

What followed were interviews with a wide range of personalities, from ESPN’s Chris Berman to former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis to former NFL quarterback Mark Brunell.

Ostrowsky said that he wanted to focus on players who weren’t involved in sports or broadcasting in retirement, who aren’t constant television presences.

Longtime major league outfielder Steve Finley, for example, is now an insurance agent in California. A 19-year veteran and former Gold Glove winner, Finley has transitioned out of the game and into what some may call a “regular” job.

“He’s on LinkedIn,” pointed out Ostrowsky, who grew up in Newton and attended Newton South before graduating from Brandeis. His wife, Lauren (Schreider) Ostrowsky, is a 2000 Natick High grad.

The book, published by Mill City Press out of Minneapolis, Minn., can be found at various local booksellers and at Amazon.com.

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