The Community Assist
John Laskowski is long past his basketball days. He hasn’t played in a professional game since 1977, yet the IU superstar continues to be a celebrity in the Bloomington community. This past November, Laskowski opened a Culver’s ten minutes away from campus. After breaking the record for sales on the first two consecutive days, Laskowski continues to rake in customers. The Bloomington Culver’s scored a 97 out of 100 on their monthly check in: “That’s unheard of, especially for the first ever check in,” says Laskowski.
But how did Laskowski find success outside the hardwood? After not being re-signed by The Chicago Bulls in 1977, Laskowski found himself wandering back to Bloomington to start over again.
“There were eight guys from that ‘75 team that went onto play in the NBA,” says Laskowski. “When I was done, there were still seven left; I was the first guy out. But that turned out to be a good thing. Coach Knight gave me a call, and it led to a long broadcasting career, and now a business career.”
He eventually was the color commentator for the Hoosiers for 33 years. Being able to connect with players outside of basketball set him up to be more successful and amicable he said. “Las” said that he was a shy kid, and he used his television career to break out of his shell, setting him up for success later down the road.
It wasn’t until 2014, three years after retiring from broadcasting, that Laskowski stumbled upon a Culvers during an alumni trip in Wisconsin. Wanting to get into the restaurant business, Laskowski and his son Scott started the process to open a Culvers in the Bloomington community.
After four years, the father-son duo were able to bring the Butterburger to B-town. Those people skills he worked on during his commentating stint helped Laskowski even more when preparing for the opening of his business.
“It’s pretty cool working with a living legend in the IU community,” said Jared Rigdon, a former co-worker of John’s during his training at the Indianapolis Culver’s. “The more he gives back and the more he helps out the community the more his fame will continue to grow.”
Laskowski says that finding Culver’s seemed to fit his niche just like his role on the ‘75 squad. He preached that “Sometimes when you get disappointed in life, something better could be on the other side.” Every setback Laskowski had found in his career; he found a way to overcome every obstacle he faced. The “super sub” continues to put on a show for the city of Bloomington and leaves each fan leaving happy and satisfied.