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Courtsey of Mark Cuban/

Undated photo of (from larboard to right) Greg Schipper, Mark Cuban, Dave O’Brien, Mark Wisely, Dave Carr and Mike Sterry. They are the six aboriginal absorbed at their Village apartment.

By Brad Townsend , Staff Writer Contact Brad Townsend on Twitter:

Editor’s note: The afterward appeared in the April 16, 2011, editions of The Dallas Morning News. It’s a admonition that Mark Cuban was like abounding of us in our aboriginal 20s — cash-strapped and analytic for his activity path. We’re bringing it aback today to mark the ceremony of Cuban’s accession in Dallas.

Three weeks afore his 24th birthday, Mark Cuban sputtered into Dallas in his ’77 Fiat X1/9, aperture oil and optimism.

All he had on that July 7, 1982 day was a little cash, channelled clothes, a sleeping bag, a two-seat car with a aperture in the floorboard and an allure to applesauce with bristles guys in a three-bedroom apartment.

His afterwards acceleration to billionaire Mavericks buyer is acclaimed dot-com lore, but what about the backstory? What brought him to Dallas? Who were these absorbed and what became of them?

Meet Greg Schipper, Dave O’Brien, Mike Sterry, Dave Carr and Mark Wisely. Now in their aboriginal 50s and advance beyond the country, they accept camp memories of the arbitrary acquaintance with the cool account glasses, the adolescent they nicknamed Cubano and Slobbins.

“Literally, Cuban landed on our doorstep flat-busted broke,” Schipper says. “Everybody figured, ‘We’ve got bristles guys, what the hell, what’s six? We’ll aloof breach the hire one added way and accomplish it absolutely fun.’ ”

Today, they are disconnected as to whether they saw clues of abundance in the Pittsburgh-raised, Indiana University-educated affair canvass who comatose their place, and Dallas, on a whim.

Was it accident or fate that he accustomed abreast the end of an oil boom, accordingly in one of the cities atomic afflicted by America’s 1981-82 recession?

“Dallas then, like now, had a can-do spirit,” Cuban says. “So there were no banned to what you could do.

“No amount where, I was activity to try to do what I could do, anyway. I anticipate the bigger affair was I had nothing. So I had annihilation to lose, right? It was all about activity for it.”

Having accelerating in 1981 with a bachelor’s in business, Cuban operated a Bloomington, Ind., campus pub alleged Motley’s — until it was cited for accepting arrears patrons, including a wet T-shirt contestant.

Meanwhile, IU acquaintance Schipper accelerating in the bounce of ’82 with no job offers. Sensing opportunity, he collection to Dallas and about anon phoned Cuban.

“Great attitude. Great atmosphere. Great energy. Great-looking women. Great weather. Get your base bottomward here.”

Cuban brand to antic that Schipper deserves credit, or blame, for altering the advance of Dallas sports history.

Through Schipper the dots affix to the four added roommates, all aerial academy classmates from Rochester, Ind.

First to access was O’Brien, an IU fraternity brother of Schipper’s. O’Brien alone out during his chief year and beelined to Dallas, area during the summer of ’81, he had lived with his brother and formed construction.

Next came Sterry and Carr. Sterry formed in an Oklahoma oilfield until his clothes were stolen. Upon abiding to Rochester he saw Carr, who had alone out of Indiana State.

“My mom and dad were mad as hell at me,” Carr says. “Sterry and I went to Oklahoma, got there and begin annihilation we wanted. We knew O’Brien was in Dallas, so we said, ‘Hell, let’s go.’ ”

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The three active a $600-a-month charter at the Hill, a subdivision of the sprawling Village Apartments. To this day, the Village is a young-adult burghal aural the city.

The aboriginal ’80s gave acceleration to Yuppies, and Dallas seemed to abridge the young, upwardly mobile, acquisitive professional. The Village was a melting pot of Yuppies and wannabes from about the country, aggressive hormones and nightly keggers.

Many, including Cuban, agitated student-loan debt. Cramming into apartments like sardines fabricated budgetary if not absolute sense.

“Ours was a appealing nice apartment,” Schipper says. “But by the time we got done with it, it wasn’t.”

Schipper, addressee No. 4, aggregate a bedchamber with frat-brother O’Brien. But Nos. 5 and 6, Wisely and Cuban, were relegated to the active allowance and sleeping accoutrements on the amber abandoned carpet.

“It reeked of Miller Lite and Budweiser and aggregate else,” Wisely says.

“If you didn’t accept a fizz aback you went to bed, you had one aback you woke up.”

None of the six recalls the accommodation number. They artlessly apperceive it as “the Hotel.”

The Hill circuitous has aback been burst and rebuilt. The Hotel was an admiral unit, overlooking a brook and the amphitheater of Greenville Avenue and Northwest Highway.

The closets were taken, so future-billionaire Cuban accumulated his clothes in a corner. Which apparel ability accept been apple-pie was anyone’s guess.

“He appealing able-bodied lived in his corner,” Carr says. “He’d put on his clothes for assignment and they’d be channelled to hell. We’d say, ‘Slobbins, you’re not activity to abrasion that, are you?’ ”

Thankfully, there were two bathrooms, although Cuban says the anhydrate bearings was “pretty nasty,” abnormally aback the two he brought were frayed and scanty.

His aboriginal job in Dallas was bartending at elan on Greenville. Sterry was a approach installer. Carr and Wisely formed construction.

/Mark Cuban

(L-R) Mark Cuban, Scott Susens, Martin Woodall and Greg Schipper.

O’Brien approved affairs activity insurance, again abutting honors-graduate Schipper in phonebook ad sales. Schipper additionally peddled burglar confined afore landing in annual ad sales.

Life wasn’t glamorous, but it was generally bodacious, to borrow a byword from that summer’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

The Hoosier accompaniment transplants annoyed their basketball yen with auto games. None recalls accessory Mavericks amateur aback the aggregation began its third division that fall.

They continued their $18K salaries by scarfing blessed hour aliment at elan, Confetti and Studebaker’s. Home staples included Hamburger Helper, burning soup and mac and cheese — and in Cuban’s case, algid spoonfuls of jarred Ragu or canned craven and dumplings.

“We’d anniversary buy a bag of potatoes that you could bake and eat for a dollar a day,” Sterry says. “And anniversary day we’d grab for the appetite ads, attractive for a new job.”

Of the Hotel dwellers, alone Schipper and O’Brien ahead knew Cuban, from the IU days.

Schipper abreast the others that Cuban was a “riot” and abiding wheeler-dealer.

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Cuban had fabricated added banknote at Indiana by starting alternation letters. Somehow, he acquired use of a campus cafeteria so he could accord disco lessons. He took over Motley’s afterwards persuading the antecedent buyer to let him bandy a affair there and accumulate the proceeds.

Wisely says Schipper and Cuban anon widened the Hotel occupants’ amusing amphitheater “100-fold. We were throwing parties every third weekend. The abode was packed.”

Schipper says he and Cuban were on a two-pronged mission, acumen “the added money we made, the added women we’d get.”

But what was the accord with Cuban’s account glasses? Dark-framed with bottle-thick lenses, they appropriate able-bodied band to accumulate one of the temple accoutrements attached. Usually, Cuban didn’t bother.

“The glasses were consistently bisected falling off,” Schipper says. “They were hilarious.”

Cuban shrugs that he couldn’t allow new ones, adding, “Tape worked. Besides, cipher saw me abrasion them alfresco the Hotel.”

Cuban kept the glasses on the aback lid of the commode, accessible for Sunday mornings aback he scoured the bi-weekly cover-to-cover.

“One morning afterwards one of our parties, we apprehend him bawl ‘Oh [expletive],” Wisely says. “Over the advance of this party, addition had ‘knocked’ his glasses into the toilet.

“What’s he do? Pulls them out, rinses them off and starts reading.”

Cuban showed he could comedy and assignment equally, though. He got a additional job, as a salesman at Dallas’ aboriginal claimed computer software store, Your Business Software. Never apperception that he knew little about computers.

Hey, at atomic by again he had retrieved the faux-felt amber exclusive couch and bleared rear-projection TV that had been in Motley’s. Instead of evil-smelling carpet, now he slept on a decrepit sofa.

“Nasty, breakable bushing caked out of this thing,” chuckles Schipper. “You apparently wouldn’t let your dog beddy-bye on it.”

In December 1982, the Hotel occupants were abashed to acquisition a lockout apprehension on the door, allegorical them their hire was overdue.

They had accustomed their allotment to O’Brien and affected he paid it. But he had abolished and abutting the Air Force. Gulp. The others would accept to aggregation an added $125 each.

“I don’t apperceive if I’m activity to be able to drudge this,” Carr recalls Cuban muttering.

Wisely says the Village “had a way of cartoon bodies in, but afterwards a while it would edger bodies out. Probably, a lot of accouchement were conceived there. A lot of friendships and business relationships apparently were developed and account hatched.”

Cuban and Schipper larboard the Hotel and confused into a adjoining Village subdivision, the Corners. The Hotel II lodgers included Cuban’s adolescent brother Jeff and addition Indiana grad, Scott Susens.

Hotel II was complete for about eight months. Long abundant for Cuban to acquire abundant to buy six of the biggest, fluffiest towels he could find.

Long abundant for Cuban to get accursed from Your Business Software — afterwards defying the boss’s adjustment to accessible the store, rather than abutting a software accord off-site.

That was a Thursday. The abutting afternoon, the Hotel II aggregation rode to Galveston in a red Ford convertible that Cuban bought from a friend, with a analysis that bounced.

Susens and Schipper anamnesis Cuban, amid gawks at girls on the beach, scribbling addendum on a chicken acknowledged pad — the framework of the aggregation he would start, MicroSolutions.

Cuban talked Susens out of an advance cyberbanking job action and into abutting MicroSolutions. But did Cuban burke aback on the nightlife? No. As MicroSolutions grew, so did the ambit of the parties he promoted, until they outgrew the Village.

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Cuban, Schipper, Susens and a Corners acquaintance alleged Jeff Swaney busy a barn on Elm Street and threw a 50-keg back-bite with 2,000 guests advantageous $20 each. Swaney afterwards adapted the barn into Club Clearview, paving Deep Ellum’s revitalization.

“After that party, we afar the money and there’s $5,000 or $6,000 apiece, and we were aflame about that,” Susens says. “But I bethink us thinking, ‘This is peanuts. We’re all activity to accomplish a lot of money someday.’”

They did, abnormally Cuban. MicroSolutions awash for $6 actor in 1990. His abutting venture, Broadcast.com, was acquired by Yahoo in 1999 for $5.9 billion in Yahoo stock.

Susens formed with Cuban until the banal buyout, again remained with Yahoo until 2009. Over the years, Cuban approached Schipper about actuality his “detail” guy, but Schipper was starting a digital-media sales company.

Now Schipper does arrangement assignment for National Geographic and is semiretired in Santa Barbara, Calif. A brace of summers ago, he accompanied “a agglomeration of added knuckleheads from Indiana” on Cuban’s G550 to Cancun for the Mavericks owner’s 50 altogether bash.

Does Schipper affliction not demography one of Cuban’s job offers?

“I’d lived with Mark and knew what he was like,” Schipper says with a laugh. “Even admitting I knew never to bet adjoin him, it wasn’t the appropriate career aisle for me.

“Would I accept a G5 now? Maybe. Would I be any happier? I don’t anticipate so. I couldn’t be any happier with my life.”

Odds apparently were adjoin it, but the four added Hotel I occupants, too, accept accomplished success.

Sterry owns a approach aggregation and absolute acreage in Dallas. A above Mavericks season-ticket holder, Sterry says Cuban would sometimes move Sterry’s kids to his courtside seats.

Wisely owns and operates adaptable parks throughout Indiana. He has visited with Cuban several times aback the Mavericks appear in to comedy the Pacers.

“Someone already asked me about Cuban, and I joked, ‘He’s alive on his additional billion and I’m alive on my additional million,’” Wisely says. “But unless it’s addition abutting to me, it doesn’t appear up that, ‘Mark Cuban and I slept on a beer-stained carpet.’”

Carr alternate to Rochester in 1983 and is a luxury-home builder. He knew Cuban had done able-bodied but was afraid aback Wisely phoned in ’99 to acquaint him about the Broadcast.com sale. He says he bought $2,000 in banal and awash four canicule later, applique $4,000.

“I’ll acquaint you the craziest,” Carr says. “I woke up one night and angry to Fox and he was on a console talking about economics. I’m sitting there thinking, ‘What the hell? This is the guy we alleged Slobbins. This is crazy.’

“One minute, we’re out there almost surviving. The abutting minute the guy’s on TV, talking with some of the world’s arch economists about how to about-face things around.”

O’Brien was in the Air Force for four years. He lived in Rhode Island for 15 years and now lives abreast Clearwater, Fla., and owns two baby packaging and administration companies.

Now he can beam about those Dallas days, and at himself.

“I basically larboard beneath the awning of darkness, with a attache abounding of clothes,” he says. “Those were fun days, but as far as me actuality a responsible, accidental affiliate of society, it wasn’t a acceptable time, to be honest with you.”

When he left, his brother awash his barter and asleep what he could. For years, O’Brien was assertive his brother had acclimatized the Hotel debt.

But a few years ago he contacted Cuban, who, afterwards several e-mail exchanges, teased, “Don’t you owe me some money?” O’Brien phoned Schipper, who told him how adamantine it had been on anybody to appear up with $125.

O’Brien circuitous 5 percent absorption and mailed Cuban a $500 check, abacus that if he didn’t appetite the money he could accord it to his Fallen Patriots Fund.

What did Cuban do? He cashed it, apparently with a smile, for old time’s sake.

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