Football star, broadcaster, entrepreneur
Born: April 7, 1975, in Roanoke, Virginia
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2023: Sports
Over a 10-year career as a running back with the New York Giants, Tiki Barber’s legs carried him to a franchise record 10,449 career rushing yards—the equivalent of more than 100 football fields.
Born Attim Kiambu Barber, Tiki and his twin brother, Ronde, were destined to play in the National Football League. Their father, James Barber, was a star running back at Virginia Tech from 1971-73 and later played in the now-defunct World Football League.
James Barber and the twins’ mother, Geraldine, divorced when the boys were four. Thereafter, Geraldine raised the twins and their older brother, working as many as three jobs to support her boys. Under Geraldine’s guiding hand, Tiki developed a strong work ethic and a love for sports. In high school, he excelled in football and also won a district title in wrestling and three long-jump state championships. He was an academic standout, too, graduating as class valedictorian with a 4.0 average.
Tiki and Ronde both attended the University of Virginia on athletic scholarships, with Tiki majoring in commerce. During his junior year, Tiki, a running back, rushed for almost 1,400 yards and helped lead his team to a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title. The following season, he topped 1,300 yards and was named ACC Player of the Year.
Drawn by Tiki’s speed and pass-catching ability, the New York Giants selected him in the second round of the 1997 NFL draft. (Ronde, a cornerback, went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the following round.) Used sparingly in his first few seasons as a pro, Tiki fulfilled his promise in 2000, surpassing 1,000 yards rushing and helping the Giants reach the Super Bowl. (The Giants lost 34-7 to the Baltimore Ravens; it turned out to be Tiki’s only trip to the big game.)
Tiki rushed for more than 1,000 yards in five of the next six seasons for the Giants, including a career-high 1,860 yards in 2005—a Giants’ season record. The following year, during a season in which he would rush for 1,662 yards, Barber announced his intention to retire. He departed the Giants with at least 22 franchise records, including most career rushing yards; most career all-purpose yards (17,359, including punt returns); and most career 100+ yard rushing games (40). In 2010, he was chosen an inaugural member of the Giants’ Ring of Honor.
After retiring, Tiki landed a broadcast job at NBC, where contributed to the “Today” show and “Football Night in America.” Currently, the longtime Florham Park resident is co-host of the “Evan & Tiki” drive-time show on New York radio station WFAN. He also hosts a sports radio show for Audacy (formerly CBS Sports Radio) and is a game-time NFL analyst for CBS Sports. He has also worked at the YES Network and Fox News; made numerous TV guest appearances; and in 2008, helped broadcast the Beijing Olympics for MSNBC.
As an entrepreneur, Tiki co-founded Julius Inc., an influencer-marketing platform, and Thuzio, a networking and content company specializing in live events. His philanthropic endeavors include United for A.L.I.C.E., a United Way of Northern New Jersey program that helps families with financial struggles.