The Former IU Hoops Stars Helping Hoosiers Sleep Soundly

Former IU basketball players Steve Green, a dentist, and Brian Evans, a medical-device salesman, played for the Hoosiers 20 years apart (the early 1970s and 1990s, respectively), but now have partnered up to create Arora Specialty Sleep Clinic, a service that treats snoring and sleep apnea through custom-made mouthpieces. 

How did you make the jump from basketball to business?

Brian: When I got to IU, Steve had retired from basketball. But he would come back to talk to us. I was a big fan and the [unofficial] historian of the team. A few years ago, he convinced me over coffee that there was a business model in devices dedicated to just snoring and sleep apnea for Hoosiers. We know our backgrounds are similar, especially as it relates to playing for Coach Knight. We’re not afraid of hard work, of criticism.

Steve: We wore the same number, 34, and Brian was my favorite player. We talk a lot of basketball in between patients.

How did Arora Specialty Sleep Clinic come to be?

Steve: I had both snoring and sleep apnea. The only treatment option was a CPAP machine that I couldn’t stand, so I became interested in dental sleep, which involves a custom-made oral device, and found I could fabricate one of my own. I was my first successful patient. I just knew that there are way more people who are undiagnosed—about 90 percent of Hoosiers.

What does “Arora” mean?

Brian: “Dawn of a new day.” We uncovered after the fact that Sleeping Beauty’s name is Aurora as well. It looked right to us. A lot of our marketing is catered toward the bed partner—more times than not, it’s a man who’s snoring, and it affects the bed partner. The association plays into our hand.

Is there a sleep component to the pandemic?

Steve: We know that if you sleep well [around the time of] getting the flu vaccine, you get the full benefits. If you’re a poor sleeper, your vaccine may only be about 50 percent effective. 

What’s the best position to sleep in?

Steve: On your back with your chin slightly forward. Side sleeping can also be all right. Just not on your stomach.