THE OFFICIAL MAGA ZINE OF THE NATIONAL BA SK E TBALL RE TIRED PL AY ERS A SSOCIATION
LEGENDS OF THE COURT JO JO WHITE & SPENCER HAYWOOD INDUCTED INTO THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
NBRPA News Hall of Fame Milestones Journey of Discovery The Gift of Life BY A PL AY ER , A BOUT THE PL AY ERS, F OR THE PL AY ERS A ND FA NS
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CONTENT THE A JOURNEY GIFT OF DISCOVERY OF LIFE
Rebound Magazine PUBLISHER/CEO
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FROM the PUBLISHER
HEARING HEALTH Series:
NBRPA NEWS 4 LEGENDS IN VEGAS 5 CIVIL RIGHTS TOUR 6 THE NBRPA ELECTION RESULTS IN WITH THE NEW 8 AN EDUCATION INVESTMENT 10 TAKE YOUR CAREER TO THE HOOP 11 SHOWING NBA CARES
8 NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL 1 HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015 22 EVENT PHOTOS 24 SPENCER HAYWOOD
Excell Hardy Jr., Erin Miller, Scott Rochelle, Mariam Kurdadze, Brittany Ray NBRPA BOARD MEMBERS
THE NEWSROOM 50 QUEEN OF KINGS MUCH RESPECT GIVEN A WORTH HONOR 51 DETROIT CONNECTION 52 A MAN WHO BLAZED THE TRAIL RAISING FUNDS ON THE LINKS 53 HONORING THOSE WHO PAVED THE WAY HONORING AN NBA CHAMPION A PIONEER IN HER SPORT ‘A SHINING EXAMPLE’
HALL of FAME
LEGENDS of the COURT 2 CATCHING UP WITH BOB LANIER 4 46 CATCHING UP WITH KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR 48 OSCAR ROBERTSON: PLAYER OF THE CENTURY
4 WELCOMING BACK THE LEGENDS 1 15 DINNER & PROGRAM 16 GIVING TO THE GIVERS 17 A WORLD AT PLAY
CHAPTER NEWS ReboundTalk
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54 MOSES MALONE 56 DARRYL DAWKINS 58 OBITUARIES
Thurl Bailey, Chairman of the Board Dwight Davis, Vice Chairman Marvin Roberts, Treasurer Nancy Lieberman, Secretary Otis Birdsong, Past Chairman Robert A. Elliott, Past Chairman Dr. George W. Tinsley Sr., Past Chairman Rick Barry, Director Spencer Haywood, Director Eldridge Recasner, Director Mike Glenn, Director James Donaldson, Director LaRue Martin Jr., Director Casey Shaw, Director Johnny Newman, Director David Naves, Director
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FROM the PUBLISHER
CELEBRATING PLAYERS AND COACHES WHO ADVANCE BASKETBALL
elcome to the Legends Fantasy Weekend edition of Rebound, the NBA-approved Official Magazine of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. As Rebound moves into its fifth year, we are excited to present new
opportunities to our members, sharing fascinating stories of professional basketball players, supporting members and connecting fans to the legends of the game. The Legends Fantasy Weekend pairs the NBRPA with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at the beautiful Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, November 20-22. This event is the NBRPA’s charitable fundraiser for the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund has provided more than $1.5 million in educational funds to underserved communities and college scholarships for NBRPA members and their families. This year’s event is anchored by the Legends Sports Philanthropy Awards Gala on Saturday, November 21. The LFW, a second-year premier event, celebrates a select few players and coaches who have given tirelessly for the advancement of basketball. This year is no exception. The honorees and guests include Lenny Wilkens, Jalen Rose, John Starks, Rick Barry, Jo Jo White, Dave Cowens, Calvin Murphy, Spencer Haywood, Gene Keady, Teresa Weatherspoon and more! This event is a unique opportunity to get to know these legends up-close-and-personal during the Fantasy Weekend at Mohegan Sun. At the same time, the Hall of Fame hosts its annual men’s college tip-off
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tournament featuring eight NCAA Division I college programs: Purdue, Florida, St. Joseph’s, Old Dominion, Buffalo, Niagara, North Carolina A&T and Vermont. On another note: Rebound is excited share with you that it is becoming more than a magazine. Rebound has expanded its focus to concentrate on gathering former professional athletes’ stories through both video and audio to complement the magazine’s outreach. Each current and former pro basketball player has a fascinating story on how they reached the pinnacle of their sport: making the NBA, WNBA, ABA or Harlem Globetrotters. Each has so much to teach with how “We Made This Game” and “Where Are They Now?” With only 1,500 former NBA players in the world, this elite fraternity of professional basketball players has a lot to share, give, learn and teach. Thank you for all of your support. We are grateful for your participation and excited to continue to grow our community! Matt Fish Publisher, Rebound email@example.com
FROM THE NBRPA PRESIDENT & CEO
he weekend of November 20-22 is made for legends. Legends, not myths. Our organization is a group of people who intimately understand that you can only make others great by being great yourself. And being great goes beyond what you have accomplished on the 94 ft. x 50 ft. hard court, but what you were able to accomplish when the final shot clock buzzer of your playing career went off. November 20-22 is our Legends Fantasy Weekend and it is a time to reflect on how less than 2,000 professionals in the entire world can impact families everywhere with the tenets of good sportsmanship, leadership and dedication. This is also a weekend of many historical events. It is the weekend an Egyptian President, named Anwar Sadat, made a historical visit to Israel in 1977 and started a world-changing peace process. It is the beginning of Bible Week in America. It is the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s last speech in Dallas. A prime function of people who are legends is to keep hope alive… despite adversity or challenge. That’s what Legends do: You don’t just set an example, you set the RIGHT example. And that’s what we celebrate at Mohegan each year. Yes, it is an opportunity for fans to enjoy an incredible weekend, meet Legends, and even see some excellent college basketball up-close and personal. We all love these opportunities. But there is a deeper purpose for the NBRPA on this weekend. This is our primary opportunity to fund the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund which helps players transition to new careers after bas-
ketball and also helps their children and grandchildren access higher education. There are great programs throughout the professional sports network for retired athletes, but as Legends in the NBRPA, each of us should take great pride in the strong network of support we provide to those no longer playing on the professional court. Our association is the strongest among professional athletes precisely because we do take the time to care and demonstrate that at events like Mohegan Sun. If you haven’t taken the time this year to get engaged, do so now. Contact Scott Rochelle in our office to see what you can do to make this an even greater weekend for former players and fans. This is a wonderful opportunity for corporate sponsors and their support has meaningful results for our member families. Because we are a 501(c)(3), your supporters can stand strongly with you in positively impacting the lives of pro basketball players from the NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA. Come join Jalen Rose, Lenny Wilkens, Rick Barry, John Starks, Calvin Murphy, Spencer Haywood, Teresa Weatherspoon and more sports icons and non-sports luminaries as we put on a full-court display about what this organization is all about, both on and off the court. Arnie Fielkow President & CEO National Basketball Retired Players Assoc.
NBRPA NEWS Concordia University, Advantage Signs & Apparel, EarQ, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Reel Reporting, Hype Socks, and DentaQuest. NBRPA Chairman Thurl Bailey expressed his appreciation for all the support the organization receives.Â Thank you again to all our partners for their support and contribution of this event. The rest of the day included a meetand-greet for partners and members in the Legends Lounge, the Legends Entrepreneurs Summit presented by Wells Fargo Advisors featuring insight into the most successful businessmen and women, and a trip to the Thomas & Mack Center to enjoy NBA Summer League action. Legacy XChange sponsored a hospitality suite and happy hour, in which former Warriors great Baron Davis screened his new documentary on the Drew League.
LEGENDS IN VEGAS
A SUCCESSFUL LEGENDS WORLD SPORTS CONFERENCE
he Legends World Sports Conference (LWSC) in Las Vegas was a resounding success, as over 120 former NBA players embarked on the New York New York Hotel for three days of education and entertainment. Amidst the atmosphere of the NBAâ€™s Summer League competition, the NBRPA began with NBRPA CEO and President Arnie Fielkow welcoming partners and sponsors to Las Vegas along with an introduction to the NBRPA Board of Directors. Partners included Wells Fargo Advisors, Spherady, Legacy XChange, Kaplan University, Kiva Recovery, Athlife, Central Rexall Drugs,
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The next morning featured our Legends Breakfast, featuring voting for new Board of Director positions and a presentation by the NBA on the current status of the league. After, specific partners sponsored breakout sessions on the issues of education, financial management and substance abuse. Wells Fargo Advisors sponsored a Legends Ladies event in the afternoon where people shopped and toured a local Las Vegas Museum. Concurrently, NBRPA members headed to Nellis Air Force Base for a Full Court Press event with local youth. Our final day started with a technology summit, in which industry leaders spoke about monetizing content and how NBRPA members can build a personal brand. The Harlem Globetrotters then celebrated their 90th anniversary with a breakfast, presentation and basketball-twirling show.
CIVIL RIGHTS TOUR NBRPA TEACHES 200 NEW ORLEANS YOUTHS ABOUT CITY’S HISTORY
s part of the NBRPA’s annual Civil Rights History Tour, 200 participating youngsters ages 11 to 16 returned to the world-acclaimed Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Historic 16th Street Baptist Church, the University of Alabama, and historic Salemand the Edmund Pettus Bridge. NBRPA Board Member Eldridge Recasner, who grew up in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and starred at Alfred Lawless High School before going on to an eightyear career in the NBA, joined Fielkow and other chaperones on the Civil Rights History Tour. Recasner, who now lives in Seattle after a Hall of Fame collegiate career at the University of Washington, was excited to return to New Orleans for this very important initiative. “New Orleans will always be my home, and I am thrilled to have such a wonderful opportunity to teach young people that could have been me a few decades ago,” Recasner said. “Programming that educates our youth about past societal struggles and the heroes that helped usher in progress are essential to the NBRPA Mission, and I am proud to participate and support our Civil Rights History Tour as a Board Member.” The National Basketball Retired Players Association hosted a Full Court Press event that included former NBA players ‘Hot Rod’ Williams, Sleepy Floyd, Donald Royal, Eldridge Recasner and current New Orleans Pelicans assistant and New Orleans native Robert Pack at Tulane’s Hertz Center. All participating youth were pre-registered by the NBRPA, PAL and Leadership Foundations and the event was not open to the general public.
THE NBRPA ELECTION RESULTS RICK BARRY, SPENCER HAYWOOD RETURN ON BOARD
aismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood have been reelected to the NBRPA Board of Directors, while former Harlem Globetrotter David Naves and former Philadelphia 76er Casey Shaw are newly elected to the Board. This is the first NBRPA Board election that has taken place since the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee instituted representation of the following categories to create a more diverse Board that will represent a true cross-section of membership. The elected officials include: • One retired player from the Globetrotters • One age 60-plus retired player from the National Basketball Association or American Basketball Association • One age 41 to 60 retired player from the National Basketball Association • One under-40 retired player from the National Basketball Association • One retired player from the Women’s National Basketball Association • One staff representative from the National Basketball Association • One staff representative from the National Basketball Players’ Association • Five at-large retired players Barry and Haywood have both been on the NBRPA Board since 2013, helping move the organization to an all-time high in membership and member programs. Their reelection came in the “at-large” category. Naves, a first-time Board Member, was elected in the “Globetrotter” category, and Shaw is a first-time elected official in the Under-40 category.
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IN WITH THE NEW WELCOMING A NEW CLASS TO THE NBRPA
KEVIN BROOKS: After graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Brooks was selected in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nuggets traded for Brooks before the season began, and Denver was where Brooks played until 1994. After his career in the NBA, Brooks went overseas and played for teams in Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Sweden and New Zealand until 2004. Today, Brooks is the executive producer and analyst of Inside the Game, a weekly internet basketball show in Australia and also is an assistant for the Adelaide 36ers. BRUCE CAPERS: Capers played collegiate basketball at Berry College in Georgia, earning titles such as team captain and Team MVP, as well as winning the Coaches Award. After graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree, Capers pursued his dream of playing professional basketball in the International Professional Basketball League. Capers spent two years overseas before returning and touring with the Washington Generals and later the Harlem Globetrotters where he earned the nickname “Sugar Bear” because of his bright smile, charismatic personality and ball-handling skills. Currently, Capers is the President and CEO of Capers Enterprise. GARFIELD HEARD: “Gar” played for the Seattle Supersonics, Chicago Bulls, Buffalo Braves/San Diego Clippers, and Phoenix Suns during his 15-year NBA career. For his career, Heard averaged 8.7 points per game to go along with 7.5 rebounds. During his time in Phoenix, Heard made it to the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, even hitting a shot at the buzzer to extend Game 5. After his career, Heard spent time as a head coach for the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards. EVERETTE STEPHENS: Stephens is a 6-foot-2 guard from Evanston, Ill., and alumnus of Purdue University. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Stephens in the second round of the 1988 NBA Draft. During his NBA career, Stephens also spent time with the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks. FRANK STREETY: Known as “Shake ‘N Bake,” Streety played his college ball at Murray State and was well known on the streetball courts in Harlem before joining the Globetrotters. Streety was named to ESPN’s list of the top 24 players ever produced by Rucker Park in New York. MARKITA ALDRIDGE-WOODS: Markita is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and played for the Colombus Quest in the American Basketball League and later the Washington Mystics of the WNBA. Since 2002, Markita has been a topproducing loan officer with WestStar Mortgage located in Lake Ridge, Va. She has been called “The Queen of Mortgage Financing,” offering her clients expert service in mortgage financing regardless of credit history. JOE LOUIS CALDWELL: A native Texan, Caldwell spent six seasons (1964–1970) in the NBA and five seasons (1970–1975) in the ABA,
an All-Star in both leagues. He was also a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won the gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Nicknamed “Pogo Joe” or “Jumping Joe” for his leaping abilities, Caldwell was a 6-foot-5 guard/forward from Arizona State University. Though drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1964, he spent the majority of his NBA career with the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks franchise. After averaging 21.1 points per game during the 1969-70 NBA season, Caldwell jumped to the rival ABA, playing for the Carolina Cougars from 1970-1974. More than just a high-flying scorer, Caldwell was also a tenacious defender, and basketball legend Julius Erving once said that Caldwell guarded him better than any player in the ABA. He scored 12,619 combined career points in the NBA and ABA. In 2010, ASU retired his collegiate No. 32. RICHARD LEE COFFEY: Born in Aurora, N.C., Coffee played collegiately for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, and played forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 1990–91 NBA season. Richard also served three years in the United States Army as an Airborne Paratrooper — a member of the “First to Fight, Last to Fall” 82nd Airborne. After his stint in the NBA, he continued his basketball career by playing and coaching abroad in Europe and Asia. In his professional career, Richard has started multiple businesses, worked in corporate America, and has given presentations throughout the United States. MICHAEL “MIKE” D’ANTONI: After a college career at Marshall University, D’Antoni was drafted by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the second round of the 1973 NBA Draft. He was all-NBA Rookie Second Team choice for 1974. After three seasons for the Kings (1973–1975), he played for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1975–1976, and for the San Antonio Spurs (again in the NBA) in 1976–1977. As a head coach of the Phoenix Suns, he won NBA Coach of the Year honors for the 2004–05 NBA season after the Suns posted 41 more wins than the previous season. He coached the New York Knicks from 2008-2012. He last coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012–14 and is known for favoring a fastpaced, offense-oriented system. CHARLES EDGE: Edge began his career in 1973, playing for the Memphis Tams.
He later played for the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward born in Hamtramck, Mich., played for LeMoyneOwen College before he was drafted both by the New York Knickerbockers in the 1973 NBA Draft and by the Phoenix Suns in 1972. Edge worked for many years at Loyola High School in Detroit. In retirement, he has stayed involved with the school’s basketball program. BARBARA FARRIS: Farris began her WNBA playing career with the Detroit Shock beginning in 2000. She spent nine seasons in the league, winning a championship with the Detroit Shock (now Tulsa) in 2003 under Bill Laimbeer. She went to play with three franchises, including the Liberty (2006-07) and Phoenix Mercury (2008). She has also been an assistant coach with the New York Liberty. ROBERT “BOB” FERRY: Both an NBA player and executive, Ferry emerged from college as a 6-foot-8 center from Saint Louis University, selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the seventh pick of the 1959 NBA Draft. Ferry played 10 seasons in the NBA with the Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Baltimore Bullets, scoring 5,780 points and grabbing 3,343 rebounds. After his playing career ended, he became an assistant coach and later general manager for the Bullets, winning the NBA Executive of the Year Award in 1979 and 1982. He later had a brief stint on The NBA on NBC as an “Insider” alongside Peter Vescey in the early 1990s. Ferry’s son Danny had a 13-year NBA playing career and later served as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks. SARUNAS MARCIULIONIS: Born in Kaunas, Lithuanian, he was one of the first Europeans to become a regular in the NBA. In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, together with teammate Arvydas Sabonis, he led the USSR national team to a gold medal in basketball. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the sixth round of the 1987 NBA draft and moved to the NBA in 1989, playing four years with the Warriors and finishing as the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year Award in both 1992 and 1993. Marciulionis became one of the first Europeans to get significant playing time in the NBA, helping to lead the way for the internationalization of the league
NEW MEMBERS OF NBRPA IN 2015: Zaid Adbul-Aziz, Nick Anderson, Darrell Armstrong, John Bagley, Jimmie Bakser Jr. John Baum, Srt Becher, Dennis Bell, Ryan Bowen, Brad Branson, Frank Brickowski, Randy Brown, Joe Bryant, Pat Burke, Martin Byrnes, Cedric Ceballos, Ben Coleman, Tony Delk, Eric Fernsten, Chris Ford, Matt Geiger, Roy Hinson, Julius Hodge, Jeff Hornacek, Charles Hoxie, Reginald Johnson, George T. Johnson, Kevin Joyce, Bill Laimbeer, Marcus Liberty, Randy Livingston, Bob Martin, Tony Massenburg, Tim McCormick, Chris McNealy, Lowes Moore, Charles Nash, Swen Nater, Greg Ostertag, James Price, Sam Robinson, Bernard Robinson, Dave Robisch, Ralph Sampson, Jeff Sanders, Dave Schellhase, Detlef Schrempf, Rashid Shabazz, Purvis Short, Wayne Simien Jr., Elmore Smith, Joe Smith, John Wallace, Rory White, Aaron Williams, Sam Williams, Alexander Wright Jr., George Brown, George Moore, Andrew Walker.
NBRPA NEWS in the late 1990s. He went on to play for the Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings, finishing his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets in the 1996–97 season. On August 8, 2014, Marciulionis was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. ROBERT “BOB” MCADOO: A former player and coach standing at 6-foot-9, he played center and power forward in his 21-year playing career, 14 of those in the NBA. McAdoo was an NBA Most Valuable Player and a five-time NBA All-Star. He won NBA championships in 1982 and 1985, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. He is also one of very few players to have won both the NBA and the Euroleague championship as a player. McAdoo also won three more NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013, while serving as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat. CHARLES EDWARD SHACKLEFORD: Playing as center or a power forward, he was renowned for his rebounding, playing six seasons in the NBA. Shackleford was selected by the
New Jersey Nets in the second round (32nd overall pick) of the 1988 NBA Draft. He had a career high of 23 points and 26 rebounds in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks in 1990. His rebounds tied for second-most for the Nets in a single game until 2005. In 1991, he went on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers, and in 1994, he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves. After a brief stint in the Continental Basketball Association with the Idaho Stampede, Shackleford joined the Charlotte Hornets in 1999. He played in 32 games for the Hornets in the 1998–99 NBA season, the last he played. SHERI LYNETTE SAM: A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Sam was selected by the Orlando Miracle in the 1999 WNBA Draft and became one of the Miracle’s most productive players that year. She later played three seasons (2000, 2001, 2002) with the Miami Sol followed by one season with the Minnesota Lynx. Sam won a WNBA Championship in 2004
with the Seattle Storm. She went on to play for the Charlotte Sting, the Indiana Fever and the Detroit Shock. Her 2008 season with the Detroit Shock was the last of her 10-year WNBA career. Internationally, Sam has played for Ashdod in Israel, and Panionios in Greece. TAMEKA WILLIAMS-JETER: The former UConn starter was drafted sixth overall in the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. She also spent time playing for the Connecticut Sun. In 2003, she set a WNBA single-season record for field-goal accuracy, with a percentage of 66.8 percent. While her WNBA career was still going, she joined Ohio State as an assistant coach for five years and then worked at Kansas until leaving in 2011 to focus entirely on the growth of her Nationwide Insurance agency in Texas. She has also served as an analyst on ESPN. Williams-Jeter is currently an assistant coach for the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team.
AN EDUCATION INVESTMENT
University, an NBRPA preferred higher education partner. The announcement was made at the NBRPA’s annual Legends Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. The starting five receiving scholarships to attend Kaplan University are retired NBA players Adonal Foyle, Joe Smith, James Donaldson, Kevin A. Loder and Eldridge Recasner. “Our partnership with Kaplan University is a great fit for former players looking to create career opportunities in life after basketball through education,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, who played 12 years in the NBA. “When one door closes, others need to be opened and education is very often the key.” “Like most Kaplan University
students, retired athletes are juggling a lot of competing responsibilities. They’re older, raising families and also want to make a lasting difference not just in their own lives, but in the larger community,” said Craig Collins, Senior Vice President of Kaplan University Corporate Development. “So, a university like Kaplan, which today is helping some 41,000 adult learners pursue their education and career goals, fits into their playbook because of its convenience.” “Our relationship with the NBRPA helps underscore the importance of life-long learning and education. Regardless of one’s situation, education plays an important role in helping individuals find fulfillment in careers and
KAPLAN UNIVERSITY AND NBRPA ANNOUNCE STARTING FIVE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
he National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, announced the first five recipients of its scholarship program with Kaplan
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life,” said Dr. Wade Dyke, President of Kaplan University. Founded in 1937, Kaplan University serves adult learners through a wide array of offerings and has more than 180 program offerings. In 2014 and 2015, Kaplan University ranked among the best Online Bachelor Degree Programs by U.S. News & World Report. ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS Adonal Foyle starred at Colgate University. Drafted in the first round as the eighth overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in 1997, Foyle earned his Bachelor’s degree (History) from Colgate, graduating with honors in 1999. He played for 12 years in the NBA for two teams: the Golden State Warriors (1997-2007) and the Orlando Magic (2007-2009). Since retiring from professional basketball, Foyle has been busy working with various foundations he helped start, including the nonpartisan Democracy Matters (DemocracyMatters. org) and the Kerosene Lamp Foundation (KeroseneLampFoundation.org) that empowers youth in the Eastern Caribbean and the United States to take control of their futures. In 2009, he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, joining eight other NBA players who have been so honored. In 2013, he published his first children’s book, “Too Tall Foyle,” followed by “Winning the Money Game” in 2015. Today, Foyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Finance at Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology. Joe Smith was the National College Player of the Year (Maryland) and No. 1 overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft after his sophomore season. Over the course of his 16-year career, Smith played for a record 12 NBA teams, including the Golden State Warriors (1995-1998), the Minnesota Timberwolves (1998-
2003) and the Milwaukee Bucks (2003-2006). Born and raised in Norfolk, Va., he wrapped up his NBA career in 2011 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Today, Smith resides in Los Angeles and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communications at Kaplan University’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. James Donaldson starred at Washington State University (1976-1979), graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/ Psychology. A former NBA All-Star, he played professional basketball for 20 years, including 14 seasons with five NBA teams including the Seattle Supersonics (1981-83), San Diego (1984) and Los Angeles Clippers (1985-86), Dallas Mavericks (1986-1992), New York Knicks (1992) and Utah Jazz (1993, 1995). Today, Donaldson resides in Seattle and operates the Donaldson Clinic, a physical therapy and sports rehabilitation clinic in Mills Creek, Wash., that he established in 1990. He plans to pursue a Medical Billing and Coding certificate from Kaplan University. Kevin A. Loder played basketball at and graduated from Alabama State University. He was a firstround selection (17th overall) by the Kansas City Kings in the 1981 NBA Draft. Kevin played three seasons in the NBA from 1981 to 1984 for the Kings and San Diego Clippers. A native of Cassopolis, Mich., Loder serves as Vice President of the NBRPA’s Houston Chapter and is the Founder and Managing Principal of BTBB Consulting Group in Houston, Texas. He lives with his wife in League City, Texas, and plans to pursue a Project Management Graduate certificate at Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology. Eldridge Recasner starred at the University of Washington (19861990) and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree (History) in 1990. He played professional basketball in Europe and in the CBA before playing in the NBA (1994-2002) for
several teams, including the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers. Subsequent to retiring in 2002, Recasner coached basketball. He lives with his wife and family in Bellevue, Wash., and plans to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration degree at Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology. ABOUT KAPLAN UNIVERSITY Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, studentcentered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Kaplan University serves approximately 41,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 14 campuses in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin, and a Kaplan University Learning Center in Maryland. Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan, Inc., a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan’s higher education institutions serves approximately 61,000 students online and through 56 campus-based schools across the United States and offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training and programs for kids in grades K-12. Kaplan, Inc. is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company and its largest division. For more information, visit kaplanuniversity.edu.
TAKE YOUR CAREER TO THE HOOP FURTHER YOUR EDUCATION WITH KAPLAN UNIVERSITY
arlier this year at NBA All-Star weekend, the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced a new higher education partnership with Kaplan University. Kaplan University was founded in 1937 and serves adult learners just like you through a variety of offerings and has more than 180 programs to choose from. The University has the unique expertise to be able to meet the NBRPA’s members where they are, at various stages in your life, and assist you in reaching your educational and career goals. The University currently has more than 41,000 students enrolled. Through the partnership, Kaplan is providing 10 full college scholarships to NBRPA members. Adonal Foyle is one of the scholarship recipients. He began studying for his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in August. Rebound caught up with Foyle recently to get his perspective on returning to school. Why did you apply for the scholarship? “I have always been an advocate of higher education. When I saw the Kaplan opportunity, I felt this would be a great way to continue on my educational path.” What benefits do you expect from your experience with Kaplan and earning your MBA? “I feel the benefits will revolve around a greater understanding of many business principles. Having dedicated half my life to the sport, I feel now is the time for me to focus on learning more about business.” How would you describe the
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experience so far? “The experience has been great. Everyone on the Kaplan team has been very supportive and has assisted every step of the way.” Kaplan University offers both online and campus classes. You are taking online courses. Since you are not sitting in room together, what is the interaction with other students like? “My classmates are my new teammates. Although we meet in a ‘virtual arena,’ we all have the same common goal to succeed.” Similarly, what has interacting with your professor been like? “Professors have been very direct, clear and concise.” Each student enrolled at Kaplan University has an Education Advisor – someone who is with you when you start studying and stays with you through to graduation. How would you describe working with your advisor? “My Education Advisor has been great. He is like the perfect point guard - just setting me up to succeed! He is very attentive and has been an immediate advocate for my success.” What would you want other players to know about your Kaplan experience? “This type of educational opportunity is a great opportunity. Even if you are still playing, you can make the time to complete the degree program.” What has been the most surprising to you? “The technology. Everything is very easy to follow and integrates well into my other technical platforms.”
How do you anticipate leveraging this degree in your future? “I feel the degree will position me better for an executive role which is one of my career goals.” How does your experience with KU online compare to the traditional campus that you had experienced at Colgate University? “The virtual schooling aspect is great because it really can be completed anywhere - on the plane, the team bus, after hours (like postgame when you can’t sleep!), and over team breaks.” How do you manage your time and the work load combined with your other interests and activities? “This has been tougher than I expected, however I have been able to adjust my other activities to still adhere to the academic curriculum.” NBRPA members and their family members who are interested in furthering their education receive a 15 percent discount. What advice would you give to your fellow NBRPA members and others thinking about the opportunity and returning to school? “This is a great opportunity, not only for you, but for your family members as well. One of the highlights of my playing career was that I was able to complete my degree and also help family members also complete their formal education. The time is there, the schooling is great, and the doors that this will open will last long beyond your playing career.” Be sure to visit legendsofbasketball.kaplan.edu for more information about programs. If you’re ready to jump-start your educational goals and take advantage of the NBRPA partnership with Kaplan University, contact Anthony Stephens with Kaplan University at Anthony.Stephens@kaplan.edu or 954-515-3336.
SHOWING NBA CARES
NBRPA AND PARTNERS TEAM UP TO BRING MENTORING EVENT TO NEW ORLEANS
he National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players, will bring its successful Full Court Press: Prep for Success youth basketball and mentoring program to Tulane University’s Hertz Center on Saturday, July 24, alongside its partners from the National Basketball Association (NBA), Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL), Leadership Foundations and Jobsy Wobsy. As part of this very special collaboration with the NBA and its NBA Cares Initiative, six former NBA standouts will be working with local youth. They include: ROBERT HORRY: A seven-time NBA champion with the Spurs, Lakers and Rockets, and member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame ROBERT PACK: A New Orleans native (Alfred Lawless High School), 13-year NBA career, assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans ERIC “SLEEPY” FLOYD: A former NBA All-Star, 14-year NBA career DONALD ROYAL: A New Orleans native (St. Augustine High School), 9-year NBA career JOHN “HOT ROD” WILLIAMS: A Louisiana native, played collegiately at Tulane, 14-year NBA career ELDRIDGE RECASNER: A New Orleans native (Alfred Lawless High School), 9-year NBA career All participating youth will be preregistered by the NBRPA, PAL and Leadership Foundations – the event is not open to the general public. FULL COURT PRESS: Prep for Success is a single-day youth basketball and mentoring clinic for underserved boys and girls, ages 10-16, held in cities across the United States and abroad. The program is designed to introduce participating youth to positive role models in both basketball and life, with equal time spent on the bas-
ketball court, in the classroom and at a mentoring roundtable as part of a robust curriculum. Full Court Press: Prep for Success is a joint initiative of the NBRPA, NBA, PAL and Leadership Foundations as part of the NBA Cares initiative. JobsyWobsy adds a secondary life skills component of introductory resume-building and understanding of the job market. This touring program visits 10-15 cities annually and includes former professional basketball players as coaches and mentors in each session. Mentoring classroom periods address topics relevant to each community and are taught by community leaders from Leadership Foundations and PAL. The mentoring roundtable in each session follows an NBA Cares template and falls in line with the White House’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. Media wishing to cover the upcoming Full Court Press: Prep for Success event in New Orleans may do so by contacting Paul Corliss, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the NBRPA, at 917-621-5744. The NBRPA and its partners would like to thank Tulane University for their support of this very special event. Men’s and women’s basketball players from Tulane will assist with the on-court portion of the event.
ABOVE: Eldridge Recasner instructs campers BELOW: Robert Horry spends time mentoring youth
NBRPA TO AWARD 40 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
CORNERSTONE DAVE DEBUSSCHERE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM PAYS IT FORWARD
igher education scholar-ships will be awarded to eligible members, spouses, children and grandchildren. The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, will award 40 scholarships of more than $3000 apiece for higher education to NBRPA Members and their spouses, children and grandchildren. A cornerstone program of the NBRPA, the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $1.5 million in higher education funds to members and their families, and also puts educational grants into communities.
2015 DAVE DEBUSSCHERE SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS • Asiah Avent • Andrea Brown • Aharown Campbell • Tiana Colter • Samuel Corzine • Alana Davidson • Keith Edmonson • Mallory Fredericks • Michael Glenn • Michael Inniger • Damon Jones • Landon Jones • Maya Jones • Zori Jones • Anthony Keeling • Mason Kite • Mollie Kite • Taylor Kite • Alexander Leavell • Amanda Leavell
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• Tucker Love • Danielle McCormick • Jake McDowell • Camille Range • Sydney Recasner • John Rinaldi • Samuel Roberts • Sophie Roberts • Chanel Stephens • Justin Stith • McKenzie Stock • Conner Toolson • Dallin Toolson • Evelyn Von Nieda • Tristan Von Nieda • Marcus Walker • Jack Wier • Rikardo Williams • Caleb Wood • Josiah Wood
The annual DeBusschere Scholarship output to NBRPA Members and their families has increased substantially due to an exciting new component of the program designed to provide additional educational funds to support low-income scholarship recipients – the Earl Lloyd Scholarship. Named in honor of recently-departed NBRPA Member Earl Lloyd, the NBA’s first African American to play in a regular season NBA game, this new enhancement to the DeBusschere Scholarship is funded by an annual, restricted gift of $50,000 from the NBA Legends Foundation to the NBRPA in order to provide significant financial support to low income recipients of the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship. “Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners,” said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “A college degree can open many doors in life after basketball and we are proud to not only offer higher education scholarships to our members through the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund, but also their spouses, children and grandchildren. The Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund is a flagship program for the NBRPA and clearly shows how this organization serves its members and their families.” “On behalf of the NBRPA Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate all of our 2015 Dave DeBusschere Scholarship winners,” said NBRPA Board Member Thurl Bailey, who serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We wish all of our scholarship students the best of luck this fall and commend them for their hard work.”
LEGENDS of BASKETBALL Fantasy Weekend
WELCOMING BACK THE LEGENDS NBRPA TO HOST ALUMNI EVENT AT MOHEGAN SUN
he National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players, will hold a philanthropic fundraiser – the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend – at Mohegan Sun, November 20 to 22, in Uncansville, Conn. For full details and purchase information, please visit: legendsofbasketball.com. NBRPA and basketball legends Jalen Rose, Lenny Wilkens, Rick Barry, John Starks, Gene Keady, Dave Cowens, Calvin Murphy, Spencer Haywood, Teresa Weatherspoon, and Jo Jo White are set to converge on Mohegan Sun for a three-day weekend of exciting events Friday, November 20 through Sunday, November 22 as part of the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend. Other nonbasketball luminaries will also be honored including USTA President Katrina Adams and New Orleans post-Katrina heroes Saints wide receiver Joe Horn and legendary Chef Leah Chase.
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Three days of basketball action begins Friday, November 20 with the Hall of Fame Tip Off Banquet. On Saturday, November 21, the annual men’s college tip-off tournament hosted by the Basketball Hall of Fame begins featuring eight NCAA Division I college programs: Purdue, Florida, St. Joseph’s, Old Dominion, Buffalo, Niagara, North Carolina A&T and Vermont. Throughout the day, fantasy campers will have a chance to rub shoulders with the basketball legends while watching the stars of tomorrow. The night ends with the NBRPA’s Legends Philanthropy Awards Gala, featuring a star-studded line-up of remarkable players who made the game faster and more exciting. The weekend concludes Sunday, November 22 with the final round of the Hall of Fame tip-off tournament. “This annual event provides a look behind the curtain at the lives of former athletes like me that are making a difference in life after the game,” said former NBA great and NBRPA ambassador Jalen Rose.
“The NBRPA is very much looking forward to its second annual Legends Fantasy Weekend and to honoring some of the country’s greatest athletes and other civic leaders for their contributions both on and off the playing court,” said NBRPA President and CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “Thank you to Mohegan Sun for again hosting us and being such a great partner for this annual event.” The Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend is a charitable event to raise funds for the NBRPA’s Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund and other charitable partners. This amazing weekend will honor philanthropists and legends from the world of sports, while raising funds for the children and grandchildren of professional basketball players to have access to higher education. The package event includes meet-and-greets with the Legends, VIP receptions and other one-of-akind interactions with professional sports icons. Tables to the Awards Gala on November 21 start at just $2,000. An individual reservedseating ticket for the gala is $250. Weekend VIP packages start $5,000.
DINNER & PROGRAM MASTER OF CEREMONIES • NBRPA Chairman Thurl Bailey
MARQUES HAYNES HUMANITARIAN AWARD
PRESENTATION OF COLORS
• Presenter: Dave Naves, Former Globetrotter • Honoree: Mannie Jackson
MOSES MALONE NBRPA SERVICE AWARD
• Mohegan Tribe Color Guard • Gabby Leone
• Former NBA Player & NBRPA Ambassador Jalen Rose
NBRPA COMMUNITY SERVICE INITIATIVES
• NBRPA Board of Directors Johnny Newman, La Rue Martin Jr.
DAVE DEBUSSCHERE EDUCATION AWARD
• Presenter: New York Knicks Executive • Honoree: John Starks
EARL LLOYD TRAILBLAZER AWARD
• Presenter: Teresa Weatherspoon, Former WNBA Player & NBRPA Ambassador • Honoree: Katrina Adams
• Presenter: Arnie Fielkow, President/CEO of the NBRPA • Honoree: Leah Chase
SPECIAL RECOGNITION – HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES • Moderator: Marvin Roberts • Panelists: Rick Barry, “Tiny” Archibald • Inductees: Spencer Haywood, Jo Jo White
DARRYL DAWKINS BIG HEART AWARD • Presenter: Rick Barry, Board of Directors • Honoree: Jalen Rose
LEGEND OF PHILANTHROPY AWARD • Presenter: Dwight Davis, Vice Chairman • Honoree: Lenny Wilkens
Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund
he Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend is a charitable event to raise funds for the NBRPA’s Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund and other charitable partners. This amazing weekend will honor philanthropists and legends from the world of sports, while raising funds for the children and grandchildren of professional basketball players to have access to higher education. The Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund, has provided more than $1.5 million in educational funds to underserved communities and college scholarships for NBRPA Members and their families. All contributions, partnerships and table purchases for Legends Fantasy Weekend are tax-deductible donations to our 501(c)(3) non-profit charity.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS LLC
LEGENDS of BASKETBALL Fantasy Weekend
GIVING TO THE GIVERS THE LEGENDS OF BASKETBALL PHILANTHROPY AWARDS GALA WHEN: NOV. 20 - 22 WHERE: MOHEGAN SUN ABOUT THE HONOREES KATRINA ADAMS – Current Chairman, CEO and President of the USTA who was the first African-American and first former professional tennis player ranked as high as No.67 in singles and No.8 in doubles personifies our Earl Lloyd trailblazer Award. Adams was a well-deserved WTA’s Player Service Award winner in 1996 and 1997 and now serves on the board of directors of the USTA Foundation and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She also is a member of the Grand Slam Board and the ITF Davis Cup Committee. A Northwestern University Hall of Famer, Adams is a great contributor for CBS Sports Network’s first allfemale sports show, “We Need to Talk,” and a television analyst for Tennis Channel. The Chicago native also was inducted in the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012. JALEN ROSE – The NBRPA ambassador, Jalen Rose has continued to maintain a high profile post-retirement. The star-studded 13-year NBA career
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and collegiate standout is now an ESPN/ABC analyst. Jalen is an outstanding candidate for Darryl Dawkins Big Heart Award. As the NBRPA ambassador, Jalen Rose has been shaping programming to assist former players in life after basketball. As a broadcaster, he is a lead NBA voice for ESPN/ABC. As a philanthropist, Rose’s most substantial outreach initiative to date is the establishment of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) which gives life-changing opportunities for underserved youth through the development of unique programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. JOHN STARKS – The former NBA guard with the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and most notably the New York Knicks, John Starks accepts the Dave DeBuschere Education Award. He got the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for the 1996-1997 season, as the best player in the league who is not a regular starter. After signing with the New York Knicks in 1991, Starks was at the center of one of the most famous plays in Knicks history, which has now become known simply as “The Dunk.” Starks always served as head coach of the Westchester Wildfire of the United States Basketball League (USBL) and works in alumni relations with the New York Knicks. LEAH CHASE – Leah Chase, known as “The Queen of Creole Cuisine,” accepts Hurricane Katrina 10-Year Award with Joe Horn, former American football wide receiver and New Orleans Saints player. Leah
Chase, who advocates for AfricanAmerican art and Creole cooking, has won enough awards and honors to occupy over two pages. Her restaurant, Dooky Chase, was known as a gathering place during the 1960s among many who participated in the Civil Rights movement. Leah Chase inspired the Disney character, Tiana, of The Princess and the Frog. Currently, she hosts a cooking show devoted to Creole cooking, and she is the author of several cookbooks. MANNIE JACKSON – The chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, player from 1962 to 1964 and the first African American with controlling ownership in an entertainment organization and international sports accepts the Marques Haynes Humanitarian Award. Jackson is one of the nation’s 30 most powerful and influential corporate executives, one of the nation’s top 50 corporate strategists and one of the 20 AfricanAmerican high-net-worth entrepreneurs. During Jackson’s tenure as owner of the Globetrotters ,the organization’s charitable contributions totaled in the millions, including $2 million raised for the Nelson Mandela African Children’s Foundation. Jackson’s legacy of philanthropy has also been extended to his alma mater, University of Illinois, where he donated $2 million to start the Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program (I-LEAP). This program provides academic and social support through bi-weekly oneon-one academic coaching sessions, mentoring, academic skills development, leadership training and referrals to resources.
A WORLD AT PLAY MOHEGAN SUN IS AN ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION
ohegan Sun, created in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, is one of the world’s most amazing destinations with some of New England’s finest dining, hotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Boasting three world-class casinos, Mohegan Sun is also host to the Kids Quest/Cyber Quest family entertainment facility, a luxurious day spa, convention center and meeting facility, a state-of-theart Poker Room as well as three major entertainment venues with seating from 350 to 10,000. People from across the globe come to see live concerts with some of today’s top headliners, along with major sporting events including Mohegan Sun’s very own WNBA team, the Connecticut Sun. Every turn leads to a new adventure with an indoor 55-foot waterfall, and electrifying water wall, the world’s largest and most spectacular indoor planetarium dome and the awe-inspiring Wombi Rock, a glowing crystal mountain made of imported stone that serves as the focal point of Casino of the Sky.
As a premier destination worldwide, Mohegan Sun includes: • More than 300,000 square feet of gaming excitement within three casinos – Casino of the Earth, Sky & Wind, including smoke-free areas • A 34-story, 1,200-room luxury hotel tower • A 20,000 square-foot worldclass spa by Elemis • The Shops at Mohegan Sun, a 130,000 square-foot retail shopping experience • A total of 40 restaurants, bars and lounges
• Three entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat Arena; a 400-seat Cabaret Theatre and a 350-seat Wolf Den • More than 100,000 square feet of meeting and function space, including one of the largest ballrooms in the Northeast • A professionally-managed business center • A 10,000 square-foot indoor pool • A 17,500 square-foot outdoor sun terrace • A three-story crystal mountain • A 55-foot indoor waterfall • An electrifying water wall
MOHEGAN TRIBE: When does history begin? Like humanity everywhere, Native American People trace their past in more than years. Scientific evidence shows Native American presence in the area for 10,000 years. But oral history begins with Creation, when The Great Spirit created the Earth. The earliest clans of the Delaware Tribe included the Wolf Clan, or Mohegans, who settled in upstate New York. After migrating to Connecticut, this group became the Mohegan Tribe of today.
HALL of FAME
BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015 ELEVEN NEW MEMBERS TO BE ENSHRINED IN SPRINGFIELD ON SEPTEMBER 11
t a press event presented by Haggar Clothing Company, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 11 members of the Class of 2015 to be honored September 10-12, 2015 during this year’s Enshrinement Ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts. This year’s list includes 39-year NBA referee Dick Bavetta, three-time College Coach of the Year John Calipari, four-time NBA AllStar Spencer Haywood, eighttime NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, seven-time NBA AllStar Jo Jo White and three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie. They join the five directly elected members who were announced
during NBA All-Star Weekend in February by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball. They include Louis Dampier voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, John Isaacs from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lindsay Gaze from the International Committee, Tom Heinsohn from the Veterans Committee and George Raveling from the Contributor Direct Election Committee. The Class Announcement was made at a press conference in Indianapolis, the site of the 2015 NCAA Final Four, and televised live on NBA TV with host Jim Nantz from CBS Sports.
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.
photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
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“We are honored to recognize the highly distinguished Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2015,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “They have contributed a great deal to the game we all love, as players, coaches, teachers, mentors and more. They have dedicated themselves to their craft and serve as an inspiration to many. We look forward to honoring each of these inductees during the Enshrinement festivities in September.” To be elected, finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The addition of the direct elect committees were incorporated into the election process to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting procedures and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball. “The Class of 2015 is a group of outstanding individuals who represent many eras and facets of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board. “Their commitment to the game is undeniable and the impact they have had on others is even greater. We are very pleased to honor this remarkable group of inductees.” The Class of 2015 will be enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, September 11. Ticket packages to the 2015 Enshrinement Ceremony presented by NIKE and all Enshrinement Events are on sale now and available online at hoophall.com by calling the Basketball Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540. Premium Sponsors of Enshrinement 2015 include Haggar Clothing Company, Mohegan Sun and Panini.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL
BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015 NORTH AMERICAN COMMITTEE DICK BAVETTA (REFEREE) – Bavetta, a native of Brooklyn, NY, served as an NBA Official for 39 consecutive years. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, he had officiated 2,635 consecutive regular season games having never missed a game throughout his entire career. On April 2, 2014, he set the ironman record in professional sports officiating for working his 2,633rd consecutive game. Bavetta’s officiating career includes the Eastern League/CBA (1966-1975), Rucker Park Summer League (19661986), the Jersey Shore Basketball League (1972-2007), FIBA (1980-1992), and the NBA (1975-2014). He officiated 270 career NBA playoff games in 29 consecutive seasons, including 27 NBA Finals games. He was the first NBA official to referee the Olympic Games (1992). JOHN CALIPARI (COACH) – Calipari is a three-time Naismith College Coach of the Year (1996, 2009, 2015), three-time National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year (1996, 2009, 2015) and nine-time Conference Coach of the Year (1993,1994,1996, 2006, 2008-10, 2012, 2015), He coached University of Massachusetts from 1988-1996 and won five Atlantic 10 regular season championships and five Tournament championships (1992-1996). Calipari then coached University of Memphis from 2000-2009 and won four Conference USA regular season championships (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009), three C-USA Tournament championships (2006, 2007, 2009) and the NIT Tournament (2002). With the University of Kentucky since 2009, he has won three SEC regular season championships (2010, 2012, 2015), three SEC Tournament championships (2010, 2011, 2015) and an NCAA Championship (2012). Calipari has led his teams to eight Elite Eight Appearances (2006, 2007, 2009-12, 2014, 2015) and four NCAA Final Four appearances (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015).
SPENCER HAYWOOD (PLAYER) – Haywood joined the ABA in 1969 and then went on to play for 12 years in the NBA (1970-1983), where he scored 14,592 points, had 7,038 rebounds and won an NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. He is a four-time NBA All-Star (1972-1975) and two-time AllNBA First Team member (1973, 1974). Haywood was the leading scorer on the 1968 gold medal United States Olympic team. During his time with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, he was named ABA Rookie of the Year and ABA All Star Game MVP. He holds ABA single season records for most minutes played (3,808), most field goals made (986), most rebounds (1,637) and highest rebounding average (19.5). At the University of Detroit, he was a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1969. DIKEMBE MUTOMBO (PLAYER) – Mutombo is an eight-time NBA All-Star (1992, 1995-98, 2000-02) and a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001). He led the NBA in blocked shots for five consecutive seasons (199498) and blocks per game for a record three consecutive seasons (1994-96). He earned NBA All-Rookie Team recognition in 1992 and All-NBA Second Team in 2001. A native of Zaire, Africa, Mutombo attended Georgetown University (1988-1991) and played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009 recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks in eighteen NBA seasons. He received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009. His legendary finger-wagging motion after blocked shots became one of the most recognized gestures in the game. JO JO WHITE (PLAYER) – White is a seven-time NBA All-Star (1971-1977) and two-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics (1974,1976). He earned NBA All-Rookie Teams honors in 1970 and All-NBA Second Team in 1975 and
HALL of FAME 1977. White was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1976 and averaged 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game in 12 NBA seasons. He played for the University of Kansas from 1965-69, earning The Sporting News and Converse First Team All-America in 1969. In 1968, White won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team. WOMEN’S COMMITTEE LISA LESLIE (PLAYER) – Leslie is an eight-time WNBA All-Star (1999-03, 2005, 2006, 2009) and a three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player (2001, 2004, 2006). A native of Gardena, California, she played for University of Southern California (1990-1994) where she was named the Consensus National Player of the Year, a Kodak All-America and Naismith Trophy winner in 1994. She holds Pac-10 career records for scoring (2,414) and rebounding (1,214). She is the WNBA all-time leader in total rebounds (3,307) and ranks second all-time in WNBA total blocks (822). With the Los Angeles Sparks, Leslie won two WNBA Championships (2001, 2002) and she is a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008). She is the first player to dunk in a WNBA game.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME DIRECT ELECT MEMBERS FROM THE ABA COMMITTEE LOUIS “LOUIE” DAMPIER (PLAYER) – Dampier is one of a few players to play all nine seasons the ABA was in existence (19671976). He is one of two men to have played all nine seasons with one team, the Kentucky Colonels. Dampier finished first all-time in the ABA in games played (728), minutes played (27,770), points scored (13,726), and assists (4,044). An ABA Champion in 1975, he was also named a seven-time ABA All-Star (196870, 1972-75), a member of the ABA AllRookie First Team (1968) and a member of the ABA All-Time Team. Prior to the ABA, Dampier played three seasons at Kentucky where he was a Second-Team All-Ameri-
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can twice and an Academic All-American once. Upon graduation, he was ranked third all-time in points scored for the Wildcats. Dampier concluded his professional career with the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA after the ABA merger in 1976. FROM THE CONTRIBUTOR DIRECT ELECTION COMMITTEE GEORGE RAVELING (CONTRIBUTOR) – Raveling is the current Director of International Basketball for Nike and a former men’s college basketball coach. He served as an assistant coach at his alma mater Villanova (1963-69) and then Maryland (1970-72) where he helped lead the 1970-71 Terrapins to an undefeated regular season. As head coach, Raveling led Washington State University (1972-83) to two NCAA tournament appearances and Iowa (1983-86) to back-to-back 20-win seasons. He also took USC (1986-94) to two NCAA appearances and was named Kodak National Coach of the Year (1992), Basketball Weekly Coach of the Year (1992), Black Coaches Association Coach of the Year (1992) and CBS/ Chevrolet National Coach of the Year (1994). In 1984 and 1988, Raveling served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic teams. Raveling was the first AfricanAmerican coach in the ACC and PAC-8 (now the PAC-12). He is not only known for making history by breaking down racial barriers as a coach, but also was a part of history when in 1963 he received the original copy of the Martin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream” speech. He was honored with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. FROM THE EARLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN PIONEERS COMMITTEE JOHN ISAACS (PLAYER) – John “Wonder Boy” Isaacs played professionally for the New York Renaissance leading them to a 112-7 record and the first-ever World Professional Basketball Tournament Championship in 1939. He later played for a number of professional outfits including
the Washington Bears, where he won a second World Pro title. Isaacs was named to the World Professional Basketball Tournament Second Team (1943). Along with fellow Hall of Famer and former teammate William “Pop” Gates, Isaacs pioneered the “motion offense.” Isaacs passed away on January 26, 2009 and is an enshrinee of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame (1992). FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE LINDSAY GAZE (COACH) – Gaze, a native of Adelaide, South Australia, has represented his country in seven Olympics as both a player and coach. He played for the Australian national team in 1960, the first year Australia sent a team to the Olympics, as well as 1964 and 1968. He then coached the Australian national team in the following four Olympic games (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984). Gaze coached the Melbourne Tigers of the NBL winning two championships (1993,1997). He was named Coach of the Year for the National Basketball League three times (1989, 1997, 1999). Gaze is a member of the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame and FIBA Hall of Fame. FROM THE VETERANS COMMITTEE TOM HEINSOHN (COACH) – A 1986 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a Player, Heinsohn will be just one of four people to be inducted as both a Player and Coach. The double honor is shared with Bill Sharman, John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens. Heinsohn coached the Boston Celtics after the retirement of Bill Russell from 1969 to 1978 winning two NBA Championships (1974, 1976). He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1973 after leading his team to a league best 68-14 record. He accumulated a career coaching record of 427-263 (.619). Since retiring as coach of the Celtics, he has remained with the organization as color commentator and studio analyst for television broadcasts.
LEGENDS OF THE GAME TO BE ENSHRINED
FOUR NBRPA MEMBERS ELECTED TO THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
BRPA members Spencer Haywood, Tom Heinsohn, Jo Jo White, and Dikembe Mutombo are among those recognized for their achievements in basketball as newly elected members to the Hall of Fame.
Spencer Haywood, a member of the NBRPA’s board of directors, began his professional career in the ABA with the Denver Rockets in 1969, when he won both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. He jumped to the NBA the next season, eventually becoming a four-time NBA All-Star and two-time member of the All-NBA First Team. He also led the United States. to Olympic Gold in 1968, and won an NBA title with the Lakers in 1980. Tom Heinsohn was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1986, but this year became one of only four people to be elected as both a player and a coach, joining Bill Sharman, John Wooden, and Lenny Wilkins. Coaching the Celtics from 1969 to 1978, he captured two titles in 1974 and 1976 and won the Coach of the Year award in 1973. Since retiring from coaching, he has and continues to work as a commentator for the Celtics organization. Jo Jo White, another former Celtic, was one the league’s top sharpshooters in the 1970s. He was coached by Heinsohn for most of his career and was part of both the 1974 and 1976 championship teams, winning the NBA Finals MVP award in 1976. In 12 NBA seasons, he was a seven-time consecutive NBA All-Star and two-time member of the All-NBA Second Team. He was also a member of the 1968 gold medal United States Olympic team. Dikembe Mutombo is one of the great ambassadors of the NBA. A native of Zaire, Africa, Mutombo spent 18 seasons in the NBA beginning in 1991. His many achievements include eight-time All-Star, five-time league leader in blocks, and four-time Defensive Player of the Year. Though his playing career was prolific, he is also well-known for his charity work, generosity and attitude of giving back. He has twice won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his work off the basketball court.
HALL of FAME
PHOTOS FROM THE FOURTH ANNUAL JERRY COLANGELO HALL OF FAME GOLF CLASSIC.
Pictured from left-to-right, top-to-bottom: Michael Wilbon, Spencer Haywood, Calvin Murphy, Gary Payton, Bernard King, Ann Myers. Also pictured: Jim Gray, Meadowlark Lemon, John Calipari, Jerry Colangelo, Jim Calhoun, Richard “Dick” Bavetta, Elvin Baylor, Carolyn Moos, Matt Fish.
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HALL of FAME
A BEACON FOR CHANGE HAYWOOD’S HOF INDUCTION LONG OVERDUE
pencer Haywood was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2015, an honor that was long overdue. If one man alone can be credited for changing the face of basketball,
it’s Spencer Haywood. In a game in which talking “trash” or “smack,” is considered the norm, it would be easy to dismiss a claim that just one person is responsible for massive change within the industry except for one thing – it’s all true. As one who has been called arguably the most talented basketball player of all time, it’s not his basketball prowess alone that singles Haywood out from the storied careers of his contemporaries. It’s what he’s done for basketball off the court. While he’s not given to overexaggeration in his claims, Haywood is definitely not shy about what he’s done to move basketball forward and to claim credit for the results. A “peaceful but passionate guy, an outsider unafraid to speak the truth,” according to his own description, Haywood is still on a mission to make things better for professional basketball players. Austin Burton, in his piece, “National Treasure:
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photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
The Spencer Haywood Story” in the March 20, 2012 issue of Dime Magazine, called him “a revolutionary for social change” and “a forefather of the sports entertainment business.” Born in 1949 in Silver City, Miss., a town with a population of only 200, Haywood moved to Detroit in his midteens and grew to adulthood during a time of true social upheaval in the United States. From the late 1950s through the 1960s and beyond, the U.S. was mired in the Vietnam War; the Democratic National Convention was taken over by protestors; it was the Nixon years with its ongoing fallout from Watergate; and the assassinations of the Kennedys and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. forever changed our world and how we would experience it going forward, both as a nation and as individual citizens. How poignant to remember Dr. King giving his beautifully inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech about racial equality while in Haywood’s early years (ages 6-14) when he was picking cotton alongside his mother and playing basketball barefoot on dirt roads, his biggest life dream was simply to own a pair of Converse gym shoes. Then came the 1968 Olympic Games. Long before the original Dream Team played in the 1992 Olympic Games, there was another team that some argue was just as good, if not better than the ’92 team. That was the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team that played in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Haywood tried out for the team at age 19; he wound up leading the U.S. team to a gold medal and was named the Most Valuable Player. This Olympiad was plagued by racial conflict. U.S. runners Tommy Smith and John Carlos gave the Black Power salute on the medal stand while others chose to boycott the Games, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes and Wes
Unseld. Haywood recalls that the Mexican fans booed the team when they arrived because they thought the U.S. couldn’t win. But after they won the gold and Haywood set records for doing it, the fans gave them a standing ovation which brought him to tears. This made Haywood the youngest basketball player in the U. S. to make the men’s team, he had the all-time field goal percentage record (71.9 percent) and was the youngest basketball player to win the gold medal. He also scored the most points and rebounds in Olympic history, a record that remained unbroken until 2012. When you ask Haywood what makes him the most proud of his many accomplishments, he cites two things. The first is his Olympic performance – winning the gold medal, keeping it from the Russians who expected to win it, and setting those four records. He says he saved America in 1968 from losing to the world for the first time in the history of basketball. The second thing that makes Haywood proud is his fight that went all the way to the Supreme Court that, in his words, “finally won equal opportunity for the guys to make a living.” Many NBA players today don’t know that there was once a rule that a basketball player was barred from playing in the NBA until he had graduated from a four-year college or waited four years after high school graduation until his “assumed” college class graduated. It wasn’t just the NBA that wanted to keep the four-year graduation rule in place; the Nation Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) also supported it. If outstanding players were allowed to leave college early, their schools and the NCAA would lose lots of revenue based on ticket sales and other products. If Haywood won his case, they would be losing revenue not just from basketball but also from football. As a 6-foot-8 power forward, Haywood tried to go pro at the end of his sophomore year at the University of Detroit but ran into the NBA’s four-year college graduation rule. But he didn’t want two more years of college play. As the No. 1 high school player in the U.S. (Pershing High School in Detroit), the Junior College Player of the Year (Trinidad State in Colorado), and the winner of the four 1968 Olympic awards, in his sophomore year he was named the Outstanding College
Player of the Year – he was ready for the NBA. Here was an exceptionally talented guy determined to make life better for his mother who was still on her knees picking cotton for $2 a day. But his way to earn the money that would enable him to accomplish that goal for his family was blocked for two more years. Now older and more experienced than that little boy whose only dream was to own a pair of Converse gym shoes, Haywood was now inspired to have a bigger dream of equality. And true to his action-oriented personality, he wasn’t afraid to speak up and do something to change the situation. He filed an antitrust action against the NBA and became the
HALL of FAME plaintiff in Haywood v. National Basketball Association that eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. The court’s verdict that same year forced the NBA to cancel its rule that kept a player from entering the league before his college class graduation. This verdict is of huge importance to today’s players because Haywood says it enabled him to create wealth and opportunity in the NBA for the younger guys who got into the league as early entries. This includes players like Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. However, all this change didn’t magically happen without putting Haywood’s life and that of his family into total turmoil. During the time this law suit was underway, he called his experience brutal and life-threatening, even similar to baseball’s Jackie Robinson’s experience breaking the color barrier. Haywood left college at the end of his sophomore year and signed with the ABA’s Denver Rockets and led the league in scoring (30.0) and rebounds (19.5). He earned regular season MVP honors, AllStar Game MVP and Rookie of the Year in that one season with the ABA. But he paid a penalty for leaving school early. Even though he had been in college for an education, his own school, the University of Detroit, sued him for millions of dollars at a time when he says he wasn’t even making any money. Following his 1969-1970 season with the Rockets, Haywood finally joined the NBA when he signed with the Seattle SuperSonics. With Haywood still one year short of his college graduation date, the NBA said he wasn’t eligible to play
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and filed an injunction against him. So in 1970, with SuperSonics owner Sam Schulman, Haywood filed his anti-trust suit against the NBA. Recalling that time, Haywood says he was booed by the fans and had bottles, ice, balled-up programs as well as racial slurs thrown at him by fans at a number of NBA arenas. And then there were the public announcements that there was an illegal player on the court when he’d be escorted off the court and the arena premises. Intimidated by the owners, other players were afraid to talk to him – some turned their backs on him and some of the seasoned players targeted him on the court. The result? He was totally isolated. He’s not sure the guys playing today really appreciate what he had to go through, the sacrifices he had to make to change basketball for the better of every player. This unyielding pressure took its toll on Haywood and his family in several ways. After moving to the New York Knicks in the mid-70s, he met and married Somali high fashion model of the 70s, Iman. He was also introduced to cocaine and got hooked. Although it took him three years to kick his addiction, he doesn’t regret it or any other of his life experiences because they’ve made him who he is today. He and Iman divorced after 10 years of marriage and he eventually married Linda, his wife now for 23 years. Living in Las Vegas, he’s the owner of Haywood Group, LLC, which specializes in high-end floor instillations. Through it all, Haywood says his steadying influence has been God, as well as the women in his life – his mother and sisters as well as his wife and four daughters. Elected to the NBRPA Board of Directors, Haywood is still a man of action, still on a mission to recruit players, both current and former, to help their own – to join the NBRPA, to be active and get involved, and to lend their names to the organization. His dream of equality still drives him. In classic Haywood style, he says, “You got to do the right thing and set a good example.” Congratulations, Spencer, you deserve being in the Hall of Fame not only for what you did on the court, but for paving the way for a better life for future basketball payers.
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THE GIFT OF LIFE
GARDNER, LONGSHORE CONNECTED BY HEART DONATION Caroline Longshore feels her husband Nick's heart beating in Ken Gardner at her home in West Haven
en Gardner is a rather big man, and big men are often adept at basketball. Gardner, now 66, is held in high regards in Europe after leading his French club, AS Berck, to league championships in 1973 and 1974. He also played for Nice BC of the LNB (Ligue Nationale de Basketball) and in America for the ABAâ€™s Utah Stars in their final season of existence. Gardner was also a standout college player with the Utah Utes, being one of only two to earn unanimous All WAC honors his 1971 senior campaign. After his basketball
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career came to an end, the airline industry became home for the next 20 years as he worked for both Western and Delta Airlines, retiring in 2001. His years in France honed his speaking skills, so he worked as an assistant to International Olympic Committee President Jacque Rogge during the 2002 Olympics. Nick Longshore was a rather big man, and big men are often adept at football. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 300 pounds, Nick was a prized recruit. He was courted by perennial powerhouse programs such as Alabama, Auburn
photo courtesy Ravell Call, Deseret News
and UCLA. Longshore decided to attend Cal State Northridge where he started on the offensive line as a freshman. After his first year of college, Nick went on a religious mission to the Philippines. On his return he continued his football career at College of the Canyons Junior College and then went to BYU, where he finished his college career. He went on to get married, coach high school football and became a much-beloved car salesman in Northern Utah. Ken Gardner’s heart troubles began with a heart attack in 2004, and followed with triple bypass surgery. In 2010 he was fitted with a pacemaker, but the heart disease progressed and the doctors ultimately decided he needed a heart transplant in December of 2012. As these tragic episodes progressed, events became worse a few months later as he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which meant he was ineligible to be on the transplant list. However, by the fall of the following year, the cancer simply disappeared and he was declared cancer free, enabling him to be placed on the transplant list once again. Nick Longshore became the father of a beautiful baby girl named Hannah. Unfortunately he was never able to meet her due to a tragic accident that claimed his life before she was born. Nick’s life was littered with tragedy the last few years of his life. His father died at 49 while Nick was still playing at BYU. Then after getting married to his wife, Caroline, the couple lost their first child, a boy, to an unexplained and unexpected stillbirth. Then, in November of 2013 the couple was celebrating/remembering the birth of their son with a trip to Idaho to visit Caroline’s two sisters. On this trip Nick went on an ATV adventure where an accident left his body broken with life-threatening injuries. Nick succumbed to his injuries a few days later. A pregnant and shattered Caroline and Nick’s
grieving family didn’t give organ donation much thought even though Nick had the designation on his driver’s license. Ken Gardner, now placed on the heart transplant recipient list, still had a monumental hill to climb. As a 6-foot-5 man Gardner could not receive just any heart. The heart needs to be strong enough and big enough to pump blood to the far extremities of a man so big. Only 3 percent of the population is such a candidate. Of course, given a heart of appropriate size the donor and recipient also have to match blood types to avoid organ rejection. However, just as Ken’s cancer miraculously disappeared, another miraculous yet tragic twist of fate appeared. As Gardner was declining in health with just a slim chance of getting a heart, Nick Longshore tragically lost his life. After a week in a coma, with 10 broken ribs and multiple internal injuries, Nick Longshore lost his fight. He died on November 22, 2013. As Nick’s heartbroken family was dealing with the unimaginable loss, Ken Gardner was to receive the literal “gift of life.” After being informed of Nick’s “yes” box being checked on his driver’s license and knowing there was an unknown recipient for Nick’s heart, the family signed all the appropriate documents enabling Nick’s heart (as well as other organs) to be donated. Ken Gardner was just finishing up his monthly check-up late in the day, and just 10 minutes after returning home he received a call informing him of a matching heart. He needed to return to the hospital to prepare for the pending operation. He was prepped and on the operating table at 2 the next morning, and 12 hours later was carrying the beating heart of Nick Longshore. The following May, Caroline received news of the recipient of Nick’s heart. After a few moments of trepidation and consulting of her father, Caroline agreed to meet this stranger. The meeting
took place at Caroline’s aunt Jill’s home. She was stunned at the first sight of this giant yet familiar man. She recalls Ken looking strongly like Nick’s grandfather, and though many years older than her late husband, they were the same size and wore the same size 16 shoe. Ken swooped in to embrace Caroline just as Nick would have done she recalls. Typically donors and recipients of transplanted organs eventually find out about the other. But this case was not typical. Through a friend of Caroline’s Aunt Jill, a chance meeting set the impending introductions in motion far ahead of what the transplant organization would have facilitated. Ken was eager to thank Nick’s family for such a valuable gift, and Caroline was as eager to meet the man who was now carrying her husband’s heart. After a three-hour meeting filled with stories, laughter and tears of joy, Ken and Caroline felt a deep connection. Ken was unaware of Nick’s daughter, Hannah, but as she was introduced, he became keenly aware of the gift of this precious little girl’s father who she will never have the honor of meeting. He recalls being deeply moved by placing her tiny hand on his chest to feel the beat of the man who gave them both the precious gift of life. Caroline and Ken are close to this day with both being forever grateful to have met. They share a special connection and are close friends, with Ken spoiling Hannah while they taunt each other about the BYU/University of Utah rivalry. As a result of his experiences with organ transplants, Ken has started a non-profit organization called The Ken Gardner Hearts 4 Hearts Foundation. The group aims to raise awareness and increase participation in organ transplants as well as provide funds for children and families of organ donors. Donations can be made at hearts4hearts.org.
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY CIVIL RIGHTS TALES OF MANY CITIES
n the hot, humid morning of July 22, 2015, a crowd of about 200 school children and 20 adult chaperones gathered excitedly in New Orleans in anticipation of a historic adventure in civil rights which awaited them in the hours ahead. It portended to be an exceptional day.
PART I Arnie Fielkow, President and CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), conceived the idea of the Civil Rights Tour as an informative and motivating community outreach initiative when he was President of the New Orleans City Council. It is the sixth annual Civil Rights History Tour led by Arnie Fielkow, and the second sponsored by the NBRPA. Mr. Fielkow has a special affinity for New Orleans, his former home. When he lived there he served as City Council President and Executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints. The NBRPA is the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players. It partnered with Jones Walker Law Firm, First NBC Bank, Entergy New Orleans, Friends of King Schools, WBOK Radio, Ronnie Burns and the NORD Foundation to take under-
served New Orleans Youth on this interactive educational and fun Civil Rights History tour. Not only were these young school children in grades 5-11 interested in walking in the path of civil rights giants, they saw themselves as potential history makers, gathering the knowledge of the elders and using this wisdom to make life better for themselves and future generations. They were further motivated by the presence of NBRPA Board Member Eldridge Recasner, who joined the tour as a chaperone. Mr. Recasner grew up in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and presently lives in Seattle, Wash. He was an NBA Player for eight years following a Hall of Fame collegiate sojourn at the University of Washington. As the four buses drove through Mississippi, the group observed its picturesque, beautifully manicured grassy areas interspersed
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with tall green trees of multiple varieties and ampleness adjacent to the highways we traversed. The luscious attractiveness of nature was in direct contrast with Mississippi’s noted bloodied and violent civil rights injustices perpetrated against its African American residents. It was difficult to imagine how an area which appeared to be so peaceful and pristine could have spawned such inhumane unrest. The first momentous stop of the day was in Selma, Ala., at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. You could hear the murmurs of the children talking excitedly about having seen the recent film “Selma,” and recognizing the significance of their journey to view the very spot where violence against non-violent civil rights protestors helped to rally national support for the movement. They spoke to each other about watching the movie depiction of state and local lawmen attacking the marchers
photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
and driving them back across the bridge toward Selma. It was so incredibly hot that a more perfect appreciation for the bravery of those who challenged unjust voting laws, by walking in protest across the Pettus Bridge, was a palpable emotion. The heat rose in visible serrated waves from the ground as the students snapped pictures and enthusiastically read every plaque and monument visible, impervious to the baking sun. After lunch, we were off to Birmingham, Ala., where in June of 2015, the Governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, ordered the removal of four confederate flags from the grounds of the state capitol, the last vestiges of its symbols of political separateness from our union. He was quoted as saying that “it was the right thing to do.” This irony did not escape unnoticed, as almost fifty-five years earlier, on June 11, 1963, Governor George Wallace, in a symbolic attempt to thwart desegregation, stood in the school
house doorway to block the integration of the University of Alabama. He eventually moved after giving a wrathful speech and being ordered to step aside by General Henry Graham, under orders of the then President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The city of Birmingham was born in 1871 after the Civil War. Plots of land were sold by railroad and banking entrepreneurs, cotton planters, and other white industrialists. It was the only place on earth where significant amounts of iron, coal and limestone could be found in such close proximity. It developed at an explosive growth rate. European immigrants and negroes arrived in large numbers seeking work. White industrialists prospered. It was a magnificent industrialized city unusual because of its southern location. Abundant wealth and the good life it offered led it to be known as “The Magic City.” It was also a stronghold of white supremacy. Our first stop was to visit the
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the largest museum in the country dedicated to the civil rights movement. One of the tour guides pointed to the view outside a window above commemorative plaques. He reminisced about his infancy when his parents and other parents would picnic in that area below, eating their prepared delicacies and savory foods while watching black bodies swing in the trees above, freshly lynched for some perceived violation of the law or a social slight. Thankfully, he concluded, those days are gone forever. The color line custom that became law after the Civil War encouraged inequities. In spite of harsh segregation practices, black people had social and literary clubs, thriving churches and productive schools. The Klu Klux Klan was also very prevalent. Trouble always lurked nearby. A stark reminder of this fact was a Klu Klux Klan uniform donated to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute by a family that purchased a house and found the costume in the attic, in perfect shape, a replica from the past, discarded and hidden away. Several of the exhibits displayed historic events related to national and local participation in the Civil Rights Movement. The “Confrontation Gallery” tells the story of Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which called for an end to segregation in U.S. schools. Reactive episodes of
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY Civil Rights Tales of Many Cities
violent resistance followed. “The Movement Gallery” depicts the inception and organization of the Civil Rights Movement. Included in this section were “Bus Rides to Freedom,” incidences of Freedom Rides throughout the south, “Give Us A Vote,” documenting voting rights abuses, “The World is Watching,” reshowing violent news footage, and a cell door from behind which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his most erudite “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.” The tour guide reflected on the bombing of black homes and businesses which earned the city a
new soubriquet, “Bombingham.” Though infrequently noted, the black community in Birmingham had been plagued by about 50 bombings following World War II. The jailing of school children and the visible violence perpetrated against black people was televised around the world. It was only after Japan rejected offers to come to Birmingham to start a business previously considered that the city reexamined its segregation policies. The city leaders met with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black leaders to address concrete methods to include all of its citizens in equal access to schools, employment and ordinary conveniences. For the first time, black people were allowed to ride elevators in department stores and public buildings. They previously were prevented from sharing elevators with whites, forcing them to climb stairs to their destination no matter how far up the climb. After viewing a replica of a burned out commercial bus used by freedom riders, and artifacts and remembrances of the civil rights movement, we walked
FULL COURT PRESS: PREP FOR SUCCESS
n Friday, July 24,2015 the NBRPA held its celebrated Full Court Press: Prep for Success with co-sponsors, the National Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL), Jobsy Wobsy and Leadership Foundations. The program is designed to introduce participating young people to both basketball and life skills. We met at Tulane University for a day of inspiration and activity. The theme for the day could have been Life’s Valuable Lessons. Eldridge Recasner, of the NBRPA Board of Directors, was personable and thoroughly engaging with the students on the court while I talked
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to his very wise mother. It is no wonder that he has demonstrated such wonderful successes and fine character with a mother who embodies all of this and more. We talked about the values she tried to impart to her children, which the older creoles in New Orleans call coup de main, literally translated into a helping hand. She spoke of the way of life in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans where all neighbors helped one another en masse in times of need. Everyone needs a helping hand, she said echoing a major lesson exemplified at the Full Court Press, through its emphasis on mentoring.
across the street to the Historic 16th Street Baptist Church. This famous African American church continues to be one of our aide memoires of man’s greatest acts of inhumanity, the killing of children in acts of hatred. The 16th Street Baptist Church was built eight years after 1865, when many African Americans had been recently released from more than a century of slavery. Years later it was surrounded by numerous and prosperous black businesses and a bustling community, reminders of how resourceful all people can become when given the opportunity to pursue the “American Dream.” Urban renewal, a supposed sign of progress, rendered the church a lone beacon of African American life. All of the thriving businesses and reminders of a good life were torn down to make way for newer and better structures to serve man’s purposes. The church sanctuary is an immense space with views of the gigantic organ pipes visible from any direction where one sits. The New Orleans NBRPA tour group sat in subdued reverence in this spiritual
While we spoke, her son Eldrige Recasner continued to speak to a group of young people. He shared his background of growing up in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the schools he attended and his major triumphs in life, achieved through preseverance. After listening very attentively, this group of boys and girls practiced shooting hoops and other basketball skills on the court. The group of 80 or so underserved young people from ages 11 to 16 assembled in four groups to take advantage of resume-building, demonstrated by Jobsy Wobsy, and to foster an understanding of the job market. Jobsy Wobsy offers an array of
space as a lecturer told the story of the bombing of the church on September 15, 1963 and the killing of four young girls, three of them members of the church and one a karmic visitor, a victim of chance. Their images were projected on the wall of the church, casting an eerie presence among us. Their youthful smiles and bright eyes depicted their eagerness to embrace a full life. One could not help but wonder what joy the future would have unfolded for them if their lives had not been stolen. Following the initial attempts to desegregate Birmingham, one man was heard issuing a warning, “Wait until Sunday.” Early on that fated Sunday, before most of the 1,100 members had arrived for church services, five little girls went to the bathroom. A bomb detonated reverberating around the world and touching our spirits until this very day. There were 22 parishioners injured in the blast, including 10-year-old Sarah Collins, sister to 14-year-old Addie Mae Collins, who was killed in the blast. Sarah lost an eye and was injured in the other eye which only retains 30 percent of its vision, even today.
The blast was so powerful that one of the girls was decapitated. Reportedly, their clothes were blown off their mutilated bodies exposing their nakedness in such horror that the pastor of the church thought that they were old women instead of the sparkling, happy, youthful girls they formerly were. Three of the girls were buried together, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair. Dr. Martin Luther King gave the eulogy at their funerals. Carolyn Robertson, the visitor, had a separate funeral and lies in a lone grave. All were victims of the third bombing in 11 days following a federal court order mandating the integration of Alabama’s schools. It should be duly noted that the Sunday school lesson on the day of the bombing was “A Love That Forgives.” This same sermon was given 50 years later at the church memorializing the incident and honoring the victims. Initially, Mrs. Sarah Collins Rudolph, sister to Addie Mae Collins, and a victim herself, refused to attend. Her lingering trauma is an acute pain even after 50 years have passed. Presently, Birmingham is considering remuneration for all of
the bombing victims’ families. In a somber mood, we read a plaque in the church of a quote by Reverend Fred Shuttleworth, the fierce leader of the Birmingham civil rights struggle who narrowly escaped injury from a bombing of his house, which reads, “Violence should never stand in the way of people’s progress. You pick up the pieces and move on.” We reflected on this truth. As the sun set that day, the students remained subdued by their lessons and observations of history and of Birmingham’s part in bending the arc of the moral universe, and the subsequent positive transformation in the hearts and minds of its citizens. The NBRPA Civil Rights Tour was truly a reflection on what it means to be human. Through the continued dedication and community outreach efforts of the NBRPA, it is hopeful that these adventures in history will allow these young people to view the world with a grateful heart and to do their part to make it a better place in which to live. The day had ended but the tour still had another impactful visit to make.
tools which when used together can contribute to a successful career. The Resume Builder, Cover Letter, College Essay, Sample Job Application, Learning Center and Decision Tree all work together to instill life-long habits and practical career knowledge that will serve young people well into adulthood. Jobsy Wobsy operates under the premise that the world is full of opportunity for the young. Nothing is impossible and nothing is out of reach. They can be anything they want to be with the right “push.” This unique program was paired well with the other activities. There was a Mentoring Component conducted by Mr. Will McCall of The Leadership Foundations
and Keith Plessy. Their presentation emphasized the importance of noting that there were others who fought for liberties now enjoyed by student attending Tulane University, the host of our day. Mr. Plessy reiterated important facts pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement while the students were literally sitting on the edge of their seats captivated by the presentation and attentively engaged. Respect for authority was another topic explored by Robert Triggs of The Leadership Foundations. Multiple activities immersed the young people in activities, which gave them speaking opportunities and demonstrated the importance of respect.
The NBRPA and its partners annually offer similar programs in 10-15 cities across the United States and abroad. Relevant topics are addressed which are pertinent and particular to each community and are led by their partner community leaders. In all, it was a fine day with much to be learned and much to be taken away. The NBRPA could be said to offer young people Coup de Main, a significant helping hand, in its deliberate attempts to mentor, provide direction and to guide these young people toward a greater understanding of their history in order for them to make sense of the world they live in.
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY Civil Rights Tales of Many Cities PART II
he NBRPA has developed an exceptional community outreach program which should be replicated and practiced throughout the country as an exemplary character-building experience. The quality and substance of the historic episodes shared with these selected students was a well-planned and executed adventure. Chaperones, who included teachers, retired NBA Players, historians, writers, and descendants of historical figures interacted with the students throughout the tour. As the NBRPA CIVIL Rights Tour progressed from Louisiana, through Mississippi and Alabama, Keith Plessy explained the significance of the Plessy v. Ferguson case to each busload of tour participants. Keith Plessy is a relative of Homer Plessy, the Louisiana man who initiated action-challenging inequities in railway transportation in 1892. Persons of African descent were required to travel in separate railroad cars. The ramifications of the Supreme Court 1896 findings for this case resulted in southern states confirming separate but equal facilities for blacks and whites in every aspect of public interaction. It influenced and justified the practice of segregation in public schools based on the ideology that if everything was equal, there was no inequity in the law or its application. Mr. Keith Plessy pointed out the absurdity of this demeaning practice of separation of the races, discrimination determined by differences in skin color. Mr. Homer Plessy, though legally classified as a Negro, could not be recognized as such solely based upon sight. He was clearly as
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white-skinned in appearance as any Caucasian. Mr. Keith Plessy drew many succinct parallels between the civil rights issues in New Orleans and Birmingham clarifying the issues of Brown v. Board of Education (1954). He made the observations more meaningful by recapping the story of Ruby Bridges when she integrated the schools in New Orleans in 1960.
Alyssa Arnell, a historian and professor, defined Brown v. Board of Education as one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of the 20th Century. It unanimously held that racial segregation of school children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The students were highly engaged with her presentation. She eloquently recounted how psychological studies using black and white dolls conducted by Kenneth and Mamie Clark were used as evidence to the courts that segregation was inherently damaging to the psyches of black students. She related how effectively the team of attorneys demonstrated that racial stereotyping caused black children to internalize feelings of inferiority and this factor swayed the opinion of the court to rule against Separate But
Equal practices. Student interaction was at its height as Dr. Arnell discussed how today students face a different era of discrimination. She emphasized how today’s resistance to unfair systems is again highlighted by the media just as it was in the ’60s.The media is an important tool in broadcasting injustices committed against minorities to foreign and sympathetic audiences. Effective and non-violent protest is still a most meaningful method to gain attention to one’s just cause. The buses reached our destination at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. We dined on pizza served by University students before assembling in an auditorium to hear inspiring and thoughtprovoking messages by studentathletes and coach Burton Burns. Coach Burns is from New Orleans, a fact that excited the Civil Rights Tour group. He presented Reggie Ragland, who is predicted to become the No. 1 selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. Ragland stimulated the group with very sage advice. This young man had an opportunity to be selected by an NFL team in the 2015 season. He opted to stay in school and complete his senior year. He discussed the value of making wise decisions. When he is able to retire from the NFL, he may be as young as 31 years old. He wants to be prepared to experience a professional life by equipping himself with the tools necessary to do so, namely a college degree. Tierany Jenkins, a young female basketball player, emphasized the importance of making good choices. She gave personal examples of choosing to practice to hone her skills instead of going to parties with her friends. The inspiring messages of the day were: Making Good Choices, Hard Work, Perseverance, and Education. These four axioms were reinforced by NBRPA Board Member Eldridge Recasner and Coach Burns.
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50 YEARS OF RUCKER PARK
HARLEM BASKETBALL COURTS ARE LEGENDARY IN NBA CIRCLES
ll roads lead to 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in New York to Holcombe Rucker Basketball Courts, also known as “Rucker Park.” Rucker Park is in the Harlem neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, just across the Harlem River from Yankee Stadium. The court is named after Holcombe Rucker, a local teacher and a playground director from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. In 1950, Rucker started a basketball tournament to help less-fortunate kids stay off the streets and aim for college careers. With humble beginnings, Rucker Park may be the most famous playground in the world. Back then, the style of play evolved to slam dunks, crossover dribbles and bravado that excited the crowd, a playing style at that time foreign to the NBA. This August marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of Rucker, who died of cancer in 1965, as the traditions he started – and his name – carry on. Rucker Pro Legends held an event series in August that touted “Where greatness swells and legends are forever.”
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Many players have graced the famous green court, including: • Wilt Chamberlain • Earl “The Pearl” Monroe • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar • Nate “Tiny” “The Skate” Archibald • Julius “The Claw” Erving • Kobe “Lord of the Rings” Bryant • Tom Hoover • Allen Iverson • Connie “The Hawk” Hawkins • Vince Carter • Rafer “Skip to My Lou” Alston • Chris Mullin • Jamal Mashburn • Kevin Durrant • Sebastian Telfair • Satch Sanders • LeBron James • Kyrie Irving • Bobby “Zorro” Hunter • Tony Greer
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SERIES: HEARING HEALTH
Part 3 of 4 Presented by
MAKING A LIFELONG IMPACT MIKE GLENN AN ADVOCATE FOR THE HEARING-IMPAIRED
Can you give some background on how you wanted to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people play basketball? “It started at an early age for me. My dad started a basketball program in Georgia for deaf children in the 1950s. The program included boys and girls about 6- and 7-years-old. My dad had a deep love and compassion for two things: basketball and deaf culture. I was born into that line of thinking. “My dad ran the program for over 20 years. The only payment he ever received was a handshake and a thank you. That’s when I realized his passion for helping others. It was all about loving, sharing, and giving. You can’t always see the results and impact of those traits. But their importance really grew on me.” How was the Mike Glenn Basketball Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing created? “Beginning in high school, I knew that I wanted to create a basketball camp for deaf players. Some of my best friends growing up were deaf. I loved the basketball camp that I was able to attend during high school and wanted to duplicate that for those deaf friends of mine.
This is the third in a four-part series of ‘Hearing Health Month’ feature stories highlighting hearing health as it relates to former professional basketball players. Celebrated during the month of May, EarQ is the presenting partner for the NBRPA’s Hearing Health Month. For more information, please visit EarQ.com.
by Jon Teitel 38
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photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
Mike Glenn Recognized by HearStrong Foundation
n August 23, 2014, the HearStrong Foundation awarded NBRPA Legend Mike “Stinger” Glenn with the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community before attendees at the 2014 National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Legends World Sports Conference in Cancun, Mexico. First drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1977, Glenn would go on to play for the Buffalo Braves, the New York Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Milwaukee Bucks throughout his 10-year career in the NBA. Inspired by his lifelong interaction and friendship with deaf and hard-of-hearing basketball players at the Georgia School for the Deaf, where his father taught and coached, Glenn founded the Mike Glenn All-Star Basketball Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in 1980. For 35 years, the camp has empowered countless young athletes with hearing difficulties to not only dream big, but to make those dreams come true. On June 20, 2014, in Decatur, Ga., Glenn joined representatives of EarQ in giving the gift of hearing to one of his young campers. “Mike’s incredible talent is overshadowed only by his compassion for and commitment to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community,” said Clifford Carey, a representative of the HearStrong Foundation and the communications director of EarQ. “His dedication to his campers and to their personal development is something to be admired. Through his efforts, a new generation of athletes will help shatter the misperception that hearing difficulties are a barrier to achievement.”
SERIES: HEARING HEALTH
Part 3 of 4 Presented by
“I ended up getting an interview with the New York Knicks while I was playing there regarding a deaf basketball camp. During that interview, I spoke with Kevin Kennedy who was the PR Director of the Knicks. He had suggested that I reach out to Mill Neck School for the Deaf in Mill Neck, N.Y. I traveled to the school and met with the school’s basketball coach and their Athletic Director. I pitched them my idea. I’ll never forget their response: “Start the camp here!” And that’s how the camp started in 1980.”
Can you take us through a typical day at your camp? “Sure. It’s a normal basketball camp, but also a sleepover – it’s the aspect that the kids probably love the most. Sunday night we have a really nice opening dinner for everyone. Teams are also picked that evening and the campers get their colorful shirts. “On Monday morning, we officially start the camp and have three different sessions a day. The first session is all based on drills with fundamentals: dribbling, shooting, passing and rebounding. In the afternoon, we play 3-on-3 as well. “One of the best aspects of the camp are the volunteers and guest speakers that
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come help the event. We’ve had current basketball players, former basketball players including NBRPA members, and even players from other sports. The amount of support that we get really is amazing. “Guys like Mike Gminski, Mitch Kupchak, Tiny Archibald, David Justice, Roddy White, Andrew Young, and Martin Luther King III have all come to be guest speakers at the camp. The list is so long. Every single one of them always says how much of a connection they feel with the kids. They almost get more out of it than the kids do.” What do you see as the big picture implications of the camp? What can an outsider learn from this camp? “To me, it’s the power of sharing, the idea of inclusion, and the realization that all opportunities for deaf kids are realistic. I’ve been around deaf and hard-of-hearing people my entire life. You have to realize that I was around when people said, ‘We were deaf when deaf wasn’t cool.’ So the camp is about empowering others and helping them understand that anything is possible. It can actually enhance your life – and I’m talking about both the campers and those that volunteer. “The people that come volunteer for the camp are so dedicated. I don’t pay my volunteers anything to come to the camp. Usually, I can’t even pay for their travel. But these people wouldn’t miss it for the world. I have some that use their only vacation from work to attend and volunteer at the camp. I’ve been blessed
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to have smiling individuals that bring positive feelings to the camp every year.” Do you hope to expand the camp in the coming years? “It will definitely be a challenge to do that. What’s crazy is that we used to do two camps per year – one in New York City and another one in Atlanta. Today, we just do the camp in Atlanta. Keeping the not-for-profit status is important. Fundraising for shirts, meals, space, equipment and other items are always our biggest areas where we need to raise more money. It’s a tall task currently.” How can people help the camp? “We always need fundraising help. More information about my endeavors with helping deaf and hard-of-hearing people can be found on my website [mikeglenn.com] for those needing more information. I also have a movie out called “The Spirit of Love” that highlights my journey, specifically in the space of health and hearing. “Even if fundraising is not realistic for someone, just spreading the word on the camp being available to all who have a hearing deficiency would be fantastic. We were fortunate enough to keep the camp
in operation during the recession. I think the knowledge and support and word-ofmouth from others made that possible.” Do you have a favorite memory from your camp? “There was a boy named Willie Brown. He came to my camp as a skinny little deaf kid from Macon, Ga. All I remember is that he soaked up every single aspect of our camp. He won MVP of our camp. I knew sign language, of course, and I always made sure to communicate to him that I thought he could play basketball at a very high level. Willie became a major college basketball player, first playing at Hofstra and then Georgia State. “He also bounced around in the CBA, but also had tryouts with the Denver Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks. I remember jumping up and down and waving my hands in excitement when he would dunk. The impact he had on the deaf basketball community was enormous. “Another story that comes to mind and happens often is the impact EarQ had. They gave a hearing aid to one of my little girl campers. Not only does that hearing aid enhance her life – it made her day.”
LEGENDS of the COURT
CATCHING UP WITH
BOB LANIER BIG MAN REFLECTS ON HALL OF FAME CAREER
hoever invented the phrase “having big shoes to fill” might have had Bob Lanier in mind, as
evidenced by his size 22 sneakers. Many Hall of Famers have been dominant players since early in their careers, but Lanier is one of the few who was ever cut from his high school team. However, he made a very nice recovery after that, winning two city titles in high school and being named a threetime All-America selection at St. Bonaventure. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft, which paid immediate dividends after he was named to the All-Rookie Team in 1971. During his 14 years in the NBA, he averaged a doubledouble (20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game), played in eight All-Star Games, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. by Jon Teitel
Rebound / Vol. 4 / Issue 3
photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
After being cut from your Bennett High School team as a sophomore, your biology teacher became head coach and brought you back to help lead the team to two city titles. Why did you get cut, and how did you get back on the team? “I tried out for the team, and the coach called me in and said I was too clumsy and needed to do something else. I was very brokenhearted because all my friends made the team. I talked to coach Laurie Alexander at the local Boys and Girls Club and he started working with me on my footwork/conditioning.” After going 22-0 at St. Bonaventure in 1968, you scored 23 points in a loss to eventual national runner-up North Carolina in the NCAA tourney (Larry Miller had 27 points and 16 rebounds). How was your team able to stay focused for the entire regular season? “We had the ‘Iron Man 5.’ We only went about five players deep.
LEGENDS of the COURT
We would raise our hand when we were tired and the coach would bring in five new guys. We played hard, but you also have to have some luck to do that. We also stayed fairly healthy despite not being the most talented team in the world. I dare say that we overachieved. We were ineligible the following year due to some recruiting violations, so going into our senior year we were geeked up to kick some butt.” Take me through the 1970 NCAA tourney: You went 25-1 in the regular season with the lone stumbling block being a two-point loss to Villanova. Were you out for revenge when you learned that you
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would be playing them in the tourney? “Villanova was a very tough team, especially at home in the Palestra. I was sitting in the stands during the game before ours, and some woman made a comment that the Wildcats were upset that they had to play us again after already having beaten us. I immediately got up and told our guys in the locker room that they thought we were a bunch of pushovers.” You had 26 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Villanova, but injured your knee with nine minutes left and were unable to play in your team’s eight-point loss to Jack-
sonville (led by Artis Gilmore’s 29 points and 21 rebounds). Do you feel that your team would have won if you were healthy? “I got hurt when we were up by 20 points. I thought we had a legitimate shot at winning the title so I think that we would have beaten Jacksonville.” You were a three-time AllAmerican, 1970 conference player of the year, and you still hold the school records for scoring (27.6 points per game) and rebounding (15.7 rebounds per game). What did it mean to you to win such outstanding honors, and do you think anyone will ever break your records? “I think that records are meant to be broken, but you do not think about it when you are going through your journey. You are just trying to be the best player/ person/teammate you can be. There are so many people who do not get the chance to smell the roses along the way, but I have a restless spirit and keep striving for perfection that I can never reach.” Despite signing your brandnew contract with Detroit while on crutches after preseason knee surgery, you scored 15.6 points per game and were named to the All-Rookie Team in 1971. How on Earth were you able to play all 82 games and make such a smooth transition from college to the pros? “It was not even close to smooth! It was probably one of the dumbest things that both I and the team did. My knee could not even bend 90 degrees when I went into training camp, but there was pressure on everyone for me to play. In hindsight I should have taken a few months or more to get physically ready to play. I have thought about it 100 times, but I did what I thought was the right thing at the time.” In the 1974 All-Star Game, you had 24 points and 10
Nelson and the two game officials were heading to the local CBS affiliate to review the tape of the final seconds to see if the shot clock should have expired? “I do not remember that incident but it was a heartbreaking loss.” You were later voted president of the NBA Players Association and also served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner. How has the relationship between labor and management changed over time, and do you think it is going to get any better in the future? rebounds and were named MVP in a win by the West. How were you able to play your best against the best? “You strive to do that when you enter the league. When you do your work to prepare your body/ mind, you just try to control the stuff you can control. We had a good team that played well, and I got enough votes to be named MVP. I treasure moments like that: sometimes I mess with my kids and tell them that they better Google me when I am trying to make a point!” What are your memories of Game 7 of the 1974 Western Conference Semifinals with Detroit (you scored 23 points, but Chet Walker made a layup with three seconds left in a two-point win by Chicago)? “Dave Bing was our best player, but his pass at the end of the game was intercepted and Chet made a layup to win it. I had a lot of unfortunate moments like that during my career. I remember talking to Don Nelson about how it seemed like someone sprinkled dust over us at times.”
Take me through the 1976 playoffs: In the Western Conference first round, you scored 28 points and Chris Ford had a steal/layup to clinch a three-point win over Milwaukee in the decisive Game 3. Where does Ford’s play rank among the most clutch plays you have ever seen? “Chris was not the fastest, but he was a great anticipator and guessed right that time.” In the Western Conference semifinals, you scored 30 points in a two-point overtime loss at home to Golden State in the decisive Game 6. How close did you come to winning the game? “Realistically, if we had kept our heads cool, we would have won. ML Carr got into a fight with one of their guards while Rick Barry just kept cool on the sideline, and he ate us alive later on.” In Game 7 of the 1981 Eastern Conference semifinals with Milwaukee, you scored 24 points in a one-point loss to Philly. What was your reaction when you heard that coach Don
“I do not think it has changed that much because each side has different constituencies to look after. You need both sides working together for the growth of the sport and the common good. It has been a good scenario where players/ owners have worked together to grow the sport and split the revenues of a $4 billion pot.”
LEGENDS of the COURT
CATCHING UP WITH
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR THE MASTER OF THE SKY HOOK OPENS UP
areem Abdul-Jabbar was born with the name Lew Alcindor in 1947. All he has ever done his entire life is set records and win championships. He won 71 straight games at Power
Memorial High School, setting a New York City high school record by scoring 2,067 points. He chose to attend college at UCLA, where he won three straight titles while being named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player each time. He set a record that still stands by averaging 26.4 points per game. Abdul-Jabbar was selected first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA Draft, and his 20-year pro career resulted in a resume that may never be matched. He was a19-time All-Star, six-time MVP, 11-time All-Defensive Team selection, and six-time NBA champion as a player thanks to his unstoppable skyhook. He retired in 1989 as the NBA’s all-time leader in several different categories, and his 38,387 points remain the most scored by any player in NBA history. by Jon Teitel
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photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
You learned to shoot your trademark “sky hook” in the fifth grade and were later able to shoot it with either hand. How did you first come up with it, and how hard was it to learn to shoot it ambidextrously? “When I was in the fifth grade, our basketball coach, Farrell Hopkins, would have older kids from our parish [St. Jude’s] who were in either college or high school help him with coaching duties. One of those kids showed me the ‘Mikan Drill.’ To do this drill you station yourself in front of the basket and shoot the ball off the glass by alternately using your right and left hand. In this way, you can develop the use of both hands and the footwork you need to shoot the hook shot.”
After growing to a height of 6-foot-8 by age 13, you went to high school at Power Memorial Academy and won 71 straight games and three NYC Catholic championships on a team that was later called the “No. 1 High School Team of the Century.” How was your team so dominant, and what was the feeling like in your locker room after the winning streak came to an end? “My team was dominant because we had sound game plans: get the ball to the open man for the easiest shots and play tough ‘D.’ We felt that we were emulating the Boston Celtics of Bill Russell’s era.” In 1965 at UCLA, you scored 51 points for the freshman team in a win over the two-time defending champion varsity (which was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll that year) in the first-ever game in Pauley Pavilion. What was it like to play in Pauley for the first time, and did you think your freshman team could have beaten anyone in the country? “Pauley Pavilion in 1965 was a state-of-the-art arena. We felt that we were playing in the best possible environment. We also felt that we were the best college team in the country even though we were freshmen.” In 1967 you set a school record with 61 points against Washington State. Was it just one of those scenarios where every shot you put up seemed to go in because you were in the zone? “My 61-point game came about because Coach Wooden left me in a game that we had already put away. I usually would have come out of such a game with five minutes left, but for some reason he left me in that day.” In 1968 your team had a two-point loss to Houston in the first-ever nationallytelevised regular season college basketball game in front of over 50,000 fans at
the Houston Astrodome in what has been called the “Game of the Century.” How big an obstacle was your scratched left cornea, and was it extra-special to beat the Cougars by 32 points in the rematch at the 1968 NCAA tourney semifinals? “I was not able to practice with my team before we played Houston in 1968 because of my eye injury. I am sure that it affected my conditioning/shooting touch, as it was the only game I played at UCLA where I did not shoot at least 50 percent from the field. Beating Houston in the finals was very satisfying because we got to prove all of our critics wrong.” You allegedly boycotted the 1968 Olympics to protest the unequal treatment of AfricanAmericans in the United States. Do you have any regrets about your decision, and what impact do you think your boycott had? “I do not have any regrets about missing the 1968 Olympics, but the supposed boycott did not take place.” You went 88-2 under coach John Wooden, won three NCAA titles and three NCAA tourney Most Outstanding Player awards, and were named First Team All-America during each of your three varsity seasons. What was it like to play for Coach Wooden, and do you consider yourself to be the best player in college basketball history? “Playing for Coach Wooden gave all of us a great deal of confidence because we felt that he was a master at coaching the game. I would only say that I should be considered one of the best college players.” In the spring of 1971, you were named MVP, won your first scoring title (31.7 points per game), swept Baltimore in the NBA Finals, were named Finals MVP, and adopted the
Muslim name Kareem AbdulJabbar. Was that the greatest two-month stretch of your entire life, and why did you decide to change names? “It is very hard for me to define the best stretch of my life, but I was thrilled to win the NBA title. I had been a Muslim for three years at that point, so it was an opportunity to go public with regard to my faith.” You won six NBA titles, won six MVP awards, were named to 19 All-Star teams, hold the record for most career points in NBA history, and were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. Which accomplishment are you proudest of, and do you consider yourself to be the best player in NBA history? “I feel that making 19 All-Star teams was a great achievement and a testimony to my longevity. It is impossible to say who was the best in NBA history, but I do feel that I have earned my way into that argument.”
You made your movie debut by fighting against Bruce Lee in the film “Game of Death,” and later played co-pilot Roger Murdock in “Airplane.” Which performance are you proudest of, and what was it like to work with Bruce Lee? “I think that ‘Airplane’ was more demanding in terms of acting skills. Working with Bruce was a direct result of having trained with him for 11 years.”
LEGENDS of the COURT
THE ‘BIG O’ WON BIG
NBA ‘PLAYER OF THE CENTURY’ LOOKS BACK ON HIS FAMILY’S INDIANAPOLIS SHACK Oscar Robertson, 76, is a former NBA player, voted “Player of the Century” in 2000 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He is author of “The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game.” He spoke with Marc Myers.
was fortunate back in the 1940s. Though I grew up poor in Indianapolis, I learned to play basketball with the city’s best players in a park we called the Dust Bowl. I didn’t experience racism firsthand because I didn’t interact with many white people then. That would come later. I was born in Charlotte, Tenn. My grandparents owned a farm and 14 acres. All of my relatives lived within a five-mile radius. We had a cow and hogs, and my grandfather sharecropped to raise hay and corn to feed the animals. When I was 4, we moved to Indianapolis, about six hours north. We had relatives there, and we lived with my Aunt Inez for a few years. Finally, in 1946, my father was told there was a beat-up shack available on Colton Street. He rushed over and got it. The house was a tar-paper shotgun shack built in the 1890s. There were two bedrooms. My older brothers, Henry and Bailey, and I slept in one, and my mother and father were in the other. Both my parents had to work— my mother worked two jobs and eventually became a beautician. My parents struggled to feed us, but mother always had something cooking. They were one-dish meals – cabbage, greens, rice and beans. On the weekends, she
by Marc Myers 48
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would fix us steak with potatoes and gravy. My father worked for a meatpacking plant. The first time I held a basketball was in the eighth grade. I started playing in a Police Athletic League club on the asphalt court at the Dust Bowl, next to the Lockefield Gardens housing project. Kids from all over the area played there. I stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall then. That summer I went to visit my grandparents in Tennessee. When I came back, I was 6-foot-4. When I was 11, my parents divorced, but I didn’t learn about it until high school because my father continued to live at home. I found out in 1954, when the city came and took the land where we lived for the Indiana Medical Center. We had six weeks to move. My mother found us a much better house on Boulevard Place that had a heating system and a better roof and bedrooms. I practiced my moves and shots at the Dust Bowl, watching other players and reading basketball books. I learned from a lot of great players, particularly about the importance of working as a unit. When I was a sophomore at Crispus Attucks, an all-black high school, I joined the team. We won the state championship my junior and senior years. What I loved about the sport was the ballet aspect, without knowing that’s what it was. Basketball is really an action-reaction game. You train photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
your reflexes to act instantly, and the choreography just evolves. High school was never a problem academically, and I had many exceptional teachers. School always came first. Coaches made sure you were in school and they posted your grades. I never had one teacher mention basketball. College was a shock. I went from an allblack school to the predominantly all-white University of Cincinnati in 1957. I was there on a scholarship and was the only black player on the team. The prejudice was tough, from students and some professors. It shocked me at first, but I let it run off my back. I was there to earn a business degree. Once I got on the court, it was a different story. I was accepted. The team made it to the Final Four twice, but we never won a championship. I was named Player of the Year all three years I played. I also made the Dean’s List. After college, I was co-captain of the 1960 Olympic team that won the gold medal, and then I joined the Cincinnati Royals. The following season, I averaged a triple-double for the entire season – double-digit totals in points, rebounds and assists. When I was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970, I joined Kareem AbdulJabbar and we helped the team win its only NBA title in 1971. Today my wife, Yvonne, and I live in Cincinnati, in the same house we bought in 1976. All my adult life I’ve been paving the way for those who followed. This was true in 1970, when I was head of the players association and we sued the NBA to reform the league’s free-agency and draft rules. We won, and the victory led to higher salaries – for all players.
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THE NEWSROOM A WORTHY HONOR NBRPA CHAIRMAN OTIS BIRDSONG INDUCTED INTO SWC HOF
QUEEN OF KINGS SACREMENTO NAMES LIEBERMAN ASSISTANT COACH aismith Memorial Hall of Famer and NBRPA Board Member Nancy Lieberman accepted an offer to become an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings. Lieberman is the second female coach in NBA history to join an NBA staff after Becky Hammon joined the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach in 2014. Previously, Lieberman coached the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League from 2009-2011. A 1996 Hall of Fame inductee, Lieberman made her WNBA debut with the Phoenix Mercury. She previously served as an assistant general manager for the Dallas Mavericks.
MUCH RESPECT GIVEN OPA-LOCKA HONORS IRVING THOMAS ational Basketball Retired Players Association member Irving Thomas was recently honored in Opa-locka, Fla., where he returned to his childhood city to accept a proclamation from the mayor, the commission and citizens of Opa-locka. Thomas moved to Opa-locka as a child and attended Miami Carol City Senior High where he led the varsity basketball team to a Class 6A state championship during his senior year. He played college basketball at University of Kentucky and Florida State University before being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1990. He later played in the minor leagues for two seasons before competing in the European Basketball League for seven years. He officially retired from the court in 2000. In 2001, he joined the Los Angeles Lakers as a scout, where he has served the organization in that role for 14 years. The city of Opa-locka declared September 9, 2015 as “Irving Thomas Jr. Day” and celebrated his achievements both on and off the court.
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he NBRPA, the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, is proud to announce that its Board Chairman – former NBA All-Star Otis Birdsong – was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame on Oct. 20. With a jumper that looked as sweet as his last name sounds, Birdsong was a bonafide college basketball star in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was Player of the Decade for the Southwest Conference as a star at the University of Houston from 1973-77 and made the NBA All-Star team four times as a member of the Kansas City Kings and New Jersey Nets. “Congratulations to NBRPA Board Chairman Otis Birdsong for his well-deserved induction into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame,” said NBRPA President and CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “As a sharp-shooter at the University of Houston, Otis helped turn the Cougars into one of the nation’s true power programs. He continued to make a mark on the game of basketball as a four-time NBA All-Star and still impacts the game today as our chairman.” As a freshman at UH in 1973-74, Birdsong gave only a preview of what was to come when he averaged 14.3 points per game. The next season he exploded onto the college basketball scene and ranked 15th nationally with 24.6 points per game in 1974-75, shooting a remarkable 58.3 percent from the field. He also became the first sophomore in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. As a junior, Birdsong led the SWC in scoring and ranked eighth nationally at 26.1 points per game. In 1976-77, Birdsong was honored as the SWC Player of the Year after averaging 30.3 points per game to stand fourth nationally. He was the only player in SWC history to average more than 30 points per game. Following his Houston days, Birdsong continued to excel at the professional level. He was the second player taken in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings and finished his 12-year NBA career with Kansas City, New Jersey and Boston with more than 12,500 points. After retiring from the game, Birdsong served as president and general manager of the Little Rock Rim Rockers, which won the 2005 ABA championship. The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Birdsong joined the other inductees in a ceremony and luncheon at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth Oct. 20. The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame is one of four separate halls of fame housed within the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s physical structure. They include the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and now, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame. The other 2014 SWC Hall of Fame inductees were as follows: Nolan Richardson (Arkansas), Walter Abercrombie (Baylor), Harold Solomon (Rice), George McMillion (SMU), Jill Sterkel (Texas), Mark Johnson (Texas A&M), James Cash (TCU) and Andre Tillman (Texas Tech).
EX-NBA PLAYERS COLEMAN, ROSE, BING MENTOR KIDS AT CLINIC
n a Calihan Hall classroom on the Detroit Mercy campus, nearly 40 Detroit middle school and high school students were asked if they knew anyone who was shot and killed in the past two years.
Nearly half raised their hands. Asked if they knew the shooter, about five hands stayed up. That was enough for Derrick Coleman, who grew up in Detroit before becoming rich and famous in the NBA, to share his tragedies. When Coleman returned to Detroit from Syracuse after his freshman year, soon after starring in the national championship game, he and his friends went to play at the neighborhood rec center. On their way home walking back, they saw two men having an argument on a porch. One of Coleman’s best friends walked up and was shot – on the spot. Coleman froze in horror, instead of running, and saw the gunman flee right by him. The incident haunts him to this day, thinking what he could have done to avoid the situation. Later in his college career, he returned to his dorm to find a note to call his mother. The message: another one of his best friends in Detroit, one he begged to join him at Syracuse to escape the city, had been shot and killed. So he was understandably moved when he saw the hands raised at the “Full Court Press: Prep for Success” youth basketball and mentoring program. “That’s sad,” said Coleman (Detroit Northern) at the event, a collaboration between the National Basketball Retired Players Associa-
tion, the NBA and the Police Athletic/Activities League. “Because when I saw that showing of hands in that room, that’s what came over me to share that experience. I always react to what kids say. I’ve got so many stories and life lessons to tell.” He told his stories to show the kids that he had suffered tragedy, seen violence and kept his focus, thriving in his life. Coleman, former Detroit Southwestern and U-M star Jalen Rose and former Piston and Detroit mayor Dave Bing were among the former players assisting in the program for 10- to 16-year-olds. They discussed their continuous connection within the city – from Bing, who mentored Coleman when he moved from Alabama to Detroit around age 13, to Coleman, who mentored Rose when Coleman was in college, giving him food, his car and anything else he needed, to Rose, who started his Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in the city four years ago and recently celebrated his first graduating class. While they all had stories about basketball successes, they all made it a point to delve into their post-basketball careers and the role education played. With basketball an unlikely career for most, they pointed out the importance of being presentable and prepared for job interviews and holding themselves every day
to a high standard. All while mixing in cautionary tales. Rose, now an ESPN analyst, told a story about his post-U-M freshman summer in Detroit, when he was staying at a friend’s house. It was raided by police, and a few kids there were carrying drugs. Rose, who was ticketed for loitering, told them he was just playing video games and knew nothing about the drugs. His fear after the story went public was being summoned back to Ann Arbor and meeting with university bigwigs, who heard his side and weighed whether he could stay a U-M student. The officials accepted his rationale, asking him to explain his story at a news conference. But that one moment nearly ended his basketball aspirations. “It was crazy, it was something I think about, it was a turning point,” Rose said. “The point I was trying to convey to them is, don’t let someone else’s poor decisions affect your goals and dreams you worked so hard for.” Rose worries that students still live in dangerous neighborhoods, so they need to make conscious choices to avoid potential problems. That’s why it was important for Bing, Rose and Coleman, as well as former U-M player Jimmy King, former NBA player Willie Burton and former Piston Rick Mahorn to be among those giving their time. At a staff group photo during the lunch break, Rose shouted that he was challenging other prominent entertainers and athletes who say they love Detroit to do their part to help kids and give their time. Bing appreciated that all these former basketball stars wanted to give back. “They could be doing something else today,” Bing said. “Basketball is just a vehicle to move to something else in your life.” A reminder today from those who made it a career — and kept going afterward.
by Mark Snyder ReboundTalk
The Detriot Free Press
THE NEWSROOM A MAN WHO BLAZED THE TRAIL NBRPA MEMBER WAYNE EMBRY TO BE HONORED BY NCAS
aismith Basketball Hall of Famer and Toronto Raptors senior advisor Wayne Embry — the first African American general manager and the first African American team president in all of professional sports — was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) on October 14 at the organization’s annual Giant Steps Awards banquet in Orlando, Florida. Best-selling author and former Sports Illustrated columnist Frank Deford joined Embry as an NCAS Hall of Fame inductee. The NCAS, based at the University of Central Florida, created its Hall of Fame in 1999. Among the inductees thus far are Nelson Mandela, Jackie and Rachel Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jackie JoynerKersee, Nancy Lieberman, Julius Erving and Tom Sanders. The complete list of Hall of Famers and information about NCAS can be found at ncasports.org. “Throughout the years I have watched Wayne’s career and have had an incredible amount of respect for everything he has accomplished as a player and executive,” said Dr. Richard Lapchick, NCAS Director and chair of the DeVos Sports Business Management program at University of Central Florida. “He has certainly played a significant role in society for positive social change. I am proud that he will be part of the NCAS Hall of Fame. I am lucky to be able to call him a friend.” Embry, whose NBA career dates back to 1958, recently joined Dr Lapchick and ESPN commentator Sage Steele in a discussion called “Shining the Light on Diversity and Inclusion” at the 2014 Global Sports Summit in Aspen, Colo. In May, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Team Operations at the 2014 Global Sports Management Summit in Chicago. In March, as a previous winner of Sports Business Daily’s annual “Champions: Pioneers and Innovators” award, he was a panelist at the IMG/Sports Business Daily World Conference of Sports.
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ABOUT WAYNE EMBRY A native of Springfield, Ohio, Embry was an All-American center at Miami University of Ohio, leading the team to the NCAA regionals in his senior year. He was a five-time NBA All-Star during his eight years with the Cincinnati Royals, three years with the Boston Celtics and one year with the expansion Milwaukee Bucks, winning a championship ring with the Celtics in 1968. He began his front office career with the Bucks in 1970, facilitating trades for Oscar Robertson and Bob Boozer that resulted in the team’s sole NBA title in 1971. Anchored by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Bucks put together the highest winning percentage in the NBA to that date and became the earliest expansion team to win a title in any professional sport.
RAISING FUNDS ON THE LINKS GOLF OUTING BENEFITS BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME t was great to hang out again at the Wigam Arizona for the fourth annual Jerry Colangelo Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic. It’s an event put on yearly by the Basketball Hall of Fame that provides support for their non-profit museum, dedicated to the founder of the game and serves as caretaker for the history of basketball. Proceeds from events such as this provide the Hall of Fame funding to allow for proper preservation of its artifacts, enhancements to the visitor experience, provisions for effective educational programming for young people and promotion of the great athletes of the game along with their inspirational stories throughout the world. As always, there was a Pairings Dinner that served as a great warmup for what was a spectacular day of golf at The Wigwam’s pristine Gold and Patriot course. An impressive array of Basketball Hall of Fame legends arrived from throughout the country in support of the Naismith Hall of Fame. It was a great turnout where everyone enjoyed everything that Phoenix, Litchfield Park and the Wigwam has to offer. Congratulations to Dick Bavetta, John Calipari, Louie Dampier, Lindsay Gaze, Spencer Haywood, Tom Heinsohm, John Isaacs, Lisa Leslie, George Raveling and Jo Jo White.
HONORING THOSE WHO PAVED THE WAY
A PIONEER IN HER SPORT
JONES FAMILY INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL BLACK COLLEGE ALUMNI HALL OF FAME
SWOOPES RECGOGNIZED BY WNBA WITH AWARD
ebound Magazine congratulates Oliver, Melvin, Wilbert, Caldwell, Major and Charles Jones for their induction into the 30th annual National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. The Jones Brothers were among the 19 honorees at the ceremony. Charles, Wilbert, Oliver and Major were at the ceremony to receive their award while Caldwell’s Widow Vanessa, as well as Melvin’s daughter received awards for the deceased brothers on their behalf. The Jones Brothers all played collegiate basketball at Albany State University. Four of the brothers – Wilbert, Charles, Major, and Caldwell – went on to play in the NBA.
he National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, congratulates member Sheryl Swoopes, who was recognized with the WNBA Boost Mobile Pioneer Award. Swoopes received the award at the WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon presented by ESPN on September 28. During her playing career, Swoopes was named WNBA Most Valuable Player three times (2000, 2002, 2005) and Defensive Player of the Year three times (2000, 2002, 2003). Swoopes was also a six-time WNBA All-Star. She represented Team USA in the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000 and 2004. Swoopes is currently the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Loyola University Chicago.
‘A SHINING EXAMPLE’ TOM MCMILLEN NAMED 1A ATHLETIC DIRECTORS’ ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT AND CEO
HONORING AN NBA CHAMPION P.J. BROWN TO BE INDUCTED INTO LOUISIANA SPORTS HALL OF FAME ational Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) member P.J. Brown was recently announced as an inductee for the 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held June 25, 2016 in Natchitoches, La. Brown played high school and college basketball in Louisiana, before embarking on a 15-year NBA career. Four of those years were with the New Orleans Hornets, where Brown was one of the standout players on the team when the franchise relocated to New Orleans in 2002. He culminated his career in 2008 when he helped lead the Boston Celtics to winning the NBA championship in his final season as a pro. Brown will join seven other inductees being enshrined into the Louisiana Spots Hall of Fame next year.
he National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, congratulates member Tom McMillen on being named 1A Athletic Directors’ Association President and CEO. McMillen, a former University of Maryland and professional basketball standout, U.S. Congressman and Rhodes scholar, will be a key component in the restructured 1A Association helping to serve member athletics directors in better navigating the rapidly changing landscape of collegiate athletics as the association expands its mission by providing increased resources in the areas of advocacy, legislative services, business analytics, and professional training. In 1974, McMillen was drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Buffalo Braves and the first round of the ABA Draft by the Virginia Squires. His career spanned 11 years where he played for the Braves, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Washington Bullets before retiring to pursue a career in politics. He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1986 to represent Maryland’s 4th district. He served in this role from 1987-1993. “The NBRPA is very proud of Tom’s newest achievement,” said NBRPA President and CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “He is a shining example of our members making a difference in life after the game.”
OBITUARIES 2013 REBOUND MAGAZINE LEGEND OF THE YEAR
REMEMBERING ‘BIG MO’ HALL OF FAME CENTER ALSO A LEGEND OFF THE COURT
BRPA Legend Moses “Big Mo” Malone was known as for his ability to rebound throughout his career, part of the reason he was named the 2013 Rebound Magazine Legend of the Year. But as an NBRPA member, it is also because of his contributions to his community and to the game of basketball during and after his professional playing career with the ABA and the NBA. Once his playing days concluded, it’s no surprise that he helped others learn how to rebound in their lives. A Hall of Fame center whose career spanned 21 seasons, Malone retired as the third-leading rebounder and the fifthleading scorer in NBA history. For his efforts, he was honored during the 199697 season as a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
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While fans today are accustomed to players like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett making the leap from high school directly to the pros, Malone was the one that actually pioneered the move. At the age of 19, the 6-foot-10 Malone made the jump from Petersburg High School in Virginia to the Utah Stars of the ABA in 1974. As a rookie, he averaged 18.8 points a game and 14.6 rebounds on 57 percent shooting from the floor. His numbers would allow him to earn ABA All-Rookie Team honors in 1975 and become an ABA All-Star in 1976. After a two-year stint in the ABA, the NBA and ABA merged with Malone going to the Trail Blazers in the 1976 ABA Dispersal Draft. Without ever playing a second in Portland, he was traded to the Buffalo Braves where he played all of two games before being sent to Houston for two draft picks. Malone would spend six seasons in Houston, winning two NBA MVP awards, leading Houston to the 1981 NBA Finals, leading the league in rebounding during the 1978-79 season and breaking the league’s record for offensive rebounding in his first year as a Rocket. After entering the ABA as a power forward, Malone’s frame filled out and he eventually moved to the center position. Not as tall as other centers in his era, Malone utilized his strength, quickness and tenacity to become a force down low. A monster on the glass, he was the NBA’s rebounding leader six times during a seven-year span – starting during the 1978-79 season and ending during the 1984-5 season. Just as deadly as a scorer, he averaged more than 20 points per game for 11 straight years, utilizing a complete arsenal of post moves, a penchant for grabbing offensive rebounds and an unparalleled ability to get to the free throw line. But he also made his presence felt on the defensive end, earning a selection to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1979. After being traded to the Sixers at the conclusion of his NBA 1981-82 season, his dynamic abilities on both the offensive and defensive ends would pay immediate
comments by Matt Fish
photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
I remember Big Mo as a quiet and caring man. I got to know him during my Presidency of the Phoenix Chapter and sitting on the Advisory Board for the Houston Chapter with Rebound Magazine. I attended several events where Moses was there making a difference. I always made it a point to have a chat with him; he was a quiet person with a huge presence. I always did my best to make him smile. When I did, it always lit up my world and made my day. To truly one of the greatest, rest in peace, my friend. – Matt Fish
dividends for Philadelphia. Malone would go on to win his third and final MVP trophy after leading the Sixers to a 65-17 record, an NBA title and a 12-1 record during the 1983 postseason. He would also go on to win NBA 1983 Finals NBA, become an All-Star for a sixth-straight time, make the All-NBA First Team and the NBA All-Defensive Team, all while averaging 26 points and 15.8 rebounds a night throughout the playoffs. Malone would stay with Philadelphia for three more seasons, winning the rebounding title with averages of better than 13 boards per game in the next two campaigns and posting scoring averages of 22.7, 24.6 and 23.8 points a game, respectively. The 1984-85 campaign, which was his last with the Sixers, saw him become the first player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding for five consecutive seasons. With a 13.1 a game average, he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s recorded of leading the NBA in boards for four straight years, a mark that had stood since the 1960s. Malone’s career was remarkable because of its consistency. In 1978, which would’ve been Malone’s senior year in college had he attended, he would make the first of what would be 12 consecutive All-Star Games appearances. However, during the 1989-90 season Malone’s career would start to slowly decline. In his second season with the Hawks, he would finally snap a streak of 11 straight 20-point and 10-rebound seasons. It would also mark the last season that Malone would lead the NBA in offensive boards. But he
would still go on to play five more seasons in the NBA, averaging in double-figures in two of those campaigns. After retiring following the 1994-95 season, Malone finished with 27,409 points and 16,212 rebounds throughout his 19-year career. His 8,531 free throws were more than any other player in NBA history, his 11,090 free throw attempts were ranked second alltime, and his 1,329 games played ranked third in league history. Malone is the NBA’s all-time leader in offensive rebounds and second in defensive rebounds. He also set a league record by grabbing 21 offensive boards in a single game against the Seattle SuperSonics in 1977. And when it was all said and done, Malone would go on to set the NBA record for most consecutive games played without fouling out with 1,207. For everything he did on the court, he was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Although his playing career
ended, his excellence continued – Malone used his exceptional skills and abilities to help individuals and organizations in the Houston area and beyond through his active participation in the Houston NBRPA Chapter. He was a key player in the chapter’s three key initiatives: Water Conservation & Education, Health & Wellness Education, and STEM Education. In 2013 the annual All-Star weekend was held in Houston, he and fellow Hall of Famers Elvin “Big E” Hayes and Calvin Murphy hosted the NBRPA’s national flagship event of the year, the Legends of Basketball All-Star Weekend and its Saturday Red Carpet Soiree at Mercedes Benz of Houston Greenway. Billed as a starstudded, fun and philanthropic weekend, it celebrated the careers of the organization’s illustrious membership. In honor of Black History Month, it also highlighted the impact of African-American players of the game of basketball. Moses passed away on September 13, 2015 at the age of 60. He is remembered not only for his rebounds and three MVP trophies, but for making people smile. Charles Barkley delivered the eulogy and referred to Malone as “Dad” and recalled that when he asked Malone for advice as he struggled in his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Malone told him he was fat and lazy.
THE MAN WHO BROUGHT THE THUNDER DAWKINS’ ELECTRIC CAREER REMEMBERED
arryl Dawkins was an American professional basketball player, most noted for his days with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, although he also played briefly for the Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz late in his career. His nickname, “Chocolate Thunder”, was bestowed upon him by Stevie Wonder. He was known for his powerful dunks, which notably led to the NBA adopting breakaway rims due to his shattering the backboard on two occasions in 1979. On Aug 27, 2015, Dawkins’s family released a statement through the NBA, announcing that he died of a heart attack. “It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack,” the statement reads. “Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart. His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss. More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father. We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss.” A 6-foot-11 center, Dawkins earned the nickname “Chocolate Thunder” during his playing days for his high-flying, powerful
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dunks. He famously broke two backboards in 1979, one with a slam he dubbed the “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, GlassBreaker-I-Am Jam.” A native of Orlando, Dawkins became the first player drafted to the NBA straight out of high school when he was selected by Philadelphia with the fifth pick of the 1975 draft. He appeared in three NBA Finals with the 76ers. In 14 NBA seasons, Dawkins averaged 12 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. His final seasons were plagued by injury. After Dawkins retired from the NBA, he played briefly with the Harlem Globetrotters and entered coaching, with stops in the American Basketball Association, the United States Basketball League, and Lehigh Carbon Community College. Dawkins was an astounding combination of strength, size and speed. Young Dawkins has been compared to Kareem AbdulJabbar and had the potential to be one of the NBA’s all-time elite centers. Dawkins first made national headlines in June 1975 when he became the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft. The surprise was that he was only 18 years old and the first player ever to move directly from high school into the NBA. Dawkins was as much as an outlaw as many of his new peers, he was also full of fun and talking trash, unloosing player and an irresistible showman. Kind of the basketball photos courtesy Getty/NBRPA
equivalent of Muhammad Ali. Was Chocolate Thunder ahead of his time? Yes. And did he suffer for his innocence? Yes. Yet in his own way, Dawkins had a more lasting effect on professional basketball than did his all-star contemporaries – Julius Irving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird – because it was Double-D who proved that adding a healthy dose of entertainment to NBA competition made the game much more fanfriendly. So give Dawkins credit for helping to resurrect the NBA from its darkest days and ways. Still today, NBA players routinely play to the fans and to the media. Beating their chests after a dramatic, rim-rattling slam. Waving their hands to rouse the crowd into uproarious celebrations. Encouraging even louder cheers by coupling a hand to an ear. Mugging and scowling and flexing tattooed biceps. But Darryl Dawkins did it first and did it best.
(CHOCOLATE THUNDER, DOUBLE D) POSITION: Center ▪ Shoots: Right HEIGHT: 6-11 ▪ Weight: 251 lbs. BORN: January, 1957 in Orlando, Fla. DIED: August 27, 2015 (Age 58) HIGH SCHOOL: Evans High in Orlando, Fla. DRAFT: Philadelphia 76ers, 1st round (5th overall), 1975 NBA Draft NBA DEBUT: October 27, 1975
KEY DATES MAY 29, 1975: Drafted fifth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. OCTOBER 27, 1975: Makes NBA debut against LA. Lakers. NOVEMBER 5, 1975: Scores first points, with 6 points against Chicago. NOVEMBER 13, 1979: Breaks a backboard for the first time against the Kings in Kansas City. DECEMBER 5, 1981: Breaks leg against New Jersey Nets. AUGUST 27, 1982: Traded by Philadelphia to New Jersey in exchange for a first-round pick in 1983 (Leo Rautins, 17th) and $700,000. OCTOBER 8, 1987: Traded by New Jersey to Cleveland Cavaliers with Mel Turpin and a future second-round draft pick. Dell Curry, Kent Benson, and a future second-round draft pick went to Cleveland. NOVEMBER 26, 1987: Acquired by Detroit Pistons from Utah in exchange for second-round picks in 1988 and 1990, plus cash. FEBRUARY 23, 1989: Waived by Detroit. OCTOBER 7, 1994: Signed with Sioux Falls Skyforce of the CBA. NOVEMBER 14, 1994: Signed with the Harlem Globetrotters. NOVEMBER 21, 1995: Re-joins Sioux Falls Skyforce of the CBA. JANUARY 17, 1996: Played in the CBA All-Star Game for the National Conference at the Sioux Falls Arena. JUNE 23, 2000: Plays one game with the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs of the USBL. As playing-coach.
FACTS • Still holds single season record for personal fouls with 386, set in 198384. Also holds the next highest mark with 379 in 1982-83. • Led league in personal fouls in three seasons, tied for first on all-time list with George Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen and Shawn Kemp. • Fouled out of 23 games in 1982-83, the third highest mark in history. • NBA uniform numbers: 53, (PHI, NJ); 50 (DET); 45 (UTAH). • Lifetime field-goal percentage of .572 (3,477 out of 6,079), tied for fourth best in NBA history. • Played in NBA finals three times with Philadelphia: 1977 vs Portland; 1980 vs LA. Lakers; 1982 vs LA. Lakers.
CAREER NBA STATISTICS YEAR
GP MPG PPG
25.8 12.0 13.35
726 23.7 12.0 14.34 49.1
OBITUARIES MOSES MALONE – NBRPA member Moses Malone, a three-time NBA MVP and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, has passed away. One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all-time, Malone was the NBA Finals MVP in 1983 when he and Julius Erving led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA Championship. Always accessible to his fellow members, Malone was a mainstay at NBRPA events and was honored in July for his service to the organization. “The NBRPA is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and brother, Moses Malone,” said Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey. “Moses was an incredible player, but an even better friend to all of us here at the NBRPA. We will miss his laugh, smile, enthusiasm and dedication toward making the world a better place for former players. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family.” The 6-foot-10 center averaged a double-double while playing for eight teams over 20 NBA seasons and led the league in rebounding six times. The 12-time All-Star averaged 20.6 points per game and 12.2 rebounds over his career. Malone’s 16,212 rebounds still rank fifth on the NBA’s all-time list, while his 27,409 career points rank eighth. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. DARRYL DAWKINS – The NBRPA extends condolences to the family of Darryl Dawkins, who passed away at age 58. Dawkins, affectionately known by fans and friends as “Chocolate Thunder,” is survived by his wife Janice and children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis. “The entire NBRPA family is saddened by the loss of Darryl Dawkins,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey. “I
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played briefly with Darryl in Utah toward the end of his career and was lucky enough to join him on a goodwill mission to visit United States military troops in Kosovo a few years ago. As strong and athletic as he was on the basketball court, Darryl made a bigger impact as a community ambassador and philanthropist off the court. His kind soul and big personality will be missed greatly and our prayers go out to Janice and his children.” As a player, Dawkins was a supremely athletic big man who exploded on the NBA scene as the first-ever high school player selected in the first round of the draft. Dawkins spent parts of 14 seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. He averaged 12.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 726 regular-season games. His 57.2 field goal percentage is seventh-best in NBA history. Although best known for his backboard-shattering dunks, perhaps Dawkins’greatest impact on the game was his fun-loving personality and genuine kindness. In life after the game Dawkins frequently worked as a community ambassador for the NBRPA and NBA. The Dawkins family released the following statement: “It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack. Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart. His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss. More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and
father. We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss.” JACKSON VROMAN – The NBRPA extends condolences to the family, friends, and former teammates of former NBA player Jackson Vroman, who passed away at the age of 34. Son of former NBA player Brett Vroman, Jackson was the first Iowa State player to lead the Big 12 in rebounding in 24 years. After spending two seasons with the Cyclones, Vroman was a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2004, later playing for both the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets. Following his NBA career, Vroman played basketball abroad in several countries, including Spain, the Philippines, and the territory of Puerto Rico. While playing in the Iranian Basketball Super League for the Mahram Tehran Basketball Club, who won numerous championships in 2009-2010, Vroman was awarded the 2009 Most Valuable Player honor as part of the Asian Championship. BOB KAUFFMAN – The NBA family mourns the loss of Bob Kauffman, a three-time NBA AllStar with the Buffalo Braves. The third overall pick of the 1968 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, Kauffman played seven years in the NBA, enjoying his best years in Buffalo, where he made three consecutive All-Star appearances. Kauffman led the Braves in scoring and rebounding in the franchise’s inaugural season of 1970-71. A video of Kauffman’s career will air on NBA TV GameTime as well as NBA assets; NBA History/Twitter pays tribute and NBA.com’s John Schuhmann paid tribute to Bob Kauffman.
READY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
NBRPA DALLAS CHAPTER HAS BEEN ACTIVE
ne of the newer chapters of the NBRPA, the Dallas Chapter, is off to a great start. The leaders of the chapter recently held a private reception on Friday, October 23. This exclusive event provided the opportunity to mingle with retired basketball legends Sidney Moncrief, Sam Perkins, Michael Ray Richardson and many others as they helped raise awareness about the NBRPAâ€™s Dallas chapter and the Dallas Leadership Foundation. The event was held at the beautiful Sewell Infiniti Showroom in Dallas and included smooth jazz, along with sips and bites compliments of Texas Land and Cattle with libations provided by Ben E. Keith Distributing Company.
A partner of the Dallas chapter, the Dallas Leadership Foundation, is a charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization driven to transform communities neighborhood by neighborhood. During the life of their ministry, they have touched more than 70,000 people in Dallas helping them wrestle with challenges such as crime, substandard housing and high school dropout rates. The event was sponsored by Wells Fargo, Texas Land & Cattle, Sewell, Beyond the Game, Bob Lilly Promotions, the Dallas Mavericks, Ben E. Keith Co. and the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. If you live in the area and would like to join their great cause, please reach out to Willie Davis, their chapter President.
LEFT: Tom Hoover, president of the NBRPA NYC Metro Chapter, and Tiny Archibald visit with kids from a program whose parents are incarcerated.Â ABOVE: Hoover at an art exhibition at the United Nations with NBRPA board members Tim Monahan and Abe Kasbo.
Rebound / Vol. 4 / Issue 3
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Rebound: The Official Magazine of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Legends of the Court: Jo Jo White & Spencer Haywood:...
Published on Nov 10, 2015
Rebound: The Official Magazine of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Legends of the Court: Jo Jo White & Spencer Haywood:...