October 21, 2013

By: Alyssa Nadelman

NBRPA member Matt Fish is Phoenix Chapter President and publisher for our very own Rebound Magazine. Fish played for five teams in his three NBA seasons after a standout career at University of North Carolina at Wilmington. A 1992 second-round selection by the Golden State Warriors, Fish made his NBA debut in 1994 with the Los Angeles Clippers. His rookie season with the Clippers was perhaps his finest, as Fish averaged nearly five points in 14 minutes per game. For his career, the 7-footer averaged 12.4 points per 36 minutes played.

Q: Did you always have a gut feeling basketball would remain a large part of your life, even after your NBA career?

Yes, I always felt that there were ways to give back to the game that gave so much to me.

Q: How are you enjoying your role as Phoenix Chapter President? 

Although there are many challenges, I do feel that there are a lot of opportunities out there. I look forward to exploring them as we move further and as the NBRPA grows as an organization. I think finding out exactly what our initiatives are in the area will lend us more direction.

Q: What kinds of responsibilities make up being president of a chapter for the NBRPA?

Well it’s multifaceted – at this point many hats are worn. There’s the communication aspect, finding out what everyone’s passionate about and what ways we can give back to the community, as well as connecting players and networking. There are countless things included – so many that I can’t do them all. That’s why I’m currently looking for advisory board help.

Q: Which aspects of your position do you enjoy the most and why?

I enjoy learning about the fraternity – you know learning about fraternizing and the history of basketball. Everyone that played in the NBA has immense talents and it’s interesting to see how they use those abilities in different ways, shapes, and forms after the NBA. Whether it involves something like giving back to the community, it’s just been intriguing to learn about everyone’s journey and how they’ve found their way through life.

Q: Not only are you Phoenix Chapter President, but you’re also the Owner/Publisher/Editor of Rebound Magazine. Do you believe the task of taking on leadership roles is something that has come naturally to you? 

I think that it has. I feel like I’ve grown into some nice leadership roles. I enjoy Rebound Magazine, which allows me again to learn the history, stories, and the journeys that these people all took to make it to the professional leagues and what they’ve done since. I’m trying to make a resource available that does just that – endears our fans and talks about the different opportunities that are available to the membership and the NBRPA programs and services they’re in. I want to be able to bring opportunities that are unique and elite to them. Additionally, it’s just been fun to captivate our fans, ensure communication, know the NBRPA brand and really get that outreach that there should be by sharing the stories of these members to the fans and to each other.

Q: Do you believe your basketball career has had any influence on your several leadership roles? 

There’s no question that from basketball – or any sport really – you get out of it what you put into it. Doing what I had to do in college to get to where I had to be in the pros took leadership and certainly honed my skills. The ability to lead is not something that’s easily obtained. Having those leadership abilities is certainly something that is impacting and they’ve without a doubt led to opportunities I’ve had outside of basketball.

Q: How did you become involved with Rebound Magazine?

I was always involved with the NBRPA; I joined about 9 years ago. I just kind of learned as I went along about the needs of the members themselves, as well as the mission of the organization. Then when Arnie Fielkow took over (as NBRPA President & CEO), he talked about the importance of ensuring communication, endearing our fans and building our brand. He also discussed the need to market the chapters and members including what they do: like the books they’ve written, the DVDs they’ve made and the camps they’ve put on. In my mind, I’m thinking we need something like a magazine. I brought the idea here to the local chapter in Phoenix and they kind of had a hard time grasping the concept, so I took it to Arnie, as he was going around visiting all the chapters. He then brought it to the Board of Directors and they initially voted for it and ever since I’ve been able to grow the magazine closer to my vision. I’m not there yet – it’s certainly a journey and a work in progress.

Q: For those who don’t know, what is Rebound Magazine all about?

It’s really a multifaceted opportunity to tell the stories of the members. We’re able to talk about their journeys to get to the NBA and since the NBA, as well as how they’re giving back in communities. It allows us to tell the history of basketball, from the style and clothing changes, to the rules changes, to the different leagues. It’s to attract our readership to these human interest stories, as well as the members themselves to learn about one another and the different programs and services that have been made available through the NBRPA, including educational outreach, financial literacy, franchising opportunities, philanthropy and so forth. It’s very versatile, it gives our fans an inside look into the world of professional basketball and the work of the NBRPA. It is also a resource tool for the members to be able to find out about the products and services that are available to them, as well as advice on life.