Category: News

-Exclusive Partnership to Involve Nearly 1500 Basketball Legends Including Iconic Names – Bill Russell, Jerry West, Karl Malone, Walt Frazier, Chris Mullin and more-

-Revolutionary Media Network’s ARIA Exchange Reimagines the NFT Experience With An Original, Next-Level, Transparent, Secure and Carbon Negative Consumer NFT trading platform-

Chicago, ILL. June 22, 2022 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today a groundbreaking group licensing deal with ARIA Exchange.  The multi-year agreement will allow ARIA Exchange to create royalty generating products, utilizing its innovative Aria 360 technology. ARIA Exchange will create and market virtual marketing ad-campaigns to brands featuring Legends and virtual images of Legends in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) - digital assets that are functional through blockchain technology.  

This robust opportunity ushers the NBRPA into the new iteration of internet technology, while leveraging Legends' Name, Image, and Likeness to best align with emerging digital trends.

“As the demand for Legends and their one-of-a-kind collectibles skyrockets, this partnership with ARIA Exchange allows us to bring our Legends into a new and innovative marketplace, where they can serve as connoisseurs and creators of their narrative,” said Scott Rochelle, President & CEO, National Basketball Retired Players Association.  “We are thrilled to partner with ARIA Exchange to celebrate our Legends’ accomplishments and iconic moments and provide exclusive and artistic value to fans and collectors around the world.” 

The first release featuring NBRPA Legends will be available summer 2022 exclusively on ARIA Exchange and will include such notable names as Bill Russell, Jerry West, Karl Malone, Isiah Thomas, Chris Mullin, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, Grant Hill, Hakeem Olajuwon, Earl Monroe, Elgin Baylor and many more.  

To learn more about the National Basketball Retired Players Association and the ARIA Exchange, please visit https://www.legendsofbasketball.com/ and  https://ariaexchange.com.  

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, Charles “Choo” Smith, Sheryl Swoopes and Robert Horry.   Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. 

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

CHICAGO, ILL. February 28, 2022 – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today the election of Robert Horry, Chucky Brown, and Charles “Choo” Smith to its Board of Directors. Additionally, the following officer positions have been filled: Johnny Davis (Chairman), Dave Cowens (Vice Chairman), Sam Perkins (Treasurer), and Grant Hill (Secretary).

“The return of long-standing board members, along with our newest representatives, provide us the unique opportunity to take full advantage of a robust mix of continuity and innovation in our leadership,” said Scott Rochelle, President and CEO, NBRPA. “Our commitment to best represent all viewpoints from across our association, provide quality leadership, and the utmost professional standard for our membership, continues to be the standard by which we measure ourselves.” Added Rochelle, “I would like to extend the NBRPA’s full gratitude to Dave Naves for his selfless dedication over his two successive three-year terms on our board and welcome ‘Choo’ Smith as the representative for the Harlem Globetrotter seat in our organization.”

NBRPA Directors are responsible for executing the NBRPA mission to serve former professional basketball players, supporting them in life after their playing days, and assisting them in leveraging their inspirational influence to promote and teach basketball in their communities.

Clarence “Chucky” Brown, a 6'7" forward from North Carolina State, Brown was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the 1989 NBA draft. Brown shares the NBA record for the most teams played for during his NBA career — twelve: the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets (where he became a champion in 1994–95), Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and Sacramento Kings.

Robert Horry, played 16 seasons in the NBA, winning seven championships, the most of any player not to have played on the 1960s Boston Celtics. He is one of only four players to have won NBA championships with three teams - two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the San Antonio Spurs with no defeats in NBA Finals. Nicknamed "Big Shot Bob”, because of his clutch shooting in important games, Horry is widely considered to be one of the greatest clutch performers and winners in NBA history. 

Charles H. Smith, Jr., affectionately known as “Choo,” was a member of the world-renowned Original Harlem Globetrotters. Choo has played in all 50 States, in 26 countries and was recognized as one of the greatest dribblers in the world.  Smith also founded the Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, Inc., a non-profit organization in 2007 that focuses on Choo’s “4L” philosophy: “Love it, Learn it, Live it, Lead it.”

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, Charles “Choo” Smith, Sheryl Swoopes and Robert Horry.   Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch.

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

-Team of Partners Providing Food Boxes to 500 CMSD Families at Drive-Thru Event- 

CLEVELAND, February 15, 2022 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and The Sherwin-Williams Company are teaming up to serve Cleveland families during NBA All-Star Weekend.

On Saturday, February 19, the Legends Care Drive-Thru Food Distribution at CMSD’s East Professional Center will welcome families who have children attending CMSD schools and provide them with boxes filled with shelf-stable food items.

“It is extremely important that the NBRPA and our Legends give back to families in each NBA All-Star Game host city through our Legends Care programs,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA President and CEO. “After learning that Cleveland’s child poverty rate is consistently one of the country’s highest, we knew that we wanted to make an impact in the fight against hunger and have assembled a powerful team of partners who are leaders in this space and are advocating for children and families every single day.”

Statistics show that one in five children live in poverty in Cleveland. With 100% of CMSD’s 35,696 enrolled students being economically disadvantaged, serving this student population at a CMSD site became top priority for the NBRPA.

“Hunger is one of the very significant barriers that our students and families face living in a city that ranks at the top nationally for child poverty,” said Eric Gordon, CEO Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “It interferes with the ability of our children to learn and succeed. We are deeply grateful for the assistance that partners like the National Basketball Retired Players Association, and Greater Cleveland Food Bank provide to our families in need.” 

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank seeks to bridge the meal gap, ensuring that Cleveland-area residents have the food they need each day. The Food Bank will be providing non-perishable items for the Legends Care Drive-Thru Food Distribution.

“We are proud to be a part of this effort!” said Kristin Warzocha, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “We’re so honored to be included in this NBA Legends Care event where families are getting the nutritious food, they need to help them in these continued challenging times.”

Founded in 1866 in Cleveland, The Sherwin-Williams Company, a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution and sale of paint, coatings and related products, rounds out this powerful Legends Care team as the official volunteer partner. Sherwin-William employees will be working alongside NBA and WNBA Legends providing an off-the-court assist for CMSD families.

“It is an honor to take part in an event that will have a positive impact on fighting hunger in our local community,” says John G. Morikis, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sherwin-Williams. “Our team is proud to celebrate Cleveland’s hosting of the NBA All-Star game by lending our support to the Legends Care Drive-Thru Food Distribution. We want to thank all those who are making this event a reality for our neighbors in need.”

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni.

About Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD):

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is the second largest public school system in Ohio. As a portfolio district, it has developed a variety of school models and lets parents and students choose the model that provides the right fit. CMSD has made significant progress under The Cleveland Plan, a customized blueprint for education reform that was written into state law in 2012, and in the years since then has achieved some of the fastest academic growth in Ohio. The District has embarked on a new Vision of Learning that is based on mastery of content, learning that occurs anytime and anywhere, whole-human learning and personalized pathways to learning.  

About the Greater Cleveland Food Bank

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio having provided more than 53 million meals in FY2021 to more than 343,000 hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties. Our mission is working together to ensure that everyone in our communities has the nutritious food they need every day. We do this through both food distribution and SNAP outreach efforts. The Food Bank continues to provide nutritious food to those in need while working to end hunger tomorrow through connecting clients to resources. For more information go to www.GreaterClevelandFoodBank.org.

About The Sherwin-Williams Company

Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of paint, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers. The Company manufactures products under well-known brands such as Sherwin-Williams®, Valspar®, HGTV HOME® by Sherwin-Williams, Dutch Boy®, Krylon®, Minwax®, Thompson's® Water Seal®, Cabot® and many more. With global headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Sherwin-Williams® branded products are sold exclusively through a chain of more than 5,000 Company-operated stores and facilities, while the Company's other brands are sold through leading mass merchandisers, home centers, independent paint dealers, hardware stores, automotive retailers, and industrial distributors. The Sherwin-Williams Performance Coatings Group supplies a broad range of highly-engineered solutions for the construction, industrial, packaging and transportation markets in more than 120 countries around the world. Sherwin-Williams shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: SHW). For more information, visit https://www.sherwin-williams.com/.

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CONTACT:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, (516) 749-9894, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com

-$10,000 Scholarships Available to Undergraduates Attending HBCUs-

Chicago, ILL. February 1, 2022 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today announced the opening of the 2022 application for the Legends HBCU Scholarship – a scholarship fund and scholars program for undergraduate students attending HBCUs across the country. Five applicants will be selected as Legends Scholars, receiving a $10,000 scholarship in recognition of their academic excellence and desire to make a positive and purposeful impact in the world.

In addition to addressing the financial needs of Legends Scholars, a comprehensive scholars program will assist Legends Scholars in the areas of career preparation and development, job placement and mentoring both during and after their undergraduate years.

The Legends HBCU Scholarship and Legends Scholars program were created in 2020 under the NBRPA’s Legends Care initiative as a way to honor the rich history of HBCUs and their alums while moving the legacy forward by supporting current HBCU undergraduates. The inaugural class of Legends Scholars was announced in July 2021 and includes:

  • Damon Germaine Bryan Jr | South Carolina State University, Class of 2022
  • Erin Foster | Spelman College, Class of 2024
  • Saniya Keeton | Tuskegee University, Class of 2023
  • Tyrell Miller-Johnson | Central State University, Class of 2023
  • Jayla Imani Thornton | North Carolina A&T State University, Class of 2024

The 2022 Legends HBCU Scholarship application opens on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at legendsofbasketball.com/HBCU. Current undergraduates attending HBCUs will have the opportunity to apply until 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

To support the Legends HBCU Scholarship and Legends Scholars program, please contact HBCU@legendsofbasketball.com.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni. 

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

Charles Barkley animation: https://twitter.com/NBAalumni/status/1451186255891365889?s=20

(Courtesy NBRPA/HEARTLENT Group)

NATIONAL BASKETBALL RETIRED PLAYERS ASSOCIATION TAPS HEARTLENT GROUP TO LEAD NEW VISUAL IDENTITY

-Newly Designed Brand Enhancement Elements Include Redesigned Logo, Animated Content and Merchandise Designs-

CHICAGO, ILL. October 21, 2021 – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), in celebration of its 30th anniversary, is teaming up with sports marketing collective HEARTLENT Group to re-fresh the organization’s visual identity. As part of the partnership, the creative team at HEARTLENT Group, led by managing partner and head of creative Elliot Gerard, is creating new enhancements for the organization, including a new primary logo.

HEARTLENT is also collaborating to design digital content promoting the NBRPA’s Legends Media & Entertainment platforms, including a series of custom animations showcasing previously untold stories about basketball luminaries like Charles Barkley and Alonzo Mourning.

Legends Media & Entertainment (LME), is the multifaceted storytelling platform that is home to Legends Magazine, Legends Live digital series, and the Legends Lounge w/ Trill Withers and Hoop du Jour w/ Peter Vecsey podcasts, that bring the wide-reaching stories of many of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars to life. Additionally, HEARTLENT will create unique designs for the NBRPA’s Legends Care initiative, which is the charitable arm of the organization offering programs and services that positively impact youth and communities both locally and globally. This includes a limited-edition Legends Care t-shirt that is available now until November 1 to Legends Care Tip-Off Campaign donors at legendsofbasketball.com/TipOff.

“HEARTLENT Group is the perfect partner to evolve and elevate our brand positioning due to the team's extensive experience in the NBA as well as their genuine love for the game and top creative talent,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA President & CEO. “With the growth of Legends Media & Entertainment, the timing is ideal to re-fresh our visual identity and we are pleased to be joining forces with HEARTLENT Group on this endeavor.”

The new logo design incorporates both the history of the NBRPA as well as fresh design elements to display both the physical and cultural aspects of the sport. Utilizing graffiti artwork, the basketball inside the logo includes meaningful imagery like handprints to signify the players who have left their mark on the game, retro sneakers to symbolize the history and culture of basketball, x’s and o’s to stand for what players have accomplished on the court, and much more. A nod to the organization’s three decades of service, the logo also features a three-pointed crown.

“This new re-design of our logo is a fantastic representation of the historical and cultural aspects of the sport of basketball,” said Caron Butler, NBA Legend and NBRPA Board Director. “The design incorporates images that have been prevalent throughout the lives of the brotherhood and sisterhood that make up the NBRPA and highlights the growth and impact of our organization and the Legends brand over the last thirty years.” 

“Our entire team at HEARTLENT Group is thrilled to be working with the NBRPA to showcase the storied organization in a new way while maintaining the utmost respect for its history and the legends of the sport it represents,” said Gerard. “Celebrating athletes is at the core of what HEARTLENT does and we feel honored to take on this important creative work with the NBPRA.”

Founded in 1992, the NBRPA serves former professional basketball players, supporting them in life after their playing days, and helping them to leverage their inspirational influence to promote and teach basketball in their communities.

HEARTLENT Group specializes in digital and social strategy and creative content. Led by managing partners Elliot Gerard, Jonah Ballow and Keith Stoeckeler, the collective utilizes a global creative team and has worked with professional and collegiate sports teams, professional sports leagues, major brands, and political campaigns including Rock the Vote and Biden Harris, among others.

To access a digital file of the new NBRPA logo and select still images from the first Legends Media & Entertainment animation featuring Charles Barkley, click here. To access the animation in its entirety, please follow @NBAAlumni on Twitter.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

About HEARTLENT Group

HEARTLENT Group is a digital and social strategy + creative content collective specializing in exceptional storytelling that stands out in today’s digital world. The collective is built from years of sports marketing and creative experience on the professional league, team, and agency sides.  With offices in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and Connecticut, HEARTLENT Group is focused on the core areas of digital content, animation and illustration, marketing strategy, social campaigns, and video production including broadcast commercials, industrial videos, web and social videos, and motion graphics. Uniquely, HEARTLENT Group collaborates directly with athletes to create innovative content and intellectual property to fuel their brand while maximizing impactful opportunities for revenue-generating sponsorships. For more information, go to www.heartlent.com.

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Media Contacts:
Katrina Younce, HEARTLENT Group, katrina@heartlent.com, 310-995-3619

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, 516-749-9894

-Former NBA and WNBA Players Begin Their At-Home Rowing Journeys-

Chicago, ILL. August 5, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today announced a collaboration with Hydrow, Inc. that offers NBRPA Members exclusive access to the luxury, at-home rowing machine and private one-on-one virtual coaching sessions with Hydrow Coaches.  

Hydrow is a state-of-the-art interactive rowing machine that allows users to row on waterways around the world from the comfort of their own homes through Live Outdoor Reality. Hydrow provides a low impact, full-body workout, engaging 86% of the body’s muscles.

“We are very excited to bring Hydrow to NBRPA Members,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA President & CEO. “The ability to offer our Legends a one-of-a-kind at-home workout option that exercises the whole body, is great for the heart and easy on the knees was a no-brainer.”

“Working with Legends of Basketball is an incredibly special opportunity for us, as it allows us to support these elite athletes throughout the next chapter in their careers,” said Bruce Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Hydrow, Inc. "Hydrow offers a dynamic, low-impact cardiovascular workout, and the fact that you’re able to work out with others mimics the teamwork these athletes have known their entire lives. We’re proud to be able to work with these players who have given us so much joy throughout their illustrious careers.”

Earlier this year, WNBA Legend Ruth Riley and NBA Legend José Calderón debuted as Hydrow Influencers. Fans can follow along as Riley and Calderón document their Hydrow experiences on their Instagram pages.

Riley recently completed a Hydrow workout with the U.S. Rowing Team. She said, “Nothing like a row with the U.S. Rowing Team to get you into the spirit for Tokyo 2021! I love how Hydrow makes you feel like you are in the boat training with them.”

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni. 

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

-Five Undergraduates Attending HBCUs To Receive $10,000 Scholarships-

Chicago, ILL. July 19, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today announced the 2021-2022 recipients of the Legends HBCU Scholarship, making them the inaugural class of Legends Scholars.

The five Legends Scholars are: 

  • Damon Germaine Bryan Jr, South Carolina State University, Class of 2022
  • Saniya Keeton, Tuskegee University, Class of 2023
  • Tyrell Miller-Johnson, Central State University, Class of 2023
  • Erin Foster, Spelman College, Class of 2024
  • Jayla Imani Thornton, North Carolina A&T State University, Class of 2024

“These five outstanding young people were selected from nearly 1,000 HBCU students in recognition of their academic excellence and commitment to making a positive impact in the world,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA President & CEO. “We are extremely encouraged by how high our “Starting Five” have set the bar for future Legends Scholars classes and are excited to welcome these Legends Scholars into our Legends family, providing them support and resources during their collegiate career and beyond.”

The five Legends Scholars will receive a $10,000 academic scholarship from the NBRPA for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition to addressing the financial needs of Legends Scholars, a comprehensive scholars program will assist Legends Scholars in the areas of career preparation and development, job placement and mentoring both during and after their undergraduate years.

The Legends HBCU Scholarship and Legends Scholars program were created in 2020 under the NBRPA’s Legends Care initiative as a way to honor the rich history of HBCUs and their alums while moving the legacy forward by supporting current HBCU undergraduates.

To learn more about the Legends HBCU Scholarship and Legends Scholars program, visit legendsofbasketball.com/HBCU.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni. 

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

- Legends Lounge with Trill Withers to Debut During the NBA Finals Bringing Fans Stories Directly from Some of the Game’s Biggest and Most Outspoken Legends -

- Debut Episodes to Feature NBA Legends Vernon Maxwell, Rex Chapman and Detlef Schrempf -

Chicago, ILL. July 8, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today that the Legends Lounge with Trill Withers podcast will join Legends Media & Entertainment’s Legends Studios original content portfolio beginning on July 8.  Legends Lounge with Trill Withers will join fan favorites such as the Legends Live digital series and the Hoop du Jour with Peter Vecsey podcast and blog, bringing fans original and unfiltered stories directly from some of the NBA and WNBA’s most outspoken and recognizable Legends.

Tipping off on July 8, the first three episodes will feature such notable NBA Legends as two-time NBA champion Vernon Maxwell, twelve-year NBA vet, social media influencer and host of the “Rex Chapman Show” podcast – Rex Chapman, and three-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year – Detlef Schrempf.  

“We are thrilled to be able to provide a forum for our Legends and to see the continued success and growth of Legends Media & Entertainment and Legends Studios as a result of that access,” said Scott Rochelle, President and CEO, NBRPA.  “These stories and recollections, coupled with Trill’s enigmatic personality and reach are key reasons for our success and our Legends’ unfiltered and genuine stories will undoubtedly provide fans with some amazing entertainment.”

Launched in August 2020, Legends Media & Entertainment (LME) is the NBRPA’s multifaceted story-telling platform producing, distributing and quantifying the wide-reaching stories of many of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars, spanning various eras in basketball history.

Fans can follow the Legends Lounge with Trill Withers podcast, as well as all LME content, on social media at @NBAalumni and @NBALgndsLounge on Twitter, @NBAAlumni on Instagram, on Facebook at NBA Alumni or at legendsofbasketball.com.  The Legends Lounge with Trill Withers podcast is available on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever fans get their podcasts by searching “Legends Lounge.”  

Trill Withers (Tyler Johnson) is a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Cats!) and lives in the Atlanta area. When he’s not tweeting, he enjoys live sporting events, traveling and thinking about when he can tweet next.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni. 

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

- Legends Locker Room App to Provide Secure Destination for All NBRPA Members to Interact and Access Exclusive Content -

Chicago, ILL. May 5, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today launched its most innovating initiative in providing an exclusive private community for all NBRPA members to communicate and interact.  NBRPA membership will have access to the “Legends Locker Room” app, where they will have exposure to exclusive content, member-to-member communication, NBRPA programming, event information, commerce opportunities, career development resources and additional benefits to assist in their post-playing careers. 

With the creation of the “Legends Locker Room” app, the NBRPA is able to provide an all-inclusive destination for basketball’s biggest stars to securely interact with each other via forums and direct messaging, publish player generated content, receive real-time updates, browse player profiles, and access all Legends Media & Entertainment (LME) content.  LME is the NBRPA’s multifaceted story-telling platform producing, distributing and quantifying the wide-reaching stories of many of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars that was launched in August and has seen record growth since launch.

“We are extremely excited to be able to bring the “Legends Locker Room” app to life and to provide a one-stop communications platform for our over 1,300 members to utilize,” said Scott Rochelle, President and CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.  “This app enforces our commitment to provide our members with the best post-playing career support system and grant them access to a secure forum to network with our extended basketball family, explore career and business opportunities, generate, consume and share content and keep up to date with real-time updates on all NBRPA news, initiatives and events.” 

In addition to accessing content and NBRPA updates, members will also be able to access health insurance updates, health and wellness programs, Symplicity career opportunities, scholarship resources, member grant programming, appearance opportunities, event information – including registration/transportation assistance and augmented reality options, for players that cannot attend in person, sponsorship and business opportunities as well as branded content from sponsors. 

The “Legends Locker Room” app was created using technology from TopFan - an end-to-end technology platform for building highly engaged user communities and direct to consumer businesses that has been utilized by such entertainment entities as Warner Bros., MGM, Lionsgate, Maroon5, Zac Brown Band, the Denver Broncos, the MLB Players Association and the NFL Players Association among others. 

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni.

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CONTACT:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, (516) 749-9894, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com

LEGENDS MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT TO EXPAND PETER VECSEY’S ‘HOOP DU JOUR’ CONTENT TO PODCAST FORMAT

- Debut Episode Tips Off April 13 and Will Feature NBA Legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee Julius “Dr. J” Erving -  

Chicago, ILL. April 8, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today that veteran NBA columnist, renowned basketball insider and Legends Media & Entertainment’s own Peter Vecsey and his Hoop du Jour content will be expanding to podcast format on April 13. The Hoop du Jour podcast will join the Hoop du Jour weekly blog as featured content for Legends Media & Entertainment (LME) - the NBRPA’s multifaceted story-telling platform producing, distributing and quantifying the wide-reaching stories of many of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars that was launched in September 2020 and has seen record growth since launch. 

Beginning April 13, and featuring special guest Julius “Dr. J” Erving, the Hoop du Jour podcast will stream new episodes bi-monthly and highlight Vecsey’s opinions, insights and quips about the game’s illustrious past and provide exclusive in-depth conversations with some of the most legendary names in basketball history. Frank Drucker, Vecsey’s inimitable ‘column castigator,’ has also been summoned to add his share of caustic wit and wisdom.  

Fans can follow the Hoop du Jour podcast, the Hoop du Jour blog as well as all LME content on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTubeTwitchFacebook at NBA Alumni or at our Legends of Basketball website. The Hoop du Jour podcast will also be available wherever fans get their podcasts by searching “Legends Studios.”    

“Since joining Legends Media & Entertainment, Peter and Hoop du Jour have reinforced why they are must-have content for all basketball fans,” said Scott Rochelle, President and CEO, NBRPA. “Peter’s unique storytelling style, hilarious anecdotes and insights are a perfect fit for our podcast series and we are eagerly looking forward to hearing NBA and ABA Legends tell their favorite stories as only they can.” 

“I’m thrilled to be able to expand on my weekly blog to help amplify the stories and recollections from some of the most dynamic and interesting athletes ever,” said Peter Vecsey, LME columnist. “I’m looking forward to having some good-natured back-and-forth with them and hearing them tell their stories and show a younger generation what is was like to be a hooper back then.” 

Vecsey, a long-time columnist for the New York Post and analyst for TNT/TBS, NBC and NBATV, is a native New Yorker and has been enshrined in four Halls of Fame, including Naismith Basketball (Class of 2009), NYC Basketball, Rucker League and Archbishop Molloy. 

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com. 

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni.  

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CONTACTS: 

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

NBRPA ANNOUNCES LEGENDS HBCU SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

$10,000 Scholarships Available to Eligible Undergraduates Attending HBCUs

Chicago, ILL. March 25, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today announced the launch of the Legends HBCU Scholarship – a scholarship fund and scholars program for undergraduate students attending HBCUs across the country.  The Legends HBCU Scholarship is the latest program from the NBRPA’s Legends Care initiative and will become an integral component of the NBRPA’s mission and scope of influence for years to come.  Legends Scholars will receive a $10,000 scholarship in recognition of their academic excellence and desire to make a positive and purposeful impact in the world.

“As a second generation HBCU graduate, this program is much more than a scholarship.  The Legends HBCU Scholarship program will help us build upon our efforts to provide support for HBCU institutions and amplify the crucial role they play in our communities,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA President & CEO.  “We are extremely proud and honored to help ensure that these extraordinary college students have access to the substantial and multifaceted resources offered through our Legends Scholars program during their collegiate career and beyond.”

“There is a rich history of HBCUs and their alums contributing to our society,” said Grant Hill, NBRPA Board Secretary, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (Class of 2018) and HBCU Legends Scholarship Review Committee Member.  “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to use our platform to create this legacy program and assist in developing future global leaders.”

In addition to addressing the financial needs of Legends Scholars, a comprehensive scholars program will assist Legends Scholars in the areas of career preparation and development, job placement and mentoring both during and after their undergraduate years. Specifically, through the Legends Scholars program, Legends Scholars will receive:

  • Membership to the NBRPA's Legends Scholars job board
  • Access to internship/employment opportunities within the sports industry and/or with companies that are owned and operated by NBRPA Legends.
  • During their scholarship year, Legends Scholars will receive complimentary access, travel and lodging to the NBRPA’s annual Legends Conference.
  • During their senior year, Legends Scholars will take part in a complimentary career development session.
  • Upon graduating from an HBCU, Legends Scholars will enter the Legends Scholars Mentoring Program.

The 2021 Legends HBCU Scholarship application will open on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at legendsofbasketball.com/HBCU. Current undergraduates attending HBCUs will have the opportunity to apply until 11:59pm CST on Friday, May 14, 2021.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni. 

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

Legends All-Star Auction to Feature Five NBA Jerseys Autographed by Former NBA All-Stars

All Proceeds to Benefit NBRPA's Nationwide Legends Care Community Assist Programs

Chicago, ILL. March 3, 2021 - The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today announced the launch of the Legends All-Star Auction, a Legends Care fundraiser. The Legends All-Star Auction will feature five (5) NBA jerseys autographed by former NBA All-Stars, with all proceeds benefitting the NBRPA’s Legends Care Community Assist programs. Fans can bid online in the Legends All-Star Auction, beginning on Thursday, March 4 at 11 am CT through Monday, March 8 at 11 pm CT, exclusively at 32auctions.com/LegendsAllStarAuction.

The five (5) autographed NBA jerseys up for bid in the Legends All-Star Auction are:

  • NBA All-Star (1973), Bill Bradley (New York Knicks) - valued at $460
  • 2-time NBA All-Star, Bill Walton (Portland Trailblazers) - valued at $500
  • NBA All-Star (1994), Horace Grant (Chicago Bulls) – valued at $300
  • 12-time NBA All-Star and 2-time NBA All-Star MVP, Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) – valued at $500
  • 5-time NBA All-Star, Wes Unseld (Baltimore/Washington Bullets) – valued at $1,000

For more information about the NBRPA’s Legends Care initiative and the Community Assist programs, please visit legendsofbasketball.com/LegendsCare.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni.

###

CONTACT:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, (516) 749-9894, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com

CHICAGO, ILL. Feb. 18, 2021 – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today the reelection and naming of officers Johnny Davis (Chairman), Dave Cowens (Vice Chairman), Sam Perkins (Treasurer), and Grant Hill (Secretary) to its Board of Directors for 2021.  They join Board of Directors members Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Dave Naves, Sheryl Swoopes and Jerome Williams. Dave Cowens has also been elevated from Director to the position of Vice Chairman.  

“The retention of these members on our Board of Directors provides us with an amazing opportunity to leverage the experience and continuity in our leadership,” said President and CEO NBRPA Scott Rochelle.  “These officers, will no doubt, continue to represent the various viewpoints from across our membership, set an example of strong leadership, and provide the highest professional standards to best serve our members.”

NBRPA Directors are responsible for executing the NBRPA mission to serve former professional basketball players, supporting them in life after their playing days, and assisting them in leveraging their inspirational influence to promote and teach basketball in their communities.

Dave Cowens, a Hall-of-Famer and two-time NBA Champion, spent 10 seasons with the Boston Celtics (1970-80) and one season with the Milwaukee Bucks (1982-83). After retiring from his playing career, Cowens began his NBA coaching career including stints with the Boston Celtics (1978-79), San Antonio Spurs (1994-96), Charlotte Hornets (1996-99), Golden State Warriors (2000-01) and Detroit Pistons (2006-09). Known as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-Time, Cowens was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. In 1992, Cowens founded the NBRPA along with NBA Legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark and Oscar Robertson.

Johnny Davis has spent nearly four decades with the NBA as a player, front office executive, assistant and head coach. He played 10 seasons in the NBA and was a key member of the Portland Trailblazers’ 1977 Championship team. His career also included stints in Indiana, Atlanta and Cleveland. Following his retirement as a player, Davis accepted a front office executive position with the Atlanta Hawks as Director of Community Affairs. After a three-year stint with the Hawks, Davis returned to the court as a coach and began his coaching career as an Assistant for the Atlanta Hawks and has since worked for the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timber Wolves, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers. To date, Davis has worked for over one third (11) of the 30 NBA team

Grant Hill, a seven-time NBA All-Star, played 18 seasons in the NBA.  Hill was a member of the All-NBA First or Second team five times and was also on the All-Rookie First team during the 1994-1995 season. Hill spent six seasons in Detroit before moving on to Orlando for six seasons and Phoenix for five more. Hill concluded his career playing one season for the Los Angeles Clippers.  Hill is also a three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award and in 2018, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Hill, in Feb., 2021 also participated in the NBRPA’s Virtual Full Court Press Clinic.

Sam Perkins was chosen by the Dallas Mavericks as the fourth overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft, and went on to play as a power forward and center in the NBA from 1984 to 2001. Perkins played for the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, and the Indiana Pacers, respectively and appeared in three NBA Finals: The 1991 NBA Finals (with the Lakers), the 1996 NBA Finals (with the SuperSonics), and the 2000 NBA Finals (with the Pacers).  Since his retirement in 2001, Perkins has been actively involved in a variety of charitable endeavors, including Special Olympics, Nothing But Nets in conjunction with the United Nations, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers, Carolina for Kibera, NBA Cares, Basketball Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity.  Perkins was a co-captain of the gold-medal-winning 1984 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team and named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

To follow along with the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni.

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CONTACTS:

Julio Manteiga, NBRPA, jmanteiga@legendsofbasketball.com, (516) 749-9894

  • Sheryl Swoopes, WNBA Legend, Basketball Hall of Famer and Zilretta patient, tips off educational campaign about Zilretta and osteoarthritis knee pain.

CHICAGO and BURLINGTON, Mass. (Feb. 01, 2021) – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and Flexion Therapeutics Inc. today announced a new partnership to raise awareness of osteoarthritis-related knee pain and present ZILRETTA (triamcinolone acetonide extended-release injectable suspension) as an effective treatment option. The educational program tipped off with a virtual event featuring Sheryl Swoopes, basketball Hall of Famer and ZILRETTA patient, discussing how osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee has impacted her life and how ZILRETTA has helped with pain management. Swoopes is the first athlete from the WNBA to participate in the awareness program. The partnership with Swoopes complements Flexion’s relationship with ZILRETTA Athlete Ambassadors, NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson and 1980 USA hockey team captain and gold medal winner Mike Eruzione.

“We are excited to partner with the NBRPA to raise awareness of knee OA and ZILRETTA, and we are truly honored to be working with Sheryl, a world-class athlete who continues to exemplify greatness well after the height of her career,” said Michael Clayman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Flexion. “As one of the most exceptional women athletes of all time, a hall of famer, and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Sheryl knows about pushing the limits physically, and we are very pleased that she has finally found the much-needed relief from her OA knee pain with ZILRETTA.”

Swoopes, the first player to be signed in the WNBA, is a three-time WNBA MVP and was named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game. She won three Olympic gold medals and is one of 10 women’s basketball players to have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship and a WNBA title. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and is an active leader in the NBRPA.

“The best partnerships are all about authenticity, and we found out through a survey of our membership that knee pain ranked among retired players’ top ailments following their careers,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA’s Executive Director. “There is no better, more engaged advocate for those suffering OA knee pain and no stronger advocate to speak to the benefits of ZILRETTA than Sheryl. We look forward to growing this relationship in the coming months to be one of our most inclusive and informative to date.”

Swoopes added, “I fully understand the way OA knee pain can impact your life in every aspect, not just physically but mentally. To be able to tell my story and share the results of what can be done with treatment with my colleagues, friends, former players and family is very important. This partnership will not only help many of the athletes who have played in the NBA and WNBA, but it will serve to raise awareness for thousands who may be suffering in silence.”

Swoopes was treated by Rabah Qadir, M.D., a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at the Woodlands Sports Medicine Center and Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Memorial Hermann Woodlands Medical Center in the Houston area. Dr. Qadir said, “While Sheryl has enjoyed the career of an elite athlete, unfortunately, her experience with OA knee pain is far from unique. Knee injuries, especially cartilage and meniscus injuries, are common for basketball players and can lead to OA over time. After evaluating Sheryl and understanding her desire to stay active with a non-surgical treatment plan, ZILRETTA was an obvious choice to offer Sheryl the extended pain relief she needed.”

More information on how to find a treating physician can be found at https://www.getthez.com or by calling 888-600-GETZ (4389).

The NBRPA represents over 1,000 former NBA and WNBA players, making it the largest agency of its kind in basketball. This has allowed for direct access to players for opportunities to educate other members and their treating physicians.

Indication and Important Safety Information for ZILRETTA

Indication: ZILRETTA is indicated as an intra-articular injection for the management of OA pain of the knee.

Limitation of Use: The efficacy and safety of repeat administration of ZILRETTA have not been demonstrated.

Contraindication: ZILRETTA is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to triamcinolone acetonide, corticosteroids or any components of the product.

Warnings and Precautions:

  • Intra-articular Use Only: ZILRETTA has not been evaluated and should not be administered by epidural, intrathecal, intravenous, intraocular, intramuscular, intradermal, or subcutaneous routes. Serious events have been reported with epidural and intrathecal administration of corticosteroids and none are approved for this use. ZILRETTA should not be considered safe for epidural or intrathecal administration.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Rare instances of anaphylaxis, including serious cases, have occurred in patients with hypersensitivity to corticosteroids.
  • Joint Infection and Damage: A marked increase in pain accompanied by local swelling, restriction of joint motion, fever, and malaise are suggestive of septic arthritis. Examine joint fluid to exclude a septic process. If diagnosis is confirmed, institute appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Avoid injecting corticosteroids into a previously infected or unstable joint. Intra-articular administration may result in damage to joint tissues.
  • Increased Risk of Infections: Infection with any pathogen in any location of the body may be associated with corticosteroid use. Corticosteroids may increase the susceptibility to new infection and decrease resistance and the ability to localize infection.
  • Alterations in Endocrine Function: Corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression, with potential for adrenal insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment, which may persist for months. In situations of stress during that period, institute corticosteroid replacement therapy.
  • Cardiovascular and Renal Effects: Corticosteroids can cause blood pressure elevation, salt and water retention, and increased potassium excretion. Monitor patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, and renal insufficiency for edema, weight gain, and electrolyte imbalance. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be needed.  
  • Increased Intraocular Pressure: Corticosteroid use may be associated with increased intraocular pressure. Monitor patients with elevated intraocular pressure for potential treatment adjustment.
  • Gastrointestinal Perforation: Corticosteroid administration may increase risk of gastrointestinal perforation in patients with certain GI disorders and fresh intestinal anastomoses. Avoid corticosteroids in these patients.
  • Alterations in Bone Density: Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption. Special consideration should be given to patients with or at increased risk of osteoporosis prior to treatment.
  • Behavior and Mood Disturbances: Corticosteroids may cause adverse psychiatric reactions. Prior to treatment, special consideration should be given to patients with previous or current emotional instability or psychiatric illness. Advise patients to immediately report any behavior or mood disturbances.  

Adverse Reactions

The most commonly reported adverse reactions (incidence ≥1%) in clinical studies included sinusitis, cough, and contusions.

Please see ZilrettaLabel.com for full Prescribing Information.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association:

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Dave Cowens, Shawn Marion, David Naves and Sheryl Swoopes. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.

About Flexion Therapeutics

Flexion Therapeutics (Nasdaq:FLXN) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel, local therapies for the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal conditions, beginning with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. The Company's core values are focus, ingenuity, tenacity, transparency and fun. Please visit flexiontherapeutics.com.

About ZILRETTA
On October 6, 2017, ZILRETTA was approved by the U.S. FDA as the first and only extended-release intra-articular therapy for patients confronting OA-related knee pain. ZILRETTA employs proprietary microsphere technology combining triamcinolone acetonide—a commonly administered, short-acting corticosteroid—with a poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) matrix to provide extended pain relief. The pivotal Phase 3 trial on which the approval of ZILRETTA was based showed that ZILRETTA significantly reduced OA knee pain for 12 weeks, with some people experiencing pain relief through Week 16. Learn more at www.zilretta.com.