That’s a Wrap! Legends Successfully Lead Star-Studded Panels Throughout 2018 Legends Conference

The National Basketball Retired Players Association wrapped up its annual Legends Conference in Las Vegas this week. Legends from around the world, both past and present, came together for a series of professional and personal development events. NBRPA partners joined in on the fun and provided resources for Legends, from financial planning to free health screenings through the NBPA.

On Thursday, July 12, the NBRPA hosted a technology summit led by the most tech-savvy members and partners who provided keys to investing, highlighted areas of opportunity and introduced new technologies that can help NBRPA members advance their personal brands or businesses. Panelists Stephen Bardo (NBA Alumni, Analyst), Caron Butler (NBA Alumni, Entrepreneur, Tech Investor), Israel Idonije (NFL Alumni, Entrepreneur, Tech Investor) and Rashaun Williams (Venture Capitalist) discussed new technologies, gadgets and trends, and Legends had the chance to ask questions and provide insight as well.

From the successful tech summit to the fan-favorite Women of Influence summit which featured panelists Lisa Leslie, Rushia Brown, Michele Roberts, LaChina Robinson and Jennifer Azzi, the week was an overall success. Check out @NBAAlumni on social media for more highlights throughout the week as well as updates on future NBRPA programs and events.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management takes over two of the 2018 Legends Conference

Day two of the 2018 Legends Conference in Las Vegas was a fun-filled day of events and festivities. The NBRPA and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management officially launched a partnership that provides former players with access to educational programs that are only available to Kellogg Alumni. Noted Kellogg Professors Craig Wortmann and David Schonthal joined the Legends in Vegas for a variety of sessions on entrepreneurial ventures. Discussions from business model creation to “the art of sales” gave former players excellent insight to entrepreneurship, and now, players interested in learning more can sign up for an exclusive online business education module to gain a certificate in business.

Whether they are already business owners, or if they simply have a business idea in mind that they’re thinking about launching, players soaked in the information and asked intelligent questions, making for an engaging conversation with the professors. Reed Hansen, director of business development at Northwestern University's Kellogg Business School, said following the conference, "They sincerely wanted to learn about being an entrepreneur."

Later that afternoon, the Legends headed over to the Summer League games, and the day concluded with an evening of food, drinks and friendly competition at Top Golf Las Vegas.

2018 Legends Conference: Day One Recap

Day one of the 2018 Legends Conference in Las Vegas is in the books!
Doors opened to the Legends Lounge at Mandalay Bay on Tuesday morning and immediately filled with NBRPA members, family, friends and partners excited to reconnect, learn and spend time together. Five incredible, talented women kicked off the conference with a Women of Influence Summit. Led by LaChina Robinson, panelists Michele Roberts, Lisa Leslie, Jennifer Azzi and Rushia Brown held a meaningful discussion and touched on topics from basketball to gender issues, business and advice for life beyond the game of basketball. Attendees left inspired and excited to continue learning from each other the rest of the week.

Following the summit, the evening’s welcome party at Light Nightclub was the official kick-off to the week, and it did not disappoint.

The lounge is back open today, and players are looking forward to hearing from Northwestern | Kellogg School of Business throughout day two. Follow along with us at @NBAAlumni and #LegendsofBasketball for more Legends Conference highlights throughout the weekend!

NBRPA & NBPA Enhance Health Screening Program

National Basketball Retired Players Association Launches Partnership with NBPA to Enhance Health Screening Program

CHICAGO (June 4, 2018) – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) has formalized its relationship with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to deliver valuable, preventive long-term healthcare check-ups to former professional players across the U.S. Launched by the NBPA in 2016, the Health Screening Program has impacted hundreds of former players by providing preventative cardiac testing. The NBRPA’s involvement will expand the program to include orthopedic screenings and care.

“The NBPA is a natural partner for our players, and this new relationship will work to introduce more of our members to effective wellness management strategies as they age and maintain active lifestyles,” said NBRPA President and CEO Scott Rochelle.

The average NBA career lasts less than five years, which emphasizes the need for long-term planning for all aspects of life, including health. In 2015, the NBPA instituted cardiac screenings for retired players, as well as other initiatives designed to prepare current players for life after basketball. By partnering with the NBRPA on this initiative, the NBPA Health Screenings program will reach even more former players through the retired players associations existing communications channels and events in an effort to significantly widen the number of former players touched by this valuable program.

 “We have seen, first-hand, the impact that the Health Screenings program has had in changing the way former players are thinking about their long-term health, today,” said Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBPA. “By partnering with the NBRPA, we will be able to reach an even greater number of former players with this essential program for long-term wellness.”

In addition, the NBRPA and NBPA will continue to collaborate on key programs and expand their current relationship by working hand-in-hand on a variety of initiatives aimed at targeting former players. The NBRPA will further integrate wellness education into its national programing to its players throughout the coming year, as well.

Media Contact:
Brad Shulkin
Brad.shulkin@kemperlesnik.com
847-894-1808

ABOUT THE NBPA
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA mission is to ensure that the rights of NBA players are protected and that every conceivable measure is taken to assist them in maximizing their opportunities and achieving their goals, both on and off the court.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR 2018 DAVE DEBUSSCHERE SCHOLARSHIP

The NBRPA is proud to announce the opening of the 2018 Dave DeBusschere Scholarship application process.  Developed to provide opportunities for higher learning, this program awards college scholarships to NBRPA members, their spouses and  offspring (natural, step, legally adopted or grandchild) to help meet the rising costs of higher education.

To date, the NBRPA has donated more than $1 million in scholarship money to former players and their children. Please review the scholarship timeline and highlighted eligibility requirements listed below.

Earl Lloyd Scholarship: In honor of the recently departed NBA pioneer, Earl Lloyd, the NBA Legends Foundation (Foundation) has pledged an annual, restricted gift to the NBRPA for the purpose of providing significant financial support to low income recipients of the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship. The Lloyd Scholarship will be available to the children and grandchildren of NBRPA members who have played Three (3) full years in the NBA and therefore, eligible to receive assistance from the Foundation.

Please print and review the attached application for a complete list of eligibility requirements, criteria and information on how to complete the application process outlined.

SCHOLARSHIP TIMELINE

May 11, 2018:            Scholarship Applications Distributed to Membership

June 4, 2018:             Applications Due

June 18, 2018:           Applicant Denial Notification

June 25, 2018:           Earl Lloyd Determinations 

July 9, 2018:              Scholarship Recipients Announced

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

In order to qualify as an Eligible Candidate (“Eligible Candidate”), one must be a current NBRPA member, the offspring (natural, step, legally adopted or grandchild) or the spouse of a current NBRPA member.  In addition, the offspring or spouse of a deceased NBRPA member who was in good standing at the time of his or her death will be deemed an Eligible Candidate for Five (5) years after the member’s death.

  • In addition an eligible candidate must be either (1) a high school senior who will graduate in the spring and enter a college, university or certain vocational or technical school within the U.S. that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting association or agency, (2) any high school graduate who has been accepted to an educational institution, or (3) a student currently enrolled full time in such an educational institution who is returning to school the following fall.

 

  • Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of a 2.75 or better to qualify for an award.

 

  • No family member of the NBRPA’s staff will qualify as an Eligible Candidate.

 

Eligible candidates click HERE  to apply 

 

Should you have questions regarding the 2018 Dave DeBusschere Scholarship please contact Excell Hardy at 312.913.9400 or ehardy@legendsofbasketball.com.

NBRPA Hosts Full Court Press in Miami

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) brought its Full Court Press: Prep For Success program to Miami, Florida at OB Johnson Park on May 5th along with several partners Jr. NBA, Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL), Leadership Foundations, and Strategies For Youth.

Legends participating in the clinic included Irving Thomas, Toccara Williams, Jayson Williams, Billy Thompson, and Lamar Green.  While the Legends focused on basketball drills and lessons, the NBRPA partners focused on life lessons off the court.

Irving Thomas, President of the NBRPA Miami Chapter, spent the day mentoring the kids and sharing examples of the work ethic required to become an NBA player.  Thomas, who currently serves as a college scout for the Los Angeles Lakers, was able to reflect on the NBA draft evaluation process, reminding kids that coaches at all levels assess more than just skill.

Over 120 kids participated in the Miami Full Court Press clinic and the Legends and officials remained very engaged with all of them throughout the day.  The Full Court Press: Prep for Success program will next visit Memphis, Tennessee in June.

 

Legends Spotlight: Charlie Bell

Last Saturday the National Basketball Retired Players Association hosted the latest edition of its youth basketball and mentoring program called “Full Court Press: Prep for Success”. Several former NBA/WNBA standouts were in attendance at Central Gwinnett High School in Atlanta including Dale Ellis/Harold Keeling/Charlie Bell. The program travels all over the country to introduce kids to positive role models in both basketball and life. NBRPA writer Jon Teitel has spent time talking with many of the greatest players in NBA history and will share his interviews at LegendsofBasketball.com. Jon visited with Charlie Bell about his role with the Full Court Press program and getting a triple-double in the NBA.

Charlie Bell

What did you do at last weekend’s Full Court Press clinic? I worked at the ball-handling station and spoke to the whole group about my journey to the NBA and what I am doing now.

What was the best part of the clinic? Speaking to the kids was great. I did a Q&A and had a chance to engage with the kids: when I was little it meant a lot to me if I could talk to a former NBA player in depth. Some of the questions were funny and some were really intelligent.

How do you try to connect with the kids on the court? Just talking to them and letting them know that I really care about them. I ask them about their favorite food/school subject: you have to engage with them.

What do you hope that the kids get out of this great experience? I hope they learned some things that they can use to improve their basketball skills and take it up a level. A lot of people do not see all of the hard work behind the scenes and all of the practice that the guys put in.

What were the best/not-so-best parts of going from an active player to a retired player? The best part is not having to practice anymore and stay in shape! It sounds easy but when it is your job there are some days that you just do not want to lift weights/watch film. The worst part is that you miss the game, your teammates, the camaraderie in the locker room, etc. When you have played basketball your whole life it is hard to figure out what to do after it is over.

How did you end up as a National Basketball Retired Players Association member? Just through word-of-mouth. I was unsure how many branches they had but just talked to other guys who were not playing any more.

What is the biggest benefit of being a part of the NBRPA along with other legends of basketball? Just the camaraderie and having somebody to talk to. The community service aspect is great because you want to give back: they help connect us with different charities/clinics where we can help kids and meet other players. I got to meet Dale Ellis, who is someone I looked up to when I was growing up, and I got to talk to him about what he has been doing since retiring. It is about building your network with guys who have similar interests.

How do the older players serve as advocates to the younger players? We just try to help the younger guys because they do not know exactly what they are getting into. If you never played basketball before then you cannot always relate to those who have, but we give them someone to talk to and explain what we did to change our lives.

You scored 9 PTS for Michigan State in the 2000 NCAA title game win over Florida: what did it mean to you to win a title? It is probably the greatest memory that I have. In college we spent a lot of time together and I am still pretty close to all of my teammates: we are like brothers. When you have 6AM workouts and push each other every day to become better, it bring you closer. There are a lot of great teams who do not win a championship so it is something that you can never take away from us. To this day when I go back to campus everyone is still thankful: it was my claim to fame even when I played overseas.

In 2001 you were named an All-American: what did it mean to receive such an outstanding honor? It was great because I never saw myself as an All-American growing up: it was just fun and I enjoyed playing the game. It was a huge accomplishment because I was in the shadow of guys like Mateen Cleaves/Morris Peterson during my 1st few years of college, and a lot of people did not expect that from me as a senior.

You were regarded as a superstar while playing pro basketball in Italy/Spain: what is the biggest difference between basketball in the US vs. basketball overseas? When I was playing the fundamentals of the game were the biggest difference. Guys overseas might not be the fastest on the court but they can all shoot the ball. In the US younger guys lose sight of the fundamentals because they are watching all the crossover dribbles on SportsCenter and playing AAU basketball where the coaches cater to the kids. It is out of control with the FBI investigation and money in everyone's pocket and AAU coaches who are not really teaching the fundamentals and are just trying to keep a kid on their team. Most of the pro teams overseas also have junior teams: I remember playing with Marco Belinelli when he was only 15 years old. Their system is a bit different than ours.

After returning to the NBA you had 19 PTS/13 AST/10 REB for Milwaukee in a win over Phoenix in 2006: where does that rank among the best all-around performances of your career? I cannot remember the specific game but our coach (Terry Stotts) pulled me aside before the season and said that he wanted me to be a good practice player. I knew that I could play in the NBA so I stayed ready because I did not know what would happen. We had a few guys who got injured (Michael Redd/TJ Ford/etc.) and a few games later I got the triple-double, which really put my name on the map. It does not happen every day, especially for an undrafted player like myself, so for Russell Westbrook to average a triple-double for an entire season is unheard of!

You currently work as an assistant coach for Iowa in the G League: McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley announced last week that instead of going to college at Syracuse he would be taking his talents to the G-League? I think it is a difficult decision that he made. I am sure that he got advice from different people but the G League is a grind: it is a lot harder than college in terms of games/travel/etc. I think next year he will wish that he could be in college instead of waking up at 4AM to catch a flight and then getting stuck at the airport for 4 hours! I am sure he might get a shoe contract but the G League only pays players around $20,000-25,000/season, and playing time will be hard because every team has 2-way guys who are guaranteed a certain # of minutes. I wish him well and hope it all works out, but I think that NBA teams should be able to draft high school kids, put them in the G League, and put more money into the league in ways such as charter flights.

Legends Spotlight: Harold Keeling

Last Saturday the National Basketball Retired Players Association hosted the latest edition of its youth basketball and mentoring program called “Full Court Press: Prep for Success”. Several former NBA/WNBA standouts were in attendance at Central Gwinnett High School in Atlanta including Dale Ellis/Harold Keeling/Charlie Bell/Reggie Johnson. The program travels all over the country to introduce kids to positive role models in both basketball and life. NBRPA writer Jon Teitel has spent time talking with many of the greatest players in NBA history and will share his interviews at LegendsofBasketball.com. Jon visited with Harold Keeling about his role with the Full Court Press program and his favorite memory from his time in the NBA.

Harold Keeling

What did you do at last weekend’s Full Court Press clinic? We had almost 100 kids and it was a very good camp. I worked with the kids on passing drills, the 3-man weave, etc. After a day of drills we ended with full-court games and it worked out really well.

What was the best part of the clinic? I think the best part was the organization: we had 5 former NBA players and 7 other counselors so it was very organized. We talked to the kids about the time when we played in the NBA/overseas.

How do you try to connect with the kids on the court? That is what I do! I own 2 group homes for kids who do not have parents and we play basketball all the time. I have known since I was young that I wanted to work with kids: I hold a camp every summer for 60-70 kids.

What do you hope that the kids get out of this great experience? The camaraderie of getting to meet with/play against other kids. They learned some new drills and different aspects of the game. When you meet a former player who you know from playing Xbox it is a neat experience. It was a very happy environment for everyone.

What were the best/not-so-best parts of going from an active player to a retired player? After playing basketball your whole life, entering the “real world” it is a big transition in terms of time. When I played basketball I just had to worry about showing up for a few hours each day to practice/games, but with a real job there are a lot of hours between your start time and your stop time. We also got a lot of things when we were players like sneakers/meal money, but now we do not get as many free things. It is a financial change and a mental divorce from what you have been doing your entire life. It is almost like a good friend of yours who always provided you with happiness has died. When it is over it takes some time to get back to an even keel mentally. Our egos change after playing basketball for so many years, so the faster we readjust the better our lives can be.

How did you end up as a National Basketball Retired Players Association member? I had heard about it and 1st got started around 2011/2012 when I went to the All-Star Game. I played with Dale Ellis on Dallas who worked for our local chapter and he invited me to jump on board. We now have 1 of the better chapters in the nation.

What is the biggest benefit of being a part of the NBRPA along with other legends of basketball? I like seeing all the guys I used to play with/against. My wife and I attend All-Star Weekend every year and we get to see people who I have known for the past 30 years. It is good to see guys who you battled against year after year: now it is easier to just give them a hug!

How do the older players serve as advocates to the younger players? It works better sometimes than others but talking to the guys about life after basketball is important. Sometimes they learn more about what they should NOT be doing rather than what they should be doing! The NBA has changed over the past several years and things have really come around thanks to Commissioner Stern/Commissioner Silver: there is so much more media now and there are so many more players coming to the US from overseas. I remember when Argentina beat us during South American competition: I was amazed that they were better than us…until they beat the US in 2004! Brazil/Canada/Puerto Rico also had great players/teams: the international game has really come around.

In your final game at Santa Clara, Mark Gustin made 2 FTs with 3 seconds left in a 3-PT 3-OT win by Fresno State: where does that rank among the most devastating losses of your career? I fouled out but assumed that we would still win the game and that I would get to break Kurt Rambis’ career scoring record in our next game. When we finally lost it was a brutal reality.

In the summer of 1985 you were drafted in the 3rd round by Dallas (3 spots ahead of Michael Adams): did you see that as a validation of all your hard work, or the realization of a lifelong dream, or other? I had hoped to get drafted a little higher. I made the 1st-team at the Aloha Classic along with 4 future pros like Detlef Schrempf/Joe Dumars/Terry Porter/Xavier McDaniel…but I became the 1st player to ever receive that honor and then not get drafted in the 1st round.

You played 20 games in the NBA: what is your favorite memory from your time in the NBA? It was fun to hang out with my fellow young Dallas teammates like Derek Harper/Sam Perkins. It was also nice to see other guys who I had met at the Chicago pre-draft camp who were doing well on their own teams.

You later played in several countries including Venezuela (where you won several championships): what is the biggest difference between basketball in the US vs. basketball overseas? The international rules were different so I went from averaging 2 PPG to 30 PPG. They also blamed every loss on the American players no matter how well we did: there was much more pressure on us. There were 2 Americans on each team and the only other guy I could count on back then was the other American guy, but I am sure that it is different now.

You played for Venezuela in 2001 South American Basketball Championship (Tournament of the Americas?): what was it like to face start like Manu Ginobili (Argentina) and Anderson Varejao (Brazil)? It was very impressive to play against guys like Nene/Leandro Barbosa who were great players. I did not think that any player overseas would be better than me after I had been in the NBA but some of them were really good.

Nancy Lieberman named coach of Big3’s Power

HALL OF FAMER NANCY LIEBERMAN NAMED COACH OF BIG3’S POWER; BREAKS NEW GROUND AS FIRST FEMALE HEAD COACH IN A PROFESSIONAL MEN’S SPORTS LEAGUE

(LOS ANGELES) March 21, 2018 - The BIG3 has signed WNBA superstar and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman as the next coach of Power, making her the first female head coach in a men’s professional sports league. Lieberman will assume the coaching position vacated by Clyde Drexler who became league commissioner last week.

“Nancy is one of the sharpest basketball minds and also one of the most competitive,” said BIG3 Commissioner Clyde Drexler. “Her experience and basketball acumen will stand out in the BIG3, which is filled with star players and coaches. I couldn’t be happier to pass her the coaching torch.”

Lieberman, who got a taste of the BIG3 during the inaugural season when she joined Ball Hogs Coach Rick Barry as a guest Assistant Coach for Week 6 in Dallas, will coach Power Captain Corey Maggette and Co-Captain Cuttino Mobley. Team Power, which finished the season in fourth place after falling to Ricky Davis’ Ghost Ballers in the BIG3 Playoffs, will fill three roster spots during the 2018 BIG3 Draft set to take place Thursday, April 12 live on FS1 and the FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports apps.

"It’s an honor and privilege for me to be a part of the BIG3 and its vision,” said Nancy Lieberman. “We have former NBA players and Hall of Fame coaches who still love the game, have a deep respect for the competition, and a passion to play competitive basketball. It's in our DNA. Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz have provided this unique platform for all of us. Who's got next?!"

Lieberman brings an unparalleled resume to the league, including eight years of professional play in the Women's Professional Basketball League and WNBA, eight years of professional coaching experience in the WNBA, NBA D-League (Dallas Mavericks Head Coach) and NBA (Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach), and time as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC. Lieberman also made two Olympic appearances (earning a Silver Medal) and was named to three All-American teams while winning back-to-back AIAW National Championships at Old Dominion University.

“We have added an absolutely tremendous coach in Nancy Lieberman - not a tremendous female coach, a tremendous coach, period,” said BIG3 Chairman Amy Trask. “With this latest addition to our BIG3 team, Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz have again demonstrated that they hire without regard to gender, race, religion, ethnicity and other individualities which have no bearing whatsoever on whether one can do a job.”

BIG3 Co-Founder and Co-CEO Ice Cube added, “She’s was a helluva player and she’s a helluva coach. Nancy’s a winner and I expect her to win in this league.”

The BIG3 2018 season kicks off Friday, June 22 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

ABOUT BIG3: BIG3 (www.BIG3.com) is where basketball superstars play. The premier half-court, 3-on-3 basketball league, BIG3 features many of the greatest, most popular and skilled NBA players of all time. Founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, the BIG3 combines highly competitive, physical, fast basketball and incredible fan experiences. Comprised of eight teams, the league played to huge arena crowds in ten different US cities throughout the 2017 inaugural season.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sunshine Sachs | (212) 691-2800 | BIG3@SunshineSachs.com

NBRPA Partners Up With NuEnerchi

The NBRPA is proud to work with many great partners in order to offer our members top-notch products and services. At this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, we announced another excellent new partner: NuEnerchi. NuEnerchi is a generation Health Solutions Company that offers products and services to promote healing, health and wellness. NuEnerchi joined us at in the Legends Lounge at All-Star and spoke with retired players about ways they can help manage chronic pain, enhance healing and improve overall health and wellness.

Here are some photos from the weekend. We look forward to seeing NuEnerchi again at the Legends Conference this July!