Kaplan University and NBRPA Announce Starting Five Scholarship Recipients

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, today announced the first five recipients of its scholarship program with Kaplan University, an NBRPA preferred higher education partner. The announcement was made at the NBRPA’s annual Legends Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The starting five receiving scholarships to attend Kaplan University are retired NBA players Adonal Foyle, Joe Smith, James Donaldson, Kevin A. Loder and Eldridge Recasner.

“Our partnership with Kaplan University is a great fit for former players looking to create career opportunities in life after basketball through education,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, who played 12 years in the NBA. “When one door closes, others need to be opened and education is very often the key.”

“Like most Kaplan University students, retired athletes are juggling a lot of competing responsibilities. They’re older, raising families and also want to make a lasting difference not just in their own lives, but in the larger community,” said Craig Collins, Senior Vice President of Kaplan University Corporate Development.  “So a university like Kaplan, which today is helping some 41,000 adult learners pursue their education and career goals, fits into their playbook because of its convenience.”

“Our relationship with the NBRPA helps underscore the importance of life-long learning and education. Regardless of one’s situation, education plays an important role in helping individuals find fulfillment in careers and life,” said Dr. Wade Dyke, President of Kaplan University.

Founded in 1937, Kaplan University serves adult learners through a wide array of offerings and has more than 180 program offerings. In 2014 and 2015, Kaplan University ranked among the best Online Bachelor Degree Programs by U.S. News & World Report.


About the Scholarship Recipients

Adonal Foyle starred at Colgate University. Drafted in the first round as the 8th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in 1997, Adonal earned his bachelor’s degree (History) from Colgate, graduating with honors in 1999. He played for 12 years in the NBA for two teams; the Golden State Warriors (1997-2007) and the Orlando Magic (2007-2009). Since retiring from professional basketball, Adonal has been busy working with various foundations he helped start, including the nonpartisan Democracy Matters (www.DemocracyMatters.org) and the Kerosene Lamp Foundation (www.KeroseneLampFoundation.org) that empowers youth in the Eastern Caribbean and the United States to take control of their futures. In 2009, he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, joining eight other NBA players who have been so honored. In 2013, he published his first children’s book “Too Tall Foyle,” followed by “Winning the Money Game” in 2015. Today, Adonal lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Finance at Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology.

Joe Smith was the National College Player of the Year (Maryland) and the No. 1 overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft after his sophomore season. Over the course of his 16 year career, Smith played for a record 12 NBA teams, including the Golden State Warriors (1995-1998), the Minnesota Timberwolves (1998-2003) and the Milwaukee Bucks (2003-2006). Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, he wrapped up his NBA career in 2011 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Today, Joe resides in Los Angeles and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communications at Kaplan University’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

James Donaldson starred at Washington State University (1976-1979), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Psychology. A former NBA All-Star, he played professional basketball for 20 years, including 14 seasons with five NBA teams including the  Seattle Supersonics(1981-83), San Diego (1984) and Los Angeles Clippers (1985-86), Dallas Mavericks (1986-1992), New York Knicks (1992) and Utah Jazz (1993, 1995). Today, James resides in Seattle and operates the Donaldson Clinic, a physical therapy and sports rehabilitation clinic in Mills Creek, Washington State that he established in 1990. He plans to pursue a Medical Billing and Coding certificate from Kaplan University.

Kevin A. Loder played basketball at and graduated from Alabama State University. He was a first round selection (17th overall) by the Kansas City Kings in the 1981 NBA Draft. Kevin played three seasons in the NBA from 1981 to 1984 for the Kings and San Diego Clippers. A native of Cassopolis, Michigan, Kevin serves as Vice President of the NBRPA’s Houston Chapter and is the Founder and Managing Principal of BTBB Consulting Group in Houston, Texas. He lives with his wife in League City, Texas and plans to pursue a Project Management Graduate certificate at Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology.

Eldridge Recasner starred at the University of Washington (1986-1990) and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree (History) in 1990. He played professional basketball in Europe and in the CBA before playing in the NBA (1994-2002) for several teams, including the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers. Subsequent to retiring in 2002, Eldridge coached basketball. He lives with his wife and family in Bellevue, Washington and plans to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration degree at Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology.

About Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Kaplan University serves approximately 41,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 14 campuses in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin, and a Kaplan University Learning Center in Maryland.

Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan, Inc., a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan’s higher education institutions serves approximately 61,000 students online and through 56 campus-based schools across the United States and offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training and programs for kids in grades K-12. Kaplan, Inc. is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company and its largest division. For more information, visit www.kaplanuniversity.edu.