January 20, 2017

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) rang in 2016 with the exciting news of a partnership with Ultimate Hoops and the results have been an ultimate success!

Through the partnership with the NBRPA, Ultimate Hoops encourages members to join the Ultimate Hoops Training team to provide one-on-one and group basketball instruction for its youth and adult members. In addition, NBRPA members may have the opportunity to host their own podcasts, local camps/clinics or events in their name.

Ultimate Hoops is a one-of-a-kind recreational basketball league and skills training company within Life Time Athletic and Life Time Fitness destinations across the country, which serves members in more than 22 U.S. and Canadian markets, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ontario and Texas.

John Thomas, current NBRPA member and National Manager of Ultimate Hoops Training and Corporate Basketball, said the transition from playing on the court to dealing with life off the court is one he and many former athletes have to face. “After playing five years in the NBA and then approximately ten overseas, I developed an unrealistic view of the workforce and never had a true sense of reality,” he said. “While we were busy creating a life in professional sports, our peers were climbing in their respective professions as well. Once I retired, I figured the move to the corporate space would be seamless since I felt I had a ton of relevant experience to give. The truth was that I had to prove myself in unfamiliar territory and essentially start over. Needless to say, it was difficult to let go of my former career.” Thomas continued, “I say athletes die twice in their lifetime: you die when your time is over in this world but you also ‘die’ after you retire because once your playing days are over, you lose your feelings of validation due to the cultural messaging that tells us we’re special.”

In December of 2012, Thomas received a chance to meet with Life Time CEO Bahram Akradi and Ultimate Hoops founder Alan Arlt. From that meeting, he was able to take on his role within their organization. “One of the reasons I joined the Ultimate Hoops team was to help create programs that develop the entire person. Towards the end of my playing career, I went through a complete performance enhancement program at Life Time,” said Thomas. “They had everything I needed under one roof and that motivated me to provide these services and help others succeed as well. There’s so much more than basketball that defines us and I’m thrilled to offer a platform to those who’d like to join us on this journey.”

Thomas emphasizes that the vision for Ultimate Hoops Training is much more than just basketball because the program gives former athletes the chance to ‘Never Retire’, by continuing to play and compete in the game, as well as providing an outlet to inspire others and share their story with children and communities. “Basketball is the starting vehicle and becomes a gateway towards holistic development,” he said. “We’ve used our education centers to talk about character, leadership, nutrition and more. We want to help people see beyond the game and not to become one-dimensional. Life surely entails more than just being just a professional sports star.”

Ultimate Hoops has worked with various retired players including Bobby Jackson, Tony Delk, Moochie Norris, Khalid El-Amin, Troy Bell and Candice Wiggins. Thomas is hopeful more members use this partnership to join the team. He believes that retired players are much more valuable now than they ever were when they were active. “After retirement, our sports culture tells you that you’re washed up and are of no use anymore. We’re here to help deliver a different message” he said. “We hope players see this as an opportunity and can press as hard in their second career as they once did on their path towards becoming a pro,” said Thomas.

With Ultimate Hoops, the NBRPA is proud to offer its membership this unique opportunity to stay engaged in the game they love while bringing their expertise to young and old. Thomas has been active at various NBRPA functions throughout the year and plans to continue to work hard to reach out to players and provide them with the necessary insight to succeed within their program. “We’re looking for players to step up and tell us how we can help. We want to tell your story and inspire you to never retire”, concludes Thomas.

To learn more about Ultimate Hoops, visit their website at If interested in serving as a trainer or for any other inquires about Ultimate Hoops, contact NBRPA Senior Vice President of Partnership Scott Rochelle at 847-736-1328 or

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. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, Vice Chairman Dwight Davis, Treasurer Eldridge Recasner, Secretary Nancy Lieberman, Rick Barry, James Donaldson, Mike Glenn, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin Jr., David Naves, Johnny Newman and Casey Shaw.

About Ultimate Hoops
Ultimate Hoops delivers one-of-a-kind basketball leagues, skills trainings and education with a mission to inspire players to never retire from the game. Ultimate Hoops delivers it products in more than 100 Life Time destinations in 22 markets in North America. Since its start in 2006, Ultimate Hoops has become the largest national recreational basketball league in the U.S. In 2014, Ultimate Hoops launched their basketball training products including private and small group training, and camps and clinics with plans to expand their services to 80 Life Time destinations by the end of 2016.

About Life TimeSM, The Healthy Way of Life Company
Life Time is a privately held, comprehensive health and lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of November 2016, the company operates 122 centers in 26 states and 35 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at