NBRPA Members Receive Scholarships to Kaplan University

September 7, 2016

DAVENPORT, Iowa & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, announce five scholarship recipients to regionally accredited Kaplan University, an NBRPA preferred higher education partner. The announcement was made at the NBRPA’s annual Legends Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Barbara Farris, Adrienne Goodson, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Lynette Woodard and Acie Earl, have been selected as the scholarship recipients. All have similar goals to further their education in order to apply the knowledge in their professional careers after playing basketball.

McWilliams-Franklin, who is looking to work in the business sector specifically in management for the WNBA or NBA, after being a professional athlete for the last 21 years, stated in her scholarship application, “Without a business degree or experience, my options are limited. They open up with an advanced degree. Online education is the only way I can successfully achieve this goal.”

“Kaplan University is a great place for students like Barbara, Adrienne, Taj, Lynette and Acie, to advance their education,” said Dr. Betty Vandenbosch, President of Kaplan University. “For more than 75 years, we have worked to educate adult learners, students who have work experience, competing responsibilities such as jobs and caring for their families, and possibly some college credits. Our expertise helps students succeed and reach their educational goals.”

“The Kaplan University partnership has provided NBRPA members an invaluable opportunity to complete and advance their college educations, said Arnie D. Fielkow, President and CEO of the NBRPA. “We are extremely proud of Barbara, Taj, Lynnette, Acie and Adrienne for making their education a priority and advancing themselves beyond the court. It is our hope that we can provide these types of opportunities for many more former players in the near future.”

Founded in 1937, Kaplan University predominantly serves adult learners who are working and tending to other responsibilities while going to school. The University has several different schools which collectively offer some 180 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

About the Scholarship Recipients

Barbara Farris studied at Tulane University graduating (1998) with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. On the court, she was named to the Conference USA All-Star first team in her junior year and posted a total of 34 double-doubles. Farris played professionally with the WNBA for more than nine years for teams including the Detroit Shock, New York Liberty, and Phoenix Mercury. In 2003, while playing with the Detroit Shock, Farris and the team won the WNBA Championship (now known as the WNBA Finals). She also played with the American Basketball League (New England) and in France, Spain and Korea. For two years, Farris was an assistant coach for the WNBA’s New York Liberty. She lives in New Orleans and is a high school psychology teacher, gym coach and head of the girls’ basketball program. Farris plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching with Kaplan University.

Adrienne Goodson, also known as Goody, was a two-time second team All-Star performer at Old Dominion University while earning her degree in secondary education. There, she also led the team to three NCAA tournaments, was named Player of the Year (1988), first team All-Conference and Kodak All-District All-American. Following her graduation in 1988, Goodson was the captain of the 1993 USA National Basketball Team and won a bronze medal at the World University Games. In the absence of an American professional women’s league, Goodson also played professionally for seven years in Brazil and won five national championships. In 1996 she returned to the States to play for the American Basketball League for more than two years and was a two-time All Star. Goodson was drafted to the WBNA in 1999 and in her seven-year career, she played for the Utah Starzz, San Antonio Silver Stars, Houston Comets and the Charlotte Sting. At the time, she was the third woman in the history of the WNBA to score over 4000 points with over 1500 rebounds. As a WNBA player, she was an All-Star and a two-time Community Assist Award recipient. Goodson currently runs a developmental basketball academy in Bayonne, New Jersey and plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration with Kaplan University.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin is graduate of St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX) with a degree in English and Rhetoric and is a school record-setting basketball player after attending and playing at Georgia State University for one year. McWilliams-Franklin’s move to Austin enabled her to raise her daughter while still playing basketball. After school, she continued to play basketball professionally for 21 years, including two seasons for the American Basketball League and a successful WNBA career earning two championships, playing in six WNBA All-Star games and recognized as one of the all-time great post players in league history. She ranks first in career offensive rebounds and third in career total rebounds. McWilliams-Franklin resides in the San Antonio area with her husband and three daughters. She is the head women’s basketball coach at Post University (Waterbury, CT) and plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration with Kaplan University.

Lynette Woodard starred as a four-time All-American player at University of Kansas from 1978 to 1981 and graduated with a speech communication degree. As a member of the United States women’s basketball team in 1984 she won a gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Woodard made headlines in 1985 when she was the first woman to play with the Globetrotters. More than ten years later, in 1997, Woodard was signed by the Cleveland Rockers of the then newly founded WNBA. After retiring from playing basketball professionally, she went on to coach at the University of Kansas. Woodard is a 2004 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. She has experience as a stockbroker in New York City and as financial consultant for A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. She recently worked with the Trio/Gear Up program in her hometown of Wichita, Kansas. Currently Woodard is an assistant coach at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration with Kaplan University.

Acie Earl was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (1992) at the University of Iowa where he graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in leisure studies. An NBA first round draft pick in 1993, Earl played with the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks. Following his NBA career, he played in Europe for more than seven years. In 2005 he began his coaching career; first with the Tijuana Dragons (ABA) and then with the Cleveland Majic (WBA). Earl earned his first Master’s Degree in Sport and Business Recreation from the University of Iowa. He currently holds his real estate license and is teaching a coaching class at the University of Iowa. Hailing from Moline, Illinois, Earl has four kids and plans to pursue his second Master’s Degree in Academic Education.

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 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 33,000 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., which serves over 1.2 million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, university preparation, and K-12 offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 19,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and over 2,600 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit www.Kaplan.com.