Q&A with NBRPA Atlanta Chapter President Dale Ellis

May 12, 2014

By: Paige Tonz

NBRPA member Dale Ellis is Atlanta Chapter President. Ellis was the ninth overall choice for the Dallas Mavericks in the 1983 NBA Draft. He played for various NBA teams during his career after being a two-time SEC Player of the Year at the University of Tennessee. During Ellis’ breakout season with the Seattle SuperSonics, he scored 2,253 points, breaking the franchise record of 2,251. In his overall career, Ellis played in 1,209 NBA games, averaged 15.7 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, and held a .403 three-point field goal percentage. 

Q: What was/is your inspiration that motivated you to be a successful NBA player? 

My inspiration that motivates me is the passion and love I have for the game. I’d do anything for athletics and the love for the game pushed me to be better.

Q: What is your most significant memory during your career in the NBA? 

Competing for a championship with the Dallas Mavericks was the most significant part of my career, along with just being given the opportunity to play ball.

Q: What do you think makes a great leader on the court, as well as being the President of the Atlanta chapter? 

What makes a good leader is to lead by example on and off the court. A leader is being vocal and doing what is correct at all times. If you work hard at what you do, then you will achieve what you want to in your life. You have to go out of your way to be a good person and a good leader. I just try to do what is right at all times.

Q: Did you always know that you wanted to continue a career surrounding the game of basketball after your NBA career? 

Yes, I did. Basketball is my passion. It was an easy decision to continue my career with basketball. I enjoy working with the kids and encouraging youth development. I like teaching simple life skills through the game of basketball. I will always be active with basketball, because it is who I am.

Q: What kind of responsibilities do you have being President of your chapter? 

I help the retired players transition from being in the NBA into retirement. I raise money and identify the needs and concerns of the community. My responsibility is to do what sees fit for the community. The chapter often times comes together collectively to figure out what the community needs.

Q: What do you like most about being the President of the Atlanta chapter? 

The contacts I have made and the work I have done has allowed me to be back in the arena. I really love giving back. My life is about giving. Knowledge and wealth is something you share – I give whatever I can give to others.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with the National Basketball Retired Players Association? 

The most rewarding part of my role is seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces. I am given the opportunity to grab the attention of young people and give them insight about what they should be looking at and doing.  Teaching youth to balance academics and athletics is very rewarding to me.