Q&A with NBRPA Chicago Chapter President Jeff Sanders

April 1, 2014

By: Alyssa Nadelman

Jeff Sanders is President of the NBRPA’s Chicago Chapter. A native of Georgia, Sanders decided to remain in his home state to play collegiately at Georgia Southern University. During his time at Georgia Southern he was twice named Trans America Athletic Conference Player of the Year (1988,1989). Sanders was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the first round as the 20th overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft. Throughout his four seasons in the NBA, Sanders played for the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, and Atlanta Hawks. In life after basketball he has continues to play a large role in the both the basketball community and the community at large.

Q: Why did you get involved with the NBRPA as a chapter leader?
A: I was supporting a close friend of mine who’s like a brother to me. When he wasn’t able to take on the role anymore I actually stepped in to help as much as possible. Since I’ve become involved in the Chicago Chapter, I’ve been able to see first-hand the many retired players that need a lot of help. I plan to continue to assist them in anyway that I can.

Q: What are your goals for the Chicago Chapter?
A: I want to get as many of our local area players to become members if they’re not already and give them the opportunity to get back out in the community to be seen and heard. Once we retire, we’re usually lost and forgotten about. I feel that it’s important that we recognize as former NBA players that people know what it means mentally and physically in order to become a professional player. It’s really a lot of work, so I like to give us the opportunity to share our personal stories with students because somewhere in that story they could be experiencing the same situation or difficulties. We try to impart some words of wisdom and act as mentors and I think the best way to do that is to be out in the community.

Q: What events does the Chicago Chapter have coming up?
A: We’re planning on doing a basketball camp for kids sometime around June. Then in September, we have our Gala/Golf Outing. We will probably try to hold another camp sometime in August. When Dwyane Wade comes here he does a huge event. Last year we got the opportunity to partner up with him and partake in some of the stuff he was doing. Hopefully we will be able to get the chance to do that again this year.

Q: If other NBRPA Members in your area want to get involved in the Chicago Chapter, who should they contact?
A: They can go onto our website www.nbrpachicagochapter.org to learn a little about what we’re doing. Also, if they want to contact me directly they can.