For JFKU Alum and 13-Year NBA Superstar, Community Service is a Slam Dunk

It seems as if 13-year NBA veteran superstar Adonal Foyle is everywhere these days! A 2011 graduate of the MA Sport Psychology program at JFK University, he’s been giving us his insight and witty humor as a TV commentary for After the Game on NBC through these past few years of Warriors dominance. As the Community Ambassador for the Golden State Warriors, he presided over a Bay Area fourth of July parade, has been interviewed numerous times on national and local radio shows, and has been touring the country after launching his second book, Winning the Money Game: Lessons Learned from the Financial Fouls of Athletes.

And just this month with the help of several JFK University friends and volunteers, Adonal hosted his annual Bay Area Celebrity golf tournament “Swinging for Kids” at the Mira Vista Golf and Country Club. More than 100 players, many of them former professional athletes and Foyle supporters including Vida Blue, Jim Barnett, J.J. Stokes, Charles Scott, D. Wayne Wiggins, Darryl Pollard, Ed Miller, Greg Vaughn, and Marvin Webb to name a few. Franco “the Voice” Finn was enthusiastic in his role as Celebrity Emcee for the post-play festivities.

A JFKU Sport Psych foursome (Drew Morgan, Joey Velez, Andre Demian, and Kaneat Nimcharoenwan) shot an amazing round, even winning the Marshmallow contest! And new Sport Psych core faculty Megan Byrd manned the JFKU-sponsored hole #11 with Brian Korinek and Outreach Director Deidre Robinson, engaging all players by telling them more about the LEAP summer camp for disadvantaged kids and having them “leap” for kids before taking their shots. (By far, Adonal’s cousin Flex was able to hop up the highest! Must be in the genes.)

“Whatever we can do to support Adonal and all that he accomplishes for at-risk kids is an honor for us,” comments Deidre, a tournament first-timer who loved meeting so many prominent athletes who are deeply committed to helping others. “Yes, it was a great day of golf and having fun, but really, it’s all about raising money for kids who have almost nothing. But hey, they have Adonal on their side and that’s a lot!”

Adonal’s 4th annual tournament benefits his Kerosene Lamp Foundation which sponsors free athletic and academic camps in Oakland, as well as mentorship programs throughout the US and in the Caribbean, where Adonal grew up. His first book, Too Tall Foyle, is an inspiring children’s story about being awkward as a soccer player because of his height and size 13 feet, not finding his game until later in his teen years.

“My whole mission with the Kerosene Lamp Foundation is to empower youth to grow into healthy and well-educated adults,” explains Adonal, who played with the Warriors for 11 years and the Orlando Magic for two years before retiring. “Basketball is the hook we use to get the kids involved, to teach them life skills, and give them love and support so they can feel confident as people. Every one of them truly matters and the camp experiences for them are amazing!”

All of the players received azure blue shirts emblazoned with the KLF tournament logo and co-branded with JFK University. And as part of the 19th hole reception and dinner program, Adonal surprised the JFKU entourage of friends with an award as Outstanding Supporter of the Year by presenting an engraved plaque to VP of Advancement, Anne Marie Taylor.

“The University has always been there for me,” Adonal explained to the dinner crowd of 150 people. “They taught me so much when I was a student in the Sport Psychology program, and they have remained part of my family.”