CHICAGO, ILL. – – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players, will be partnering with the Jones Walker Law Firm, First NBC Bank, Entergy New Orleans, Friends of King Schools, WBOK Radio and the NORD Foundation to take underserved New Orleans youth on an interactive educational and fun Civil Rights History tour of Alabama on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The NBRPA will continue to give back to New Orleans youth during this timeframe with a youth basketball and mentoring clinic on Friday, July 24 (location TBD) as part of its Full Court Press: Prep for Success program that is supported by the National Basketball Association (NBA) through its NBA Cares initiative, the National Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and Leadership Foundations.
As part of the NBRPA’s 6th Annual Civil Rights History Tour, up to 200 participating youngsters, ages 11-16, will return to the world-acclaimed Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Historic 16th Street Baptist Church and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. New to the itinerary this year is a stop in Selma, Alab. – starting point of the Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights that ended tragically on March 7, 1965, when some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later, on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a "symbolic" march to the bridge. Eventually, civil rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery.
“As a non-profit charity dedicated to serving communities, the NBRPA is please to announce that we will once again be taking New Orleans youth through important Civil Rights sites in Alabama – this year’s new stop in Selma should be especially impactful to participating youngsters,” said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow, the former New Orleans City Council President and Executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints. “I would like to thank our partners at the Jones Walker Law Firm, First NBC Bank, Entergy New Orleans, Friends of King Schools, WBOK Radio and the NORD Foundation for sharing the NBRPA’s dedication to educate our youth on diversity and provide historical perspective on equality that can be applied to all aspects of life.”
NBRPA Board Member Eldridge Recasner, who grew up in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and starred at Alfred Lawless High School before going on to an 8-year career in the NBA, will join Fielkow and other chaperones on the Civil Rights History Tour. Recasner, who now lives in Seattle after a Hall of Fame collegiate career at University of Washington, is excited to return to New Orleans for this very important initiative.
“New Orleans will always be my home and I am thrilled to have such a wonderful opportunity to teach young people that could have been me a few decades ago,” Recasner said. “Programming that educates our youth about past societal struggles and the heroes that helped usher in progress are essential to the NBRPA Mission and I am proud to participate and support our Civil Rights History Tour as a Board Member.”
Parents or guardians of youth interested in participating in the NBRPA’s annual Civil Rights History Tour can contact Friends of King Schools at 504-940-2243 or email Dr. Doris Roche-King at Doris@DorisHicks.com or Elise Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details on the aforementioned second NBRPA initiative coming to New Orleans, Full Court Press: Prep for Success, will be announced in the near future. Coming to a yet-to-be-determined New Orleans location on July 24, Full Court Press: Prep for Success is the NBRPA’s youth empowerment and mentoring series that offers both basketball and classroom instruction for youngsters ages 10-16 in cities across the country.
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 & CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, Vice Chairman Dwight Davis, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Nancy Lieberman, Past Chairman Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Rick Barry, James Donaldson, Mike Glenn, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin Jr., Johnny Newman and Eldridge Recasner.