SBD/Issue 43/Sports & Society

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  • Program Launched To Assist NBA Players With Career Transition

    The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) yesterday announced the launch of the Transition Assistance Program, which is aimed at providing comprehensive career transition assistance to both active and recently retired NBAers. The program addresses issues including financial planning, pension benefits, insurance coverage, counseling, continued education, career planning, networking and other issues. The program will encourage players to take advantage of a step-by-step program created to ensure that current and former NBAers have access to the tools and expertise required for a successful transition into retirement (NBRPA). In N.Y., Howard Beck notes the program is the "first of its kind for the NBA." In the last two months, "about a half-dozen former NBA players became cautionary tales, amid reports of drug abuse, reckless behavior and financial ruin," and the goal of the program is to "reach players long before trouble arises." NBRPA Exec Dir Charles Smith, who assumed the position last December, said, "It's something that's needed. They're hanging onto that end of the rope, and I might be their last-ditch effort." Smith added that he "aimed to connect with players in their last two years in the league -- while they are still drawing paychecks and have time to plan their future." Beck notes Smith is "hiring field representatives and is working to set up dozens of offices across the country to assist in personal evaluations" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/11).

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