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Volume 22 No. 18
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Forty Under 40: David Foster

Photo: nbpa

David Foster was working as assistant U.S. attorney in Newark, N.J., prosecuting drug trafficking and other felony cases when he read an article that changed his life.

It was a story about Michele Roberts, the attorney who had been chosen as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. Foster read it at a time when he was considering a different career.

Deputy General Counsel, National Basketball Players Association

Age: 39

Born: New York, N.Y.

Education: Princeton University, undergraduate degree, history; Fordham University, J.D.

Family: Wife, Alanna; child, Taylor (10)

You wish you knew 10 years ago: Don’t expect to ever meet someone that you agree with on everything and don’t let those disagreements get in the way of mutual goals.

Profession you’d most like to attempt: Angel investor in projects focused on improving African-American communities.

Guilty pleasure: Oreo cookies.

Cause supported: Read Alliance.

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Roger Federer.

Sports industry needs to do a better job of: Keeping prices reasonable so that a larger percentage of fans can attend the games of their favorite team.

We’d be surprised to know that … : When I was 15 I played on the Barbados Junior National team in table tennis and over the last 5 1/2 years I have completed nine Ironman triathlons.

“It was very inspirational to me because she was a former litigator; she was a defense attorney, and then went into private practice and made this huge leap into sports,” Foster said. He got hired as deputy general counsel of the NBPA in December 2015.

“He has become an integral part of our legal team, handling a wide range of matters for individual players and the union as a whole, with poise and efficiency,” Roberts said.  

Those matters include two key emerging issues facing players — the legalization of sports gambling and the development of wearable technology, which measures an athlete’s body functions, such as breathing and heartbeat while exercising. 

Foster is a member of the NBA-NBPA Wearables Committee and was responsible for, among other things, establishing cybersecurity standards for NBA clubs that wish to have their players use wearables in practice. In the gambling arena, Foster has met with legislators in states throughout the country, advocating that players have a voice if their work on the court is going to be bet on. 

“I am most proud of the fact that I am working for that group that most people just think are lucky and should be grateful,” Foster said. “And it’s my job to remind them that they have some rights and their rights need to be protected. And their hard work and determination needs to be recognized and not exploited.”