Adonal Foyle was a professional basketball player and a perfect example of someone that has used their status to give back and help their community. Foyle was born in Canouan, one of the islands that makes up St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He began playing basketball aged 15. Shortly after this he caught the attention of two college professors, Jay and Joan Mandle, who were visiting at the time. They noticed Foyle’s raw talent and decided to mentor him and taught him how to develop his skills so that he could then use them to get an education. A year later Adonal Foyle moved to New York to live with the Mandles, whom he grew to love as his own family. Adonal continued to play basketball and was scouted by many colleges. However, Foyle decided to take the academic route and chose to attend Colgate University in New York. Foyle says he chose to do so because he thought it was important to be seen as a student first and a basketball player second. Adonal Foyle left Colgate to play in the NBA, however he still went back to his studies and was able to graduate with great distinction with a degree in history in 1998.
Foyle was drafted into the NBA as a first-round lottery pick in 1997. He played Centre for the Golden State Warriors for a decade. He also played for Orlando Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies between 2007-2009. After 13 very successful seasons, Foyle decided to retire in 2010. Following his retirement, he served two seasons with the Orlando Magic as their Director of Player Development. Adonal Foyle was a defensive specialist. He held the NCAA record for 492 blocked shots at Colgate, which was only broken in 2002. Despite all his success, Foyle stated that he always felt that he was playing catch up, as he started playing basketball relatively late. He was also considered short for the centre positioned he played, however he did not let this deter him.