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.
Since retiring Adonal Foyle has kept himself extremely busy. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology from the John F. Kennedy University in 2011. Foyle is now an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Foyle release a book ‘Winning the Money Game’ which enables readers to learn valuable lessons about building their career. This goes hand in hand with his performance coaching. He works with athlete to expand their ideas of their own capabilities. To build and push the mind to be in line with their physical ability. Clients have customised one-on-one sessions tailored on their specific needs and are helped throughout various stages of their career.
Adonal Foyle has also founded two non-profit organisations, Democracy Matters and Kerosene Lamp Foundation. Democracy Matters which he founded in 2001, is dedicated to giving college students a voice in the pro-democracy movement. It is also to allow students to have an active role in the national conversations about money in politics. The foundation helps students fight for progressive change and is a cause to get private money out of politics. The NBA has recognised Foyle three times with the ‘Community Assist Award’, for his commitment to democracy. He has received a number of other awards and was also entered into the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 2009. The second foundation, Kerosene Lamp Foundation (KLF) was established in 2003. It was created to empower young people to grow into healthy and well-educated leaders. They provide athletics and academics camps, as Foyle has always believed it is important to excel in both areas alongside each other. Adonis Foyle funds the camps himself and so they are free and are for any player at any level. The foundation mentors at risk student athletes and also builds and refurbishes basketball courts. So far the foundation has directly reached over 5,500 children and will continue in their mission. To us, the name, Kerosene Lamp Foundation was a little ambiguous, but when we delved a little further we learned that it had a very powerful meaning. It is name a such because a kerosene lamp is the lighting Foyle used to study when he was living on his small home island, without electricity. The name also symbolises his mission, which is to brighten the future of today’s youth. Now the name really means something!
As well as all of the above Foyle heads National student summits every year and has spoken at over 100 schools and universities. Adonis Foyle strongly believes in using basketball and his career as a bridge to the next generation. He continues to promote education and health awareness. Adonis Foyle also has a 2-book series ‘Too-Tall Foyle’. These books are about a young boy who is growing up on a tiny island in the Caribbean. The character overcomes various hardships and learns important life lessons while on a quest for and education and an NBA career. The books are aimed at children aged 3-8 and again is about inspiring children to pursue both the academic and athletic route.
Adonis Foyle is an extremely ambitious and hardworking individual. He is passionate about inspiring young people to be academically, physically and politically engaged. He has been widely hailed in the press Nationally and Locally. Foyle was made the Goodwill Ambassador for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and even has his own national postage stamp. Among all that he achieved within his basketball career, he is also a published author, national speaker and consultant. Foyle also serves as the Community Ambassador for the World Champion Golden State Warriors. We are just in awe of all this man does for his community and are thankful that he has continued to be such a huge influence. Adonis Foyle, Caribbean1st absolutely salutes you.
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