As part of our regular Chapter Spotlight feature, in this issue we would like to acknowledge Kevin Loder of the NBRPA Houston Chapter on an incredible career milestone. On September 29, 2023, Kevin was honored by his alma mater, Alabama State University, and inducted into their Hall of Fame. We caught up with Kevin ahead of his inductio, and spoke to him about this honor, his work with the Houston Chapter, the importance of supporting HBCUs, and his NBA career.

Q: What does this honor mean to you when you look back at the entirety of your career?

A:  This is a great honor and I’m extremely excited for the event. Not only for me, but for that entire team. Our 1979-80 team went 32-2, was ranked #1 in the nation and ended up as the runner up in that season’s NAIA Tournament. We had an amazing season that illuminated and affected the entire area, especially in a time where there was racial injustice and bigotry. 

Q: You mentioned that this was a time of heavy racism. How exactly did the team prove to be a unifying force? 

A: That team’s success captured the attention of the local fans and national media and proved that sports can overcome social issues and become a great uniter. Unfortunately for us we lost to Cameron University out of Oklahoma, but it was still an incredible season for us. The team’s success captured the media’s attention and gave ASU a lot of positive publicity and eventually, because of our success, I became the first person of color to attend the famed Montgomery Quarterback Club.

Q: You’ve been an NBRPA member for some time now and were Vice President of the Houston Chapter.  What can you tell us about the chapter’s work?

A: At Alabama State, I majored in marketing and minored in Management, so when I was done playing and joined the NBRPA, I saw this as an opportunity to utilize my education. I’m proud of the chapter’s work in creating educational programs, including a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program in Houston in conjunction with NASA and Space Center Houston. This program allowed local students the chance at internships and employment opportunities with NASA. 

Q: Let’s talk about your pro career.  You played three years with the Kings and Clippers - then from Kansas City and San Diego respectively.  What are your fondest memories of playing professionally?

A: I have two – the first one is of when I was drafted in 1981.  I went number 17 in the first round that year.  You will never forget that.  Second – was my first time playing in Philadelphia at the Spectrum vs. Dr. J.  Julius was my idol. I hit the wing and I’m running through the middle, and Bobby Jones laid some wood on me – you didn’t run free in those days – and then Darryl Dawkins threw me up against the basket and said, “Don’t come through here no more rookie!” So yes, some very fond memories. I say that because I was up there, playing with Dr. J, and that was special.

Q: You are also an entrepreneur now, correct?

A: Yes, I am CEO and Founder of BTBB (Blessed to Be Blessed) which is a small business consulting group, that focuses on small businesses and provides services for everything from formation, to business planning, project managing and finance. Additionally, I’m also the Executive Director for AHA Education’s non-profit arm. We’ve been able to develop a Drone Pilot Licensing program that prepares high school students for careers in the drone field and our organization also is instrumental in securing donations for Title 1 youth, which are low income and disadvantaged kids.

Q: As an HBCU graduate, what are your thoughts on the NBRPA creating a Legends Scholars program that benefits HBCU students yearly?

A: This is exciting and very deserving stuff.  HBCUs have contributed so much, not just to sports but to academia as well. There are significant numbers of players in the basketball and football Halls of Fame. Your CEO, Scott Rochelle, is a Morehouse grad. I give kudos to the people at the NBRPA that made that decision to make a larger footprint for HBCU support.

Q: As a longtime NBRPA member, what advice do you have for those players that are considering joining the NBRPA?

A: There’s a joke that says that as soon as a player signs a contract, they are immediately retired.  The average career is around 3-4 years, so in actuality you end up being retired for over 40 years. The NBRPA provides decades of advice and testimony on how to make that transition as smooth as possible and it’s a great opportunity to stay connected to a unique brotherhood and sisterhood.