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.