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Dr. Janice Hilliard Named Director, Player Programs
NBDL to Offer Innovative Off-Court Opportunities to Players

The National Basketball Development League will offer players the opportunity to continue their education and take part in professional internships as part of the league's unique and comprehensive array of player development programs. The NBDL has named Dr. Janice Hilliard, Director of Player Programs to develop, execute and oversee the league's landmark off-court development initiatives.

"The NBDL is doing more than just helping players reach their full potential on the basketball court," said Rob Levine, NBA Senior Vice President, New League Development. "Our entire organization is focused on development and Dr. Hilliard's experience in education, counseling and athletics make her the perfect choice to help our athletes take advantage of these unique opportunities."

Under Dr. Hilliard's leadership, NBDL players will be offered a wide-range of programs designed to enhance their off-the-court growth. Players attending the NBDL's Central Training Camp from October 26 – November 3 are being introduced to a broad range of topics that will assist them in their transition to professional basketball.

During the season, the NBDL's Continuing Education Program will enable players to continue their education through innovative on-line learning systems. While a majority of NBDL players have completed their undergraduate degrees, many have indicated an interest in continuing their education. Players will also receive Career Counseling, which will provide resources for "life after basketball," including career assessment, resume writing and interviewing skills. The employment of local academic advisors will help link players to their communities.

Together with the eight NBDL Team Presidents, the "3-Point Community Council" will help players become an active member of their community. Community leaders will assist in identifying opportunities for players via internships and off-season job opportunities with NBDL marketing partners, local industry and governments and public service organizations. The mission of the "3-Point Community Council" is to generate the interest and support of key community leaders in each NBDL market by utilizing them as "advisors" to the Team Presidents and staff.

"We want every player to take away something positive from their experiences in the NBDL," said Hilliard. "Not every player will realize their dream of playing in the NBA, but we can help each of them develop professionally."

Dr. Hilliard comes to the NBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) where she served as the Associate Director of Athletics and Director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes. While at UNC, Dr. Hilliard oversaw the development, implementation and evaluation of the academic support program for 750 student-athletes on 28 sports teams. Dr. Hilliard has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Counseling, both from Michigan State University (MSU). While earning her Ph.D., she worked as a Graduate Assistant at MSU where she co-taught a career education seminar for freshmen and conducted a career assessment study of MSU student-athlete career interests.

Prior to returning to MSU for her Ph.D., Dr. Hilliard was the Associate Director of Athletics for Academic Affairs at the University of Houston. She reorganized, developed and implemented a comprehensive academic support program for 350 student-athletes on 14 teams. She established academic advising, grade monitoring and NCAA satisfactory progress certification procedures. She was an academic counselor at UNC from 1992-94, during which time she provided academic, personal and career counseling for student-athletes on the volleyball, men's lacrosse, fencing and men's and women's track and field and cross country teams, and selected members of the freshman football team. Prior to working at UNC, Dr. Hilliard interned with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), where she assisted in the planning of selected NCAA Championships and participated on the first NCAA Coaches Certification Committee.

Dr. Hilliard has worked in the public schools system as a teacher, coach and counselor in both Michigan and Texas. She has coached high school basketball, volleyball and tennis. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston where she played on the women's basketball team for four seasons and was the captain of the Lady Cougars during the 1980-81 season.