Building a Solid Foundation

Dan Roundfield recently visited Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta to read Dino Basketball to a group of kids. While many athletes and celebrities take time to read to children, "Dr. Rounds" may be one of the most qualified.

First, he has two sons and two grandsons, so he has plenty of experience reading children's books.

Second, Roundfield has always placed a high value on education and preparing oneself for success.

During his 12-year professional career that included three consecutive All-Star teams (1980-1982) he made sure to find ways to stay sharp and develop his intellectual skills as well as his physical skills. While playing in Atlanta he spent time working as a teller at the Fulton Federal Savings and Loan in the offseason. Since retiring he has worked in the engineering field for over 20 years.

"One thing you find out as a player is that you're an ex-player a lot longer than you're a player," Dan said before taking the stage for the kids. "And you're an ex-player sooner than you ever think you are going to be, so you need to prepare for that."

Roundfield didn't start playing basketball until he was a junior in high school and did not get widespread interest from collegiate programs. He chose to attend Central Michigan University, near his hometown of Detroit, where he earned his bachelor's degree in business administration.

"The one thing that I try to tell (kids today) is to let your athletic ability get you a good education," he commented. "Because you may need your education a lot longer than you need the athletic ability. That's something you are going to be doing a long time if you're not one of the fortunate few that makes it in the pro's."

Even in retirement Roundfield continues to give back to the Atlanta community and beyond. In addition to special appearances like the one at Imagine It!, he has annually lent his talents to Native Vision's Sports and Life Skills Camps since 2001. With the help of Dan and other former and current athletes, Native Vision hosts camps at a different Native American reservation each summer.

Dan Roundfield played six seasons for the Atlanta Hawks from 1979 until 1984. He ranks fifth on the All-Time Hawks list for blocked shots, eighth in rebounds, and tenth in free-throws made. He was selected to three all-star teams and in 1980 he scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in only 27 minutes of action to make a strong case for the game's MVP.