Adonal Foyle, former NBA player, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist has dedicated the majority of his life to creating a well-balanced life that includes an emphasis on education and on perfecting the mental and physical aspects of the game of basketball. Adonal was born and raised in St Vincent and the Grenadines, on one of the smaller grenadines island call Canouan, in the eastern Caribbean, an island of 350 inhabitants. Adonal didn’t begin playing basketball until the age of 15.
Shortly after learning to play basketball, his raw talent captured the attention of two college professors, Jay and Joan Mandle, who were visiting the island at the time. The Mandles began to mentor Adonal in how to develop his game in order to leverage his basketball skills to get an education. A year later, Adonal found himself in New York, living with the Mandles, whom he grew to love as his own family.
Raised by two college professors, he learned early in life both the power of the mind and the value of keeping it healthy in order to round out physical acumen. This commitment was evident in the way he rose to professional athletics. Although scouted by many colleges renowned for their basketball programs, Adonal took the unexpected route and surprised many by choosing to enroll at the academically acclaimed Colgate University in New York. He felt it was important to be seen as a student first and a basketball player second. Choosing an academically-focused program allowed Adonal to continue playing the sport he loved while being able to focus on basketball’s principles at a slower pace. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in history, Adonal was quickly recruited for the NBA. Teams that Adonal played for include: The Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies.
For 10 of the 13 years he played in the NBA, Adonal continued developing his education by earning a Masters in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in California. Having played basketball most of his life, Adonal has personally encountered mental challenges which he had to overcome. As someone who started playing a sport at what is considered an old age for a professional track, Adonal felt as if he was always “catching up,” even though he was showered with alkaloids throughout his young career. And, once he arrived in the NBA as a 6’9” Center, he often felt as if he had to make up for being considered “short” in a position that is typically filled by guys that were 7’1” and above. Nonetheless, Adonal continued to utilize mental tools to play and to continuously play at his peak.Then there were universal challenges that he and his teammates and opponents experienced including:
- Sustaining confidence in the face of injury and loss
- Maintaining mental stamina in the midst of physical exhaustion
- And staying focused on playing the game well even with a stadium filled with the opponent’s fans and their tactics for distraction
Now retired from the NBA, Adonal is focused on giving back through a variety of projects, but closest to his heart is his work with clients at Foyle Performance Coaching. He gets a great sense of gratification from working with athletes on a consistent basis to expand their idea of what they actually can do- not just as athletes, but as human beings.
Learn more about Adonal Foyle in the NBAtv Barrier Breakers video.