National Basketball Retired Players Association Members Receive Scholarships to Kaplan University to Bolster Success After Basketball Careers

Four of the five scholarship recipients are former WNBA players

DAVENPORT, Iowa & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#basketball–The National
Basketball Retired Players Association
(NBRPA), the only Association
comprised of NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA alumni, announce
five scholarship recipients to regionally accredited Kaplan
, an NBRPA preferred higher education partner. The
announcement was made at the NBRPA’s annual Legends Conference in Las
Vegas, Nevada.

Barbara Farris, Adrienne Goodson, Taj
, Lynette Woodard and Acie Earl,
have been selected as the scholarship recipients. All have similar goals
to further their education in order to apply the knowledge in their
professional careers after playing basketball.

McWilliams-Franklin, who is looking to work in the business sector
specifically in management for the WNBA or NBA, after being a
professional athlete for the last 21 years, stated in her scholarship
application, “Without a business degree or experience, my options are
limited. They open up with an advanced degree. Online education is the
only way I can successfully achieve this goal.”

“Kaplan University is a great place for students like Barbara, Adrienne,
Taj, Lynette and Acie, to advance their education,” said Dr. Betty
Vandenbosch, President of Kaplan University. “For more than 75 years, we
have worked to educate adult learners, students who have work
experience, competing responsibilities such as jobs and caring for their
families, and possibly some college credits. Our expertise helps
students succeed and reach their educational goals.”

“The Kaplan University partnership has provided NBRPA members an
invaluable opportunity to complete and advance their college educations,
said Arnie D. Fielkow, President and CEO of the NBRPA. “We are extremely
proud of Barbara, Taj, Lynnette, Acie and Adrienne for making their
education a priority and advancing themselves beyond the court. It is
our hope that we can provide these types of opportunities for many more
former players in the near future.”

Founded in 1937, Kaplan University predominantly serves adult learners
who are working and tending to other responsibilities while going to
school. The University has several different schools which collectively
offer some 180 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s
and doctoral levels.

About the Scholarship Recipients

Barbara Farris studied at Tulane University graduating (1998)
with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. On the court, she was named to
the Conference USA All-Star first team in her junior year and posted a
total of 34 double-doubles. Farris played professionally with the WNBA
for more than nine years for teams including the Detroit Shock, New York
Liberty, and Phoenix Mercury. In 2003, while playing with the Detroit
Shock, Farris and the team won the WNBA Championship (now known as the
WNBA Finals). She also played with the American Basketball League (New
England) and in France, Spain and Korea. For two years, Farris was an
assistant coach for the WNBA’s New York Liberty. She lives in New
Orleans and is a high school psychology teacher, gym coach and head of
the girls’ basketball program. Farris plans to pursue a Master of Arts
in Teaching with Kaplan University.

Adrienne Goodson, also known as Goody, was a two-time second team
All-Star performer at Old Dominion University while earning her degree
in secondary education. There, she also led the team to three NCAA
tournaments, was named Player of the Year (1988), first team
All-Conference and Kodak All-District All-American. Following her
graduation in 1988, Goodson was the captain of the 1993 USA National
Basketball Team and won a bronze medal at the World University Games. In
the absence of an American professional women’s league, Goodson also
played professionally for seven years in Brazil and won five national
championships. In 1996 she returned to the States to play for the
American Basketball League for more than two years and was a two-time
All Star. Goodson was drafted to the WBNA in 1999 and in her seven-year
career, she played for the Utah Starzz, San Antonio Silver Stars,
Houston Comets and the Charlotte Sting. At the time, she was the third
woman in the history of the WNBA to score over 4000 points with over
1500 rebounds. As a WNBA player, she was an All-Star and a two-time
Community Assist Award recipient. Goodson currently runs a developmental
basketball academy in Bayonne, New Jersey and plans to pursue a Master
of Business Administration with Kaplan University.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin is graduate of St. Edward’s University
(Austin, TX) with a degree in English and Rhetoric and is a school
record-setting basketball player after attending and playing at Georgia
State University for one year. McWilliams-Franklin’s move to Austin
enabled her to raise her daughter while still playing basketball. After
school, she continued to play basketball professionally for 21 years,
including two seasons for the American Basketball League and a
successful WNBA career earning two championships, playing in six WNBA
All-Star games and recognized as one of the all-time great post players
in league history. She ranks first in career offensive rebounds and
third in career total rebounds. McWilliams-Franklin resides in the San
Antonio area with her husband and three daughters. She is the head
women’s basketball coach at Post University (Waterbury, CT) and plans to
pursue a Master of Business Administration with Kaplan University.

Lynette Woodard starred as a four-time All-American player at
University of Kansas from 1978 to 1981 and graduated with a speech
communication degree. As a member of the United States women’s
basketball team in 1984 she won a gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympic
Games. Woodard made headlines in 1985 when she was the first woman to
play with the Globetrotters. More than ten years later, in 1997, Woodard
was signed by the Cleveland Rockers of the then newly founded WNBA.
After retiring from playing basketball professionally, she went on to
coach at the University of Kansas. Woodard is a 2004 Basketball Hall of
Fame inductee. She has experience as a stockbroker in New York City and
as financial consultant for A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. She recently worked
with the Trio/Gear Up program in her hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
Currently Woodard is an assistant coach at Winthrop University in Rock
Hill, South Carolina and plans to pursue a Master of Business
Administration with Kaplan University.

Acie Earl was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (1992) at
the University of Iowa where he graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in
leisure studies. An NBA first round draft pick in 1993, Earl played with
the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks. Following
his NBA career, he played in Europe for more than seven years. In 2005
he began his coaching career; first with the Tijuana Dragons (ABA) and
then with the Cleveland Majic (WBA). Earl earned his first Master’s
Degree in Sport and Business Recreation from the University of Iowa. He
currently holds his real estate license and is teaching a coaching class
at the University of Iowa. Hailing from Moline, Illinois, Earl has four
kids and plans to pursue his second Master’s Degree in Academic

About the National Basketball Retired Players

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised
of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and
Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to
develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its
members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by
basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave
Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with
the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D.
Fielkow is the President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors
includes Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, Vice Chairman Dwight Davis,
Treasurer Eldridge Recasner, Secretary Nancy Lieberman, Rick Barry,
James Donaldson, Mike Glenn, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin Jr., David
Naves, Johnny Newman and Casey Shaw.

About Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher
education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by
providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for
careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which
has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago,
is accredited by The
Higher Learning Commission
. Kaplan University serves approximately
33,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 14 campuses
in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin, and
a Kaplan University Learning Center in Maryland.

Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan,
Inc., which serves over 1.2 million students globally each year through
its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education,
English-language training, university preparation, and K-12 offerings to
individuals, institutions, and businesses. Kaplan has operations in over
30 countries, employs more than 19,000 full- and part-time
professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more
than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and over 2,600
corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings
Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information,
please visit


National Basketball Retired Players Association
Vice President / General Counsel
Office: 312-913-9400

Amy Hawkinson
Director of Public
Office: 954-515-3603
Mobile: 773-301-6437