Former Player Derek L. Anderson and Michael J. Grinnell Join the NBPA as Player Wellness Counselors

Former Player Derek L. Anderson and Michael J. Grinnell Join the NBPA as Player Wellness Counselors

NEW YORK, NY, May 3, 2021 - The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is excited to announce that Derek L. Anderson and Michael J. Grinnell, LICSW, will serve as the new NBPA Player Wellness Counselors. They will join the NBPA’s Mental Health and Wellness Department which is overseen by Director Dr. William Parham. In this role, Messrs. Anderson and Grinnell will work to assist players with the unique emotional and mental challenges associated with being an NBA player as well as provide insight into the mental health services that the NBPA offers.

A former NBA player, Derek L. Anderson attended Ohio State from 1992-1994 and then the University of Kentucky from 1995-1997 where he received a B.A. in Psychology. He went on to have a successful 11-year career in the NBA, including winning an NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. Since retiring in 2008, Mr. Anderson has used his platform to support the next generation of athletes. A popular public speaker, his events have included addressing newly drafted players at the NBA/NBPA Rookie Transition Program. In 2015, he created the Stamina Foundation which aims to empower youth and young adults with the resources and life skills  needed to pursue their dreams.

Michael J. Grinnell attended Carleton College where he graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology. He received a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in 2016 and is a licensed clinical social worker (LICSW). Over the years, Mr. Grinnell has enjoyed success within the social services profession in a variety of roles, including the Justice Resource Institute in Boston, MA, the Fairfax County Department of Family Services in Annandale, VA  and most recently, at Williams College’s Integrative Wellbeing Services in Williamstown, MA.

“I am excited to join the NBPA and step into this role to empower and have a real impact in players’ lives,” said Anderson. “As a former player myself, I understand the challenges that come with being an NBA player and this is a great opportunity to serve as a resource and a mentor for NBPA members.”

“Over the course of my career in social services, I’ve had the opportunity to work in many different settings with people from all backgrounds,” said Grinnell. “The NBPA’s membership is especially unique with countless experiences and diverse perspectives from all over the world and I look forward to using my experience and expertise to provide support for these men."

“We are excited to have Derek and Michael join us as part of the NBPA Mental Health and Wellness Program,” added Dr. Parham. “We have always followed the lead of our players who have been such vocal leaders when it comes to advocating for mental health and wellness and given the unprecedented circumstances of the past year, we feel the expansion of our program is coming at the right time. With their respective experience and professional qualifications, Derek and Michael will surely serve as valuable resources to our members and our organization as a whole.”

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About the NBPA

The National Basketball Players Association is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA’s mission is to protect and support the rights and talents of our players, magnify the power of their collective will, and amplify their voices as leaders who will transcend sport and society globally.

The NBPA advocates on behalf of the best interests of all NBA players, including the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, the filing of grievances on behalf of the players, or counseling players on benefits, educational and post-NBA career opportunities. Business opportunities are generated by THINK450, the subsidiary of the NBPA charged with managing the players’ group licensing rights.

Dedicated to preserving the legacy of its members, the NBPA Foundation provides support and assistance to persons, communities and organizations around the world that seek to improve the lives of those in need. For more information about the NBPA, visit