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NBA G League partners with ASU, Game Plan for educational program

November 13, 2017

As part of its new era, the NBA G League is not only offering players more tools to improve on the court, but off of it, too.

This year the league will introduce the NBA G League Education Program, which is designed to better prepare NBA G LeagueThe NBA G League was known as the Development League, or D League, until a multi-year sponsorship by Gatorade began in 2017. players for post-playing careers. The program will be run in partnership with Arizona State University and Game Plan, a student-athlete development platform.

“The NBA G League prides itself on its ability to provide players with best-in-class opportunities not only to take their games to the next level, but to prepare them for their professional lives after basketball,” said Malcom Turner, NBA G League president. “We’re immensely proud of our Education Program and are thrilled to partner with ASU and Game Plan to elevate our players now and into the future.”

ASU will offer NBA G League players the opportunity to take classes and earn their degree through the university’s online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Players may also take courses through ASU’s Global Freshman Academy, which allows students to earn ASU academic credit that can be used once they are enrolled in a degree program or transfer to another university. Game Plan will provide its comprehensive athlete development suite of eLearning courses, assessments, virtual mentorship and career marketplace.

“As a model for the New American University, ASU continues expanding access to higher education for students around the world, and through ASU Online we strive to allow all individuals who are interested in pursuing their education the opportunity to achieve this goal,” said Phil Regier, university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus at ASU. “We are pleased to partner with the NBA G League as part of their Education Program in order to provide its players with a pathway to a quality higher education and degree completion.”

“Life after sport is a challenging transition for the most prepared of athletes,” said Vin McCaffrey, CEO and founder of Game Plan. “Game Plan is proud to partner with the NBA G League in developing a comprehensive program to help players prepare for that transition. Since 2008, we've worked with over 50 Division I athletic departments and their 50,000 student-athletes. The Game Plan platform is an investment into the success of players now and in the future, providing the flexibility to fit into the busy schedules of NBA G League.”

The NBA G League Education Program, co-authored by current and former players, will be available to players up to five years after they play in the league. Implementation of the program began during training camp, when players took the first of two assessments, Game Plan’s Athlete Identity Assessment, which helps create awareness of an athlete's key personality identifiers to enable success as a player and beyond. Over the course of the season, players will take Game Plan’s Athlete Interest Inventory, which helps identify an athlete’s academic and career interests.

In addition to academic offerings, the program will provide players with access to Game Plan’s career marketplace that houses companies in search of athletes transitioning into job opportunities. ASU, recognized as a leader in high-quality online education and ranked the most innovative university in the nation for three straight years by U.S. News & World Report, emerged as an ideal partner for the NBA G League Education Program, offering degrees identical to those given to on-campus students.

“We are committed to helping players develop the skills and experiences necessary to be successful in the career of their choice after retirement,” said Greg Taylor, senior vice president of player development at the NBA. “The NBA G League Education Program is an important part of the many education and professional development programs that the league makes available to players. We are excited to partner with ASU and Game Plan, two first-class education organizations, to provide players with invaluable resources and support.”

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Healthy Devils: Electrolyte drink recipes for staying hydrated

Homemade electrolyte drinks are healthier than store-bought ones & easy to make.
Ready to hit the trail in (slightly) cooler weather? Stay hydrated; here's how.
November 13, 2017

Editor's Note: This is the second installment in an ASU Now series featuring nutritious recipes demonstrated by faculty from the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, an academic unit of ASU’s College of Health Solutions. Find the first installment, about overnight oats, here.

It’s already November, and students at ASU have celebrated the homecoming game, indulged their pumpkin spice cravings and rescued their snuggly hoodies from the deep recesses of their closets. But they probably haven’t donned them just yet — although all signs point to fall, the temperatures in Tempe, Arizona, remain steadfastly north of 80 degrees on average.

High temperatures can be an issue when you’re competing in outdoor sports, as many students who participate in Sun Devil sports clubs do. Loss of electrolytes through sweat can happen more quickly, making it especially important to replenish them.

“When dehydrated, the body can overheat more easily, which can lead to heatstroke,” said Simin Levinson, ASU clinical assistant professor of nutrition.

In addition, dehydration can affect mood, reduce energy levels, cause muscle cramps and headaches, and may even reduce cognitive function.

Levinson, who also works as a consulting nutritionist for the Phoenix Suns, teaches a course at ASU on sports nutrition in which her students engage in a peer-to-peer exchange with students participating in ASU club sports by providing them with nutrition guidelines to ensure they’re maintaining an overall state of good health and performing at peak athletic ability.

The exchange benefits both parties.

“My students benefit by gaining experience in preparing and delivering nutrition presentations and handout materials,” Levinson said, “and the club sport student-athletes benefit from the nutrition information and practical tips.”

One of the best tips is also one of the most obvious: Stay hydrated. It’s also great advice for students who feel themselves succumbing to cold and flu season as electrolytes can be lost through diarrhea and vomiting associated with illness.

And although it may be tempting to reach for a store-bought sports drink, making your own is both better for you and easy to do — even in a dorm-room setting.

“Homemade electrolyte drinks are made with familiar and natural ingredients and are free of artificial colors and artificial flavors,” Levinson said. “They’re a great way to naturally replenish electrolytes.”

A self-described “recreational athlete,” she often makes her own rehydrating electrolyte drinks at home to refuel after a hike. They’re so easy, her teenage daughter started making them for her softball practices.

Here, Levinson shares four rehydrating electrolyte drink recipes you can try out yourself.

Lime Coconut 



1–2 limes, juiced

1 cup water

2 cups coconut water

2 tbsp. maple syrup

¼ tsp. salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or jar. Stir or shake until well-blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Lemon Ginger



1 lemon, juiced

3 cups mineral water

1 ginger chunk, grated

2 tsp. agave nectar

¼ tsp. salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or jar. Stir or shake until well-blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Green Tea and Juice


2 cups green tea

½ cup pomegranate juice

2 tbsp. honey

¼ tsp. salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or jar. Stir or shake until well-blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Cucumber Cooler



2 tbsp. lime juice

2 cups water

2 sprigs mint, muddled

2 tsp. agave nectar

¼ tsp. salt

Cucumber slices to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or jar. Stir or shake until well-blended. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Emma Greguska

Editor , ASU News

(480) 965-9657