Former NBA player Adonal Foyle reads to Vallejo school kids (PHOTO)


foyle-warriorsAt six foot 10 inches tall, retired pro basketball player Adonal Foyle is a big man.

Perhaps that’s why a second-grader at Vallejo’s Pennycook Elementary School thought Foyle was pushing 100, TimesHeraldOnline reported.

“Kids are so honest, but I’m not 96 years old,” said a laughing Foyle, who on Friday visited the school to read from his new children’s book, “Too-Tall Foyle Finds His Game.”

The autobiography, illustrated by Toni Pawlosky, describes the attempts of a 15-year-old boy to find a sport he can play in the tiny Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Unfortunately, the boy is too tall, shying away from soccer and tiring easily in track races. But there was one place where the boy felt at home — the basketball court.

“Probably about two years ago, I thought it could be cool to write a children’s story,” Foyle said. “I wanted everybody to know it’s truly OK to fail. … it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be good at something else.”

Foyle spent much of his career with the Golden State Warriors before a few years with the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies. Foyle retired in 2010 after undergoing knee surgery.

Since leaving the court, Foyle has had a variety of pursuits, from writing poetry to establishing political activist organizations and charitable foundations. “Too-Tall Foyle Finds His Game” is the first in a series that chronicles Foyle’s childhood on an island about the size of Mare Island to becoming a professional basketball player.

He now lives in Orlando, but regularly visits the Bay Area.

Foyle has always had a passion for education and encourages children to read. Pennycook was the first elementary school to which Foyle read his book.

“I always find myself more at ease with kids,” Foyle said during a break between reading sessions.

At recess, several students swarmed Foyle and asked for autographs. Foyle even made a point to tie one student’s shoe that had come undone.

Several asked Foyle if the events in his book
were true — if he really did spend his childhood being teased for his incredible height.

Foyle smiled and described going home and meeting some of the people who had once made fun of him.

“I had the last laugh,” he said.

Foyle spent 10 years of his NBA career playing for the Golden State Warriors. In total he appeared in 733 NBA games (269 games started), averaging 4.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.6 bpg.

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