Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Father of UCLA Guard, NBA Agent Have Preexisting Relationship
Kyle Anderson Sr., the father of UCLA freshman guard Kyle Anderson, and NBA agent Thad Foucher have a preexisting relationship that dates back about a decade, sources told SNY.tv.
Anderson Sr. has known Foucher since the early 2000s through the AAU circuit, and Foucher met the son, known as “Lil Kyle,” when he was a youngster through his father. Before becoming an agent with the Wasserman Media Group, Foucher served as head coach of the New Orleans Jazz AAU Team from 1990-1998, according to his Wasserman bio.
The L.A. Times reported Saturday that the NCAA’s investigation into the 6-foot-9 Anderson and 6-5 wing Shabazz Muhammad is ongoing. In Anderson’s case, the NCAA is looking into the connection between him and Foucher, who now reps Anthony Davis, among others, and works with Arn Tellem. Casey Wasserman is a UCLA graduate and well-known Bruins booster.
The Wasserman Group has represented several players who competed for the New Jersey-based Playaz Basketball Club, for which Kyle Anderson Sr. coached, including J.R. Smith, Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson and Kenneth Faried.
Anderson Sr. and Foucher have remained in touch over the years about these players, but no public record exists detailing any improprieties.
NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from receiving “extra benefits” but do allow exceptions in the case of preexisting relationships under NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11.6.
That Bylaw “prohibits preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation.
“The only exception to this rule is if there is a clear preexisting relationship between the booster and the student-athlete.”
In Muhammad’s case, the NCAA is looking into “questions about money his family received from Benjamin Lincoln, the brother of an assistant at his high school, that helped pay for unofficial recruiting visits,” the Times reported.
Clayton Williams, Muhammad’s coach with the adidas-sponsored Dream Vision AAU program, told the paper he would be “shocked if the NCAA found an impropriety,” the paper reported.
“I was there every game,” he told The Times in an exclusive interview. “I was around. No agents, no this, no that.”
UCLA practice began Friday and neither Muhammad nor Anderson has yet been cleared by the NCAA.
The team open its season Nov. 9 against Indiana State at Pauley Pavilion.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.