In Your Ear: Poet And Former NBA Player Adonal Foyle

Poet and former NBA player Adonal Foyle, a native of the Caribbean island of Canouan, talks about his favorite songs. While Foyle, who played for the Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors, was never a superstar on the court, he was always a leader o the court.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

JACKI LYDEN, host:

And we end today's program with a segment called In Your Ear, where we ask our guests about their favorite song. Today, former basketball player Adonal Foyle, a native of the Caribbean island of Canouan. He was never a superstar on the court, yet he was always a leader. Foyle's general manager called him the most important player on the roster. We caught up with the former Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors, who is also a poet by the way, soon after he retired from the NBA.

Mr. ADONAL FOYLE (Former NBA basketball player; Poet): Hi everyone. My name is Adonal Foyle. I am an ex-professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors.

When I am listening to anything in my car, I have "Bob Marley's Greatest Hits." I really love having that CD. "Redemption Song" I think is one of my favorite.

(Soundbite of song, "Redemption Song")

Mr. BOB MARLEY (Singer-songwriter): (Singing) Old pirates, yes, they rob I sold I to the merchant ships. Minutes after they took I...

Mr. FOYLE: It always felt so very conscious. You know, emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. I like the kind of things he does in his music.

Mr. MARLEY: (Singing) Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds. Have no fear for atomic energy 'cause none of them can stop the time. How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?

Mr. FOYLE: And it definitely takes me back home and feel like, you know, my mom is calling me and him running on the beach and listening to something like that. It takes me very much back to my roots and growing up in the Caribbean.

Mr. MARLEY: (Singing) Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom? 'Cause all I ever have redemption songs.

Mr. FOYLE: One of the other things that I like to listen to is classical music - great piece of music. Every time you go to a basketball game you hear them play, you know, this amazing music and you wonder what is it? What is it?

(Soundbite of "Carmina Burana")

Mr. FOYLE: You know, I had the great opportunity to see "Carmina Burana" perform live and it was an absolutely amazing music by Carl Orff and it just picks you up and it just has this kind of journey and it's just that building up, building up, building up, building up, they just absolutely explodes. I mean to have that in your car...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. FOYLE: ...it's like I'll be conducting. I mean it's a wonderful piece of music and seeing that live was something that will forever change the way I see music in general.

(Soundbite of "Carmina Burana")

Mr. FOYLE: Growing up in the Caribbean, one of the most important way we used to be able to communicate what's going on, politically, is through Calypso, and one of my absolute favorite Calypsonian of all time is the Mighty Sparrow. And one of his awesome is, you know, "Jean and Dinah."

(Soundbite of song, "Jean and Dinah")

THE MIGHTY SPARROW (Calypso musician): (Singing) Well, so when you bounce up Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina, round the corner posing. Bet your life is something they selling. And if you catch them growing you can get 'em all for nothing. Don't make no row, the Yankees gone, Sparrow take over now.

Mr. FOYLE: It's like I consider myself a pretty good dancer but, you know, coming through the Caribbean, when you hear of Calypso, you hear something, you know, that moves. You be in the car and you just start grooving because the Mighty Sparrow I think, has transcended music. He has been an international superstar. But he, you know, support our culture and our way of telling stories through its Calypso. And "Jean and Dinah" are my absolutely favorite from the Mighty Sparrow.

(Soundbite of song, "Jean and Dinah")

THE MIGHTY SPARROW: (Singing) ...gone, the Yankee Sparrow take over now. Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina, round the corner posing. Bet your life is something they selling. And if you catch them. And if you catch them growing you can get 'em all for nothing. Don't make no row, the Yankees gone, Sparrow take over now.

LYDEN: That was Adonal Foyle telling us what's playing in his ear. If you want to hear the full interview with the former NBA player, and hear excerpts of the special poem he wrote on the occasion of his retirement, is go to the Program page of npr.org and select TELL ME MORE.

And that's our program for today. I'm Jacki Lyden, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: