Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Casey Shaw


Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Italy

Casey Shaw joined the Vanderbilt basketball staff in April of 2016 as an assistant coach after a successful playing career as a professional athlete in the NBA/FIBA and as a student-athlete at the University of Toledo.

“Coach Shaw is a former NBA draft pick who has a wealth of experience and knowledge from his playing career and through the relationships he has made in the NBA,” said Drew. “Being 6’10, he will be outstanding in working with our post players and developing them.”

Shaw’s wealth of basketball experience began in 1998 when he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 37th overall pick after a stellar four-year career at Toledo, where he ranks sixth all-time with 1,562 points and fifth with 871 rebounds. He also ranks second in Toledo history with 107 blocked shots and sixth in field goal percentage (.546). He was named second team All-MAC in 1996-97 and 1997-98, and made the MAC All-Freshman team in 1994-95. He also was an outstanding student, earning third-team Academic All-America honors as a senior in 1997-98, and making the Academic All-MAC team in his junior and senior seasons.

After a stint in the NBA, Shaw began what became an 11-year international professional career in 2000 with stops in the Italian and Spanish leagues along the way.

“Having the opportunity to play professional basketball for 13 seasons was a dream come true and I am thankful that I can now use all those years of experience to be a better coach for players who hope to realize that same dream after their Vanderbilt playing days are over,” said Shaw.

Prior to his arrival in Nashville, Shaw worked at Balasa Dinverno Foltz, LLC, in Chicago, where he served as the Director of the Professional Athlete Service Team, providing business, career, and investment guidance to professional athletes. He is also a member of the National Board of Directors for the NBA Retired Players Association, which assists NBA players in their transition from playing to life after the game.

On the court, Shaw was the Director and Head Coach of the Athletes in Action Basketball Camp from 2003-2010, served as a Global All-Star Challenge Head Coach in 2012, and coached the Midwest Elite AAU team in Merrillville, Ind., in 2013 and the 180 Elite AAU team out of Chicago from 2015-16. In addition, he served as a National Basketball Developmental League Tryouts Coach and was a member of the NBA Assistant Coaches Program in 2014.

Shaw graduated with an undergraduate degree in Physical Education, from the University of Toledo, in 1997, and a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from the Moody Graduate School in Chicago, Ill., in 2011. He also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Continuing and Professional Education to become a Certified Financial Planner in 2012.

Brian Cardinal


Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Malaysia

Brian Lee Cardinal (born May 2, 1977 in Tolono, Illinois), nicknamed “The Custodian” or “The Janitor”, is an American professional basketball player who has most recently played for the Dallas Mavericks. Prior to being drafted to the NBA, Cardinal played college basketball at Purdue University. Brian Cardinal attended Unity High School in Tolono, Illinois where he played basketball with his brother, Troy. He led the Rockets to an 86–25 record during his high school career, where he averaged 23.5 points during his Junior year and 24.1 points per game in his Senior year. He scored 40 points in two different games. On April 15, Brian was selected as the Coca-Cola All-American Most Valuable Player, where he scored 24 points and 13 rebounds for the West team.

After graduating from high school, Cardinal attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana to play under head coach Gene Keady and assistant coaches Frank Kendrick and Bruce Weber. Cardinal was redshirted during his Freshman season. During the 1996–97 season, Brian averaged 10.6 points a game and grabbed 182 rebounds on the season. He recorded his first collegiate double-double in only his second game against Western Michigan with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Along with Juniors Brad Miller and Chad Austin, he helped lead the Boilermakers to an NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance.

Brian was selected as a team captain for his Sophomore season, where he averaged 12 points and grabbed 178 rebounds, while leading Purdue to a 28–8 record. He helped lead the Boilers to a Sweet Sixteen appearance.

Averaging 11.4 points and grabbing 186 rebounds in his Junior season, he scored a career high 33 points in a game against Michigan. Along with teammate Jaraan Cornell, he was named a Third Team All-Big Ten selection and led Purdue to a second straight Sweet Sixteen appearance with a 23–13 record. Cardinal played his last collegiate season with career season highs with 203 rebounds and 13.9 points a game. The Second Team All-Big Ten selection helped lead the Boilermakers to an Elite Eight appearance in 2000 during his Senior year and to a 24–10 record.

Brian Cardinal is second in career starts at Purdue with 125, behind E’Twaun Moore. His career 259 steals at Purdue is the second most in school history behind Chris Kramer’s 260 (2006–2010). His Freshman record with 51 steals in the 1996–97 season was also surpassed by Chris Kramer’s 64 a decade later. He received the nickname, “The Custodian”, due to the way he cleaned the floor diving for loose balls. Brian left Purdue being the only Boilermaker to receive both the “Mr. Hustle” Award and the “Courage” Award four years in a row. On November 28, 2008, ESPN’s Jay Williams compared North Carolina’s Tyler Hansborough to Brian Cardinal’s style of play. While at Purdue, Brian won a Gold Medal at the 1998 Goodwill games; Team USA went 4–1. He was also a member of the 1997 22-and under National Team, which finished 5th in a 12-team field.

Cardinal was selected the 44th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. During his rookie season, playing in only 15 games, he had his best game against the Toronto Raptors on April 11, 2001, scoring a season-high 9 points, 4 rebounds and a game high three steals in 18 minutes. Playing in a total of 23 games for the Pistons in two seasons, he averaged 2.1 points a game and shot over 80 percent from the free throw line.

On September 11, 2002, he was traded to the Washington Wizards along with Jerry Stackhouse and Ratko Varda, for Richard Hamilton, Hubert Davis and Bobby Simmons. Cardinal was waived shortly after playing in only five games for the Wizards.

He spent the rest of the 2002–03 season playing in the Spanish league for Pamesa Valencia. He was instrumental in leading Pamesa to the ULEB Cup Championship.

After returning to the NBA, he signed with the Golden State Warriors. Cardinal had a breakthrough season with the Warriors, averaging nearly 10 points and 4 rebounds per game, appearing in 76 games. He was a finalist for the NBA Most Improved Player Award, eventually won by Zach Randolph. On February 11, 2004, Cardinal scored a career high 32 points against the Phoenix Suns and just three weeks later he had his career high of 14 rebounds against the Chicago Bulls on February 28.

After a breakthrough season in personal numbers and playing time, Cardinal signed as a free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he posted similar numbers from the previous season, averaging almost 6 points and 2.5 rebounds in the four seasons with the Grizzlies, while injuries diminished playing time. During the 2006–07 season, Brian held career highs of field goal percentage (.494) and free throw percentage (.926).

In June 2008, Cardinal was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of an eight-player deal. Teamed with fellow forward Kevin Love in his eighth season in the NBA under head coach Kevin McHale and assistant coach Jerry Sichting, a former Boilermaker, Brian averaged 3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists a game for the 2008–09 season. He recorded his career high three blocks in a game against the New York Knicks on March 13, 2009. In the 2009–10 season, while appearing in 27 games for the Wolves, he averaged a team-low 9 minutes per game and went 21–21 from the free-throw line. On February 17, 2010, Cardinal was traded to the New York Knicks for Darko Miličić.[1] He was subsequently waived by the Knicks.[2] On March 23, he was re-signed by the Timberwolves.

On September 27, 2010, Cardinal was signed by the Dallas Mavericks.[3] On May 8, 2011, Cardinal hit the 20th three pointer in Game 4 of the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers series. His three pointer tied the record for most three pointers by a team in one playoff game with 20, which hadn’t been done since the Seattle SuperSonics did it against the Houston Rockets on May 6, 1996. Cardinal won his first NBA championship with the 2011 Mavericks in a six game playoff series against the Miami Heat. He agreed to sign a new one-year contract worth the veteran minimum on December 12

Brian’s father, Rod Cardinal, was the Illini’s head basketball trainer at the University of Illinois for three decades, from 1973 to 2003; he remains with the Illinois men’s basketball team as their special projects coordinator. Brian served as a towel boy for the 1989 Illinois Final Four team. Brian is married to former walk-on Purdue standout, Danielle Bird. The couple is currently involved with donations to the Purdue University athletics, along with former Purdue quarterback, Drew Brees.

Bo Outlaw


Served as envoy

  • 2011  –  Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2015  –  Poland

Charles “Bo” Outlaw (born April 13, 1971) is a retired American professional basketball player. Outlaw was known for his athleticism, tenacious defensive approach and sub-par free-throw shooting (.521 for his career).

He was born in San Antonio, Texas, and is a 1989 alumnus of John Jay High School, where he led the Mustangs to the Texas state finals before they were defeated by Houston Clear Lake High School.

Outlaw played for South Plains College and the University of Houston. During his time in Houston, he averaged 14.0 ppg., 9.1 rpg., and led NCAA Division I with a field goal percentage of .684. In 1993 he declared eligibility for the NBA draft but was not selected.

Outlaw began his professional career in the CBA, where he averaged a league-leading 3.8 blocks per game in the half-season he played for the Grand Rapids Hoops.

On February 15, 1994, Outlaw began his NBA career with the Los Angeles Clippers, recording 13 points and 7 rebounds in a 100-89 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He played three full seasons for the Clippers, who made the playoffs in 1997 but were defeated by the Utah Jazz in the first round.

Outlaw left Los Angeles as a free agent and signed a two-year deal with the Orlando Magic on September 5, 1997. During Outlaw’s 1997–98 season, he started in 76 of 82 regular season games and recorded what would remain career-high averages in every statistical category except for assists. However, the Magic failed to reach the playoffs in 1998. After Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly retired and was replaced by Doc Rivers, Outlaw signed another contract with the Magic in the off-season, after which he played two and a half more seasons for the team.

On April 17, 1998, Outlaw recorded 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 121-109 win over the New Jersey Nets. After the game, reporters asked him how he felt about his first triple-double, to which Outlaw famously replied “What’s that, some kind of hamburger?”.

Outlaw was released in November 2001 and acquired by the Phoenix Suns. After one and a half seasons with them, Outlaw left for Memphis where he was reunited with former Magic teammate Mike Miller. In 2004, after one season in Memphis, Outlaw returned to Phoenix where he was hampered by nagging injuries and his playing time was restricted by the strength of the team. Accordingly, in the 2005–06 season, he returned to the Magic, appearing in 75 additional games in the course of three seasons. Outlaw was waived in November 2007 after playing 7 minutes over 2 games in the 2007-08 season.
Over his NBA career (914 games) he averaged 5.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. He currently resides in Orlando.

Billy Owens


Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Malawi

Billy Owens, a 6’9” shooting forward, spent 10 years successful years in the NBA, making stops with the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Seattle SuperSonics, Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors. He was an unanimous selection to the 1991-92 NBA All-Rookie First Team, averaging 14.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 1.13 spg for the Warriors and finished third in Rookie of the Year balloting behind Larry Johnson and Dikembe Mutombo.

He was drafted third overall in the 1991 NBA Draft after a stellar Junior year at Syracuse University. He was named Big-East Player of the year, Consensus All-American and averaged over 20 points per game.

Owens was also a member of the USA national team during the 1990 World Championship, taking home the bronze medal.
The Carlisle, Pennsylvania, native led his hometown to four consecutive Pennsylvania AAA state titles and was considered to be one of the top two prep players in his class alongside Alonzo Mourning.

Alexander English


Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  China
  • 2014  –  South Korea
  • 2015  –  Italy

Alex English was born January 5, 1954 in Columbia, South Carolina. English stayed true to his homegrown roots, starring at local Dreher High School before moving on to play collegiately at the University of South Carolina.

Following his career at South Carolina, English was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 23rd overall pick in the 1976 NBA Draft. During his time in Milwaukee, English learned the game as a backup as the team tried to rebuild following Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s departure. English was traded to the Indiana Pacers in 1978, where he began to show flashes of his scoring ability, averaging 16 points per game. Midway through the 1979-80 season, he was traded once more to the Denver Nuggets where he would solidify his reputation as a prolific scorer. From 1980-1990, his entire tenure with the Nuggets, English averaged 26 points per game, earned 8 All-Star bids, became a 3-time All-NBA Second Team selection, led the league in scoring in 1983 and became the franchises’ all-time leading scorer. To add to the list of impressive feats, English led the Nuggets in scoring in 55% of the games he played for Denver. Following this decade with the Nuggets, he signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 1990, where he would play for one season before finishing his NBA career.

After being away from the game for a few years, English got into coaching, spending one season each with the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks as an assistant coach prior to joining the Toronto Raptors organization. There, he would spend 2004 – 2011 as the Director of Player Development and as an assistant coach. In the summer of 2011, English finished with the Raptors and spent one season with the Sacramento Kings.

Adonal Foyle


Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Morocco
  • 2014  –  Spain

Adonal Foyle is a retired NBA player, who was the eighth overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. He played a total of 13 seasons, the first ten with the Golden State Warriors and last three with the Orlando Magic. Upon his retirement from playing professional basketball, Adonal served for 2 seasons with the Orlando Magic as their Director of Player Development. A published author, national speaker, and consultant, Adonal currently serves as the Community Ambassador for the World Champion Golden State Warriors.

Despite being recruited by several top basketball colleges, Adonal made the unorthodox decision to attend Colgate University, a small liberal arts college in upstate New York. A major factor in this decision was his desire to leave college with a strong academic grounding. At Colgate, he set an NCAA record with 492 career blocks which was only broken in 2002. Although he left Colgate early to join the NBA, he maintained his commitment to education and graduated in 1999.

During his NBA playing days, Adonal was a defensive specialist, collecting over 3,400 rebounds, and bringing toughness and tenacity to every game. He holds the Warriors franchise record for blocked shots at 1,140. He was a member of the 2009 Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic.

Adonal has received many honors, including induction into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, and the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, NBA Players Association Community Contribution All-Star Award, Social Change Agent (Greenlining Institute), NBA Community Assist Awards (multiple years) and named Runner Up Central Floridian of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel in 2010. He has also been appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for St. Vincent & the Grenadines and has been honored with his own national postage stamp.

Abdel Nader


Served as envoy

  • 2020  –  Virtual

Abdel Nader is an Egyptian-American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nader was born in Alexandria, Egyptin 1993.Nader moved with his family to the United States at the age of 3 to Skokie, Illinois. He speaks fluent Arabic. He majored in liberal studies at Iowa State University. He played college basketball for the Northern Illinois Huskies and the Iowa State Cyclones before being drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 58th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. On July 14,2017, Nader agreed to a 4-year, $6M deal with the Celtics. He made his NBA debut on October 18 against the Milwaukee Bucks. On July 23, 2018, Nader was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Rodney Purvis. Oklahoma City also received cash considerations in the deal. On November 28, 2019, Nader scored his career-high 23 points with two rebounds in a 136–119 loss against the Portland Trail Blazers.