About the NBATA

NBATA Mission Statement

The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) is a professional organization of highly skilled certified athletic trainers who provide specialized health care and critical support services to the athletes and organizations of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and NBA G League. Our members are committed and uniquely qualified to:

  • Lead the management and practice of exceptional health care.
  • Provide continuing education to our members.
  • Provide education and conduct basketball-related sports medicine research to benefit our athletes, the National Basketball Association, and the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association, and our communities.
  • Uphold the athletic training profession's highest moral and ethical standards.

Our Board

Aaron Nelson


New Orleans Pelicans
Eric Waters

Chairman Elect

Utah Jazz
Joe Sharpe

Immediate Past-Chairman

Charlotte Hornets
David Crewe


Phoenix Suns
Casey Smith


Dallas Mavericks
Edward Lacerte

Executive Assistant

Steve Spiro

Eastern Conference Head Athletic Trainer Representative

Cleveland Cavaliers
Brandon Gilliam

Eastern Conference Assistant Athletic Trainer Representative

Miami Heat
Gregg Farnam

Western Conference Head Athletic Trainer Representative

Minnesota Timberwolves
Tony Katzenmeier

Western Conference Assistant Athletic Trainer Representative

Oklahoma City Thunder


The NBATA and it's partners believe in education. Significant time, energy, and funds have been allocated for student scholarships. Each year, scholarships are awarded to deserving students of the athletic training profession. The NBATA is committed to the future of athletic training.


The NBATA has teamed up with the National Athletic Trainers' Association and The Gatorade Company to award $2,500 scholarships annually to student athletic trainers: All junior or senior collegiate athletic trainers with a minimum grade point average of 3.2 who are planning to pursue a career as a certified athletic trainer are eligible to apply for these, and the Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship Foundation scholarships. The application forms may be found at www.nata.org and must be submitted by February 1st of each year.


The NBATA Foundation is the charitable arm of the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association. The NBATA Foundation donates thousands of dollars annually to local and national charities including St. Jude's and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.


The Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1989 by Dick Vandervoort's wife, Concetta, after his tragic accidental death. The Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship Fund has been awarding scholarships to deserving student athletic trainers for over 20 years.

Vandervoort himself spent 17 years as the head athletic trainer for the Houston Rockets. He succeeded Joe O'Toole as second chairman of the NBATA Executive Committee and served from 1977 to 1987. He was voted the NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1983. He and Joe O'Toole were influential in helping the NBATA become the first athletic training organization recognized by a professional sports league.

For information on how to make a donation to the Foundation, please contact Jason Biles, NBATA Western Conference Head Athletic Trainer Representative, at jasonb@rocketball.com

Charity and Public Service

The NBATA Foundation is the charitable arm of the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association. The NBATA Foundation donates thousands of dollars annually to local and national charities including St. Jude’s and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

NBATA Blood Drive

In conjunction with the National Athletic Trainers Association Annual Meeting the NBATA sponsors a blood drive to benefit the local community. Each year, upwards of 300 pints of blood are donated.

Click here for upcoming events


The Joe O’Toole Head Athletic Trainer of the Year Award is "outstanding service" to the NBA, NBATA, and the community. The following factors have been adopted to be considered before voting: (i) Doing something extraordinary such as saving someone’s life, (ii) Receiving an award for a special achievement, (iii) Working in the Olympics, (iv) Being inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame, (v) Volunteering for a special cause, and (vi) Any other special award or recognition that has been received. The award is named after Joe O’Toole, a longtime former head athletic trainer of the Atlanta Hawks. Joe is regarded as the father of the NBATA. The initial award was given to Joe (it was not then named after him) after the 1981-1982 season. Only head athletic trainers nominate and vote for the O’Toole Award.
YearAthletic TrainerTeam
2017-2018Jason BilesHouston Rockets
2016-17Kevin JohnsonPhiladelphia 76ers
2015-16Drew GrahamMemphis Grizzles
2014-15Tim Walsh, Ed LacerteBrooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics
2013-14Geoff Clark, Tim WalshPortland Trailblazers, Brooklyn Nets
2012-13Fred TedeschiChicago Bulls
2011-12Ed LacerteBoston Celtics
2010-11Josh Corbeil , Steve StrickerIndiana Pacers, Charlotte Bobcats
2009-10Eric WatersWashington Wizards
2008-09Aaron NelsonPhoenix Suns
2007-08Jim GillenDenver Nuggets
2006-07Fred TedeschiChicago Bulls
2005-06Ron CulpMiami Heat
2004-05Mike SaundersNew York Knicks
2003-04Tim WalshNew Jersey Nets
2002-03David CraigIndiana Pacers
2001-02Jim GillenDenver Nuggets
2000-01Keith JonesHouston Rockets
1999-00Mark PfeilMilwaukee Bucks
1998-99Gary BriggsCleveland Cavaliers
1997-98Frank FurtadoSeattle Supersonics
1996-97Joe O'TooleAtlanta Hawks
1995-96Ron CulpMiami Heat
1994-95Bill JonesSacramento Kings
1993-94Mike SaundersNew York Knicks
1992-93Ed LacerteBoston Celtics
1991-92Doug AtkinsonDallas Mavericks
1990-91Gary VittiLos Angeles Lakers
1989-90Tom AbdenourGolden State Warriors
1988-89Frank FurtadoSeattle Supersonics
1987-88Joe ProskiPhoenix Suns
1986-87Ron CulpPortland Trailblazers
1985-86Fritz MassmannNew Jersey Nets
1984-85Dick D'OlivaGolden State Warriors
1983-84Don SparksUtah Jazz
1982-83Dick VandervoortHouston Rockets
1981-82Joe O'TooleAtlanta Hawks


Each year a NBA assistant athletic trainer of the year is chosen by his peers to be recognized because of his record of outstanding service to the NBA, the NBATA and his or her community. The award is named after David Craig, long-time Indiana Pacers’ head athletic trainer. David was known for hiring outstanding assistants. Many of his assistants became head athletic trainers. The initial award was given after the 2010-2011 season. Only assistant athletic trainers nominate and vote for the Craig Award.
YearAthletic TrainerTeam
2017-2018Anthony GoenagaNew York Knicks
2016-2017David CreweMinnesota Timberwolves
2015-2016Armando RivasChicago Bulls
2014-2015Lloyd Beckett, Ale OliveraBrooklyn Nets
2013-14Jason BilesHouston Rockets
2012-13Dionne CalhounDallas Mavericks
2011-12Jeff TanakaChicago Bulls
2010-11Carl Eaton, Dennis WilliamsIndiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets


2016-17Dr. Steven Traina, Dr. Saurabh MangalikDenver Nuggets
2015-16Dr. Tom CarterPhoenix Suns
2014-15Dr. Lyle Mason, Dr. Russell ShieldsUtah Jazz
2013-14Dr. Lisa CallahanNew York Knicks
2012-13Dr. Thomas ReisPortland Trail Blazers
2011-12Dr. Fred AzarMemphis Grizzlies
2010-11Dr. Craig PhelpsPhoenix Suns
2009-2010Dr. Jack McPhilemyPhiladelphia 76ers
2008-09Dr. Brian ColeChicago Bulls
2005-06Dr. Zorn
2004-05Dr. Burns
2002-03Dr. Harlan SelesnickMiami Heat
2001-02Dr. John HefferonChicago Bulls


YearAthletic TrainerTeam
2016-17Rollin MallerneeNBATA Counsel
2014-15Gary BriggsUtah Jazz
2012-13Wally BlaséAtlanta Hawks
2010-11Maureen Kinney, Troy Wenzel
2008-09Ed LacerteBoston Celtics