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Kenneth J. Shouldice Alumni Achievement AwardGalen Rashard “Rick” Duncan, vice president of professional development for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, received the 2017 Kenneth J. Shouldice Alumni Achievement Award. The award is named for the school’s first chancellor and president, who is considered to be the “father of Lake Superior State University.”
Duncan was a four-year letter winner for Laker basketball from 1990-94, playing the guard/forward position. His senior year he started all 24 games, scored 118 points, had 92 rebounds, 36 assists and 28 steals. In 1992 he scored a career-high 13 points against Aquinas College and he was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team for the 1993-94 season.
After finishing his bachelor’s degrees from LSSU in 1994, Duncan began pursuing his master’s degree in social work from Wayne State University, which he completed in 1997. That same year he earned a graduate certificate in alcohol and drug abuse studies from WSU. Duncan completed a doctorate in health psychology from Walden University in Minneapolis in 2006.
“This is an incredible honor. My basketball teammates, coaches and professors fostered an educational process that was second to none,” says Duncan. “I was completely prepared for my advanced degrees as well as the world thanks to LSSU. I will always have fond memories of the Soo and its community as a whole. I walked into LSSU as boy and left as a man.”
When Duncan graduated from LSSU in 1994 he completed two bachelor’s degrees — one in business administration–marketing, the other in human services — with minors in counseling and substance abuse counseling, all while competing on the Laker men’s basketball team. He has put both of these degrees to good work, along with his graduate degrees and time management skills, in his various positions with the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.
Duncan started with the Kings in late September, transitioning from Detroit to Sacramento in one short week. Prior to the move, he had been with the Lions for ten years, since 2007. In the ever-changing and challenging field of developing players in the NFL, Duncan helped Lions’ players establish housing, financial education, internships, counseling connections, professional development opportunities and career transition options. He assisted Football Operations with logistics and planning and interviewed all draft-eligible rookies, providing character evaluations for team managers.
In his new role with the Kings, Rick is responsible for implementation of the Kings Academy program, a developmental, player-centric curriculum aligning multi-faceted organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. Under his oversight, Kings Academy will augment on-court progress with access to practical material and experiences that help balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities with opportunities to become impactful contributors in the community.
The Southfield, Mich., native began working with professional athletes shortly after he finished his master’s degree, working as a player program coordinator for Palace Sports and Entertainment – the Detroit Pistons for about 18 months. From there he went to the St. John Health System School Based Health Care Centers in Detroit, where he worked as a psychiatric social worker. Overlapping with that, he was a treating clinician for the National Football League Program for Abuse of Substances.
He served in several other roles in the Detroit area concurrently. He was a faculty advisor and adjunct professor for the Wayne State University School of Social Work; a counselor and mentor for the National Basketball Players Association; a counselor for Wayne State University Counseling and Psychological Services; a psychologist for the National Basketball Association Rookie Transition Program; a consulting therapist for the University of Detroit Mercy and also for the Wayne State University Athletic Department.
Galen and his wife Monica have two children – Geordon (17) and Mikayla (15).