Played In: Croatia
Three-Time NBA Champion and NLP Founder, Dickey Simpkins’ 12 years of professional basketball experience has taught him that hard work, dedication, determination and perseverance are the keys to success in basketball, as well as in life. In his youth, Simpkins established himself as one of the premier prep players in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, as he achieved success playing for Friendly High School, in Fort Washington, MD. After high school, he was awarded a full athletic scholarship to play basketball for Providence College in the Big East, one of the top conferences in NCAA Division I basketball. While playing for Providence College (1990-’94), Simpkins was selected to play in the 1991 Olympic Festival where he won a Gold medal. He was named to the Big East All-Tournament Team in 1992 & 1994, ranks 26th in career points, 10th in rebounding, has played in more games than any other Providence College player and helped Providence College win its first and only Big East Tournament Championship in 1994. Simpkins graduated from Providence College in 1994 with a B.A. in Marketing/Art. Friendly High School retired Simpkins #42 jersey in 2009 and Providence College inducted him in to the colleges athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dickey was drafted in the first round (21st overall) by the Chicago Bulls in the 1994 NBA draft and went on to play six seasons (1994-2000) for the franchise. Mr. Simpkins was part of the NBA’s “Winningest Team Ever” which posted a 72-10 record in the 1995-’96 season. In his years with the Bulls, he has played alongside some of the NBA’s Greatest 50 Players, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Robert Parish. Simpkins has also played with one of the best NBA rebounders ever, Dennis Rodman, and played for the legendary coach, Phil Jackson. He has played international professional basketball in various countries and territories including Germany, Greece, Lebanon, Lithuania, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia and Spain, while winning championships in Puerto Rico and Europe.
In 2006, Simpkins founded Chicago-based company, Next Level Performance, Inc. (NLP), the fastest growing basketball skills development training organization in the Midwest. In addition, Simpkins created the travel basketball program, Team NLP, which competes in AAU (Amateur Athletic Union). Team NLP gives young student athletes the opportunity to showcase on and off the court their talent, skills and hard work in obtaining a college athletic scholarship. NLP has developed 30-plus college scholarship athletes, a Mr. Basketball (Illinois), won six AAU Nationals trophies and was showcased in games three times on ESPN.
Simpkins also has lent his talent to ESPN TV as a college basketball television analyst appearing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and the Big East Regional Network from 2007-2012. He covered games in power conferences such as the Big East, ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and SEC along with mid-major conferences as well. He appeared on ESPN’s studio show “The Experts” numerous times and his voice sound bites were used on many occasions to open up ESPN’s daily show SportsCenter.