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Dirk Minniefield

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Dirk DeWayne Minniefield (born January 17 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky) is a retired American professional Basketball player who is currently the Employee Assistance Professional for the NBA, managing drug aftercare programs for the league's players. While at Lafayette High School (Lexington, Kentucky) in Lexington, he was named the 1979 Kentucky "Mr. Basketball", an honor given to the top high school player in the state of Kentucky. In addition to "Mr. Basketball", he was also named a McDonald's and Parade High School All-American. The 6'3" guard played his college ball at the University of Kentucky (UK), where he is a member of the 1,000 point club. In 1983, he was drafted by the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. A 6'3" (1.90 m), 180 lb (82 kg) Guard (basketball), he played three seasons in NBA making stops in Cleveland, Houston, Golden State, and Boston.

Minniefield began regularly using Cannabis (drug) at age 14. Minniefield, who has been sober since the early 1990s, told a group of top high school prospects in 2007 that "My younger kids have never seen me take a drink. They don't know the daddy the older kids know. They know a totally different guy." (Minniefield was a father of three children by the time he graduated from high school, and has two children from his current marriage

As fate would have it, he had the ball late in the game, with UK clinging to a narrow lead. He went into the lane and threw up a tentative shot that UofL center Charles Jones blocked. The Cardinals went on to force overtime and then dominated the extra period, winning 80-68. He would later say about the incident,


Minniefield's drug use eventually contributed to the early end of his NBA career. He returned to Lexington, but wound up serving a year in jail after writing bad checks and violating probation on those charges. His first wife divorced him and he left Lexington "penniless". He found his way to the John Lucas Drug Abuse Center in Houston; Minniefield would say of Lucas, "I finally found that person who talked my language. He could see past the outside facade I learned to put up." For his part, Lucas said, "I call him one of my children. He's delightful. He's helped me as much as I helped him."[1]

After treatment, Minniefield worked as transportation manager—according to him, "A better word is van driver"—for the San Antonio Spurs while Lucas was coach. He would go on to coach in the American and serve as the Spurs' strength and conditioning coach. When Lucas left for the Philadelphia 76ers, Minniefield took a job as a drug counselor with the NBA to enable him to stay in Houston. He continues to live there with his second wife and their two children, a son and a daughter. He has eight grandchildren.[1]

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