Former New Orleans City Councilman Arnie Fielkow, who decamped for Chicago last year, will return to New Orleans later this month in his new role as CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA). Fielkow will join several former basketball stars, including Spencer Haywood, Cedric Ceballos, and Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer Aaron James, for the three-day "Legends World Sports Conference" at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Aug. 17-19.
Fielkow resigned his council seat in 2011 (less than a year after being elected for his second term) to take a position as the head of the NBRPA. While Fielkow says he was sorry to leave New Orleans, he told Gambit last week by phone that he does not regret making the decision.
"My time in City Council was the most rewarding time ever, but my background is in sports," he said. "The beauty of my position now is that it's a combination of sports and public service."
Fielkow and NBRPA members will perform services around the community throughout the weekend. They will present a $25,000 gift to help renovate the basketball courts at Oliver Bush Playground. The group also will visit New Orleans Children's Hospital and host a free youth basketball clinic.
At the conference, Fielkow will announce plans for the "Jack Fielkow New Orleans Recreation Scholarship," which will award two $2,000 scholarships to local youth in honor of Fielkow's late father. — Matthew Hose