The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) has named Memphis Grizzlies Head Athletic Trainer and Vice President of Player Care Drew Graham as its 2015-16 Joe O’Toole Athletic Trainer of the Year. The award is chosen each year for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBATA.
Graham, who recently concluded his 10th season as the Grizzlies’ head athletic trainer, has been on the executive committee and foundation committee for the last four years.
“Every year the NBATA recognizes a Head Athletic Trainer for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBA and the NBATA,” said Kevin Johnson, Chairman of the NBATA and Head Athletic Trainer of the Philadelphia 76ers. “Drew Graham’s professionalism, knowledge and work ethic has made him our Trainer of the Year.”
Graham joined the Grizzlies in 2006 after working the previous six seasons (2000-06) as an assistant athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach with the New Jersey Nets. In addition to his NBA experience, Graham served three years (1997-2000 as the director of athletic training at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and three years (1994-97) as an athletic trainer for the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals. Before beginning his career in professional sports, Graham worked for four years at The Ohio State University as an athletic trainer for men’s hockey (1994-95), football (1993-94) and baseball (1992-93).
“When there is an award given from your peers who know what your day and season consists of, there really isn’t anything more special,” Graham said. “I want to thank the NBATA, the Memphis Grizzlies and the entire medical staff I work with every day. Without their help, I wouldn’t have received this award.”
The award is named for Joe O’Toole, the long-time former head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Hawks who is regarded as the father of the NBATA.