NEW YORK (AP) Sherrie Deans has been hired as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation.

Deans will oversee the philanthropic investments made on behalf of NBA players, including five grants of $20,000 each to New York City nonprofit organizations during All-Star weekend festivities.

Union executive director Michele Roberts announced the appointment Tuesday and plans to reorganize and expand the foundation, saying in a statement that ''NBA players are exceptionally dedicated to the principle of `giving back' to the diverse communities where they live and work.''

Deans is a graduate of Columbia University.

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