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Paul Beckles ’09

Paul Beckles '09A biography of Paul Beckles ’09 would have a singular theme: “Basketball,” he said, “has pretty much been my life.”

On breaks from college and in the years since he graduated from IUP, Beckles has been part of the Philadelphia 76ers organization. Today, he is camps manager.

“The Sixers have the largest basketball camp program in the National Basketball Association,” he said. That program includes both day and residential camps, and the day camps alone encompass 18 locations in three states.

The basketball and dance camps Beckles oversees annually draw more than 2,500 boys and girls from more than 40 states and 45 countries. Since 1985, more than 70,000 campers have built their skills at Sixers camps.

One of those campers was Beckles, who went to camp several years while growing up in the Delaware County community of Yeadon. Born in Barbados, he moved to the Philadelphia area with his mother at age five.

Beckles played basketball and baseball at Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne. “My best friend was a big fan of IUP,” he said, “and she got me interested in the school. It was the only place I applied.”

He hoped to play on the Crimson Hawks basketball team, but was cut in his freshman year. Recruited elsewhere, Beckles instead chose to stay in Indiana.

“I met my wife at IUP during the first two weeks of school,” he said. “We were introduced by friends on the way to a party.” His wife, Ebony Conquest, graduated from the university in 2010.

Initially a Marketing major, Beckles switched to Sports Management early in his college career. Ironically, his current role with the Sixers involves both disciplines.

“I spend my time talking to kids of all ages,” he said, “and I was speaking at a marketing seminar recently. Recruiting and marketing are a big part of the job.” Beckles also teaches basketball at clinics across the Delaware Valley.

Volunteering at IUP admissions and alumni events is a natural extension of his role with the Sixers. As a coach who has an easy rapport with high school students, Beckles is happy to share his enthusiasm for the university. He also networks with other alumni at Philadelphia area events and is working on an IUP master’s degree.

“IUP is a great place to have a positive college experience,” he said.

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