Jeffery Douglas Foster, commonly known as Jeff Foster, is one of the memorable members of the NBA fraternity.
Jeff spent his whole career playing for one team in the league, named Indiana Pacers.
Though he did not gain fame and recognization on par with his other contemporary players, his skills and stunts have greatly benefited his teams. Peers and fans of Indiana Pacers agree that Jeff embodies hustle, grit, and a strong work ethic.
Since his retirement in 2013, the former NBA player has been spending a quiet life in Texas with his family.
In this read, we will go through the life story of this unexpected NBA player. Before getting into the details, please enjoy these interesting quick facts:
|Full Name||Jeffery Douglas Foster|
|Common Name||Jeff Foster|
|Birthdate||January 16, 1977|
|Age||45 years old|
|Birthplace||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Home Town||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|School||James Madison (San Antonio, Texas)|
|College||Southwest Texas State (1995–1999)|
|Education||Diploma in Finance|
|Height||6’11” ( 2.11 m)|
|Weight||250 pounds (113 kg)|
|Shoe Size||16 US Size basketball shoes|
|Partner||Jamie Foster (married in 2011)|
|Children||2 Twin kids (Carter and Elle)|
|Profession||Former Professional Basketball Player|
|Drafted in||1999, Round 1, 21st pick|
|Team||Indian Pacers (1999-2013)|
|Position||Forward Center (Shoots: Right)|
|Idol Player||David Robinson|
|Affiliated with||Indiana Pacers|
|Favorite Book||The Perfect Storm|
|Favorite Sports||Basketball, Golf|
|Hobbies||Golf, Movie, Video Games|
|Social Media||Not Active|
|Net Worth||$22 million|
Jeff Foster: Childhood, Parents & Family
Jeffery Douglas Foster was born in San Antonio, Texas, on January 16, 1977.
Growing up, Jeff realized two things about himself. He was pretty good with numbers and loved sports, especially basketball.
His parents were kind, supportive, and loving. They wanted their child to focus on his studies, and, side by side, they also encouraged him to pursue his interests in sports.
He tried his hands on every sport he could find. Besides basketball, he took up swimming, soccer, baseball, and even football. But for one reason and another, he had to give them up. For instance, he broke his arm after two weeks of playing football.
Jeff, as a Fanboy
A reason for his growing passion for basketball was the NBA players in his hometown, San Antonio. Whenever he got a chance to go to the games, he always tried to get the players’ autographs and sneak into the locker room.
His parents would drop him off at the games at about 5’o clock so he could get autographs before the games began. That’s how much of a fanboy he was. He claims that he went to at least one-fourth of the San Antonio Spurs home game.
Once, he got a chance to meet David Robinson, who was playing for the Spurs at the time. Jeff even got a chance to speak with him for a while. To the little boy, it was like meeting god.
Those days and that upbringing made him even more passionate about basketball. Because of those earlier days, Jeff has also learned the importance of getting in touch with his fans.
“Being able to have contact with those guys made a huge difference to me, that’s why I always stop and sign autographs,” Foster says. “I once was that kid. I understand the importance of it.”
Jeff Foster: School and College
Fans of the Indiana Pacers must have heard the stories of Jeff being a late bloomer. He was 5’7″ as a freshman in high school, which was a short height for an upcoming basketball player.
Notably, he grew up to be a massive guy of 6’11” in height and 250 pounds weight by the time was drafted.
He joined the varsity basketball team only in his senior year at James Madison High School and graduated in 1995.
It was a no-brainer for a number lover guy like Jeff to opt for a degree in finance. He attended the prestigious Southwest Texas State University and joined their team, Bobcats.
In junior seasons, Jeff averaged 12.8 points and 10.2 rebounds and also was a part of the all-southland conference second-team in 1998.
His played skill got refined during his college years. Jeff’s playing style was influenced by some of his teammates. Bobcats were known for playing hard-nosed defense. Fans could see the refined version of the same techniques during his later career as well.
With all the basketball business going on, he could not finish in degree on time. He was just nine credits short of graduating, but fate intervened. He called it his ‘unfinished business and moved on to a professional basketball career.
Jeff Foster: Professional Career
Jeff was a good player but nothing near the best. So, he never expected to get into NBA. However, to everyone’s surprise, the Golden State Warriors drafted him as the 21st overall pick during the first round of the 1999 NBA draft.
The Warriors immediately traded him to the Pacers along with his draft rights. So, he never got to play for the originally drafted team.
During the decade that he spent with the pacers, he earned 3,747 points, 5,248 rebounds, and 703 assists.
Along with that, he played more than 50 post-season of games with nearly 4 points per playoff, 5.5 rebounds, and 55.6 field goal shooting percentage.
Jeff was never considered quite good enough to be a dangerous player. However, he made up with his hustle, effort, and more willpower than any of his teammates. He set hard screens, took every rebound, and had a number of poster dunks too.
Today, Jeff is one of the most respected and loved Pacers of all time.
His 13-year-old career was cut short due to chronic back pains. Foster is second in franchise history in the number of seasons played, second only to Reggie Miller who played 18 seasons in total.
Then-president of basketball operations Larry Bird honored him during retirement by writing, “He played hard every night, he always gave his all. He is a great role model for our younger players and we can’t thank him enough for his contributions on and off the court.” Coming from the legend of basketball himself, this is a huge honor for Jeff Foster.
After his retirement, Jeff lives a peaceful life with his wife and twin kids. Many of his teammates have found roles in broadcasting and coaching. However, Jeff is staying out of the spotlight in Austin, Texas.
His twins, Carter and Elle are also interested in sports. Interestingly, his son also seems to be a late bloomer like him. In a 2020 interview, he commented that his son was about five inches shorter than his daughter.
His son plays taekwondo, cross-country racing, and soccer. Elle, his daughter, has tried volleyball, soccer, and basketball. Unfortunately, she did not enjoy basketball despite her dad thinking she would be great at it if she played.
Being a responsible dad, Jeff does not want to overly push them into the sport if they personally do not want it. “I will support them in whatever they decide,” he says.
During his time at NBA, he enjoyed educating his peers about the benefits and techniques of investing. Following his retirement, he has finally found the time to work on his other passion, finance.
He is involved in business and is working in a wellness and therapy company. He says that he enjoys going to the office and working with his team.
Jeff Foster: Net Worth and Lifestyle
According to reports, Foster has a net worth of $22 million. The former player has amassed his wealth from his career in NBA as well as his investment ventures.
During his career, he took home, around $50 million in pay. Unlike his peers who like to spend money on cars and luxury, he led a frugal life and saved one-third of what he earned.
He invested heavily in stock and other assets. Businessweek even did a story on him titled “Jeff Foster the Buffett of Basketball.”
Even though he never expected to be in the NBA, it was a good opportunity for him. It helped him get into a good position financially and also helped him build a nice network of people.
Foster enjoys watching movies and playing video games in his spare time. He is a dynamic individual with a variety of positive attributes.
Even after back-to-back surgeries and declining health conditions, he tried to take up golf. However, his back did not allow him to play regularly.
He and his wife Jamie were regularly part of charitable causes organized by the NBA. He likes dogs and is reported to have a pet dog.
Jeff Foster: Social Media
It is common for fans to want to know the whereabouts of their favorite players through social media. However, some players like Jeff are not a big fan of sharing their private life via social media.
He has not yet joined any social media and likes to keep a low profile. If he ever gets into any social platform, we will be the first to update so stay tuned!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Jeff Foster married?
Yes, he and his wife Jamie married in the summer of 2001. But there is no public information about Jamie and her life.
Who drafted Jeff Foster?
Jeff foster was originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1999 NBA draft but was immediately traded to Indiana Pacers.