Anyone who walked through Allen Arena around 11 p.m. could usually hear the bounce of a basketball echoing through the quiet. Shooting all alone would be Eddie Ard, one of the top players for the Lipscomb Bisons in the NCAA era. A 2008 graduate of Lipscomb, Ard has exchanged the fast-paced game of basketball for the financial world. On the way to an appointment in Green Hills he spent a few minutes with lipscombsports.com.
What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
"I played basketball at Lipscomb from 2003-2008. Scott Sanderson was the head coach. My assistant coaches were Shaun Senters, Jay Walton and Hubie Smith."
How did you decide to leave La Place, La., and play basketball at Lipscomb?
"It was God's hand. I was thinking about going in a different direction. I was looking at Lipscomb and another option. The flights to both schools left the same day, about 30 minutes apart, from New Orleans International Airport. It was crazy.
"I prayed about it. My family prayed about it. That morning I decided to come to Nashville. I made the decision on the way to the airport.
"Jay Walton had recruited me. I had a great connection with him and his wife, Stephanie."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"I guess it would be 2006 and the group of guys I played with. That was the year we went to the NIT. That whole year was kind of magical. We weren't expected to do anything and we won the Atlantic Sun Conference.
"We were one play away from beating Belmont and going to the NCAA Tournament. I can't get that call out of my mind. It was very devastating. But it was frustrating more than anything. That pretty much changed the whole program in my opinion."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I can't give credit to one person. It was a collaboration. I was really close to both Shaun Senters and Jay Walton. I had a good relationship with Scott Sanderson as well.
"I had days when I first got here when I wanted to go back to New Orleans. It was tough adjusting, but being able to relate to Shaun and Jay on a personal level and on the basketball level helped out tremendously.
"Later on Hubie Smith made me aware of a lot of things like self-check. Hubie is more of a fine-tuner. He focused on the minute things instead of the overall picture. Some of the things that made me better were very small. He helped my game move up to a different level."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"I can't say that I have one in particular. Basketball was pretty much my life.
"I have memories of small things like hanging out in the dorm and cracking jokes on each other, and doing things like playing Ping-Pong.
"Summer camps were crazy fun. We had a chance to hang out and get to know guys outside of the classroom and the basketball floor."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"If you come to Lipscomb and stay here and graduate from here it is going to change your life. When I first came here it was a tough school from a responsibility standpoint for a 17 or 18-year-old. I was raised in a great household. So it wasn't like, man I can't do it, but it was challenging.
"It definitely made you mature. You became your own individual.
"When you look around and see how people here at Lipscomb carry themselves you don't have any choice but to grow up and be a fine Christian gentleman. You will know what life is all about. Some things might be cool in other places, but you realize here it is not the way you do things.
"By the time I was a sophomore or junior I would get a lot of compliments about being a nice person. I didn't pay attention to it. I thought it was just people talking.
"Once I got out of Lipscomb and I started seeing what it is really like in the world I realized those people were being genuine. It definitely has helped make me the man I am today…my beliefs, my values, the way I treat people and the way I love to communicate with people is a part of Lipscomb. At Lipscomb everybody is so nice. You wanted to talk to people here."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Seth Carmody, Randy Steger, Jeff Mankin, Mark Ingram and Charles Frasier were all great professors.
"It was the way they went about teaching their classes. They were straight shooters. I can remember sitting in class and Seth Carmody telling me, `you really stunk it up last night'. They also had great personalities. I learned a lot from them. I am in the business world now and stuff I learned from them and their stories rolls over into a lot of things I tell people today.
"People think I have been around a lot longer than I have. But I have been taking bits and pieces from a lot of people who are wiser than me.
"Mr. Frasier was a people person, but we were going to earn our grades. I liked that. If you needed some extra help he was there to help you and he didn't have to do that."
Where do you live now?
"I live in Nashville, Tenn."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work at Primerica Advisors in Brentwood, Tenn., as an investment adviser representative. I am in my second year now.
"I help families find financial solutions for whatever stage they are in their lives. I help them reach their financial goals."
How difficult was it for you to give up professional basketball?
"It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I enjoyed playing in Europe. I played in the Ukraine and in Germany. But it was also rough on me.
"But my passion was to always play in the United States. I grew up in a big family. I loved to have my family members watching the games more than anything.
"I still love the game. But I got injured each year I played.
"I ran into the ones who started this business. They had similar backgrounds to me. I never saw myself doing anything other than basketball. I decided I would try it but I thought I wasn't going to like finance.
"But once I started to work with people financially and there was gratitude for what I was doing it was like being in the arena. I really enjoy what I am doing."
Tell us about your family.
"I am single."
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.