ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose’s love of basketball is only matched by his commitment to bettering his community. Both qualities were celebrated last week at the 2016 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Mass.
Rose, along with Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and University of Memphis men’s head basketball coach Tubby Smith, received the prestigious Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award. The award recognizes individuals in basketball who have utilized the sport to emerge as leaders and visionaries in their communities.
Among his many philanthropic efforts, Rose has established the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in his hometown of Detroit.
Rose reflected on the Hall Of Fame honor with Front Row:
Who are some of the people who have inspired you to use your platform to become a leader in the community?
Other than my immediate family, who taught me to never forget where I came from, I must acknowledge NBA Hall of Famers Dave Bing (JRLA Board of Directors/Donor) and Isiah Thomas (JRLA Supporter/Donor). They instilled in me the importance of philanthropy in my hometown of Detroit.
How did you feel sitting with your peers and accepting this prestigious honor in front of the entire basketball community?
Like many athletes, my goal was to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame. I understand the difference between the score of the game and the game of life. While all athletes dream about being enshrined into the Hall of Fame for their performance, it is just as rewarding to be the recipient of the Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award for my philanthropic achievements.
On and Off Court Leader.
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) September 11, 2016
As it relates to your work in the community, what are your key goals going forward and what else would you like to accomplish?
I will continue to push the mission of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy to empower our scholars to develop the strength of character, skills, and knowledge needed to matriculate, be great in, and graduate from college. That way, they have opportunities to be successful in a global economy and to take care of themselves and the people that they love. Our goal is to not only graduate our scholars from high school but to earn a degree as well — these are outcomes that are real game-changers in urban education.