Hall of Fame point guard Earl “The Pearl” Monroe has joined the ever-increasing list of NBA players has to open privately-funded charter schools, open the first “specialized school for basketball” in the country, bridging the gap between education and sports for high school kids.
The Earl Monroe New Renaissance basketball school is a charter school for students looking for a good education while learning the ins and outs of the sports industry, according to The Undefeated.
“Just like any major city, basketball is king. It’s called the city game. Earl, let’s do a school, a specialized school for basketball, but not for the playing of basketball. They can be a part of the game where you can learn the business of the game, finance of the game, law, nutrition, digital reporting, coaching and other areas. In addition, we’ll have a mandatory curriculum – English, math, foreign language and history. We will prepare them for the next step, college or careers. We will give them summer internships. We will have a mentor from the private sector one-on-one. We want to make an impact in the community.”
“It’s big for me,” Monroe went on to say. “There’s no doubt. It’s very big for these kids that are going to take advantage of this opportunity. It’s something that is going to impact them. It’s going to impact their families. It’s going to give them a leg up on what they want to do for the rest of their lives.”
Monroe, who spent most of his playing career with the New York Knicks, based the school in the Bronx, where it will host students throughout New York City.
The school will hold classrooms with 18-20 students and two teachers, with different sports-based classes ranging from print and broadcast journalism to graphic design and marketing. With 16 members in its board of trustees, including NBA legends Nate Archibald and Bill Bradley.
Monroe has had visions of opening school as early as 1980 while operating a summer school similar to his new school. He was approached with the idea by Dan Flores, the owner of the non-profit New Renaissance Basketball Association.
“We’re using basketball not for the sport of basketball, but for the true learning tool, so to speak, for teaching and inspiring and embracing self-confidence and motivation for kids in that area,” Monroe said.