Earl Monroe Rumors
Earl “The Pearl” Monroe is working to take the relationship between sports and education to the next level. On Aug. 30, the first basketball-specialized high school in the country will open its doors to students. The Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School is not the first community-uplifting venture Monroe has endeavored upon, but it has been a long-sought dream. “This is so much more broader and more magnificent than I could ever have thought of,” Monroe said.
Sticking to his New York roots, the nonprofit high school will open temporarily in the Pelham Bay area of the Bronx, but the permanent location is set to open in the Mott Haven neighborhood during 2024. “We wanted to get into an area that really needs to have this type of school,” Monroe said. “The Mott Haven area of the Bronx is the third-poorest district in New York City.”
The Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School is a testimony to how a basketball family can enrich and motivate a plethora of communities. With help from its founding trustee David Stern to support from current commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA Foundation as a leading donor and broadcaster Marv Albert as an advisor, the list of acknowledgments from Monroe remained nearly endless. “Our motto, it came from a statement from David Stern: ‘A ball and a book can change the world’, and that’s what we’re hoping to do,” Monroe said.
“Boobie Smooth”: To see somebody that just came up with a championship get out there and play and still want to prove something and let people [who] couldn’t be at those [Finals] games and couldn’t afford [it] … it meant everything to a lot of people. They’re still talking about it. Mallozzi: I talked to Kobe a couple years later. We walked about a mile and a half together delivering food to shelters. I believe we walked right down Lenox Avenue [in Harlem]. And he said Rucker was one of the greatest experiences of his basketball career. This is from his mouth as I remember it: “All the greats came through that [park],” he said, “Wilt Chamberlain went through the Rucker. [Walt] Frazier, Earl Monroe.”
Spencer Haywood, formerly the NBRPA chairman, acknowledged that it’s hard to know how many former players have been affected. “I don’t know if we’re getting accurate reporting,” said Haywood, another Hall of Famer. “Because people who have it might not know, and others who know might not want to talk about it. “Right now, it’s in Florida. It’s Houston very strongly and that’s one of our largest communities of past players. I’ve been calling people, telling ‘em certain things to do and take some precautions. We have a list – I don’t go through the whole list, but I just talk to some of the guys who I know.” Living in Las Vegas, Haywood – the subject of a book, “The Spencer Haywood Rule” to be released in October – works the phone randomly to keep NBRPA members feeling connected. For example, he spoke Tuesday with Hall of Famer Earl Monroe, who has had some health challenges, and reported that Monroe was “hanging in there.”
During his time with the Washington Bullets, Krause found Earl Monroe at Division II Winston-Salem State and Jerry Sloan at Division II Evansville. That Krause found Monroe is considered his origin story, but Jordan didn’t buy it—after all, the Bullets took Monroe second in 1967, and MJ thought a player drafted second couldn’t really be a secret. If Krause didn’t scout Monroe, “someone would have found him at no. 3 or no. 4,” Jordan said. Krause’s passion for small-school talent was evident in his first year as Bulls GM, as he took Charles Oakley out of Division II Virginia Union with the ninth pick in the 1985 draft.
“I don’t really think they care [about the past],” Hall of Famer Earl “The Pearl” Monroe added. “There are some guys who come out to our events and they understand. I remember when LeBron came out, he had a pretty good appreciation for the guys who played before him and the history of the game. He’s always been that way. But now, you have other guys who are 18 years old, 19 years old or 20 years old and they haven’t really [learned the history]. All they know is [what’s taught to them] by their AAU coach. They don’t know how the game used to be played. There’s no appreciation for the history of the game.”