Jalen Rose - StudentsFirst Board of Directors
Current ESPN/ABC analyst/announcer and former 13-year NBA star, Jalen Rose is a gifted communicator with a passion for kids and education. Jalen was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where he attended Southwestern High School and the University of Michigan. In college, he was part of the legendary "Fab Five.” The only team in Final Four history to ever start five freshmen, they led the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA Championship game appearances. In 1994, Jalen was drafted in the first round by the Denver Nuggets. Later, as a member of the Indiana Pacers, his team appeared in three straight eastern conference finals.
In the midst of his NBA career in 2002, Jalen became a reporter and on-air personality for Fox Sports Net's famed "Best Damn Sports Show Period." Shortly after retiring from basketball, Jalen – a mass communications major at U of M who ultimately earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College –signed with ESPN/ABC. This marks Jalen's sixth season as an ESPN analyst. Starting September 2012, he will appear regularly as a Host on Numbers Never Lie and College GameDay. Also, he will announce NCAA basketball games plus cover the NBA Playoffs/Finals for the eleventh consecutive season.
A philanthropist, who truly gives from the heart, Jalen established the Jalen Rose Foundation/Charitable Fund to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth through the development of programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations, delivering over $1.2 million in charitable donations since the foundation's inception. Grants focus on education and sports and are distributed in Jalen's hometown of Detroit as well as other communities in need. A mass communications major at U of M who ultimately earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland University College, Jalen was awarded with a Spirit of Detroit Award by the City Council of Detroit in recognition of his exceptional achievement, outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the quality of life.
Jalen's most substantial outreach initiative to date is the establishment of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA). The Academy opened its doors in September 2011 and is a public charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit. The inaugural class consists of 120 ninth grade students and will be followed by an additional freshman class each subsequent year. Students receive a leadership-focused education that relies on project-based experiences within the career context of sports & entertainment. This high school will ensure students receive extensive college exposure and course opportunities through a partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy. Jalen is the founder of JRLA and serves as the President of the Board of Directors. For more info: http://www.jrladetroit.com/