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August 5, 2014

gI_150727_legends-logo-positiveFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 5, 2014
Rose to help NBRPA shape programming and serve as spokesperson for organization

CHICAGO – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players, announced the appointment of former NBA and collegiate standout and current ESPN/ABC analyst Jalen Rose as the organization’s official ambassador. In his new role, Rose will assist the NBRPA in shaping its programming to assist former players in life after basketball and serve communities. Rose will also serve as an official spokesperson for the organization and help introduce the organization and its benefits to other former players.

“We are very proud of our organization’s 22-year heritage as the preeminent alumni association for former professional basketball players,” said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow, who has overseen growth in membership to an all-time high of nearly 700 members. “As we have grown and evolved our board of directors,  I recognized the importance of adding a former player with special qualifications into the organization to help take our association to the next level. Without a doubt, we believe we have added that person to our team in Jalen Rose. Jalen’s background as a star player with deep ties to the game, his track record as a philanthropist and his well-documented success in life after basketball makes him the perfect fit to help guide and influence our organization in a period of unprecedented growth and partnership with the NBA and National Basketball Players Association.”

Rose’s voice will be a prominent one for the only alumni organization supported by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association. He begins his new position with the NBRPA on August 1, 2014, working in-step with Fielkow and board members Otis Birdsong (Chairman), Thurl Bailey (Vice Chairman), Marvin Roberts (Treasurer), Steve Hayes (Secretary), Robert A. (Bob) Elliott (Past Chairman), George Tinsley (Past Chairman), Rick Barry, Dwight Davis, Spencer Haywood, Nancy Lieberman, Johnny Newman and Eldridge Recasner.

“It is truly an honor to serve as an Ambassador for the NBRPA,” Rose said. “Their mission is near and dear to my heart, as I know how difficult transitioning from the playing court into life after basketball can be for many former athletes. My diligence early on put me on the path I’ve been blessed with today and I’m eager to help others achieve that same level of success with support from NBRPA.”

Rose is someone who has continued to maintain a high profile post-retirement after a star-studded 13-year NBA career.  Long known for his post-game quotes and great relationship with the media, Rose continues to show versatility in the broadcast booth, in the entertainment world and as a philanthropist in life after the game. As a broadcaster, he is a lead NBA voice for ESPN/ABC and regularly appears on the network’s flagship show NBA Countdown.   

“We are thrilled to welcome Jalen Rose as our official ambassador,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star. “Jalen’s on- and off-court successes make him uniquely qualified to provide our staff with a player’s perspective, while also helping convey our messaging to the outside world as a well-known, trusted voice in the basketball community.”

As a philanthropist, Rose established the Jalen Rose Foundation/Charitable Fund to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth through the development of unique programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. Rose’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 an open enrollment, tuition free, public charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit.

Rose was born and raised in Detroit, where he attended Southwestern High School and the University of Michigan. In college he was part of the legendary “Fab Five,” where he and his teammates revolutionized the sport of basketball on the court and off by wearing baggy uniform shorts, black socks and black shoes. The first team in Final Four history to ever start five freshmen, Rose helped lead the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA Championship game appearances. In 1994, Rose was drafted in the first round by the Denver Nuggets. Notable highlights from his 13-year NBA career include winning the NBA’s “Most Improved Player” and “Player of the Week” awards in 2000 and “Eastern Conference Player of the Week” accolades in 2005. As a member of the Indiana Pacers, his team appeared in three straight Eastern Conference Finals, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2000.  In 2003, he was honored with the Professional Basketball Writers Association Magic Johnson Award.

While many basketball stars make the transition to the small screen after they hang up their sneakers, Rose made the bold leap in the midst of his NBA career in 2002 – becoming a multi-faceted reporter for “BET Mad Sports” and an on-air personality for Fox Sports Net’s famed “Best Damn Sports Show Period.” Working with the “Best Damn Sports Show Period” for six years, the budding broadcast star developed his own lifestyle-oriented “Jammin’ with Jalen” segment. Shortly after retiring from basketball in 2007, Rose – a mass communications major at U of M who ultimately earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland University College – went full-throttle pursuing his passion in the multi-media, sports and entertainment world, signing with ESPN/ABC as an analyst.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association 
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with a two-pronged mission to assist former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players in their transition from the playing court into life after the game, while also positively impacting communities and youth through basketball. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President & CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Otis Birdsong, Vice Chairman Thurl Bailey, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Steve Hayes, Past Chairman Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Past Chairman George Tinsley, Rick Barry, Dwight Davis, Spencer Haywood, Nancy Lieberman, Johnny Newman and Eldridge Recasner.