Jalen Rose doesn't golf, but he's luring some big-name celebrities to Barton Hills for his fundraiser
In 38 years on this Earth, Jalen Rose has played two rounds of golf. He’ll play his third Monday at Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor.
While the former Michigan and NBA point guard describes his game bluntly as “terrible,” a stroke count isn’t the number he’s focused on at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Golf Outing.
“I don’t play at all. It’s not for me to go and put up some marker that’s going to make Tiger Woods jealous,” Rose said. “I’m just going to try to fundraise and do what I can to give back.
“I won’t be surprised if I have the highest score out there.”
The outing is the first public fundraising effort to support the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter high school scheduled to open this fall on the Northwest side of Detroit.
AnnArbor.com file photo
A 120-member freshman class was selected by lottery (out of 150 applicants) and the school will add freshman classes each year for a total enrollment of 480 students by the 2014-15 school year.
The public school will be state funded, but Rose’s fundraising efforts aim to provide JRLA students with the same education and state-of-the-art facilities as the region’s top private schools, which he says “98-percent of urban kids don’t have the money to attend.”
To help raise big money (it costs $500 per golfer to play in the event), Rose has lured some big-name celebrities to the cause. None bigger than NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown, who Rose considers a mentor in community activism.
Brown founded Amer-I-Can, an organization dedicated to supporting at-risk youth.
The other celebrities come from the worlds of entertainment (Anita Baker), media (ESPN’s Dana Jacobson) and, mostly, sports.
Some of the University of Michigan’s biggest names will be on hand. Former football coach Lloyd Carr will be joined by former Wolverines players Braylon Edwards, Larry Foote, Brandon Graham and LaMarr Woodley.
The Michigan basketball program will be represented by former players Manny Harris, Jimmy King, DeShawn Sims and former assistant coach Perry Watson (Rose's coach at Detroit Southwestern).
A number of other former and current NFL and NBA players and media types dot the confirmed-participant list. All of them, Rose freely admits, are more adept on the links than he is.
“I’m the only person I know that’s an adult that doesn’t play golf,” he jokes. Moments later, Rose remembers one other former NBA star who doesn’t play the game, but is signed up for Monday’s event.
“(Former Detroit Piston) Rasheed Wallace told me he’s definitely only going to be driving a cart, but that he’ll be there,” Rose said.
Rose’s only other attempts at the game came in 1994, when he was a rookie with the Denver Nuggets, and again last year at an ESPN outing. Rose is currently a studio analyst for ESPN and ABC.
“I had a couple nice shots, but there were a lot more times I hit the ball and went and picked it up,” he said.
Spots are still available for the golf outing and there is a dinner-only option for $150. Registration and lunch begin at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start for the 18-hole scramble. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Visit JRLADetroit.com for details and registration information.