NBA commissioner Adam Silver told a group of high school students on Wednesday that for every player in the league, there are 100 professional basketball-related jobs.
These students learn skills that may one day help them get one.
They are part of the first freshman class of 110 New Yorkers at Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School, a tuition-free charter school that teaches basketball.
In addition to learning the core New York State curriculum, students can specialize in basketball topics such as analysis, broadcast journalism, print and digital media, coaching, law and marketing.
The school was established by filmmaker Dan Klores, had former NBA commissioner David Stern as one of its first trustees, and opened on August 30 after eight years of effort.
He hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday that included former players, members of the New York Knicks front office and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, who grew up near where the school in the Bronx.
Monroe, the Hall of Fame goalie who played on the Knicks’ last championship team in 1973, said he didn’t learn some of the things students would learn until they got to the NBA. He was 14 when he started playing basketball, around the age at which some students in his school may begin to prepare for a career in the sport.
“Not everyone can be an athlete,” said Monroe, “but there are so many other things you can do if you love sports.”