For now, it’s housed in what was once a Catholic school, and on a recent afternoon last month, students were preparing for the Regents exams.
In a math class, a teacher used Stephen Curry’s 3-point pointer bow to explain a parable. In another class, students interviewed each other for an audiovisual journalism project, focusing on basketball.
The idea is to use sports to inspire students not only to learn the basics, but also to learn in a professional sense – providing them with the tools to launch a career in basketball.
“When you watch a game you see the players and the referees on the pitch, sometimes the coaches,” said Monroe, 76. “This school is about what you’d see if you pulled the camera back and showed everything else.”
This could include front office executives, agents, journalists, broadcast technicians, sports coaches, public relations staff, nutritionists, ticket sales representatives and statisticians.
During a recent visit to the school’s planned permanent location on Elton Avenue near Third Avenue, a busy intersection in the southern Bronx, Monroe pointed to the row of storefronts that will be demolished to make way for the five floors, 60,000 squares – football school that bears his name.
“This area could use a bullet in the arm,” he said. “The school will give him an anchor.”
Monroe later shrugged when asked about the giant banner emblazoned with his name at the entrance to the current location. He recalled how during his Knicks career from 1971 to 1980, when his name was Earl the Pearl, he ran a basketball camp that provided instruction to participants that went beyond the game.