By: Kayla Solomon
Last Tuesday, NBA legend-turned ESPN basketball analyst, Jalen Rose, came to speak at Temple University to promote his new book, “Got to Give the People What They Want.” It went from being a keynote address to an extended question and answer session with the crowd of almost 100 Temple students. He discussed his humble beginnings growing up in Detroit, Michigan, and how basketball was his ticket out of the neighborhood.
Jalen Rose was a member of the infamous “Fab Five” of the University of Michigan that dominated college basketball in the early 90’s. The group consisted of Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King, arguably the greatest recruiting class in college basketball history. He talked about his time at the school and the unfortunate downfall of the team surrounding their association with booster Ed Martin. Six years of investigating resulted in the Fab Five banners being taken down in Crisler Arena and a number of sanctions. Rose took a break from storytelling and asked the crowd what their dreams after college were. A range of answers included “music producer” and “opening a college for students with special needs,” and he had words of encouragement for every person that answered.
He talked about his NBA career after college and how Kobe Bryant had one of his best games against him. For those who don’t know, Kobe scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. However, Rose laughed about it and said, “What can I say, they were a really great team!” He talked about opening a charter high school in his hometown of Detroit and how proud he was to watch his first graduating class walk across the stage this past May. Perhaps my favorite quote of his was, “Faith is taking the first step without seeing the whole staircase,” a quote originally said by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Overall, Jalen Rose exceeded all expectations by not doing the traditional, boring keynote address that college students are used to. He genuinely wanted the students to enjoy themselves and made sure the crowd was awake from beginning to end. He even postponed the time he was supposed to finish speaking just to make sure most of our questions were answered. He ended the night signing books while continuing to answer questions. Whether you attended or not, buy his book and read it. You’ll feel like you’re watching him speak right in front of you.