I feel like I'm the hero of Chicago, says Rose
MANILA, Philippines – For NBA superstar Derrick Rose, it is a privilege for him to be playing in his hometown of Chicago, as he welcomed the challenge of being a “hero” and a role model for the youth in the city.
Rose was born in Chicago and won two state championships while studying in the city’s Simeon Career Academy. He would go on to play for the University of Memphis for one year, before getting drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Rookie Draft.
“It’s an honor for me to play for my city, and give the kids in the city something to really dream about and hope about,” Rose said on Monday during a press conference in Manila. “I’m just trying to bring excitement back to my city.”
Rose recalled that while growing up, he and his three brothers would rarely watch Bulls games as the team was not particularly good during the post-Michael Jordan era.
“I used to be in the living room with my brothers, and I would turn to a Bulls game. But my brother would grab the remote from my other brother and just turn real quick. He’d say, ‘We’re not gonna watch the Bulls right now,’” Rose related.
Rose, the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player, energized not only the Bulls but also the entire city of Chicago. He has been vocal about the city’s crime problems, telling CNN last July that Chicago’s problems “all start with poverty.”
“I’m young but for some reason people tend to listen to me, especially younger kids, just knowing where I grew up and what I had to go through to get where I am today,” Rose said at the time. “Being a role model, I try to stay positive and bring hope to my city where, of course, we’re going through so much stuff with crime.”
Last Monday, he told Philippine media that “it feels great” for him to give the city of Chicago “something to brag about.”
“It’s kind of like a comic book, where I’m like the hero of my city,” said Rose. “I think as an athlete or any professional athlete, it would be a dream job to really play for your city, or play for your country, and do well and bring a championship back to your hometown.”