Prominent Former Sports Stars Take Stand for Education Choice

Jan 30, 2013, 16:54 ET from American Federation for Children

NBA great Jalen Rose and former WNBA legend Lisa Leslie partner with the American Federation for Children in effort to promote expanded educational options

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie and former NBA star Jalen Rose have pledged their support for educational choice and will appear at a host of events in conjunction with National School Choice Week, taking place this week at thousands of locations all across the country.

The American Federation for Children—the nation's voice for educational choice—will partner with the two stars in efforts to raise awareness of the plight of children who are stuck in learning situations that do not fit their individual learning needs.

Leslie will appear tomorrow morning at a rally promoting educational choice on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol, and at 1 p.m. eastern, she will participate in a television interview with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.

"Students across America grow up idolizing their sports heroes," Rose said. "Imagine if these sports heroes gave back to their truest fans—the children in their hometowns. We're providing current and former athletes with a platform to give back to their communities by putting their fame to good use and promoting access to educational options."

Leslie, who was a four-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time WNBA champion, and three-time WNBA MVP, and Rose, who was a member of the much-heralded "Fab Five" at the University of Michigan in the early 1990s and is now an ESPN/ABC analyst, are among a number of athletes who have worked with the Federation in recent months. Former NBA player Sam Mitchell, who was the league's 2007 Coach of the Year, and current Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings both appeared in promotional videos for the Federation last year.

Rose, who grew up in northwest Detroit, in 2011 opened the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school dedicated at providing struggling Detroit students with a high-quality education. Leslie, a native of Inglewood, CA, also knows first-hand the struggles many students face in her hometown neighborhood. 

"Providing our nation with the best education possible is the foundation for building a successful future," Leslie said. "All students deserve access to the highest quality of education regardless of their ZIP code or how much money their family makes."

SOURCE American Federation for Children