Rooks will manage all athletic programs run by the nonprofit organization designed
to support Boston Public School athletics.
“What I’m really excited about is the opportunity to work with the kids, work with the constituents in Boston and grow a program that helps them use the foundation of athletics to improve themselves as individuals, academically as well as in life,” Rooks said during an interview on Tuesday morning.
Founded in 2009 by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Suffolk Construction CEO and chairman John Fish, the BSA provides support to all 19 Boston Public High Schools, 157 athletic teams, 3,900 players and 132 coaches.
The program, which was started after the Globe ran a seven-part series on the sad state of the district's athletic program called Failing our Athletes, has also established learning centers for athletes at each of Boston’s public high schools known as the BSA Zones.
“I am excited to have Chris on the BSA team,” Fish said in a statement. “The
experience and relationships he gained working for the NBA, combined with his
passion for athletics and professional development, will elevate the BSA
athletic program to a whole new level as we work to help Boston’s
scholar-athletes play to achieve.”
Rooks spent more than 11 years working for the NBA. He was most recently a senior manager
for player development who was responsible for the creation and administration
of athlete life skills programs, transitional workshops, awareness and prevention seminars and professional development resources.
“I come from a background of business development and player development,” Rooks said. “For the last six years I worked in the player development department where our role was to work with teams, players and our partners to try to benefit the personal, professional and social development of our players."
Rooks said his background in the NBA will help him build rapport with the BPS student-athletes.
“One of the things we wanted to make sure that the [NBA] understood is that the fame and the popularity of both [the players] and their sport kind of obligates them to take a position in social responsibility because of so many people who are looking up to them,” Rooks said. “It’s one of
the things we really pushed hard was that guys do more in the community so they can
be seen because of the impact they have."
At the BSA, Rooks will be responsible for building long-term local and national
relationships as well as providing leadership, strategic direction, management
and coordination for all aspects of the BSA’s athletic program. Rooks will
also be responsible for the development of relationships with the BSA’s current
and potential markets along with increasing the program’s athletic support for
players and coaches.
Rooks received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Ohio State in 1994 and he earned his master’s degree in sport administration in 2000 from OSU. Rooks replaces Evan Davis, who is currently the chief operating office at the Sports Legacy Institute.
“I’m really excited to be here working with the quality staff at BSA, the folks at BPS athletics and our athletic community here throughout all of Boston,” Rooks said.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.