Monday, September 9, 2013

Speaker Spotlight: Jalen Rose

September 8th, 2013 Union South, UW-Madison

Jalen Rose is a current ESPN/ABC analyst and a 13 year veteran of the National Basketball Association.  A former basketball student-athlete at the University of Michigan, and a member of the notorious "Fab 5", Jalen has made the successful transition into a post-playing career. Some of his exploits include starting a management company, a leadership academy in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan, and being involved in many philanthropic endeavors.

Honest and genuine, Jalen spoke specifically to our student-athletes on the vitality of making the most of their time here on campus so as to prepare themselves for a successful future. He said the sport(s) one plays should merely be an introduction, or vehicle rather than a definition.

Although advice was given directly from his personal experiences as being a student athlete at the University of Michigan, his message and advice was applicable to all students. He discussed the differences between hobbies, jobs, and careers and the importance of being consumed in whatever you want to pursue. According to Jalen, when you have a career, you have options. Your ultimate goal should be to create a career that you are invested in and proud of. Jalen also spoke about there being 2 scores-- the score of the game, and the score of life. He stressed a need to take the same effort that you would put toward an athletic event and put that effort toward your life and education. Jalen believes that sports teach you life lessons and that you should not judge your accomplishments solely on the score of the game. To be successful, to be good at what you do, you must master the skills. Jalen said, ‘…all of the best of best feel like they can’t be stopped.’ This is mostly because they know they have put in more time to practice and prepare than anyone else in their ‘league.’
As most professionals would, Jalen addressed issues and benefits of the social media platforms that have now become essential to professional development and leverage. He told the audience to use social media as a way of strengthening our position and promoting what we want to get accomplished, but warned us to be conscientious of the potential negative implications of misusing such public mediums of expression. This includes being mindful of who you follow on Twitter-- "You are the company that you keep," Jalen said.

Finally, Jalen addressed the topic of adversity. He asked the audience if they would rather be a leader or a follower. Jalen stressed, "How you deal with adversity is truly what will define your character." 

Notes credit: The UW Athletic Dept, Alex Ball, Paige Scovil

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