Monroe offers pearls of wisdom
NBA legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe paid a visit to CedarBridge Academy last week when he came to Bermuda as a special guest of the World Alternative Investment Summit.
Monroe, 71, met with CedarBridge's high-school basketball team and their head coach Rickey Watts during a visit to the island for the inaugural asset-management event.
After 13 years with the Baltimore Bullets and New York Knicks, Munroe retired an NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer in 1980. He is also well-known off-court as an entrepreneur.
In his post-NBA career, he has seen success as an author and television commentator, as well as in entertainment management, record and film projects, and various venture capital enterprises for start-ups.
The Bermuda Business Development Agency arranged the school visit, along with a schedule of other meetings, through its Business Concierge Service that offers assistance to prospective businesses or individuals seeking to invest or establish operations in the jurisdiction.
Monroe or members of his team also met with Michael Dunkley, the Premier, Minister of Sport Sylvan Richards, education minister Wayne Scott, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, industry leaders, and visited the Oracle Team USA base.
“We enjoyed talking with Mr Monroe's business team about Bermuda's emerging sports-tourism sector and other tourism matters of mutual interest,” said Glenn Jones, the BTA director of public relations.
Monroe took time out of business meetings to visit the CedarBridge senior basketball team, headed by Watts, who himself played high-school and college basketball before moving on to a professional football career.
Selected in the second round of the Chicago Bears 1979 draft, Watts, a Texas native and graduate of the University of Tulsa, was named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Century Team and still holds the record for the longest catch of 89 yards in Soldier Field history while with the Bears.
“Our kids were overwhelmed with joy to meet Mr Monroe as he's the first pro basketball player they ever met,” explained Watts, whose 14-year tenure has seen the CedarBridge team win the Bermuda High-School Boys Championship nine times.
Watts said Monroe worked with the students on court before speaking to them about the game and what it takes to win.
“They really enjoyed his talk afterwards and even my best player was elated that Mr Monroe actually said he had a nice bank shot,” Watts added.
“This will be a memory that will last a lifetime for our kids — and myself.”