Little Kid from Englewood Scores NBA MVP

May 04, 2011

This has been a great year for the Chicago Bulls. We recently reported about Coach Tom Thibodeau winning Coach of the Year in:

Highland Park Native Captures Title

It only seems fair that we now highlight the fact that the first Chicago native is league MVP.


Derrick Rose proudly holds up his MVP trophy.

The Bulls Derrick Rose not only became the NBA’s youngest Most Valuable Player at 22, he is also the first Chicago-born player to earn the title.

During his acceptance speech, Rose talked about growing up in Englewood, one of the roughest neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.

“It’s special that a little kid from Englewood won MVP,” he said. “That’s something I never thought about when I was younger. Nobody would have thought it. But anything can happen.”

He attended Simeon High School, where he led his team to two state championships and had his jersey number retired.

Now, only four years out of high school, he is league MVP.

Michael Jordan was the only other Bulls player to win the MVP award, but he was not a native Chicagoan. Only one other NBA player was MVP in the city in which he was born and raised and that was Wilt Chamberlain, who won it four times in the 60s while playing in his hometown of Philadelphia.

Rose has made a mark on Chicago, not just as an outstanding player but also as a upstanding guy. He is reserved, shy, kind and humble. He remembers his roots and the discipline it took to get where he is today.

He is the kind of pro player you want your children to emulate. My son, glued to the TV as Rose accepted his honor during Tuesday’s press conference in Lincolnshire, kept his eyes on the set as he said, “Mom, I better listen up, ’cause that’s what I want to be when I grow up.”

Rose thanked the NBA, his teammates and his family for keeping him on the right path. “I want to thank my mom, Brenda Rose, my heart,” he said.

Yes, definitely a person worth emulating.

Congratulations, Derrick.

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