Monroe returns to roots for steak and burger dinner sports heraldmailmedia.com steak marinade soy sauce brown sugar

“when I was young, every day I would go to school, come home and do my homework and go spend a couple hours at the (memorial) rec center my mother was running. Then I would go over to the boys club. It is a big part to who I am.”

He became arguably the best basketball player this city has ever seen, graduating from st. Maria goretti as the county’s all-time leading scorer during the school’s heyday under coach cokey robertson.

He attended north carolina state and became the cool part of a "fire & ice" tandem of guards that helped put the wolfpack on the map. He became N.C. State’s all-time scoring leader, topping the great david thompson. He was an all-american, an atlantic coast conference player of the year and a member of the ACC’s 50th anniversary team.Great gift

Finally, he was drafted by the atlanta hawks and played briefly in the NBA before heading overseas to play in 17 different countries over 14 years.


“the boys club was a safe place,” monroe said. “I could go there and my parents knew I was safe. I’d go there to play basketball and ping pong and shoot pool.

“tonight, what I’m not here to talk about is how great of a basketball player I thought I was. I want to give them something they can take from here and apply to their lives.”

“if I told you to look up, you see the ceiling,” he said. “that’s all your eyes will allow you to see. But if you use your vision — the great gift god gave us all but we don’t use often — you can envision yourself being away from all this snow and on a beach in florida.Monroe said I did a lot of visualization as a basketball player."

The event itself is a function for children to envision a dream. They sit at tables, interacting with sponsors from local businesses and organizations, for dinner. The young club members feast on steaks while the adults have a burger meal.

Monroe’s attendance was a natural fit. Cousin eric rollins works at the club, as does lifelong friend E.J. Fuller, who placed the call with the invitation to speak.

“I’m glad it has been around for such a long time,” monroe said. “it is great that they still have a safe place to go to learn about their talents.”

Back in the day, monroe learned his talent was basketball. He played at the club and got a big break when former club director jim deaner started a basketball program.Great gift

“I played there instead of playing in the junior league,” monroe said. “the team traveled to play other clubs. The teams had seniors playing and it allowed me to learn playing against older guys. It got me started. It was my roots.”

“in college I was known as ‘ice’ because I was cool under pressure,” he said. “I used to envision taking free throws at the end of the game and making the big shots. When I got into games, I wasn’t nervous because I had already seen myself doing those things. I wanted the ball. I wanted to grab a hold of the visions.”

Now monroe is the director of basketball operations and coach at southlake christian academy in huntersville, N.C., an up-and-coming program.Monroe said it has provided monroe the chance to convey all he has learned.

“all the kids are sitting there with their headphones and their music,” he said. “I require them to take 5-10 minutes before each game to visualize the plays and the defenses we will be facing.

“once they started doing it, they use it in other areas, like before tests, to imagine what they want to achieve. This is a great gift given to us by god.”

“talking about my basketball career won’t help anybody,” he said. “this is something that everybody can identify with. It’s how I live my life.”