Nation’s first high school entirely designed around basketball

The Earl Monroe New Renaissance School in Pelham Bay celebrated its opening with namesake and Knicks legend Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe.

The first of its kind public, co-ed, tuition-free charter school is devoted to teaching students about the professions within basketball. Students must have a passion for the game.

Classes give students the skills to learn how to become a commissioner, lead a player’s union, become a sports agent, learn about finances and salary caps, as well as the medical side of basketball.  There are also classes in journalism and broadcasting.

Seven years ago, filmmaker Dan Klores created the New Renaissance Basketball Association or RENS to help disadvantaged youth attain college admissions and scholarship awards.  Over time, Klores and Monroe were inspired to create something bigger so they opened the nation’s first high school entirely designed around basketball.  

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The school is located in the city’s 7th School District in the South Bronx--a district committed to equity and serving the most disadvantaged children. It opened a few weeks ago on time with the rest of the city, but Wednesday was time to celebrate.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz addressed the school’s 110 students before the ceremonial ribbon-cutting Wednesday.