For now, it is housed in what was once a Catholic school, and on a recent afternoon last month, students were preparing for Regents exams.
In a math class, a teacher used the arc of a Stephen Curry 3-pointer to explain a parabola. In another class, students interviewed one another for a project on broadcast journalism, centered on basketball.
The idea is to use the sport to inspire students not only to learn the core subjects, but also to learn in a vocational sense — providing them the tools needed to embark on a career in the basketball business.
“When you watch a game, you see the players and the referees on the court, sometimes the coaches,” said Monroe, 76. “This school is about what you would see if you pulled the camera back and showed everything else.”
That could include front office executives, agents, reporters, broadcast technicians, athletic trainers, public relations staff, nutritionists, ticket sales representatives and statisticians.
On a recent visit to the school’s projected permanent spot on Elton Avenue near Third Avenue, a busy intersection in the South Bronx, Monroe pointed to the row of commercial storefronts that will be demolished to make room for the five-story, 60,000-square-foot school bearing his name.
“This area could use a shot in the arm,” he said. “The school will give it an anchor.”
Later, Monroe gave a modest shrug when asked about the giant banner emblazoned with his name at the entrance to the current location. He recalled how, during his Knicks career from 1971 to 1980, when he was called Earl the Pearl, he ran a basketball camp that provided attendees with instruction beyond playing the game.