Jeramey Jannene

Brandon Jennings Attempting to Launch Milwaukee Voucher School

Former NBA player seeking to open BALL City Academy.

By - May 19th, 2022 05:45 pm
Brandon Jennings. Photo by Steve Paluch, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Brandon Jennings in 2009. Photo by Steve Paluch, (CC BY 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Former Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings is back in Milwaukee attempting to launch a private school.

BALL City Academy would be a private middle school with a planned high school expansion. Jennings tweeted images of a fact sheet and fundraising letter on Wednesday night.

“You may be wondering why Brandon Jennings wants to start a school. Well, growing up in the inner city of Compton, CA, I faced many of the same challenges kids face today. I was raised in a single parent home, and my father passed away when I was young. Money and resources were scarce. So, as a product of the inner city, I had to do my best to avoid drugs and gang violence whenever possible,” wrote Jennings.

The school would participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program which provides public funding (as a per-student voucher) for private schools.

BALL (Building, Aligning, Leading, Learning) Academy, according to the fact sheet, would provide exposure to trades work and training towards certifications as well as college preparation work. It would offer on-site child care.

“Let’s be clear. There are many other ways to become successful besides sports and entertainment, but the resources must be within reach. I was blessed to grow from a child to a man in Milwaukee, so I want to make sure that youth have their own outlets and resources in this great city that I called home,” wrote Jennings.

Jennings played professional basketball from 2009 to 2019, including five seasons in Milwaukee. While playing for the Detroit Pistons, a January 2015 Achilles tendon rupture derailed his career. Basketball-Reference reports his career earnings at $40.5 million.

The former player has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years as his 2013 playoff comment that the Bucks would win a playoff series in six games became a citywide mantra of “Bucks in six.” After winning the 2021 title in game six, Jennings was included in the team’s victory parade.

Jennings, according to a name tag he shared, is the founder and board president of BALL City Academy.

Kristen Roloff, a principal at a Racine K-8 public school, is the registered agent for B.A.L.L. City Academy, Inc. The entity, which gives its registered agent as Roloff’s Milwaukee home, was created in February. Roloff was previously principal at Destiny High School, a religious voucher school founded by bishop Darrell Hines on Milwaukee’s Far North Side.

The NBA player-to-education leader conversion isn’t without precedent. Jalen Rose, a current ESPN analyst, has operated a public charter school in Detroit for more than a decade.

Categories: Education, Sports, Weekly

3 thoughts on “Brandon Jennings Attempting to Launch Milwaukee Voucher School”

  1. Ryan Cotic says:

    Great to see him giving back! He needs to get as many school children into his school and out of mps as possible

  2. Mingus says:

    Why is it assumed that anyone who thinks they have an idea about creating a great school is given more credibility than pubic school educators who have been dealing with educating all children for decades. The only fact one local educational writer could say about looking t the Milwaukee School Choice Program is that it is “less worse” than it had been. Running an unaccountable choice school has been shown to be lucrative.

  3. Phyllis Wax says:

    Why doesn’t he use his celebrity and ideas to improve Milwaukee Public Schools? Perhaps pick one school and mentor it? Don’t take students and money from the system.

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