Bulls star Derrick Rose forks over $1M to Chicago charity

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I don't care who you are, $1 million is a lot of money. It's not every day you hear about an athlete donating that much.

Money you can buy a lot of things with, even if you're a guy who already has a lot of things.

Like Derrick Rose, who has had plenty of time to spend with the things he has bought over the past two years while he hasn't been playing in NBA games.

Now, he's presumably back.

And, after Tuesday's announcement he's making a large donation to Chicago's After School Matters program, his pockets are $1 million lighter.

Rose, you see, came from a part of the city of Chicago that you won't see highlighted when ESPN and Monday Night Football come into town.

Violence is a large issue in Chicago, with 440 murders last year and the city on a similar pace this year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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What is After School Matters?

According to the charity, its mission is to provide innovative out-of-school programs for teenagers in a base that is almost entirely minority and living below the poverty line.

In essence, giving kids who grew up like Derrick the opportunity to experience things they wouldn't normally get to experience.

“Derrick’s significant contribution is making a tremendous statement to Chicago that our teens do matter,” said E. Robbie Robinson, vice chair of the charity's board. “We are grateful for Derrick’s generosity, as we work hard to provide a safe and productive environment for teens to learn and explore their interests outside of the classroom. We look forward to partnering with Derrick and the Rose family to continue to expand our programs and reach even more of teens for many years to come.”

The charity was created by Maggie Daley, late wife of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and has served more than 200,000 teens in the city.

Why now?

The timing is interesting, for sure. Chicago, for the most part, supports Rose strongly. It's been a long time since Rose was king of the city before tearing his ACL in a playoff game in 2012.

Some questions his sitting out the entire 2012-13 season and were frustrated about his short run in 2013-14.

You can't blame Rose

Now, he's ready to come back and the hype machine is ready to welcome him back with open arms.

There's no reason to believe he got a recent influx of cash that made this possible, it was probably planned out a long time ago. According to the press release, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and his son, Michael, both are part of boards associated with the charity.

What better way to extend goodwill to the city when your big comeback is approaching than giving a huge sum to a charity for those who need it most?

It's a cool gesture, it's timing seems right, and there's nothing here to do but applaud Derrick for taking a step that a lot of people – from all walks of life – wouldn't be willing to take.

“My message to our kids is simple – you matter, you deserve every opportunity in life, and you can and should dream big because dreams can come true,” Rose said.

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Derrick Rose
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