4-Time WNBA Champion / Hall of Fame Inductee to Keynote Donning of Blazers Ceremony


Rebounding Roanoke welcomes Sheryl Swoopes as its keynote speaker for the annual Donning of the Blazers ceremony on Friday August 2 at the Hotel Roanoke. The Donning of the Blazers is the culminating event for students who participate in the Renaissance Academy and the ELLE Academy.

Sheryl Denise Swoopes is regarded as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. She is often referred to as the “Female Michael Jordan”, and was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Swoopes was the first player signed to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and with the introduction of the Nike Air Swoopes in 1995, Sheryl became the first female athlete to have a Nike Shoe named after her. Sheryl is a 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist, 4-time WNBA Champion, and a NCAA National Champion.

Jerel Rhodes founded Rebounding Roanoke in 2011 to address the many challenges and issues that may keep one from reaching his or her full potential. The Renaissance Academy was founded in 2012 to engage middle and high school African American males in a series of college trips, community service, job shadowing, workshops and events promoting academic, social and financial skills.

The Elite Learning and Life Education Academy, known as ELLE, was found in 2015 raise the consciousness of African American girls through innovative programs that focus on the holistic individual through health, academic, social, and financial skills. The ELLE Academy is under the leadership of Diedre Trigg.

During the Donning of the Blazers, seniors are awarded scholarships. Each year, over $10,000 is awarded to seniors and those who are currently enrolled in a college or university. Donning of the Blazers also serves as the major fundraiser for the scholarship fund.

Sponsors for this year’s event include ColorsVA magazine, Member One Federal Credit Union, City of Roanoke, Goodwill Industries of the Valley, Bruce Bryan and Rupert Cutler.

For more information, to become involved or to support the scholarship fund, visit www.reboundingroanoke.com