ENGLEWOOD — If you attend a boys basketball game at Robeson High School this year, you'll be given a rose — complimentary.
"People don't really give us stuff because of the name of our school, because of the gangs around the neighborhood," said senior forward Shevelle Moses, 18. "It's an honor to get something like that from a person like that."
The team also showed their gratitude to Rose in another way: wearing warm-ups with patches with a rose and a "#1" on them. The warm-ups were unveiled during Thursday's home game at 6835 S. Normal Blvd. against Curie.
"This is a way of saying thank you to Derrick and his foundation," said Robeson boys basketball coach Isaac Carter, 49, a Beverly resident. "You need a shot in the arm to sustain some programs, and for Derrick to give back is morally the right thing to do."
Carter, the 1981 valedictorian at Robeson who returned to his alma mater two years ago, said the varsity team has 25 backpacks, pairs of socks and shoes, and the warm-ups because of the new funds.
Team Rose program director Jeffrey Muhammad, who attended Thursday's game and said the foundation donated to about 10 teams this year, said he truly appreciated the Robeson gesture.
"Sometimes you don't know if kids are grateful for what they receive, so that they recognize what our mission is, is very humbling," said Muhammad, a Hyde Park resident.
Robeson senior small forward Brian Stirgus is hoping Rose sets the example for other Chicago players who have made the big time.
"This shows that we have people that actually care about us," Stirgus said.
Stirgus gave a flower to his mother, Rhonda.
"She's my biggest supporter," Stirgus, 17, said. "No doubt she was the one who was getting the rose."
Said Rhonda Stirgus: "I was happy, shocked and surprised to receive it. I think it was just wonderful."