DENVER - FOX31 continues to celebrate contributions made by African Americans in our city. In our last Black History Highlight of the month, we shed some light on a prominent sports family in Denver and get to know one of the city's very own, Rodney Billups.
The basketball court has helped mold Rodney Billups. The courts at The University of Denver mean a lot. Billups played there, and now heads up the basketball program.
“Now as the coach, it’s kind of surreal, kind of full circle, kind of a dream job for me, but also a hard job, because I want so badly for us to have some pride and some ownership,” Rodney Billups, The University of Denver Head Basketball coach said.
The court at his high school, George Washington High School and the Recreation Center, Hiawatha Davis Jr Recreation Center mean a lot as well.
Billups said, “You don’t have to worry about being involved with the wrong people because the people at the front desk, knew who we were.”
The Billups family is as Denver as it gets. The parents still live in Park Hill. Chauncey, Rodney's older brother, played at CU-Boulder, went to the NBA, won a title, and now works as an analyst. Even with such a busy schedule, Chauncey always finds the time to come home.
“He can’t go 5 or 6 days without wanting to come home,” Rodney Billups said.
The Billups legacy is a household name, with big recognition and they understand that. That's why both Rodney and Chauncey do their best to give back with camps and clinics.
“We’re very very prideful of Denver, our neighborhood,” Rodney Billups said. “We try to give back in the form of basketball."
Basketball was at first a pastime for Billups, then a tool, and now it's a profession. He says it will always be a passion.