By Cindy Hsu

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new high school specializing in basketball has just opened in the Bronx, but the focus is educating students for jobs off the court.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School is named after Knicks great Earl the Pearl.  The Hall of Famer says the mission is not to find the next star player but to teach kids about the business of basketball.

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“You know ,when you take the sports people, and you take the lights down, there’s a hundred people behind the scenes that are making it happen. And that’s for these kids,” Monroe said.

Dan Klores has been working on opening the school for eight years.

“We’re a specialty high school not for the playing of basketball but for all the professions surrounding it: Broadcast journalism, print media, analytics, being an agent, law. Business that’s pretty special. That’s what sets us apart,” Klores said.

It’s a charter school. There’s no tuition and the students are chosen by lottery. It’s funded by the state and from donations from companies like Nike and the Gates Foundation.

The doors opened August 30th for 110 ninth graders from across the city in the coming years. The school will have a total of 440 students.

Pedro Cardona, 14, wants to be a lawyer.

“The teachers are brilliant and they’re very smart,” he said.

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“What are you learning? How they are teaching you differently than other schools?” Hsu asked.

“They’re actually putting fun into learning,” Cardona said.

“I’d like to design the uniforms,” said 14-year-old Melanie Sonilal.

“What are you dreams, to do what?” Hsu asked.

“Be an NBA player. But if that doesn’t work out I’d like to do real estate and invest in stocks,” said 13-year-old Anthuan Valerio.

This is the first school of it’s kind in the country, and while it’s brand new, the students seem to love it already.

“This is actually the best school. It’s business and a basketball school. A book and a ball can change the world,” said 15-year-old Nakhar Ross.

Right now the school is located in what was a former Catholic school but will move to it’s permanent home in the South Bronx in a couple years.

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Cindy Hsu