North Gwinnett’s Jared Cook hasn’t forgotten where he came from

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Happy 2010 from the AJC's Michael Carvell

Who needs a sponsor when you have Jared Cook?

Cook finished his rookie season with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans on Sunday. He is an alumnus of North Gwinnett High. When North Gwinnett was seeking a sponsor for its holiday basketball tournament, Cook offered to sponsor the whole darn thing. Hence, the First Annual Jared Cook Holiday Classic, which was won by the North Gwinnett girls and Richmond Academy boys.

By all accounts, Cook is an all-around “nice guy” who has never forgotten where he came from. No doubt, the Bulldog Nation (of North Gwinnett) is fortunate to have him around, especially during these challenging economic times.

Nice guy Jared Cook helps out his alma mater ( photo)

Nice guy Jared Cook helps out his alma mater ( photo)

That’s my wish for 2010, for more famous athletes from the metro area, such as Cook, to help out their respective alma maters — if not money, then perhaps some time. Goodness knows that many high school athletic departments could use any or all help.

Who are some other current or former famous athletes who are known for giving back to their high schools over the years? Cook isn’t the first, let’s give props to some others. And who are some that you would like to encourage to do so in the future?

Please post below.

28 comments Add your comment


January 4th, 2010
8:05 am

I believe Louis (or Lou as he prefers now) Williams holds basketball camps at South Gwinnett during the summer. Props to Jared Cook for making news for the RIGHT reasons.


January 4th, 2010
10:44 am

If you check, I think that you will find that Hines Ward has done a considerable amount for Forest Park High. As with most high-profile athletes, he does so under the radar.


January 4th, 2010
1:22 pm

Keith Brooking gives both time and money to East Coweta High School. He holds a golf tournament every year and matches the days earnings towards the athletic department. He also visits numerous schools and talks to kids in the county. He may do more that I am unaware of.


January 4th, 2010
3:28 pm

Its worth noting that Jared’s older brother Jason Cook, who was the starting FB and captain on Ole Miss’ team last year, is also known to be a great guy. He was a great leader and contributor to the ole miss program; very well liked a highly regarded by his coaches and teammates. Great family.


January 4th, 2010
3:58 pm

Jeff Backus does absolutely nothing for Norcross High School. Even after they brought him back and had an elaborate jersey retirement ceremony for him. He’s a selfish jerk

William Jones Jr.

January 4th, 2010
4:01 pm

I second the thought about NFL steeler Hines Ward. I have volunteered with Forest Park high football team since 2001 and I don’t remember a year that Hines didn’t support the team with at thousands of dollars.Even the season beforelast, The Panthers 8th straight year with a looseing record, he helped get the kids a new weight room. I think hands down Hines Ward gives more to his former high school then any Pro. Hopefully we’ll get a coach in here that will do him proud this year. GO PANTHERS !!!


January 4th, 2010
4:01 pm

I know back home in Albuquerque, Jim Everett bought new uniforms for his high school every year, El Dorado. Not sure if he still does. I always remember them having nice unis despite being burnt orange.

Let the Big Bee Sting

January 4th, 2010
4:44 pm

Jermaine Phillips, former Roswell Hornet Class of 1997 and current Tampa Bay Bucanneer and the NFL Youth Football Fund recently donated @ $10,000 for equipment for Roswell High’s new Weight room/Training room/Fieldhouse for the Athletic Department. Additonally, Jermaine has sponsored a Kids Football clinic in the summer. Chris Reis, former Roswell Hornet Class of 2002 and current New Orleans Saint has supported the Football program by participating in the Annual Hornet Lift-a-Thon in the Spring which raises @
$25,000 a year. Over the years, former Hornets Alec Kessler w/Miami Heat, Mike Ramsey w/St. Louis Cardinals and Tony Phillips w/Oakland A’s have donated both time and money to the basketball and baseball programs. We are very proud of our former Athletes and appreciate them for all they do and have done.


January 4th, 2010
5:05 pm

I was very fortunate to coach Jared and I will tell you, his parents are the reason he is the way he is. Those are two of the nices people I have ever met. I will second what Kramers2009 said about his brother Jason. He is now the team chaplin for Ole Miss. I look forward to watching Jared continue to improve in the NFL and the support he gives to North.

Parkview fan

January 4th, 2010
6:24 pm

Parkview has several athletes playing in various pro sports that contribute regularly to help support our athletic programs.

Resign or Resign?

January 4th, 2010
6:46 pm

Athletes such as Jared & Jason Cook, Ward, Brooking, etc. are to be congratulated for their generosity. Their contributions need more publicity to counter the “players pull guns on each other in locker room” headlines.

grady grad

January 4th, 2010
7:08 pm

I drive by Mainland High in Daytona every summer while on vacation.It is an awesome facility and the gym is spectacular.It is named after Vince Carter.I googled this info about Carter from the Orlando Sentinel dated 09/16/02.He was a member of the Mainland class 6a state champs in 1995.How is this for gratitude?He donated 2.5 million to the school.He is an example of a man who cares.


January 4th, 2010
7:28 pm

Keith Brooking has a children foundation . He does a good job with that. He does next to nothing for East Coweta High school. After his foolish behavior on the football field during the Cowboys and Falcons game, we don’t need anything he has to offer.

Sorry Dogs

January 4th, 2010
7:44 pm

It should also be noted that Jared donated some signed memorabilia to be auctioned for the Susan G. Komen foundation (his Mom is a survivor), and $1,000.00 was donated from the auction and a contribution from the NGHS Tip Off Club at the close of the tournament.

Quite a family. Two SEC football players, one that made it to the NFL. Still willing to give back to the high school that helped shape their careers. Pretty cool.


January 4th, 2010
8:12 pm

MV7 comes to da skool at Hamtpon Rodes and kills all of the strae dogs fo us.

John Mason

January 4th, 2010
9:38 pm

Check out Vince Carter–he’s been very generous to his Daytona Beach high school.


January 4th, 2010
10:41 pm

Randall Godfrey sponsors an annual Christmas baskeball Tournament at Lowndes Highschool.

dekalb fan

January 5th, 2010
5:36 am

Cincinatti Red 2nd baseman donated money to Redan High School for basefield field rennovations. He also donated money to Antioch AME Church for the athletic program

dekalb fan

January 5th, 2010
5:37 am

In the previous post I neglected to name the Cincinatti Red 2nd baseman Brandon Phillips

Towers Coach

January 5th, 2010
8:12 am

Marcus McNeal does NOTHING for Cedar Grove high school of the SAN DIEGO CHARGERS!


January 5th, 2010
8:26 am

While I am not giving McNeal or any other pro athlete a ‘pass’….former DeKalb athletes find it difficult to donate sometimes. The county doesn’t allow certain things to be built. In the past they have denied schools from building certain facilites that their former athletes wanted to help with. Examples: SWD building a football fieldhouse and Redan building an indoor hitting facility. The reason? “Because every school wouldn’t have one” HOWEVER, if it was fully funded by parents/booster clubs then it was ok.


January 5th, 2010
10:32 am

WOW! What a novel concept, Pros returning to help their schools and communities. Add CALVIN JOHNSON to the list of those that “DO NOTHING”. Johnson’s contract was worth $64 million, with $27.2 million fully guaranteed, and he has given $0 , yes, ZERO dollars to his high school. Out of all the guys mentioned…he probably has the most to give. Hell he even moved his Wide Receiver camp to another school.



January 6th, 2010
6:43 pm

Walt Harris and Mike Cameron for LaGrange. Not just financially but in their time spent in the community.


January 6th, 2010
6:57 pm

Former peach County Trojan Randy McMichael holds a football camp in Ft. Valley every year.


January 6th, 2010
9:52 pm

Marcus Robinson, former Peach County star and retired Chicago Bear and Minnesota Viking, donated some of the money for Peach’s State Championship Rings in 2005 !! Also Greg Lloyd attends Peach County games and was at about 4 games this year and doesn’t even live in the State.

Eddie Cane

January 7th, 2010
11:10 am

Greg Lloyd attends Peach County games? That wasn’t the question. His attendance is no more important than the elementary school kids who toss the ball around, not knowing what’s going on. The player have no idea who is.

Eddie Cane

January 7th, 2010
11:41 am

Greg Lloyd attends Peach County games? That wasn’t the question. His attendance is no more important than the elementary school kids who toss the ball around, not knowing what’s going on. The player have no idea who he is.

Michiko Johson

January 7th, 2010
2:29 pm

Ditto to the nice comments about Jared Cook. He is a wonderful person who has kept his head on straight. I was impressed the moment I met him. His spirit is so humble and he has a smile that warms your heart. There is nothing pretentious about him. His parents are the same so it’s easy to understand how he can be so kind and caring.