Gerald “Pierre” Rooks
Sports officials often get asked the question, “What made you decide to start officiating?”; the cliche’ answer “…for the kids”. After speaking to Gerald “Pierre” Rooks, I truly believe that is his reason for officiating sports. It is a pleasure to have the 15 year Navy Combat Veteran on our team. Pierre is a second year lacrosse official for LOLA, and has the potential to have a very successful lacrosse officiating career. In his rookie season, he won the Rookie of the Year Award & the Iron Man Award, which is the official that worked the most games during the regular season. He wishes that he would have been introduced to lacrosse as a kid; he would have loved to play.
Pierre, born in Chicago, moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi when he was 10 years old. In high school, he participated in track and field. Standing at 6 feet 7 inches, I asked Pierre “Did you play basketball in high school?”; laughingly he said “…not until I joined the Navy where I grew six inches”. He joined the Navy when he was 18 years old, and gave 15 years of service to his country where he reached the rank of E7 Chief Petty Officer. Pierre was stationed in Los Angeles, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Diego, and then again in Los Angeles to complete his service. While in the Navy, Pierre played basketball for the All Armed Forces for four years; his specialty was defense and he stated that he was the “Last Line of Defense”. He traveled all over the U.S. playing basketball, and had the opportunity to play internationally in countries such as: Germany, Italy, Brussels, and Spain.
Pierre graduated from the University of Southern California in 1999; he majored in business. He began officiating basketball in the southern Cal area; his inspiration to officiate came from being around incredible athletes such as Baron Davis. He is a 10-year high school basketball official (5 years in Cali, 5 years in Louisiana), and a 2-year lacrosse official. Also, while in California, he officiated junior college basketball.
The USC Trojan Alumni/New Orleans resident is a man with many hats. Along with officiating, he works for the Volunteers of America, and is the Director of the homeless and substance abuse facility for Veterans. He loves working with kids, and has been doing so since 2002. He has mentored 16 youth in the New Orleans area in the past 18 years; some of them went on to college and earned their degree. He turned his garage at his home into a gym for the kids to work out in. He stated that it’s a struggle to get them out of there at times. Also, one of his hobbies is gardening; he claims himself to be a “Green Guy”.