Stronger Together: A discussion about race and sports with Patrick Henry alum Jalen Cook and former Virginia Tech assistant women’s basketball coach Britney Anderson

Stronger Together
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Stronger Together is a special limited series produced by WFXR News to explore the issues of race in America. Each week’s episode airs Saturdays at 6 p.m. on WWCW-TV 21.1 and Sundays at 11 p.m. on WFXR-TV 27.1.

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The conversation continues on Stronger Together this week as we explore the topic of race and sports. This week’s guests are Patrick Henry High School alum Jalen Cook and former Virginia Tech women’s assistant basketball coach Britney Anderson.

Jalen Cook graduated from Patrick Henry High School this past spring. Cook was one of the key players in the Patriots football program, leading the team to its first playoff win in 25 years.

Jalen also was a member of the boy’s basketball team that won a regional title and made it to the state semifinals. he will play football at the University of Charleston this fall in West Virginia.

In this week’s show, Jalen told WFXR News discussed his experience, including a time he was in the car when his father when he was pulled over for a broken headlight.

“My dad, he just tells me to sit still. Hands up. Whatever,” he recalled. “Put your hands on the dashboard. Don’t move your hands unless he (the cop) tells you to move them. He asks you for something, do it slowly. Let him know what you’re going to grab before. Simple things that we should know as young black men and black adults.”

Cook said that conversation and others with his father are part of growing up as an African American.

Britney Anderson is no stranger to our area. She won a state title in girls basketball at Blacksburg High School. Anderson then played four years for the Virginia Tech women’s basketball program in the 2000s.

This past decade, she became an assistant women’s basketball coach at Radford University and for her alma mater of Virginia Tech. Just last month, she got the opportunity of a lifetime to become assistant coach for the Stanford University women’s basketball team in California.

Anderson told WFXR that “racism is not new. It’s always been here.”

She said she tries to educate individuals who may say something racially insensitive.

“It’s not that they don’t know, but some people may not know something’s racially offensive.”

Stanford Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach Britney Anderson

Anderson said with the protests across America following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police, change has to come.

“Change is more than a tweet. It’s more than a statement. It’s more, you know. It has to be action,” Anderson asserted.

WFXR sports reporter Ryan Moye also joined anchor Charmayne Brown and sports director Jermaine Ferrell on this week’s show, where they discussed the rope found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s stall before a recent race and a potential name change for Washington’s NFL team.

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