Jae’Sean Tate of the Houston Rockets is repaying the coffee community for their support during his NBA First-Team All-Rookie season last year.
The Jae’Sean Tate BUILT scholarship was established to assist BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color) service workers in the coffee and hospitality industries who are balancing school and job. The scholarship has raised almost $8,000 since its inception yesterday on the Bold.org platform, which allows people to contribute to scholarship funds or apply for scholarships.
Tate was a four-year student-athlete at Ohio State University before graduating. He went undrafted by the NBA and spent two seasons playing in Belgian and Australian leagues. He earned all-rookie honors after joining with the Rockets at the age of 25, after a campaign with Houston specialty coffee roaster and merchant Greenway Coffee Company.
Greenway acquired and roasted the coffees, while Dualstreets created the artwork for the “First Team All Rookie Blend,” which was released by Tate and Greenway. The 9th Wonder Foundation, a Houston-based youth mentoring organization, received proceeds from the blend.
In announcing the scholarship, Tate said, ““Greenway Coffee backed my first official coffee blend with a campaign that saw my coffee go out to all the NBA award ballot holders. I always tell people, ‘I’ve been BUILT, I just took the steps,’ and each one of those steps came with support. That’s why I’m so excited to support the minority members of the coffee and foodservice industry who are taking the steps to achieve their goals and dreams, no matter how unconventional the route.”
Tate’s scholarship is the latest in a long line of excellent, community-focused NBA-coffee industry collaborations. Jimmy Butler’s Big Face Coffee has entered the high-end coffee business, Iowa roasting company Blk & Bold has released The Warm Up, Dikembe Mutombo’s Mutombo Coffee has emerged, and Patty Mills’ Bluestone Lane campaign to benefit indigenous Australians are just a few recent examples.