Teacher Tribute: Rise Rashid


Provided by: R. Rashid

Giving his players a quick speech before their Varsity game, Coach Rise demonstrates his dedication to the Millbrook Basketball Program. He is seen as a role model by several of his student athletes.

Hannah Hortman, Editor-in-Chief

  From his commitment to Millbrook Basketball to fulfilling his passion for rapping, Coach Rise lives by the words of Malcolm X: “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” As a father, husband, coach, mentor, and teacher’s aide, he has a big heart and the constant drive to be a better version of himself. Despite how busy Coach Rise may be, he still manages to carve out time for his family and music production.

  Inspired by artists like Michael Jackson and Nas, Coach Rise fell in love with music and recorded his first album in high school. As he traveled around the country performing in live shows, he went by the stage name “Rising Son”, but people in the industry started calling him “Rise” for short. While his legal name is Jamal Williams, “Rise Rashid” ended up sticking. When he started coaching basketball, he thought his music career was fading, but Varsity Head Coach Christopher Davis encouraged him to continue making music. When asked what he hopes to communicate through his music, Coach Rise says, “I don’t sugar coat the things that I say when I’m talking about what I’ve seen and experienced myself and what I’ve seen in others. I’ve had students who have gone through some things that are very bad and also are very good. Because of that, I’m able to tell real stories in my music and relate it back to things I’ve experienced.” Since dropping his most recent album Coach Rise on November 1, 2021, he has blown up on social media and as an even bigger music sensation.

  Coach Rise has an extremely demanding schedule, starting the day by 7 am and finishing up around 9 pm during basketball season. During the school day, Coach Rise serves as a teacher’s aide in the special needs classroom and also works one-on-one with one of the special needs students. With a little time in between to pick his son up from school, Coach Rise returns to school for JV and Varsity Men’s Basketball practice. In addition to this being his ninth year as the assistant coach for the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, this is his first year serving as the Head Junior Varsity Coach.

  While he hopes to bring home another state championship title this year, his role as a coach is so much more than setting his players up for athletic success. He explains, “Even though it’s a sport and a game, it’s not about wins and losses or the games being played, it’s the principles that make up the game and the experiences that you go through. It’s about relating those situations in the game to reality.” Coach Rise also serves as a mentor for his players. Senior Ceejay Jordan says, “He helped me grow by getting me mentally tougher and challenging me to lead. Coach Rise is someone I can always depend on. He’s been more than just a coach to me; he’s been a father figure to me outside of basketball.” 

  When asked what advice he would give to his younger self, he says, “I would warn him that there are going to be highs and lows, and you really got to be even keel with all of it. Stay the course, find your pace, and continue that for as long as you possibly can. I think this would be a great reminder of what my purpose is.” An inspiration to his fans, student athletes, and fellow faculty members, Coach Rise continues to rise to the day-to-day challenges that life throws at him.