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‘He loved the youth of Grand Rapids:’ Coach Rob remembered for his work with kids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Sidney Rosser said his younger brother Robert was a special person. He coached an AAU basketball team and mentored kids both on and off the court and football field.

Everyone called him Coach Rob. Sidney said his heart for kids really showed during summer 2020.

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“Last year during the pandemic you know for the kids in Grand Rapids everything was shut down. The fun places for the kids to go to were shut down: Craig’s Cruisers, Chuck E . Cheese, Michigan’s Adventure like that all shutdown,” Sidney said during an interview with FOX 17 on Monday. “So, my brother created a summer league. I don’t know if you heard about that. It’s called Coach Rob Summer League and that was in [Martin Luther] King Park. It was just a way for kids to come and play basketball. It brought the community together.”

Sidney said Robert hosted several sessions that summer for the kids to play basketball. Sidney himself refereed a few games because it grew to be a huge success and they needed more refs.

“You know, a lot of kids,” Sidney paused and bowed his head with tears filling his eyes. “A lot of kids came. It was, it was a good thing. It was a good thing.”

On Saturday Robert Rosser passed away from a heart attack, he said. He was 35-years-old.

“You don’t really expect your younger brother to be the first to go,” Sidney said. “But yeah it’s crazy. [He had] kids too. That’s who he leaves behind.”

Sidney said that he, Robert and another brother were all adopted and learned later of the health conditions that their biological family had. Robert was on medication and seemed OK, Sidney remembered. So, when he died it came as a shock to many.

“It kind of just happened. There wasn’t no signs or anything like that. It just kind of happened,” Sidney said. “It was just a shock to everybody. I still don’t believe it.”

Since his passing a GoFundMe account has been created to raise money for his family and funeral expenses. Sidney said since his passing messages of support came pouring in, and loved ones have decided to continue to put on the Coach Rob Summer League to keep his memory alive.

“My brother loved the youth,” Sidney said. “He loves his kids and he loved the youth of Grand Rapids.”

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