Jerald LeVon Hoover
Jerald L. Hoover is multi-talented, and his creativity in both the literary and entertainment worlds have garnered abundant success and multiple accolades. In 1993, he was awarded Best New Male Writer of the Year by the Literary Society in Virginia for his novella “My Friend, My Hero”. For this book, Jerald was also listed as a bestselling author among young black writers, from 1994 – 1996, in various African-American publications.
In 1995, he was awarded the WritersCorp Award by President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Jerald was inducted into the Mount Vernon Boy’s and Girl’s Club Hall of Fame. This is the same club unit in which Denzel Washington grew up and still supports.
In 2003, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion awarded Jerald with the Citation of Merit award for his work with the youth of Bronx elementary and middle schools. In 2007, Basketball Hall of Fame and New York Post writer Peter Vecsey featured Jerald in a Sunday story, recognizing him for his first documentary, “Four Square Miles to Glory”. And in 2011, Jerald was nominated honorable mention for the Best Sportswriter of Year Award, by Black Press Radio. Also in 2011, Jerald’s “My Friend, My Hero” screenplay was a semi-finalist in the Gotham Screenplay Contest.
Jerald is a sportswriter who has covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets for the Black Athlete Sports Network, The Network Journal, Sports New York Style, Pure Sports New York, and BustaSports.com for over twenty years. Jerald has covered the NBA Draft, Training Camp, Regular Season, Playoffs, and the NBA Finals. Jerald has taken his years of experience to the classroom where he is an adjunct professor at Long Island University in Brooklyn where he teaches Sport Communication. He has directed documentaries on Grammy Award-winning hip-hop legend, Kool Moe Dee and famed New York City basketball standout, Felipe Lopez for the “Life in the Day” series sponsored by Long Island University-Brooklyn’s Liberty Partnership initiative.
From 2006 to 2013, Jerald was a guest lecturer at Mercy College’s Bronx campus where he offered service in during the fall and spring semesters. In 2009, Jerald lectured at the University of Belize in Belmopan, Belize. In the summer of 2014, Jerald taught basic English to a group of visiting South Korean youths through the Korean American Institute. In 2015, Jerald lectured at the Universidad Dominico-Americana in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. And in 2016, Jerald was selected to sojourn abroad to Beijing, China to teach Business English at the Fengtai School; prepping dozens of students for their visit to the United States in the summer of 2017 for further study and research.
Jerald has also directed plays for his church’s annual convocation for the past ten years. He is a Sunday School teacher who overcame a speech impediment he suffered since childhood and has become an in-demand motivational speaker where he speaks with students in schools across the country.
My Friend, My Hero is the first of a four-part series titled, The Hero Book Series. “He Was My Hero, Too”, “A Hopeful Hero”, and “Hoop Hero” are the other titles that make up the set. Each title has the word ‘hero’ embedded in it for the purpose of Jerald wanting young people, in particular, to see the hero in themselves through the lives of the identifiable and relatable characters.
It took nine years to get his first book published after forty rejections and sixty drafts. The first nine drafts were written by hand because his family could not afford a typewriter or computer. But, now “My Friend, My Hero” is celebrating over twenty-five years in print.