Roger Staubach, executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle, is passionate about basketball. This may come as a surprise to the legions of fans who know him as one of the greatest football players of all time. The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was a Navy standout who went on to lead the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories during his 10 years with the team. Few know that he also played both baseball and basketball for Navy, too.
“Basketball is a great sport for a quarterback, as it helps with hand-eye coordination and staying in shape,” Staubach says. “I played all through school and during off-seasons with the Cowboys. Then I joined Cooper Aerobics Center in the early 1970s, and that’s where I’d play [former Cowboys player] Cliff Harris and get into some really interesting competitions.”
In the late 1970s, Staubach began hosting regular games at his home’s full-size basketball court. The fierce battles involved many Dallas business leaders, and resulted in some knocked-out teeth, broken ankles, and other injuries. Basketball luminaries showed up, too: Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Dominique Wilkins, Grant Hill, and Magic Johnson among them. There was the time George W. Bush and his brothers challenged Staubach and his buddies, while then-Vice President George H.W. Bush watched. Michael Jordan made an appearance, too, taking on Staubach’s son, Jeff, and a friend in a one-on-two game.
When his new Preston Hollow home was built about five years ago, Staubach made sure a basketball court was again installed. But these days the games are likely to involve his 15 grandchildren. The 72-year-old still has a mean jump shot and can hit basket after basket. “I exercise on the eliptical and bikes, but it’s not a sport,” Staubach says. “I love to go out and shoot around and just have fun on the court.”