Sharlee Jeter is the younger sister of Derek Jeter, the legendary New York Yankees star who has his No. 2 retired by the franchise on May 14. Jeter also considers her his best friend and she is his only sibling.
The 37-year-old Sharlee is the mother of his beloved nephew Jalen.
Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. She’s the President of Derek’s Turn 2 Foundation
Jeter and his father, Charles Jeter, founded the Turn 2 Foundation in order to encourage younger people to stay away from drugs and alcohol and to pursue healthy living. Jeter began the foundation in 1996, just as he started establishing himself as one of baseball’s stars.
When Sharlee was 18, she started dedicating her time to the cause and was put on the Board of Directors. Today, she is the president of the organization.
Even while at college, she continued to work there during her breaks and eventually joined the organization full time after she graduated. She became the program director and opened opened up projects for less fortunate youth in rough areas like the Bronx and continues to work around the New York City area today where she lives with her son. She became an invaluable asset to the organization and worked her way up to President by pushing for projects that would expand the foundation and made it extremely successful.
The foundation has also invested in Stop!t, an app designed to help children fight cyberbullying. Sharlee backed the decision in 2014. The app works by helping children anonymously report bullying.
“None of us can relate to this social media frenzy going on — it wasn’t when we were in school,” Sharlee told The New York Daily News. “For Derek, social media is kind of a foreign world — he’s said it many times. But he knows how powerful it is, how it’s consumed our youth. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to handle that kind of bullying and abuse when I was younger and I came from a wonderful home. You have outside forces now even penetrating into your safe home.”
2. She Has a 5-Year-Old Son
Jalen Jeter, Sharlee’s son, was born in 2012. The details of his birth were kept private. It’s also not known who Jalen’s father is.
Derek Jeter serves as a father figure to Jalen and is constantly seen playing with his nephew.
Jalen will soon has his first cousin, since Jeter’s wife, Hannah Davis Jeter, is expecting a baby girl.
3. She Was Once Engaged to Rapper Skyzoo
Sharlee Jeter used to date rapper Skyzoo before their split in 2010 when the couple called off their wedding. Jalen is not Skyzoo’s son and Sharlee has not said who his father is.
Sharlee and Skyzoo stopped seeing each other after the split in 2010.
In a 2012 radio show interview, Skyzoo insisted that he never wanted to use his relationship with Jeter’s sister to gain fame.
“I just kept it low, I never really wanted to use that the way the average dude man have … and that’s why they rocked with me so heavy,” Skyzoo told RapFix Live. “When we were rockin’, Derek was lookin’ at me like a little brother, reason being he could trust me. I wasn’t out there puttin’ it on blast it is what it is.”
4. She Was a Softball Star in High School
Sharlee and Derek grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and attended Kalamazoo Central High School. There, Sharlee and Derek both excelled on the ball field. They had always been close since they were kids.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Jeter said his first memory was the moment Sharlee was born.
“So, you know, someone asked me an interesting question one time when I was playing, they said, what’s your first memory? And they say that your first memories usually come about when you’re 4 to 5 years old,” Jeter told ESPN. “Mine was when my younger sister was born. It’s the first thing I can remember. But as far back as I can remember, in terms of baseball, is I wanted to be a Yankee.”
In a 2014 New York Magazine interview, Sharlee said their parents always thought Derek had a lot of confidence growing up, which is why their mom nicknamed him “old man.”
“I think the nickname came from the first time he went off to school and he had his little briefcase and he was all dressed up in a little suit,” Sharlee told the magazine.
5. She Had Hodgkin’s Disease
In November 2000, Sharlee was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, The New York Times reported in May 2001. The disease is a type of lymphoma or cancer that originates in the white blood cells and requires radiation as a cure.
Derek didn’t tell the media until she was cured of the disease. In fact, he said he only revealed it because “now it’s a success story.”
“Our family is not immune to anything that goes on in society,” Jeter told the Times. “We never expect nothing like this to hit our family. It’s just one of those things you have to deal with and, fortunately, it’s over with.”
Jeter had a rough start to the 2001 season, but Jeter wouldn’t blame his play on his sister’s illness.
“It was more difficult for her,” Jeter told the Times. “We don’t want to make it out that it was more difficult for me. She’s the one that was going through it.”