Category Archives: Interviews

Ne-Yo Talks Charity, Music and Christmas

Earlier this week, on Giving Tuesday, I was very fortunate to be part of Ne-Yo’s Giving Tour as he visited the Challengers Boys and Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles.

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The Grammy Award winning artist has a heart of gold and an abundance of patience and love for less fortunate kids. In a word, he’s 100% legit when it comes to giving back and helping others.

You can read the full interview at Looktothestars.org

Or just check out all the love on his website: CompoundFoundation.org

Rock and Roll CAN Save the World

Had the pleasure of interviewing Sepp from Blurred Vision about music, peace, rock and roll, John Lennon, children and religion.

PLease visit LTTS here to read what frontman Sepp had to say about using rock and roll to save the world.

A highlight of the interview was speaking about the damaging aspect of religion and Bill Maher:

    Q: Aside from effectively using music to promote peace, you are also extremely well versed in politics… it would seem a natural fit for you to appear on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’?
    I think it’s a perfect fit because we are the voice of today’s generation and Bill has always been the outspoken voice for many. I think one of the things we stand very much aligned with Bill is the fact that for our generation now, religion is losing its power. I think that’s a big thing because religion is really one of the weak points of humanity all over the world. With hunger and poverty I think there are those that use the concept of religion to feed off of those that are hungry or impoverished. So the more we educate the world, the more we feed the children of the world with good things, the less the chances are of them being preyed upon by those that use religion to brainwash minds and send them out to the battlefields to fight for whatever God they believe in or whatever holy figure they want people to die for. Hopefully we’ll be on Bill Maher very soon. We watch him every week, he’s spot on too.

As always,
Thanks for reading,
Delinda

“Dear John” – A Global Tribute To John Lennon

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing the guys from ‘Blurred Vision’ about using music to promote peace…and this month, the band’s official video for “Dear John” – A Global Tribute To John Lennon – was released and invited Blurred Vision fans from all over the world to be involved in the video.

The band also included their friends from Hope North- a school in Uganda helping child soldiers recover from the trauma of war-to be in the video.

All proceeds from the single on iTunes is benefitting NYC based charity Whyhunger, where along with Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Carlos Santana, Blurred Vision are official ambassadors.

The band is currently between New York and Toronto, preparing for the release of their debut album “Organized Insanity” in July, and a US tour to follow…I will also be catching up with frontman Sepp later this month to discuss the new video.

As always,
Thanks for reading,
Delinda

Philadelphia Eagles Todd Herremans Talks Charity, NFL and Giving Back

Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman, Todd Herremans, now in his eighth year in the NFL, realizes the importance of giving back in the community and recently created his own Foundation in efforts to help where help is needed.

Athlebrities founder Delinda Lombardo, was happy to pick the NFL players mind about what makes him a mighty, mighty fine man.

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Q: Tell us a little bit about the “Good Guy Award” you received from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association-what kind of work have you been doing in your community?

A. To be honest I didn’t even know that the award existed until they called me and told me I won. It was interesting because they said I received an award for being cordial and a “good guy” to the reporters and sportswriters. I was shocked, I thought that is how everyone was suppose to act. They should have given the award to my parents for how they raised me. Continue reading

Interview: Sharif Atkins

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing actor Sharif Atkins about his involvement with Operation Smile for partner site Look to the Stars.

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Sharif is best known for his current role on White Collar, previous role on E.R. and if you’re like me and obsessed with Criminal Minds, he was in the episode ‘To Hell… and Back,’ an episode which “they have played the hell out of.”

We spoke about his recent mission to Ecuador with Operation Smile, an organization he zealously supports after doing his research, and how his fans can contribute to the ‘ripple effect’ by smiling at others..

The full interview can be read here: LOOK TO THE STARS

Many thanks to Sharif and Lindsey Rowe for being awesome.

Delinda

Interview: MLB Pitcher Mike Adams Talks Operation Smile

Earlier this month I shared with you a video about a mighty-mighty fine MLB pitcher who appeared in an episode of Ricki Lake’s “Hidden Heroes” segment as an Ambassador for Operation Smile.

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After watching the clip of Mike Adams (Philadelphia Phillies) share his story of how he met and helped Joshua, a three-year-old boy born with a cleft lip find the right doctor to heal his smile, I knew I had to speak with him about his involvement with helping others.

And after years of shunning MLB, Adams has shown me there are a few good ones left in the League.

Please read my FULL INTERVIEW with him on Look to the Stars.

Many thanks to Lindsey Rowe and Robyn Mircoff from Op-Smile for getting the stud on the phone with me~and of course, gratitude to Mike Adams and his enormous heart.

As always,
Thanks for reading,
Delinda

Tippi Hedren Openly Talks About Death Threats, Congress and Shambala

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tippi Hedren for Look to the Stars. Some of you know her as the actress from Hitchcocks ‘The Birds,’ other might know her as Melanie Griffith’s mother, I however, have been a lifelong fan of this woman for different reasons.

No, she’s not an athlete. But today I deviate because it’s important and it’s from the heart.

Years ago she wrote a book, ‘The Cats of Shambala.’ It’s a book that’s been the subject of many conversations in my family. At a very young age, my father instilled a love for Africa in me, a love for the people, the culture and animals.

Ms. Hedren’s book is about the cats at her Shambala Preserve in California. Shambala is a nonprofit animal sanctuary that is home to almost seventy animals including African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, servals, mountain lions, bobcats, and lynx. Continue reading

Interview: Steven Jackson

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of interviewing NFL great Steven Jackson, of the  St. Louis Rams about his charity work for an exclusive interview on Look to the Stars.

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Without question, Jackson IS one of the good guys. He is passionate and sincere about helping kids stay in school while encouraging them to love and respect each other.

There are  lot of athletes who can talk-the-talk, but I’m finding very few actually back it up like Jackson does. He is a stellar example of how all our ‘heroes-celebrities-athletes’ can add substance to the lives of others without letting fame get to their head.

I encourage you to read the interview, it shatters any ‘dumb-jock’ notion you may have about NFL players, cuz what we have here is a (cue-music) mighty-mighty-fine man.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Jason David Talks Kidney Disease

As a former New Orleans Saint and member of the Super Bowl XLI Champions Indianapolis Colts, Jason David is using his career and talent as an effective tool to reach out to the community, particularly youth.

On June 28-30, 2012, Jason David will host his fourth annual Celebrity Golf Classic to benefit his Jason David’s Corner Foundation.

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The cause dearest to David’s heart is kidney disease. Inspired by the death of his cousin Segun “Shay” Ukome Moruka, who passed away from kidney disease in 2007, all proceeds from the Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament will go toward increasing the awareness and research of kidney disease in order to promote prevention and ultimately find a cure.

Athlebrities was honored to speak with David about his unwavering commitment to give back to his community as well as his efforts to prevent kidney disease. Continue reading

Interview: Former NFLer Tackles Down Syndrome

Former NFLer Darnell Bing (currently a free agent) has played with the Oakland Raiders, as well as the San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets and Detroit Lions, but our interest is in his non-gridiron related work in the community.

His 3rd Annual Bowling with the Stars event is happening on Saturday June 30th in efforts to raise money for youth with Down Syndrome.

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It’s not often we come across a 6’2”, 232 pound NFL babe excited about bowling in efforts to raise awareness about how awesome kids with Down Syndrome are.

We were lucky to land an interview with Bing, who told us about his Foundation and why he wants to speak with Jamie Foxx. Continue reading

John Salley Talks Veganism

NBA legend John Salley went vegan five years ago after filming a PSA for PETA, and he recently bought ownership in a vegan wine company.

After interviewing him for Look to the Stars about his involvement with an amazing organization called ‘Walking With Anthony’, we spoke a bit about PETA, veganism, stem-cell research, wine, health and yes, shampoo. Continue reading

Humanitarian Creates Dream Team: An Interview

“They are a population that has lost everything, and even hope is starting to fade. Darfur United gives them a sense of being part of something greater than being what they are now labeled: a refugee.” ~i-ACT Founder/Director Gabriel Stauring

Since 2005, the Founder and Director of i-ACT, Gabriel Stauring has visited Darfur 11 times, namely-the refugee camps along the Chad/Sudan border. The non-profit’s volunteer arm, Stop Genocide Now, has garnered international attention and now, i-ACT is essentially creating a soccer team made up of the best players from the refugee camps along the border.

The team is called Darfur United.

In addition to his numerous visits to Darfur, Stauring has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, and is featured in ‘The Enough Moment’ by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle.

Athlebrities was thrilled to interview this amazing man about issues related to Darfur, the refugees in that area, how the beautiful game can change lives, and what we can do to help. I opted to run the interview, unedited, in its entirety because, quite frankly, every word is important. Continue reading

Is Jamie Gold Misunderstood?

IS JAMIE GOLD MISUNDERSTOOD?

I feel I’m doing as much as I can possibly do to try to make the world a better place.” `Jamie Gold

Some of you may recognize the name, Jamie Gold, as the 2006 World Series of Poker Champion. His first place prize of $12M was the largest in the history of the ‘sport’ and didn’t come without controversy.  Controversy that led this curious writer to follow the career of the ‘Poker Philanthropist’, on and off the felt, for the last few years.

Is Jamie Gold misunderstood? Greatly so. Many have been asking where the poker champ has been for the last few years, and from my perspective, he’s been lying low on the pro-poker circuit for a very good reason. Humanity.

Gold was kind enough to allow me to pick his brain about philanthropy, poker, stereotypes, humanity, the misconception surrounding the gambling industry and his love for helping others. (The full interview will be posted on Look to the Stars later this week and linked up HERE.)

Gold recently attended the ‘Get Lucky for Lupus’ celebrity Poker event in Los Angeles where he admittedly was a bit star-struck when meeting rocker Slash.

“I’ve always wanted to meet him and I couldn’t believe he said he was a fan of mine,” Gold told me, “I don’t think about myself other than how I am, so I don’t see myself in that way (as a celebrity). When you respect and admire someone so much and they’re interested in meeting you, it’s incredible.”

The incredible thing is, while most poker players don’t see themselves as celebrities, most celebrities are the ones star-stuck when meeting pro-poker players. As they should, Gold has co-hosted, emceed or played in over 100 celebrity charity poker events which have raised over $170M.

And he’s just getting started. In addition to his non-stop support towards making this world a better place, he has just launched his own free legal on-line poker site-(FreeGoldPoker) with a twist. Using a platform created by Zen Entertainment,  donations are garnered through profits.

“What we are in the process of doing now with my free poker site, we are pledging ten-percent of all of our profits to charity. This new aspect of site allows us to be more productive for the causes that need my help the most and those that are more personal to me.”

One personal pet project Gold had been heavily involved with is the Global Creative Forum, an involvement that aims to help effect positive change in the world.

“We can all raise as much money as possible but to effect real change, I think its important to do what we’re doing,” he said about the Global Creative Forum, “Which is taking this large number of superstars, people who can really get something done when there’s a problem in the world and then bring together some of the smartest people, the best scientists, and put them together with the wealthiest people we know and really try to create and effect change in the world.”

In fact, Gold was the first to successfully host a fundraiser for the Global Creative Forum- the Global Creative Forum Fundraiser for United Nations-which marked the first time ever that the UN Nations has allowed a poker event to be associated with the organization.

“What I find beautiful and wonderful about the poker community, that doesn’t exist in all communities-it would be great if it did but it doesn’t-you can be the wealthiest person in the world, a homeless person, any race or religion and you can all be equals and sit down at a poker table together. There is no where else where you could have that kind of group working together like that.”

A partial list of what Gold has been up to for the last few years (as emcee, host or participant): Big Slick Charity Tournament; Dallas Superbowl Charity Event for Troops; The Global Creative Forum Fundraiser for United Nations; 4th Annual Monte Carlo Night; Foundation Charity Event at Poker in the Park; Sunflower Children Charity Poker Night at Cannes Film Festival; Children Uniting Nations: Oscars After-Party; Ante Up For Africa; Michael J. Fox Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament; Montel Williams MS Foundation Pro-Celebrity Poker Challenge; Operation: All-In, Randy Couture Charity Poker Tournament; and many others.

Gold spoke at length about his professional poker career, when and if he will return to the tour, what inspires him and what was important about the 2006 WSOP win, all to be posted in my interview on Look to the Stars.

Cue music: Jamie Gold’s perceived theme song when asked, and of course my chosen theme song for him.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Interview with NBA Player Keyon Dooling’s Wife Natosha

Forget About LaLa, We’ve Got Natosha.

Last post was about Lala Vasquez and her ejection from the arena. The amount of attention given to the incident only seemed to incite Melo haters and give some Mav’s fans an excuse to air their hatred. I wondered (again) why we don’t give the same amount of media coverage to the NBA wives who deserve it? And by deserve it, I mean deserve it based on their good acts…and maybe if we did, might we change the world for the better? I’d much rather read about the ‘real’ difficulties of being the wife of a pro-athlete rather than the inability of a woman to keep her cool because her hubby is a supa-star.

Earlier this month, I conducted an interview with an incredible woman…I waited to post it because I wasn’t sure how to tie it in so-to-speak. And I’m glad I waited, because regardless of LaLa’s behavior, none of us are privy to the stress some NBA wives are under- and oftentimes, behind many of our mighty-mighty fine players, there’s an even mightier fine woman who serves as a foundation of strength and inspiration for her husband.

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One such woman is Natosha Dooling, wife of NBA player Keyon Dooling (Nets). The couple has three beautiful daughters, and aside from her duties as a mother and wife, Natosha always makes time for charity work.

Her forthcoming book “My Eyes and Hair” chronicles her life and her husband’s struggles, the heartbreaking loss of a child and the adversities she faced while growing up. She aspires to help under-privileged kids, with a focus on girls aged 7-19, to provide scholarships or assist in their education so they can finish college and become successful.

Natosha also interests me because she isn’t what we envision the ‘typical’ players wife to be. She’s never been escorted out of a game or garnered tabloid headlines due to something she did to blemish her husband’s reputation. In fact, she’s actually enhanced it. Obviously, I’m impressed beyond measure with a woman who can raise three kids, write a book and raise money for charity while encouraging others to do the same. And that’s precisely why I jumped at the chance to interview this amazing woman.

Natosha spoke to me about her childhood and what propelled her to get involved with charity work. “Growing up and seeing a lot of unpleasant things in my grandma and aunt’s neighborhood actually inspired me to help others. I saw a lot of teen pregnancy, teens being picked up by drug dealers from school, young girls getting AIDS and dropping out of school. It was so bad that I just felt I needed to do something about it since I am from that same neighborhood and it could easily have been me.” she told me, “The joy of seeing a change in people’s lives, seeing someone come from a worse situation and making it a great situation is what attracts me to charity work.”

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Natosha’s strength of character stems from her mother, who encouraged confidence: “I overcame adversities with my mom’s strength. No matter what was going on or what other people would say about me, she always gave me confidence and always told me every day how pretty I was,” she said, “She always encouraged me to make sure I get a man to treat me right. She is always so proud of me. She just gave me so much confidence and that helped.”

Aside from family, Natosha has drawn inspiration from others who’ve touched her life. “My first grade teacher, Mrs. Logan inspired me as a child. I wouldn’t have gotten through 1st grade without her. She was my inspiration and she made sure I stayed on my tasks…My cousin, Kathey Lacount, gave me hope,” she continued, ”Besides my mom, I could always go to her for anything. She took care of me and was there for me way before the money and to this day, she still has never ask me for anything.”

Her forthcoming book “My Eyes and Hair” was partially inspired by the difficulties in her life and the negativity she endured simply for being ‘an NBA wife’: “My book is about my life how it started and what I have been through and how tough it is to be an NBA player’s wife, how good God is to my family and I, as well as my relationships with friends and family. I was inspired to write it because one day I was just playing around with the computer and happened to google my name and a web page popped up about NBA players and their wives/girlfriend. I found Keyon’s page and it was filled with woman’s insolent comments and just talking about me rudely. Saying things that were not true and for no reason, so I thought to myself, I should write a book.”

For those who still think the life of an NBA player’s wife is a cakewalk, think again-especially when children are involved. “The most difficult decision I have had to make is to keep having to move my kids every 3 years. Part of me just wants to give up, say forget it and just live in Florida, let Keyon travel and I’ll see him on holidays. But my kids are still young and they need their dad right now so that’s very difficult for me.”

But what’s not difficult for Natosha, is earning the love, trust and admiration of her mighty-mighty-fine husband. “My wife inspires me in many ways- spiritually, emotionally and mentally- everyday watching her inspires me to want to do better as a husband and a father,” Keyon told me.

And this, my friends, is the kind of piece I personally would like to read more of…Inspirational woman who enhance this lives of those around them and not those who get into silly courtside arguments. I know there are many more NBA wives out there doing good…so hit me up if you prefer love over hatred, because after all, you contribute greatly to your mans success.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Interview with Former NBA Player Derek Strong

Interview with Former NBA Player Derek Strong

You may not recognize the name, but take notice because you’ll want to know this mighty-mighty-fine man. Derek Strong hooped it up in the NBA for ten seasons…laying it out from 1991 to 2001 with the Washington Bullets, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers.

And he did something remarkable after retirement. He became the first NBA player to successfully transition into NASCAR as a driver. He also founded Derek Strong Racing, which is the first team in NASCAR history to have African-American female owners! Dawn Whitaker and Erica Hill (each minority owners) are the first in the sport…Erica also co-founded Peace International, a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to build schools in remote areas throughout the world.

This girls’ interest was piqued when Look to the Stars spoke to Derek from the red carpet at the recent Shane’s Inspiration event. The mission of Shane’s Inspiration is to create playgrounds for disabled/handicapped kids…“I played in the NBA for about 11 years and every year we did something with children’s hospital, we did things to help inner city children and I’ve been around children practically all my life, and I think it’s very important that we do get out there because they are our future,” said Strong from the red carpet.

But that wasn’t enough of a quote for me, so Derek Strong indulged me with a little Q&A….

Delinda: Was there one particular event that made you want to become involved with charity?
Derek: “Yes, when I went to the children’s hospital. It really touched me, seeing these kids hooked up to IV’s all day, confined to their unit, You didn’t know if they would live to see the next day. They are just starting out in life and they have been in the hospital everyday fighting cancer or another illness. And I want to help- help the kids, help the families, help find a cure because they should be outside playing with other kids. They should be on the playground not in the hospital.”

Delinda: I know from our conversation that you were exposed to a lot of charity events and community related activities as part of the NBA. In your opinion, are participating players really interested in helping out, or are they just playing along?
Derek: “You know, almost every employer has an outreach program- it goes beyond the individual. And it really depends on the person’s character, for me it was inspiring. You may have a player going to an event where they kind of just go through the motions and do nothing else, but others can be inspired. It teaches them to grow, plants the seed so to speak.”

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Delinda: In terms of Strong Racing, have you had the opportunity to work with any kids?
Derek: “That’s what I’m trying to do now. I want somehow for our racing team to donate a percentage of our wins to the hospitals and organizations that help the kids. As I’ve said, children are our future. As an adult we can guide them in the right direction and help them. As the future generation, they’re our future survival, and the more we give them and guide them in the right direction, they’ll turn out ok.”

Delinda: You founded Strong Racing in 2001, how has it been going?
Derek: “Well we started racing in 2001 and we progress every week. We have potential to do very well. When we started, we declined a bit, but now we’re finding the chemistry and I think we’re going to do well.”

Delinda: What talent would you most like to have?
Derek: “The talent to heal.”

Delinda: What trait do you most admired in others?
Derek: “Resilience. When someone is planning on doing something, and no matter how hard it is, they stay course until they get what they want. I admire that.”

Delinda: What is your most treasured possession?
Derek: “My family.”

Delinda: Do you have any superstitions?
Derek: “No. A black cat can cross my path and I don’t care!”

Delinda: What’s the most annoying question you get asked?
Derek: “I don’t think any of them are annoying, I enjoy when people ask me something.”

Delinda: How do you recommend other people get involved in charity work?
Derek: “First thing is to find what touches you, what moves you. And then research. Find an organization that benefits your cause. Get involved. Follow you heart.”

Delinda: Do you think Hollywood is sort of ‘obligated’ to get involved?
Derek: “I don’t think anyone is ‘obligated’ but I do think there should be some involvement.”

Delinda: Aside from family, who has been a personal inspiration?
Derek: “A teammate of mine from college, he was like my brother and taught me about life and kept me on the straight path.”

And what a better path than one that led him straight into the hearts of children?

Thank you Derek. Thank you for the interview, but more importantly thank you for the compassion to help those who need it most. I’ll be watching you…

For more info on Derek Strong and the Strong Racing team, please visit the Strong Racing Team website.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com