Utah Jazz Do Good by Larry Miller
On February 20 of this year, Utah Jazz owner, Larry Miller passed away from complications relating to type 2 diabetes. Prior to his death, Miller established himself as a true giver- supporting a number of causes and in 1995 Miller formed the Larry H. Miller Charities, whose mission statement is to “give back to our communities by focusing our united service and corporate giving on youth and children with an emphasis on health and education.”
Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $1 million for charitable organizations in the communities where the Larry H. Miller Group does business.
And as expected, the Utah Jazz players didn’t hesitate when asked to take part in the ‘Leapin’ Leaners and Low Tops’ event to raise money for Larry H. Miller Charities on March 18.
According to what little information I can find, Leapin’ Leaners & Low Tops is an event not to be missed. For all my readers with a Jazz’d up libido- I suggest heavy sedation should you partake next year…
Leapin Leaners offered the opportunity to (a-hem) hang out with Utah Jazz players while participating in fun-filled activities that “let you get close to the team”. While my definition of ‘fun-filled activities that get me closer to the team’ is vastly different than theirs-I gotta say, I might make the trip next year…activities included: shooting baskets against (are-you-kidding-me) Kyle Korver on the Jazz home court; playing ping-pong against a sexy suited-up Carlos Boozer; competing against Deron Williams in video games and getting hoisted up to the basket by Andrei Kirilenko…yeah, I’ll see you in ’10 boys.
Thanks to Deron Williams, C.J. Miles, Coach Jerry Sloan, Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap, Mehmet Okur, Kyle Korver and all the other Utah babes for making at least half the female tween-population in Utah squeal for delight as they raised cash for charity.
And since we touched on the topic of diabetes, I’m also going to give a shout out to someone who’s been working hard to provide free glucose meters, testing strips and substantial discounts for insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies. His name is Charles Ray III, the President of the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association. This year, the organization’s annual Diabetes Golf Classic fundraiser is being held Monday, July 13, 2009 at North Ridge Country Club in North Carolina. Check ‘em out here to support the event or learn more about participating. (Charles Ray III)
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
MEN TAKE THE GOLD IN BEIJING
Prior to the game, Dwayne Wade said: “It could be emotional. We’ve thought about. But at the same time we have to win this game… But I think everybody has thought about that moment where you lean down and put the gold medal around your neck and you hear your country’s song being played. That’s when your emotions really come out because you really reflect on the journey…”
“We talked about on the bus ride over (for Saturday’s practice at Beijing Normal University). We are not going to shy away from our sensitivity” said Wade,” We know Melo is going to cry. We’re not shying away from it. We know it’s going to be a great moment, but we know we still have a job to do to get that moment.”
And now the three-year effort to redeem themselves has culminated in a 118-107 victory for the Men’s USA Basketball team as they delivered a lil dose of karma to Spain to bring home the Gold…with, of course, David Beckham and his golden balls watching from the sidelines.
Prince(ess) Kobe Bryant finally got a gold around his neck, and he did it a day after turning 30-not a bad gift for the patient and wicked black mamba. After nibbling on his first taste of gold: “It is more important and more special than any championship that any of us will ever win,” Bryant said.
“I know that we had a tough road ahead of us. We knew that these guys (Spain) weren’t going to roll over and give up that easily,” U.S. forward Chris Bosh said. “So we had to be men, and that’s what it takes to win.” Damn straight! Men they are…teamwork, commitment, heart, soul, sweat and determination are what these men are made of. And for me, Bosh was impressive as hell. Talk about a friggen warrior. Bosh tears that court up with more soul than I’ve seen most ballers do in a lifetime. I could watch him play and never get bored of that hunger on his face.
Speaking of hunger…Carmelo Anthony. Oh my Melo, Melo, Melo. Damn. I mean, what can I say? His scored 13 luscious points? He proudly marched around with an American Flag wrapped around his waist as I tried to stay focused on his neck where that beautiful gold was hanging…that he lit Kobe’s cigar…that he drove me crazy…that I need to bite his medal, hard? I suspect if any ‘game worn’ Melo items turn up on the ‘Right to Play’ eBay auctions, my savings account will be drained.
Mad love to Jason Kidd for becoming the 13th U.S. player to win multiple gold medals-his first was in 2000. Mad love to the mighty-mighty-fine men of USA Basketball: Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer, Tayshaun Prince, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Michael Redd, and Deron Williams.
Go on with your bad selves and bite your medals, smoke those cigars, cuddle on the bus and party till next season. You did us all proud. Undefeated, uncompromised, united and unbelievable.
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As always, thanks for reading.
MEN’S U.S. OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM
Monday, we got our starting line-up for the Men’s U.S. Olympic Basketball team that hopes to capture the gold medal in Beijing in August. Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, and Deron Williams, Tayshaun Prince.
I’m gonna break down some of these beasts and their charity work for ya…yesterday, I mentioned that I’ve seen Jason Kidd at just about every charity gig you can imagine. To name a few- the ‘Showdown in Chinatown event,’ The Pro Team Sports Challenge’, and now Kidd’s headed off to Vegas for the Ante Up For Africa Poker tournement: “Role model is something that comes with my job description. It’s a given that kids will look up to you.” Kidd’s Foundation
oddly named the Jason Kidd Foundation, provided funds for children’s medical research and to charities supporting the needs and interests of children…he also launched the “Assists for Kidds” program, which asks fans to make donations to charity for every one of his assists, while he himself has pledged $100 per assist. He also holds the usual youth basketball camps and charity golf tournaments every summer. To me, Kidd is one of the mightymighty-fine good guys out there. I’ve seen him in action at the Pro Team challenge, and I can tell you he was more focused on winning the event for his teams’ chosen charity than he was in the silicon-how’d-they-find-out-about-this-event-girls traipsing around the pool. *The Pro Team Sports Challenge will be broadcast this weekend, Saturday and Sunday on FoxSportsNet.
What can I possibly say about Chris Paul and his charity work that hasn’t been said? Chris and his family created the CP3 Foundation in partnership with the Winston-Salem Foundation to feed hungry families, support worthy causes and provide scholarships. We’ve seen him getting down and dirty in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans-helping rebuild and clean-up the mess left behind by Hurricane Katrina. He passes out thousands of Thanksgiving turkeys every year-with a sincere smile on his face and in 2006 Chris won the NBA’s Community Assist Award, which garnered an additional $5,000 for his CP3 Foundation and applauded him for his emphasis on community involvement, service, and his donation of food baskets and bikes for underprivileged children in Oklahoma City and New Orleans.
In April 2008, Men’s Vogue ran a great piece on Chris Paul; which-in part- exemplifies his heart, soul, passion and past that have made him the mighty-mighty-sexy-good-guy he is today. Excerpt: Paul was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he developed into a high-scoring high-school point guard. In 2002, the day after Paul signed his letter of intent to play college basketball at Wake Forest, his grandfather, Nathaniel Jones, was murdered in his driveway. A few nights later, Paul took the court and scored 61 points — his grandfather’s age when he died — before taking himself out of the game and weeping on the bench. He now runs the Nathaniel Jones Scholarship Fund, which sends deserving high-school grads to Wake Forest. And if that didnt give you goosebumps, you’re on the wrong blog.
I dare anyone to find something negative written about Dwight Howard. (And I ain’t talking about his hoops skills-although I’m willing to bet there’s not much you can rip on there either). Hot-stuff, along with his parents, established the Dwight D. Howard Foundation in 2004 to empower kids to reach their highest potential- he’s given out scholarships for students who want to attend his alma mater, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Atlanta Georgia and provides grants to Lovell Elementary School and Memorial Middle School in Orlando Florida. He’s personally donated money for the Katrina Hurricane relief efforts, and helped to build a playground at the Boca Club Apartments in Orlando. And to top this sundae with a plump cherry- Dwight has faith. When he’s home in Atlanta, he attends the Fellowship of Faith Church and donates his time to the youth programs at the church. Needless to say, it’ll be a cold day in hell when you read anything about Howard getting a DUI, arrested for gun possession or accidentally picking up a stranger who later beats and robs him. Dwight Howard is more than a mighty-fine-man, he’s a stellar example for all of us to look up to.
Of course, not much ‘community’ news available on Chris Bosh, but according to his foundation website-Bosh is okay by me. Each year he runs a Chris Bosh Foundation Book Club where over 2000 kids get involved to read as much as possible during hoops season. Throughout 2007 Chris supported and initiated a variety of community events including a holiday party for more than 300 kids, his first annual basketball tournament, homework and book clubs…he’s the Read To Achieve spokesman for the Raptors and has attended a ton of Raptors community events including the Raptors Foundation Court Launch, Sick Kids Hospital visit and KingPin Bowling Challenge. During the month of February Chris promoted Black History Month by hosting in school trivia contests and provides youth the opportunity to come to games throughout the season.
By now you’ve must have heard of Boozer’s Buddies right? Boozer and his wife established the foundation to support families affected by Sickle Cell Disease. Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, and Boozer was inspired after his 17-month-old son, Carmani, was diagnosed with has sickle cell anemia (who later underwent a successful bone marrow transplant). “You think of yourself as a father, brother, son, a basketball player, all these things,” Carlos said. “Now I realize I’m so much more than that, I’m an advocate. I want to raise money, help kids who can’t help themselves. This is the beginning of a long story for us, and this is just Part One.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Carmelo Anthony is a good-guy. I don’t care about his DUI-he made a mistake, which he’s owned up to, so get over it already. Im not condoning drinking and driving, but if the media would report the good things Melo’s been involved with, you may change your opinion. And again, I’m not gonna address some asinine video-game-much-to-do-about-nothing or overblown 7-Eleven BS that some of you have latched onto in efforts to bring Melo down. My point is finding about finding a balance…and when Melo is interacting with kids and kicking down some hefty cash (under the media radar) to improve the lives of needy kids-its easy to read his face and you just know in your heart he’s doing it outta love. Simple as that.
As for the rest of Team USA-Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, Deron Williams, and Tayshaun Prince…well, lets see, D-Wade is always out there in the community- not sure if its sincerity or contract work, but regardless, he’s always smiling and licking those juicy lips of his…Lebron James-hypocrite…Michael Redd is a a devout Christian who bought a church building for his father’s ministry as the first purchase after signing with the NBA-I’d say he’s one of the good-guys out there-check out his Foundation…Deron Williams: His Point of Hope Foundation helps people with cancer…he holds charity golf events…and is hot….Tayshaun Prince…can’t give him love just yet…had a nasty run in with some of his peeps in Carson, so by proxy he’s a bit tainted for this Motor City gal.
The USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team will be profiled in a five-part documentary series, “Road To Redemption presented by NIKE”. The series, produced by NBA Entertainment, will debut with a special one-hour episode that will air Wednesday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
As always, thanks for reading.