NBA star Dwight Howard is actively trying to protect your children, urging parents to purchase one of his limited-edition fingerprint kits.
According to Howard’s Twitter feed, as well as the National Child Identification Program, a child goes missing every 40 –seconds, so they created a special ‘FBI Approved’ ‘limited edition fingerprint kit’ for his teammates in child safety. When you collect your child’s first fingerprint, Dwight’s D12 Foundation logo will instantly appear inside the print as part of his commitment to protecting children.’ Continue reading
Celebrities for Charity have a raffle going that ends tomorrow…you can attend the NBA All-Star game and weekend events and party it up with Adrian Peterson AND Dwight Howard…all for charity of course.
It’s a raffle: tickets are $2 each and you gotta buy 5 of them… Continue reading
Athletes and Celebrities Support ‘Sara for Homecoming’
The good people of Bentonville Arkansas are mobilizing to honor their friend, Sara Symons, who was killed in a car accident the day she learned she had made homecoming court.
- Friday Bentonville High School students wrote messages on their cars and left flowers in an empty parking space to remember a senior who was killed in an accident that shut down I-540 during rush hour traffic…Arkansas State Police say Thursday afternoon Sara Symons, 17, was headed southbound on I-540 near Bentonville in her Jeep when a Chevrolet driven by Kendall Riggins, 36, of Springdale, merged from the Exit 86 on-ramp.
And its not just those who knew Sara that are stepping up to honor her, Twitter is alive with supportive ‘Sara For Homecoming 2011’ tweets from Kim Kardashian and others while Dwight Howard took the time to make a video-shout out for Sara’s friends and family.
As always, thanks for reading~
The Hollywood Pledge: Terrell Owens
During my hiatus, I had the great privilege of working on the Hollywood Pledge. In a nutshell, it’s Hollywoods response to Warren Buffets Giving Pledge and encourages celebrities to ‘give back’ and interact with fans while encouraging them to get involved and spread the Love.
Celebrities who have already taken the H’wood Pledge include Sean Penn, Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, Ricky Martin, Jason Taylor, Adrian Peterson, Dwight Howard and his arms, and Terrell Owens.
The launch party for the initiative was held on June 4 at a private home in Beverly Hills. Blake Lewis (American Idol season 6) spun and performed legendary beat-box sounds next to the infinity pool, while inside, invited celebrity Pledges filmed PSA’s for their causes.
And this is where I take a moment to thank Terrell Owens. Because it’s not just about taking the Pledge, it’s about acting the Pledge. While numerous media outlets are praising the celebrities for getting involved, I feel fortunate to have witnessed Love in action. During the event, while T.O was filming his PSA for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, there was a young boy sitting quietly in the corner, not saying a word but you could tell a simply hello from one of his sports hero would change is life. Unprompted, TO stopped the filming, walked over to the boy, knelt down, shook his hand, and posed for a photo. Needless to say, this young boys life-who is a patient at the Children’s Hospital-was changed for the better.
And that’s what I mean when I say give back. Give back love and change the World. It’s simple. We don’t need to ‘raise awareness’ about cancer or any disease, we are all aware, what we really need to do is simply raise the love towards those who are suffering.
As always, thanks for reading~
Mbah a Moute: From Africa to the NBA, Without Borders
“In Africa, we’re beginning to see new countries challenging the traditional powers like Angola — the Ivory Coast, Tunisia. I’ve said this before: Africa could be a continent as important to the development of players as Eastern and Western Europe combined.” David Stern, N.B.A. commissioner
Finally the NBA is getting IT. Some of the most gifted athletes in the world come from Africa. We need more of them. We need more humble athletes who don’t forget the struggles of everyday life. We need inspirational athletes for our kids to look up to, and we need more mighty-mighty-fine men who appreciate their stance in life…and now we’ve got one. His name is Mbah a Moute (pronounced BAH-ah-MOO-tay), and he hails from Cameroon.
His journey reads like a dream come true…he didn’t play basketball until he was 14 years old. By the time he was 16, the kid from Cameroon had been chosen to attend the inaugural Basketball without Borders event in Johannesburg…within two years he was the best youth player in his country, three weeks later, Mbah a Moute was on a plane heading to Florida to attend prep school at Montverde Academy…and now, the 6’8” rookie is playing hoops with the Milwaukee Bucks, “It all happened so fast, but it changed my life.”
Following the footsteps of other great NBA players, Mbah a Moute went back to Johannesburg last week for Basketball Without Borders, where he joined Dikembe Mutombo (above), Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Vladimir Radmanovic, and DJ Mbenga, among others.
As the first alumnus of the camp, Mbah a Moute is the ultimate rags-to-riches story, and a powerful inspiration for kids participating in the N.B.A.s Basketball Without Borders program. “Three weeks after this camp I left for the U.S. and started my dream,” he told the children, “That’s why I’m back here today to tell you this is a great experience, take advantage of it.”
But the Basketball Without Borders’ athletes do much more than just talk to the kids…along with Habitat for Humanity, they’ve built 9 homes since 2007…they’ve planted gardens, played soccer, learned traditional African dances, and they’ve spent endless hours interacting with students helping them learn the fundamentals of basketball as well as life…and as evidenced above by Dwight Howard, the hotties are doing it exceptionally well.
Basketball without Borders (BWB) is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. The camps have been held in Beijing, China, Mexico City, Mexico and Johannesburg, South Africa…to read more, visit the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders site…they’ve got a daily run down, including photos from a visit to the Apartheid Museum, as well as feedback from some of the players including Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh after they finished planting a peach tree for a Home Based Care Facility in Soweto.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
Dwight Howard Takes Kids on Shopping Spree
The sexiest Superman in the NBA just got a little bit hotter. Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard spent time yesterday afternoon making 50 kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida ecstatic. First, Howard presented the B&G Club with a check for $20,000. And then, he took the kids on a shopping spree at Finish Line…each kid was given a $100 gift card to the store located at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Florida.
“I bought two pair of shoes, I bought a pair of Pumas and a pair of Chucks. Red Chucks. I really wanted the shoes,” said one kid.
“It was pretty fun, you know. We laughed around, made a couple of jokes. I’m very appreciative for what he did for us,” said another.
Each year, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF) honors a player who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing others’ lives. So it’s no surprise that Howard has won the award three times. In addition to receiving the award, the player is granted $50,000 from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation to donate to the charity of his choice.
Donated $25,000 to the Parramore Kidz Zone to refurbish the locker room area.
Donated $25,000 to “Blessings in a Backpack” to provide kids from Lake Como Elementary with a nutritious meal on the weekends.
Visited children over the holidays at Florida Children’s Hospital.
Gave 160 children per game a chance to see the Magic play through his ticket program ‘Friends of Superman.’
Gave away 100/$100 Publix gift cards and 100 emergency preparedness kits to 100 Central Florida families.
Donated gifts and met with families for the Magic holiday party with underprivileged children and their families…
I think you get the idea. Dwight Howard is indeed a mighty-mighty-fine man…
Keep on keeping on D-How…I like what I see.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
Nuggets Versus Clippers Game Auction
On April 4 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers will hoop it up against the Denver Nuggets. I don’t know about you kids, but the idea of watching Carmelo Anthony dribble around Baron Davis sounds like a night to remember…aside from a Nuggets win or a squeeze from Melo, the night could only get better if I were with 20 of my friends partying it up in a private suite-for charity of course.
Thanks to the good peeps at Auction Cause, we’ve got another yummy auction on the block, this time benefiting the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The foundation helps seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities…so what better way to raise money for the kids than bid on this amazing package which includes: 20 tickets, 8 parking passes and a private suite filled with food and drink…Suite amenities include: Early access to the suite through the VIP entrance where you might see Melo frolicking around; comfortable seating in extra wide theater style seats in case Melo pops in and wants to sit on your lap; wet bar, refrigerator and ice maker (a-hem, a wet bar?); Cable television and internet access in case you wanna rub it in on Facebook; a personal suite attendant as hot as any Nuggets player; concierge services who will inform Melo when you’ve arrived; and access to the exclusive Club Level and its private restaurants and bars where one can only hope Melo would roll through.
The reason I tell you about these kinds of auctions are simple. Right now, the bidding is ONLY at $500. That may sound like a lot of money, but think about it this way- if you get a group of 20 friends together and go to the game, it comes out to $25 each! For a private suite? It’s a no brainer… if ya bid and win, let me know. Would love to hear if Carmelo Anthony really does stop by and say hello…you never know kids, you just never know, because after all, it is for charity.
On another note, I’d like to petition Auction Cause to add a Dwight Howard experience to the line-up…preferably one with a wet-bar.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
Charity Madness: Adonal Foyle Lights Way for Kids
Now, some of you may be wondering why I chose to spotlight Adonal Foyle and his charity work. Several reasons…one, the beast received a Community Contribution award from the NBA Players Association during All Star Weekend. Foyle was honored along with sexy Sun Steve Nash and Dwayne Wade. Obviously, all things Steve Nash are of great interest to me…while on the other end of the spectrum is D-Wade who has sorely disappointed me based on his questionable off-court behavior I’ve been hearing about…anyway, Lakers hottie Derek Fisher, who is also President of the NBPA, presented the award to Adonal Foyle and commended him on his 11 and a half years of making a difference in the NBA as well as in the community…the modest baller said that ‘he does not work in the community for public acknowledgement, but rather for the opportunity to pass on some of his own good fortune’…
This month, the NBA beast and his Kerosene Lamp Foundation (KLF) are running a ‘March $10K Campaign’ in efforts to raise money for camps in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. As Adonal prepares to celebrate his 34th birthday on March 9, he’s asking us all to pitch in as little as ten bucks to help thousands of kids enjoy hoops in his hometown. “I launched the Athletics & Academics Camps as an avenue through which the Kerosene Lamp Foundation could, in some small way, encourage a child to strive for success in the classroom and beyond,” said Foyle. “St. Vincent & The Grenadines is a tiny nation, one that is dependent on the potential of the next generation to make it thrive. With these camps, I use basketball to connect with the kids to promote a healthy lifestyle and stress their need to take an active role in their education.”
The March $10K Campaign gives fans the option of purchasing a $10 raffle ticket for a chance to win a ton of schwag including autographed goodies from the big guy well as from Dwight Hot-Hot Howard…you can also help by bidding on online auction items or by donating gifts such as basketballs or books to the camp. Also, be sure to check out the “D.C. KLF Fundraiser” on March 13th at the Wizards/Magic NBA game. Just a minimum donation of $10 per person will help KLF reach the goal of $10,000…check it all out here www.KeroseneLampFoundation.org and help support one of the NBA’s mighty-mighty-good men put smiles on the faces of kids..
Due to Foyle’s trade from Orlando to Memphis last month, JJ Redick has agreed to step up and take AF’s place at the upcoming Boston & DC fundraisers. Also, as a result of the trade, the KLF fundraisers in New York City, Orlando & Atlanta have been canceled.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
Athletes Charities and Events Worth Supporting
First and foremost, there are several “it goes without saying” celebrity athletes who, in my book, can do no wrong. Dikembe Mutombo walks on water, period. Dude can shake his finger at me and ask me to move to the Congo to clean-up bedpans at his hospital and I’d do it. He is a humanitarian first, an athlete second. Safe to say he reigns supreme in the Church of Athlebritology. Yeah, Melo’s permitted through the pearly gates but I’m gonna need a few hours with him in purgatory first just to make sure…Gilbert Arenas, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul-all gain immediate entry…as do Grant Hill, Etan Thomas, Juwan Howard, and Tony Hawk. Quite a few won’t make it into Athlebritology heaven: Lebron James, Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant and Roger Clemens just to name a few.
Over time, it’s become increasingly easier to determine who’s really into helping others and who’s in it just for the PR (a-hem Lebron). As I add events to the calendar page, I’ll be sure to highlight the ones I personally recommend. You can take my advice or not…for example, if you live in So-Cal and have never attended the Cancer for College event with Will Ferrell then you must be insane. Ferrell lends his name, time and comedy to this incredibly necessary and sincere charity event. For a small price you help send a cancer patient to college, hang out with Frank the Tank, play golf, eat good food and make new friends…another event I wouldn’t miss is Celebrity Fight Night held in Arizona. It’ll cost ya a bit more to attend the premier fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, but you get one hell of a swag-bag and a truly priceless experience…
Granted, I can’t list ‘em all in one post…but I will keep you updated on what some of our mighty might fine men are doing…which all goes back to their foundations and how they are run. I want to help raise money and awareness for foundations with employees who care about their work. Don’t wait three days to call me back if I got a fat check for you-because to me this means you must not really need it or care as much as you’d like us to believe. Anyway…several cool new foundations and website have come to my attention in the last few weeks. One comes from hockey great Jeremy Roenick.
Roenick just launched his new site Roenicklife.com and he did it with style. No janky dead links or non-responsive PR folks…In part, he wrote: “I have spent the past twenty-one years sharing my passion and myself with the game of hockey. I have had the opportunity to touch the hearts of millions of fans and have been excited everyday to help create a smile on so many childrens faces…I need to be involved for myself…to keep touching the hearts of all the people that have supported me for half my life is a huge priority…I decided to take the website a step further, and incorporate my love of the game, my voice, and my passion to use the website as a place where constant communication between all supporters can be used to help benefit charity.”
Currently, Roenick’s got several charity related ‘raffles’ on his site. You can win Jeremy’s personal tickets to the Sharks/Dallas Stars Game, an autographed jersey, signed photos and other stuff…winners announced on February 14, so hurry up and enter, proceeds to benefit the Aubri Brown Club.
For those who find themselves at the SuperBowl this year, look for several worthy events…if I were a betting girl I’d say the place to be is the Par & Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity. Hosted by Super Bowl Champion Seth Joyner, the January 29 event will feature a celebrity packed golf and poker experience and it’s FREE! Don’t believe me? Last year Celebrity Golf Magazine named it as one-of-the top Celebrity Golf Events. Aside from providing awareness about the Joyner-Walker Foundation, Par and Poker aims to raise awareness for its host city charities as well. The JWF, in my opinion- is one of the best out there for several reasons. One, they got a tight team running the show, and two, because they are one step ahead of the curve-or more specifically, the economy. The foundations flagship ‘financial literacy’ program schools kids on finances. Founders (NFL Veteran) Seth Joyner, (PGA Tour Pro) Adam Walker and Leonard Walker have made it their goal to become the nations leader in educating our youth on finances, investments and money management. Last year, the program enrolled 13 students at South Mountain Community High School. “Right now our short
term goal is to get into all ten community colleges here (Arizona),” Andy Walker said,” We want to be the financial literacy provider for all of them. Our longterm goal on a national level is to be the face of financial literacy for students and make it mandatory for them to have a certain number of hours to graduate.” For more info, please visit the Joyner-Walker Foundation and tell ‘em Delinda sent ya.
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.
Andy Roddick Wins Dubai Without Connors, Roger Federer Loves Excuses, How to Meet David Beckham, Bay Area Beard-Off, Orlando Magic Builds Playground
BUT IT’S A WET HEAT
Its currently 76 in Dubai, with sunny skies, a relative humidity of 69% and NW winds shifting SSW at 10 to 15 mph throughout the day…I felt bad for our tennis babes for about five seconds- thinking how it must suck to play in the heat- and then I saw the photos. Heat is our friend.
Andy Roddick wrecked havoc on my hormones last week after acing our Rafael Nadal outta the tournement. “I knew I was going to hit it well, from the first point. I kind of let it fly, and that’s what it took tonight,” Roddick said. He even snuck in one ace that was 149.75 mph, breaking the Dubai serve record he set a day earlier…then Roddick downed Novak Djokovic without coach Connors-who he broke up with about a month ago, “He’s helped my backhand a ton. I mean, it’s a different shot than when we got together,” Roddick said. “It’s a lot more solid…I spent the week after Wimbledon almost as close to depressed as I’ve been as far as my career goes. And I really credit him for that spark and getting me back into the top five and in a Slam final pretty close there afterwards…I guess I’m just happy,” Roddick said, “to have been able to spend a little bit of time with such a legend.” And today, Roddick faced Lopez in the final…
Just when I think I’ve been too hard on the Swiss Mister he goes and pulls a stunt like this. No, Im not talking about the upcoming exhibition match between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras (Monday night, Madison Square Garden)…Im talking about his undetected “mono” that “affected” his play. “Roger found out he had mono, and didn’t know it. He found out a couple of weeks ago. That’s probably what was wrong with him,” Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, said Friday. “He doesn’t want to make any excuses and take anything away from anybody. In hindsight, had (his doctors) known he had mono, they wouldn’t have let him play.” Unfortunately, that statement does take away from Djokovic who wiped the court with R-Fed at the Auzzie Open in January, and Murray who crushed R-Fed at the first round in Dubai. “This gave him a reason for why he wasn’t able to move and why he wasn’t able to recover,” Godsick said. “It was annoying for him to not have reasons for why his body wasn’t responding.” It’s called a SLUMP…so pa-lease, don’t try to tell me that one of the worlds most elite athletes didnt have a qualified doctor around to tell him he had mono…
MEET DAVID BECKHAM
Wanna meet Sir Golden Balls and yank that cute little beanie off his head with your teeth? Well now you can. Bidding started March 4th and runs through March 18 on a meet and
eat greet with David Beckham…yes, the Charity Folks have Beckham up for bids, along with Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones…the winning bidder will receive an intimate meet-and-greet photo op with David Beckham; meet-and-greets with Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones; a David Beckham autographed jersey; 2 VIP field seats to an LA Galaxy game; a pregame tour of the stadium; access to a luxury box party with open bar and food; 2 night hotel accommodations in a deluxe room; round-trip domestic airfare for 2; ground transportation to and from the game and a lifetime of sweet dreams….
ORLANDO MAGIC GOES KABOOM
“If the playground brings a smile to the faces of all the kids here, that’s better than any dunk, winning any slam-dunk contest, could be,” said Dwight Howard. “It’s good for everyone.” The Orlando Magic shut down its offices Friday (except for the team practice) and sent about 200 employees and team hotties to spend the day building a playground at the Santa Barbara Apartments in Winter Park Florida yesterday…it was done in conjunction with KaBOOM, the Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization and obviously the Magic, who paid the tab and provided all of the labor.
My favorite bearded Bay Area bloggers are calling for some serious action: “In protest of the lack of Warrior representation at the all-star festivities and in the name of the two-month dash to the Western Conference playoffs, I stopped shaving two and a half weeks ago” writes one of the founding Beards, Turman. “It’s on. Boom Dizzle himself is sponsoring a beard-growing contest at www.ibeatyou.com. It’s going down BD. I’m not only going to give you solid run for beardosity, I am officially laying down a challenge to the entire Bay Area: beard up.” No word yet on whether Owen Wilson and DeRay Davis were attending the Warriors / Heat game because they’re fans of Boom Dizzle or if they just wanted to see the progression of his beard.
Why the NBA Behaved in New Orleans, Dwight Howard, Jacoby Ellsbury Men’s Vogue, Laureus Winners, Lewis Hamilton, Avram Grant Gets Abused, Beckham In Hawaii, Ebbsfleet United Controlled by the Fans.
NBA’s GOOD BEHAVIOR
Am I the only one surprised that there wasn’t more ‘tomfoolery’ during All Star week in New Orleans? After last year’s extremely dark shenanigans in Vegas, I was sure we’d have some misbehaving headlines to gossip about. But the New Orleans Police Department reported only 98 arrests related to All-Star festivities Friday-Sunday, and 502 arrests citywide. Last year in Vegas, police made 1,039 arrests during the four-day event, 392 were directly related to the All-Star weekend. Maybe everyone was busy with the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, in which an estimated 2,500 volunteers helped with various community service projects? But maybe, just maybe, the city itself infused a little juju into NBA Cares slogan ‘Where Amazing Happens’. Indeed.
DWIGHT HOWARD’S NO JESUS
Dwight Howard issued a collective ‘holy-shit’ via his insane Superman Dunk. (Ironically enough-Howard is repped by Goodwin Sports Management, which includes DC Comics as a client). Aside from his adidas endorsement deal being among the most lucrative at $36M over six years, dudes got the personality, smile, body, skills and charisma to melt a polar ice-cap, so I find it crazy that anyone would dislike him. But let the Crusades begin. Howard has irked a certain magazine focused on Christian athletes after they discovered he had an (oh-god-no) unplanned pregnancy with a former Magic dancer. The magazine dropped a scheduled article about him after learning of this mortal sin. Howard: “I’m not Jesus. You make a mistake, it’s about how you deal with it.” Speaking of Jesus, I came across an interesting tid-bit on Jacoby Ellsbury…
BABY JESUS IN CLEATS
Hudson Morgan begins his article on Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury in the latest edition of Men’s Vogue with the line; “It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that Red Sox Nation realized their rookie Jacoby Ellsbury was the Baby Jesus in cleats.” Yes, I had to. Baby Jesus in cleats is about as funnny as touch-down Jesus…in any case, Baby Jesus in cleats is featured in a several-page spread in the new issue of Men’s Vogue. Not sure if it’s a sin to appear in that magazine or not, but maybe the unnamed Christian magazine can get Baby Jesus in cleats for an interview?
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way little else does. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.” Nelson Mandela.
Last week, a panel of the world’s leading sports editors, writers and broadcasters from over 120 countries voted on a list of nominees in various categories including; Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World Team of the Year, Laureus Sport for Good Award and Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year. And this year’s winners? Swiss Mister Roger Federer nabbed his fourth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, and as painful as it is to report, Federer made history by becoming the first winner of four awards. Federer: “I had hoped that they might not think three is enough – and indeed, they gave me a fourth. That’s awesome!” Yes Roger, we know…Justine Henin walked away with the Sportswoman of the Year award, Brendan and Sean Tuohey, who in ‘01 founded the basketball-based humanitarian project Peace Players International, were awarded the Laureus Sport for Good Award….
And the World Breakthrough of the Year Award went to the classy and humble Formula One babe, Lewis Hamilton. “I remember last year I was in Bahrain for a test and watched the Laureus Awards on the television in my hotel room and now I am here with all these amazing people,” he said. “It has been a fantastic year and I am very grateful for this award. Actually I feel a bit overwhelmed as looking around the other nominees I didn’t think I deserved it but I am really happy.”
David Beckham. Just the name itself can induce a hot flash. As expected, the kids in Hawaii are going nuts for Sir Golden Balls…hot stuff took part in a community soccer event held at Waianae High School on Tuesday.
FAN OR FOE?
There are some whacked out idiots out there claiming to be fans of Chelsea. The problem is, these “fans” have been bombarding Chelsea’s Israeli manager Avram Grant with anti-Semitic e-mails and letters. Aside from the anti-Semitic death threats, someone sent a suspicious note containing powder to Grant at the teams training facility, which led to an emergency evacuation. A police source was quoted today as saying that the note to Grant included the words: “You are a back-stabbing Jewish b******. When you open this letter you will die a very slow and painful death.” Grants wife, Tzofit, has also been pulled into this disgusting display of hate, as she has been receiving “death threats of a sexual nature.”
Grant has been a target of racists since he was appointed the club’s boss last September. Now, MP’s are calling for a specific campaign against anti-Semitism in soccer to go alongside the ‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ project currently in operation. One message, sent to the MP, Grant and Abramovich, forwarded to Times Online, said: “I have been a Chelsea supporter since 1968. And Chelsea has always been a White, English, Christian football club in the land of St George. I would rather see Chelsea playing in the Isthmian league, than see you Jewish b******* ruin it with Russian, American and nasty israeli terrorist jews.” (Timesonline.co.uk)
MY FOOTBALL CLUB
I don’t think the owners of Ebbsfleet United will suffer at the hands of their fans. The English soccer club has been taken over by the fans. Web site, MyFootballClub, has 28,000 members in 80 countries, and just completed their $1.24M takeover of Ebbsfleet United. The site’s members will collectively hold a 75% interest, each paying $68 annually for the right to vote on team selection, player transfers as well as other decisions affecting the club. This historical ‘power-to-the-people’ move is believed to represent the first website-community takeover of a football club or business in the world. (BBC)