If you follow the Lakers or live in the LA area, you probably already know that NBA player Pau Gasol spends most of his free time playing with sick kids at Children’s Hospital LA. Coming from a family of healers, its really not a surprise and has actually swayed my opinion of him to the better.
And recently, Pau Gasol was given the 2012 Courage to Care Award from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles… Featuring: Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Mike Brown, Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Dr. David Skaggs, Rich Cordova.
Video courtesy of Jankovic Productions, a Los Angeles-based video production company specializing in corporate videos, marketing videos, instructional videos, web commercials, non-profit promotional videos, tribute videos, banquet/gala videos, and fundraiser videos.
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Twenty-seven people placed bids for a chance to win a game of H-O-R-S-E with Kobe Bryant.
The eBay Giving Works auction ended yesterday with a final bid of $22,322.22.
The winner- and one friend- get to play a game of H-O-R-S-E with Kobe at UC Santa Barbara on Monday, July 2nd. They each are permitted to bring one item to have Kobe sign (subject to prior approval of course) and will also be able to keep the “game ball” as a souvenir.
Two additional guests will be allowed to attend the event as spectators. The winner and his/her guest will have the opportunity to take photos with Kobe, and are allowed to bring their own cameras. The experience will be professionally video recorded and the winner will receive a digital copy of the video.
All proceeds benefit the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation’s Youth Homelessness Initiative.
*H-O-R-S-E is a classic basketball game in which players try to out-shoot each other from various locations on the court. The first player chooses the location and style of the first shot. If he/she makes the shot, the second player must duplicate that shot. If the first player misses, the ball goes to the second player who may choose his/her shot. If the first player succeeds, but the second player fails, the second player receives an “H”. If every player successfully makes the shot, the ball is given to the second player who establishes the shot for the next round. The game may be played with multiple players, but each time the player must duplicate the shot using identical technique, stance, and physical location as the player who establishes the round.
The game continues as players choose shot locations and take turns trying to sink the basketball. Missed shots accrue the letters spelling H-O-R-S-E. The first player who spells out H-O-R-S-E, loses.
As always, thanks for reading~
Stop Quoting The FAKE Bill Walton
At last weekends Liquid Nation Ball, I once again had the pleasure of meeting one of the most frequently quoted men in NBA history, Lakers great Bill Walton.
But what’s been eating me up is the fact that people are quoting the wrong Bill Walton. And by people I mean ‘main-stream’ media. Writers or journalists who are earning a hefty paycheck for covering things like who Sarah Palin may have gotten nasty with in the NBA and what people are saying about it.
To wit, this snippet from the NY Daily News:
- NBA Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton took a shot at the notoriously offense-minded Rice. “Sarah Palin had an intimate relationship with Glen Rice in the 80s,” he tweeted. “Rice tried to resist but he was never one to stop anyone from scoring.”
Soon after the real-fake Walton quote appeared in the NY Daily News, Bills wife Lori tweeted: ‘Does Larry McShane, New York Daily News not know or not care that he quoted the fake Bill Walton in is article about Sarah Palin?’
I asked the lovely Mrs. Walton about the real-fake Bill Walton quotes which are rampant on the Internet thanks to the fake Walton on Twitter. “He’s actually funnier than Bill, “she laughed. (The real-fake Bill has 49,000 followers, while the REAL Walton has about 5,000).
For what’s it worth, I asked the real Bill Walton about current players, the state of the league and where he sees the NBA in five years:
“Players today are better than ever, they’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re faster-everything about it is better and we are looking forward to the resumption of the NBA,” said the real Bill Walton.
On expanding the NBA’s Global reach? “Players will be better, coaches will be better. With people like David Stern and Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant and Lebron James and Dirk Nowitzki taking the game to its highest level.”
Even IF the fake-Bill is funnier than the real-Bill, I find it crazy that paid-writers are NOT checking their sources while bloggers like myself bend over backwards to ensure what is printed is real…and for no pay. You’ve all heard the phrase lately ‘Apes Will Rise’?, well get ready people, because with rouge-writers continually not covering their bases I assure you, Bloggers Will Rise.
Many thanks to the real Bill Walton and Lori…who are never short of awesome.
As of this morning, the real Bill has been asked by Jamie Foxx to participate in his ‘3 on 3 Charity Basketball Tournament’ on Sat Sept 24 in LA. (Look for post-event details next week) Best to the real Bill, who-although recovering from back surgery-still seems to always make time to give back.
As always, thanks for reading~
Derek Fisher is Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball
Los Angeles Laker Derek Fisher can do no wrong…at least in my book. But don’t take it from me, Derek Fisher has just released his own book, Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball... And we all know he’s got plenty to share when it comes to life lesson and hoops…
Derek Fisher is a man of exceptional character…a few years ago Fisher was playing for the Utah Jazz when they faced the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals…at the time, Fisher’s then 10-month old daughter Tatum had been diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a degenerative and rare form of eye cancer, which required an emergency three-hour surgery at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital…Fisher flew to NY with permission from the team, stating he would try to return in time for Game Two. After his daughter’s surgery, he and his family flew from New York and landed in Salt Lake City with the game in progress. He arrived at the arena and entered the game in the middle of the third quarter…I can still remember the standing ovation he received…late in the fourth, Fisher made a critical defensive move, sent the game into overtime and in the closing minutes, landed a three-pointer that sealed an emotional victory…soon after, Fisher asked the Jazz to release him from his contract so he could relocate to a team and city that would have the “right combination” of specialists that could help fight his daughter’s retinoblastoma. The Jazz honored his request and Fisher joined the Lakers who went on to win their fifteenth NBA championship (making it number four for D-Fish)…
About the book: In Character Driven, the NBA champion and starting point guard for the Lakers shares his life story and the inspirational values that have led to his success. Since his rookie season with the Lakers in 1996, Derek Fisher has had a dramatic impact on—and great success with—the NBA. Playing alongside legends like Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, Fisher has held his own at point, exhibiting his exceptional floor leadership and participating in some of the most dramatic post-season games and thrilling moments in recent memory. In his compelling new book, Fisher shares the values that have guided him on the court and off. From his roots in Little Rock to his record-breaking college career at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, his four NBA championships, and his position as president of the Players Association, Fisher shows readers what it’s like to play—and achieve—at the highest levels. Drawing on the power of faith, he demonstrates how anyone can play for a successful team: whether that team is family, community, or just happens to be one in the NBA.
MEET DEREK FISHER: Los Angeles Lakers star Derek Fisher will be signing copies of his book “Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball” on Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 at the Barnes & Noble store at The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, starting at 7pm.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
The Best Thing About the Lakers Win?
I’ve been getting a lot of flack for not being a Lakers fan…as you all know, I cheer for character, so it was hard for me to watch Dwight Howard lose to Kobe Bryant and Gasol. My distaste for the Lakers also stems from the behavior of their fans. Sorry people, but I’d like to hear just ONE Lakers fan give props to an opposing team-any opposing team…but I have yet to see that happen. Instead I witnessed the ‘amazing’ destruction of police cars, burning trees, broken windows and looting in celebration of the Lakers 99-86 victory over the Magic…
But…there are some good guys on the Lakers and perhaps the non-violent and sane Lakers fans will use their passion productively and support Jordan Farmer and his foundation?
Farmar’s gearing up for two days of fundraising to benefit a variety of charities supported by his foundation including Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Seeds of Peace Camp, Peres Peace Center Basketball Clinics, and others. The inaugural Jordan Farmar Celebrity Golf Classic and Gala will be held on July 19-20 In Los Angeles…the Gala will be Sunday evening at Ten-Ten Wilshire in L.A. and the Golf Classic will be held on Monday at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.
At the Gala guests will get to mingle with Jordan and a plethora of invited hotties and celebrities while enjoying the usual party swag- awesome food, music, and auction items to include unique sports memorabilia and event packages…the following day, athletes and celebrities will golf for the greater good. For those interested in a night of fun I highly recommend you purchase a ticket to the Gala because they are only $100.00 and it will be a sell-out. You can’t even go to a Lakers game and get out of Staples Center for less than that, so why not cough up a few bucks to party with some Lakers and their celebrity fans? (For ticket information, call the Jordan Farmar Foundation at 310 473-5445 or visit the website.)
Partial list of hotties invited to Jordan Farmar’s “All White Affair” include: George Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Earvin Magic Johnson, Rob Morrow, Mia Hamm, Flea, Kenny Lofton, Royce Clayton and Darryl Strawberry (Huh? He still around?), UCLA coach Ben Howland, and Lakers’ teammates Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, Trevor Ariza, Derek Fisher, and others.
Hope to see ya there…
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
KOBE GIVES MARTA GOOD SOL
“It’s big. It’s really big. Not only to have women’s soccer, but to wind up getting the best women’s soccer player in her prime. This is a special moment,” Kobe Bryant on Marta Viera da Silva joining the Los Angeles Sol.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new soccer star in Los Angeles. In fact, there’s a whole new team, the Los Angeles Sol…and a whole new Women’s Professional Soccer League and the season is about to open.
Women’s soccer got a jump-start last week with a ton of publicity for LA SOL’s version of David Beckham. Her name is Marta and she’s so good, that Kobe Bryant greeted her by helicopter. The 23 year old Brazilian has already played in two Olympic games; was selected as the best player in the world when she was only 20, and led the scoring in the 2007 World Cup where she logged in seven goals to lead Brazil to the final against Germany. “For me the most important thing is to be in a place where the best players in the world are playing and this is what they are trying to do here,” Marta said. “The American League is being considered one of the best in the world, so I had to come now.”
Now, I’ve got faith that Marta is more skilled than Beck’s, however the survival of the League worries me. Beckham didn’t do much for the Galaxy-he was marketed well (which isnt difficult) but Beckham fever was much more about Beckham than it was the sport. Could this be the case with Marta? Time will tell but I for one, hope women’s soccer takes off.
Kobe Bryant is helping spread the word about Marta being the new face of the league. On Thursday at her news conference at the Home Depot Center, the Black Mamba himself arrived via helicopter because Lakers’ practice ran late…he introduced the young spitfire as one of his favorite athletes. “I’m just as excited as anybody here,” Bryant said as he presented Marta with her jersey. “When they told me, that made my whole night.”
Marta also had a memorable night on Friday when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigos presented Marta a certificate of welcome during the Timberwolves-Lakers game. “In Brazil, basketball is not played very much,” Marta said through a translator. “But now that I’m here in the U.S., I’ll have many opportunities to go.”
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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Usain Bolts To Second Gold While NBA Legends Gather for Charity and Current NBA Players Lured to Europe
USAIN BOLTS THROUGH MY HEART
“We have the best coffee on the planet. We have Bob Marley. And now we have Usain Bolt. We are overjoyed and overwhelmed” – Jamaican Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports Olivia Grange. Usain Bolt broke former U.S. sprinter Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old world record in the 200m, and became the first Olympian since Carl Lewis at the ‘84 L.A. Games to win both the 100m and 200m races…add a World Record to the mix and hopes for a third gold in the 4×100 relay on Friday and we got us a great story…
Bolt gave us one of the most genuine and unfiltered celebratory reactions- laying on the track, kissing it, taking off his Puma’s, smiling, infectious, worthy…so why we gotta hear negative reaction from that the president of the IOC, Jacques Rogge? “That’s not the way we perceive being a champion,” Rogge said of the Jamaican sprinter. “I have no problem with him doing a show. I think he should show more respect for his competitors and shake hands, give a tap on the shoulder to the other ones immediately after the finish and not make gestures like the one he made in the 100 meters.” Excuse my language kids- but Rogge can f*ck off. Rogge: corrupt, bought, angry and transparent. Do your research, I ain’t gonna waste any more space on his nonsense, because I think he may be the only person in the World who wasn’t jubilating alongside Bolt as he won, when he won, and while he was celebrating with an attitude we need to see more of…pure joy. Get number three Bolt, the world is watching…
Also watching are sponsor Puma and Virgin Media (U.K.). Virgin has asked Bolt to be the “face of its superfast broadband service,” according to Mark Sweney of the Manchester GUARDIAN. VM, which is set to launch a broadband product it claims will be more than twice as fast as rivals, is considering calling the product ‘Boltband.’
THANK YOU SZYMON KOLECKI
Joey Cheek, Team Darfur co-Founder, in an e-mail to the AP writes, “I would love to see even more athletes involved in speaking out about what they believe in. The problem is that even if there was an athlete that wanted to speak out on issues of human rights, he might be silenced by whatever IOC official is mediating that press event, with a bogus explanation that is my biggest problem with these Olympics: the idea that the Games are only about sport.” Cheek continued, “Every time the Chinese government has gone back on guarantees of free speech, free access for the media, and a number of the other issues, the IOC has acquiesced.” The Chinese have “done many amazing things, and for that they deserve a lot of credit.” Cheek: “However, these Games still would have been as successful without what appears to be massive suppression of any voice that the government doesn’t want heard” (AP, 8/20).
At least one athlete has ‘spoken’ out…Polish pro-Tibet activist group ‘The Other Space Foundation’ said Poland weightlifter Symon Kolecki ‘shaved his head in a gesture of solidarity with Tibetan monks’ before receiving the Silver Medal in his event. Kolecki after the medal ceremony told Polish sports magazine Sportfan, “This haircut is from this morning. I can’t directly say why I did it. It’s connected with certain things that the Olympic Charter forbids. But I will say that it’s symbolic.” Thank you Symon, but be careful…The WASHINGTON POST’s Sally Jenkins, in an online chat, wrote the Beijing Games will “go down with a terribly mixed legacy. This morning the Chinese government sentenced two women who are nearly 80 years old to a year each in reeducation camp, because they filed for permits to officially protest the destruction of their homes at an official Olympic demonstration site.”
And you ain’t gonna see any Apples in China either…Apple’s iTunes music store has been blocked in China, allegedly due to athletes listening to protest songs. It all started when more than 40 athletes downloaded “Songs for Tibet,” an album produced by U.S.-based Tibet group the Art of Peace Foundation. The foundation offered the album for free download to Olympic athletes, but China has since turned off the iTunes music store.
NBA ATHLETES: LEGENDS AND LEGENDS TO BE
“I’ve been on TNT for years, and no one’s ever asked me, ‘Who won the championship in Greece last year?’” – TNT’s Charles Barkley, on Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Heat G Dwyane Wade saying they would entertain offers to play overseas…maybe when these guys ARE playing in Europe you’ll be asked who won? Yes, our babies are jumping ship. And while I don’t expect to see Wade wearing a Greek jersey or Kobe donning an Italian one anytime soon, others are opting to play for Europeans teams. The most recent NBA players to jump the NBA ship for the Euro gold are…Former Phoenix Suns guard Gordon Giricek signed with a Turkish team…New Orleans (sixth man) guard Jannero Pargo will play in Moscow for 3.8 million…former Charlotte Bobcats guard Earl Boykins will be the highest-paid player in the Italian league…Carlos Arroyo, who played for Orlando, signed to play in Israel…Former Raptors Jorge Garbajosa and Carlos Delfino are headed for Russia, as is ex-New Jersey Nets forward Bostian Ncahbar…and Juan Carlos Navarro of the Memphis Grizzlies signed with a Barcelona team…but don’t worry about it Charles, no one is paying attention to the situation yet.
NBA LEGENDS HELPING KIDS HEAR
Last month while at Chris Webbers Bada Bling, I was fortunate to meet several NBA Legends who shared their ideas of a NBA Legends Resort that was in the works to be built. And this weekend I’m willing to bet that some of the Legends will be discussing the idea as they converge for a ‘Reunion Extravaganza’ in Puerto Rico to highlight their community outreach program. Hot Legends such as Moses Malone, Rick Barry, Chuck Person, Michael Ray Richardson and many more, wil be taking part in the group’s “Project Smile” community initiative with the Starkey Hearing Foundation…nearly 200 basketball greats will be descending on The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Resort & Spa in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, on Aug. 21-24 for the anticipated National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Legends Reunion…dear god, where’s my plane ticket?
‘Project Smile’ is a year-round program that aims to raise the spirits, bring hope, and deliver smiles to men, women and children worldwide. In partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the NBRPA will change the lives of 250 hearing impaired and underprivileged Puerto kids by providing them with hearing aids on Saturday, Aug 23 at the Teatro de la Universidad Interamericana, Rio Piedras Campus. A press ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. featuring Legends Earl Monroe, Spencer Haywood, Buck Williams, David Thompson, Tim Legler, Mark Eaton, Charles Smith and others. The Legends will distribute Webster’s Spanish/English Dictionaries to the children and I can’t believe I can’t find one sponsor willing to send me there…
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THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL
American pastor Eddie Romero has put an interesting new spin on protesting during the Olympic Games. Eddie checked himself into two “high-class downtown” hotels this week in Beijing and filmed himself painting the walls of his rooms with slogans such as “Beijing 2008 Our World, Our Nightmare” before disappearing…
The good peeps at the London based ‘Free Tibet Campaign’ have also come up with a clever way of getting around the ‘Athletes can’t speak out about human rights’ rule by urging them to make a simple “T” sign with their hand to show their support of Tibet. “Athletes competing at the Olympics have been told they must not mention human rights or Tibet, but no one can stop them making a simple signal that they care,” the group said. “’The T for Tibet hand signal is a quick, easy way to send a clear message: It’s time to free Tibet.” The group is also lashing out at China’s support of the Sudanese government, which has allowed widespread ethnic violence and severe rights violations in its Darfur region…look for athletes wearing black wristbands in support of Darfur and German athletes sporting green and blue bands for support. You can also get involved with the Free Tibet movement and upload your own “T” photo on their website. Many people, including REM frontman Michael Stipe have already signed up. Check it out HERE.
Others are taking it one step further with their protests, most notably (for today anyway) are Mr. Thom and his friend Phil Bartnell who climbed lighting posts near the “Bird’s Nest” stadium around 5.30am and unfurled banners saying “One World One Dream Free Tibet.” Mr Thom spoke to reporters from the top of the pole by telephone, saying he was a long-term activist on the Tibet issue. “This is a really critical time for Tibet,” he said. “The Olympic Games are being used as a propaganda tool by the Chinese government to whitewash their human rights record.” (See the video and full story here)
But perhaps the biggest stone in my shoe this morning in an article on Yahoo Sports by Dan Wetzel. His enticing headline: ‘Will Kobe, Lebron pass on Darfur?’ Now I understand the importance of getting as many hits as possible, so props to Dan for creative writing. (And I’m not talking about Kobe). But come on, “Will Lebron pass on Darfur”? He already has-more than once! Wetzel also wrote: “They have been among the most outspoken of the major American athletes on the subject.” WHAT? Am I the only one not kissing Bron-brons ass because he can shoot hoops? Sure, Lebron mumbled something back in May about Darfur in efforts to promote his oh-so-wonderful image, but seriously, he doesn’t even speak out about stuff here in the States, so why is he suddenly going to lend his voice to Darfur or Tibet? Pa-leeze. USA Men’s team coach Jerry Colangelo in Wetzle’s piece: “Let me ask you this, what carries more weight?” he said. “One of them making a comment about what’s happening in Tibet or Darfur or two nights ago in Shanghai when our players helped raise $430,000 for the earthquake relief program where 70,000 Chinese died? I think that’s a little bit more important.” Ah…not. I tend to think both are important, but since Jerry is into numbers, he may wanna think about the fact that 400,000 Sudanese people have been murdered…
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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.
Camilo Villegas at Wachovia, Athlete Engineered Skincare Products, AC Milan, Real Wins 31st, Kentucky Derby of Death, Kobe Bryant MVP, Courtside Hotness, Lebron James Crybaby T-Shirt, The Three Ronaldo’s, PETA Lashes Out at Hillary Clinton & Kentucky Derby
ON YOUR KNEES BOY
First-time PGA Tour winner Anthony Kim broke the 72-hole scoring record at the Wachovia Championship this past weekend by finishing 16-under par…awesome. But when Camilo Villegas dropped to his knees on the 15th green during the third round I just about exploded.
MISSION: SUPPLE SKIN ON NASHTY’S FEET
Mission, the first Athlete-Engineered Skincare line launched last week. Josh Shaw, MISSION Product’s Founder and President. “MISSION Product will revolutionize how athletes hydrate, nourish, restore, and protect their skin, whether they’re an Olympic hopeful, a running enthusiast or even a weekend warrior.” Why do we care? Because Steve Nash, among others, have joined the team at MISSION Product and are intimately involved in product innovation and development. “I’m really proud to be a founding athlete with MISSION Product. I use all of our first five products and they are outstanding,” said Steve Nash. “I am especially dependent on our foot gel, which helps re-energize my feet between the regular beatings they take on the court.” And, sales from the sunscreen, foot gel, lip balm, anti-friction cream, and others supports the charities of its athletes, including The Steve Nash Foundation, Oceana, The Mia Hamm Foundation, H2O Africa and more. Check em out.
AC MILAN ME
AC Milan beat Inter 2-1 on Sunday to open the title race with second-placed AS Roma winning 3-0. Inter’s lead has been cut to three points with two games left after Filippo Inzaghi and Kaka scored early in the second half for Milan, who move into the final Champions League qualifying place…and yeah, I know ya’all don’t care ‘bout the scores as much as you do about our emotional babes. “I’m so emotional, we’ve won, Fiorentina lost. We did what Inter should have done,” said Kaka, “They haven’t won the title and we’ve taken a step towards the Champions League. Now everything depends on us.”
And those silly AC Milan fans hung an interesting banner aimed at Inter Milan’s fans…I don’t think I need to translate it.
It would have been a great weekend to be in Spain. Real Madrid celebrated the teams 31st league title after a 2-1 win on Sunday. As thousands of fans converged on the famous Cibelas fountain in the Spanish capital, Real’s Raul climbed to the top of the statue and planted a hearty kiss.
Kobe Bryant, his wife Vanessa, and their daughters Natalia and Gianna also must have had a great weekend after the Lakers’ beat the Utah Jazz in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals. And it looks like Kobe has just been awarded the NBA’s MVP award for the first time…or has he? The Los Angeles Times says “yes,” citing anonymous sources familiar with the outcome of voting by media members. They also reported that commissioner Stern will be in LA next week to present the trophy to Bryant. But…“We have not been told anything by the league,” Lakers spokesman John Black told The Associated Press.
Kobe rightly deserves the MVP award, so lets not even explore that issue. I dare say the celeb’s in attendance must feel the same way. Courtside hotness: Robert Downey Jr, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Kevin Connolly (Entourage) and Denzel Washington…at least we know these guys were sitting courtside at the Lakers game and weren’t taking part in the Kentucky Derby of Death.
THE KENTUCKY DERBY OF DEATH
NBC earned a 9.5 overnight Nielsen rating for the race segment of its Kentucky Derby coverage, down 3% from last year’s 9.8. Thank god-I can only pray the ratings continue to drop and PETA opens up a can of whoop-ass on this bullshit and cruel sport. Big Brown won the race, but second-place finisher Eight Belles was euthanized following her less than perfect performance. Perhaps Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post put it best: “Thoroughbred racing is in a moral crisis, and everyone now knows it.”
Speaking of PETA, they are in fact opening a can of whoop-ass-on Hillary Clinton. In a USA TODAY cover story, Halladay & Cherner write PETA sent a letter to Hillary Clinton asking her to “condemn horseracing and chiding her for placing a bet on Eight Belles.” PETA wrote in its letter to Clinton, “I regret to say that your public support of horse racing—and specifically betting on Eight Belles—makes you culpable in her destruction. We cannot call ourselves a civilized nation if we allow any living being to endure such abuse.” PETA also wants Eight Belles jockey Gabriel Saez “suspended for what it says was excessive whipping” and PETA spokesperson Kathy Guillermo said that the group is also “calling for a ban on race training for horses younger than 3 and the mandatory use of synthetic track surfaces, considered by many to be safer.” Rest in peace Eight Belles, rest in peace.
I will never order pizza from anywhere else except Papa John’s-even though they apologized for the distribution of “No. 23 T-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Crybaby’ and the [chain’s] logo” during Cavaliers-Wizards Game Six Friday night. Priceless. The shirts reference Wizards babe Brendan Haywood calling LeBron a crybaby for complaining, “about hard fouls from Wizards players he thought were intended to injure.” To make up for ‘unintentionally’ reiterating the fact that Lebron is indeed a crybaby-Papa John’s said it will sell customers pizza’s for 23 cents and will donate the $0.23 from each pizza sold and an extra $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund.
RONALDO, RONALDINHO, CRISTIANO RONALDO
First of all, I think it’s important to clarify the Ronaldo’s out there. We’ve got Cristiano Ronaldo (L), the Portuguese hottie currently kicking the ball with Man-U; then we’ve got Ronaldinho©, the Brazilian beast from FC Barcelona (and NOT to be confused with one of the trannies that Ronaldo picked up) and finally, the trannie loving Ronaldo, the Brazilian AC Milan striker who is now in hiding after embarrassing himself by picking up hookers who ended up being transvestites. Ronaldo is denying it-but- according to rumors, his endorsement contracts are dropping him quicker than his wife should. Ronaldo was reported to have been dumped by phone company TIM, who declined to comment on the rumors but said they “are analyzing the situation.” His TIM deal is worth $4.8M and includes a clause that allows the company to “unilaterally end the deal if Ronaldo [is] involved in negative publicity.” Nike also reportedly is “reviewing a lifetime endorsement deal with Ronaldo worth around” $100M. Damn, poor guy, $104.8M and he didn’t even get laid…
As always, thanks for reading.
Kobe Bryant Grants Wish, NBA Commish & A Mosquito, Maradona’s Fists of Fury, Lewis Hamilton Prepared for Spain, Dakar Crash, Swarovski Pele, There Can Only Be One Obama on Time Magazine.
KOBE GRANTS A WISH
First, the 49-point man needs a stylist. While the other NBA babes are dressing up in fine Italian suits, Kobe Bryant shows up in a plaid jacket, red shirt and matching red thingy sticking out of his pocket? And on a night when he’s granting a Make-a-Wish…come on Kobe, you could do much better…but props to the Princess for a sick game last night, where he scored 49-points and answered the Nuggets trash-talk with some phenomenal shots…following the game, Kobe donated his game worn shoes to Make-A-Wish participant Joe Spears.
Speaking of the Nuggets…Carmelo Anthony must have heard Lamar Odom when he said (about Kobe), “He’s one of those players you don’t really want to make mad.” Melo simply saved his ‘make-him-mad’ activities for Luke Walton. “As a team,” Melo said, “I think we lost our focus, lost our composure.” Ya think?
Kanye West took in game two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (Nuggets/ Lakers)…
NOTHING BUT NETS
I applaud the NBA’s efforts at fighting malaria; I really do, but a giant mosquito? Yesterday, NBA Commissioner Stern was at the UN Headquarters in New York for the announcement of a new grassroots effort to help fight malaria with the UN and the Nothing But Nets Foundation. And yes, they actually paid some bozo to dress up as a mosquito.
MARADONA GONE CRAZY
Those little fists attached to Diego Maradona got quite a workout today…the spitfire was leaving a courthouse in Argentina when local photographers and journalists went crazy and chased him as he and his former wife, Claudia Villafane, tried to escape. Maradona allegedly shouted, “Don’t push Claudia” before throwing an air punch. He was later heard complaining: “They hit me with a camera!” After watching two of the videos posted on YouTube, gotta side with the furry beast- he was swamped-and delivered a lame punch at someone-which didn’t connect and he was smacked in the face with a camera…
FIA AGAINST RACISM
Today, the FIA launched their “Racing Against Racism” campaign at the Circuit de Catalunya, in response to the taunting of Lewis Hamilton during winter testing at the same track in February. Thankfully, they had enough sense to keep Max Mosley away from launch, appropriate since the FIA says the campaign will send a strong message that racism of any kind will not be tolerated, including Nazi-style orgies…but the story here is about Hamilton’s class, not Mosley’s lack of taste. Tomorrow Hamilton will take the track for a practice session, at which point we’ll see if they have, in fact, wiped out racsim. Hamilton has remained classy and hasn’t allowed a few idiots ruin it for the rest of Spain. “The Circuit de Catalunya is a great track. We can’t ever lose it from the calendar. It always sees competitive racing, and there are so many enthusiastic fans there all the time which makes for a great atmosphere.” The Spanish F1 goes down this Sunday.
Once a year I mention the Dakar Rally…the Central European Rally of Dakar series is being held in Hungary and Romania between April 20 and 26 after the Lisbon-Dakar race was cancelled over security concerns. Admittedly, I don’t know much about this rally, except every year someone crashes in spectacular form. This years crash winner is French biker Gilles Diguet.
PELE IN SWAROVSKI
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is auctioning a rare Swarovski crystal portrait of Brazilian superstar Pele to raise money to develop a synthetic grass soccer field for FC Harlem in New York. This cool one-of-a-kind Pele collectable combines acrylic paints with more than 17,000 Swarovski Crystals, all inserted by hand. The U.S. Soccer Foundation is the major charitable arm of soccer in the U.S., and will direct 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of this authentic item to FC Harlem.
THE OBAMA EFFECT
“People who keep on shooting even though they have no jump shot. You can tell that there is a certain self-delusional aspect to their game that says something about who they are,” Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Barrack Obama to Bryant Gumbll on HBO’s Real Sports. Obama playing hoops at the White House could be a reality-especially after Gumball told him that the White House has an outdoor basketball hoop: “I wasn’t aware of that. I was thinking I was gonna have to tear down the bowling alley to build a basketball court. But I’m still thinking if I get there, we may need at least a little indoor half-court.” And could Obama’s interest in hoops be the inspiration behind the cover of Time magazine’s May 5 issue. The side-by-side image mimics the NBA Playoffs ad campaign ‘There Can Only Be One.’
Aid Still Required, Champions League, Beckham Gets Sharpie, Team Oden, Roller Soccer, Save Boom Boom
NBA HOTTIES REQUIRED
The crisis in Darfur has finally made it all the way to the N-B-A- via Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Baron Davis, Derek Fisher, Emeka Okafor, Matt Barnes, Andrew Bynum, Ira Newble, Eric Snow, Luol Deng and others…Aid Still Required is determined to make sure we are all aware of the conflict in Darfur by filming a set of PSA’s starring our super-fine-big-hearted-ballers. “We believe everyone, everywhere is entitled to live in dignity, health and peace,” said Hunter Payne co-founder of Aid Still Required. “The people of Darfur have been utterly denied this. Villagers are being systematically tortured, disfigured and slaughtered. Collectively we have the means to stop the violence and to restore their lives. Who are we if we stand idly by and watch yet another genocide take place? We must act and we must act now before more unspeakable atrocities take place.” Get involved people!
CHAMPIONS OF MY LEAGUE
AS Roma babes, led by Francesco Totti©, have assured us that there will be Italian representation in the final eight of the Champions League, after spanking Real Madrid 2-1…Totti, in an ‘are-you-kidding-me-moment’, attempted to comfort Fabio Cannavaro…our Chelsea babes also advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Olympiakos 3-0 Wednesday, goals compliments of Lampard, Ballack and Kalou, but I had to run a photo of John Terry with his shirt off because its been a while since my eyes have seen his pasty-hotness. Arsenal, Man-U, L’Pool and Barca have also made it to the final eight.
Just what David Beckham needs- another endorsement deal. Sharpie has found a spot alongside adidas, Georgio Armani, Pepsi, Motorola and Coty (among others), as one of David Beckham’s latest sponsors. The two-year deal marks the largest global integrated campaign in Sharpie’s history and includes Sir Golden Balls acting as their global ambassador…plus, if you’re felling lucky, a worldwide promo will be held in which one fan will win a meet-and-greet with the beast.
Gotta give a massive shout-out to actor Luigi DeBiasse (not pictured) who I chatted with during the WPT last weekend. If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m sometimes outta the ‘actor’ loop, so I had no idea who this beast was until I Googled him- in any case; Luigi tipped me off to one of the coolest sports around-Roller Soccer. Luigi said this sport has all the necessary ingredients to be the next big thing and I couldn’t agree more- there’s even a RollerSoccer World Cup in SF this August (where it first started in 1995) and hotties around the world have plied their skills at this beautiful union of wheels and balls. Check it out…RollerSoccer.com.
GREG ODEN TEAM
Greg Oden was selected first overall draft by the Portland Trail Blazers in June of 2007, and in September his NBA career was put on hold due to an injury, which has him benched for the remainder of the season. So what’s a baller to do with all this free time? Give back, of course. Yesterday, Oden launched ‘Team Oden,’ a program designed to help attract volunteers to Oregon Mentors. The cool thing about this is that Oden has purchased a block of tickets to each Trail Blazers home game for mentors and mentees, plus, his Team Oden logo is classic-his silhouette holding a ball above two children: “It’s kind of mean.” Oden said, “I’m not even giving them the ball!” (www.oregonmentors.org)
SAVE BOOM BOOM
Who knew? The oldest gay bar in the western US is located in Laguna Beach, and in late 2005, the landmark Boom Boom Room dance club and the adjoining Coast Inn were sold to make way for an 11-room hotel and restaurant…and there’s nothing like the destruction of a historical landmark to get people fired up. Joining the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, basketball greats Dennis Rodman and John Amaechi are the latest kats to voice their support to save the landmark gay bar in Laguna Beach. Help save the Boom…
Tilghman Suspended for Comments, Chris Paul, Kobe & the Kids, Usher Hosts NHL ALL-Star Weekend, NFLer’s Guinness Book World Record Achieved, Juventus Gives Love.
TILGHMAN SUSPENDED FOR COMMENTS
The Golf Channel released the following statement on Jan. 9th: ”The Golf Channel regrets the poorly chosen remarks made by Kelly Tilghman on a recent broadcast and, again, extends our apologies to anyone who was offended. There is simply no place on our network for offensive language like this. While we believe that Kelly’s choice of words were inadvertent and that she did not intend them in an offensive manner, the words were hurtful and grossly inappropriate. Consequently, we have decided to suspend Kelly for two weeks, effective immediately.” The suspension ends in time for the Buick Invitational on Jan. 24, when Woods will make his 2008 debut…and yes, I think this suspension is fair punishment. I’m sure Tilghman, who I don’t believe is a racist, has learned a valuable lesson. (sports.yahoo) And not that it has anything to do with the price of tea in China, but Tiger Woods, by the way, earned a total of $122.7M last year.
CHRIS PAUL, KOBE & THE KIDS
Kobe Bryant scored 19 points, Andrew Bynum added 17 and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight game, 109-80 over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. But its what happened after the game that made me smile. NBA super-good-guy, Chris Paul (Hornets) and princess Kobe met with a bunch of kids from New Orleans and spoke to them about, well-to be honest, your guess is as good as mine since I cant find it mentioned anywhere else on the Internet. I can speculate they might be Make-A-Wish kids, since the Hornets support the organization, or they could just be some of the 6,500 local kids that were granted an opportunity to attend a Hornets home game this season, compliments of Chris Paul, David West, Peja Stojakovic, Ryan Bowen, Morris Peterson, Bobby Jackson and Julian Wright.
In any case, my bags are already packed for the NBA ALL Star game, which is slated for February 17 in New Orleans. And in case you’re not entirely sold on hitting the Big Easy for a week of debauchery, the Louisiana Office of Tourism has unveiled a $6 million ad campaign, “This is my Louisiana,” which features numerous home-grown hotties expounding on the virtues of Louisiana. In the 30-second TV spot, Chris Paul interacts with Louisiana-born NBA legends Willis Reed and Karl Malone, who keep imploring Paul to get off the basketball court and fish, hunt and camp with them. “Come on, CP, lighten up,” says Reed. Paul continues to shoot hoops, then ends up in a party on the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter. “I have all the Louisiana I need right here,” says Paul. Indeed you do Chris, indeed you do.
USHER ME IN
Hotlanta native and five time Grammy winner, Usher, will emcee the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend event, (Jan. 26/27) which will benefit his New Look Foundation, a non-profit program established to expose young people to the business side of sports and entertainment. Starting today, additional tickets to the event were made available for purchase. Fans can purchase $30 upper level tickets in addition to $75 concert hall level tickets. Tickets are available on-line at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 404-249-6400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 404-249-6400 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Doors will open at 9 p.m.
NEW FOOTBALL SIGNING WORLD RECORD
To raise awareness for charity, Samsung Electronics, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Circuit City hosted 18 NFL Players, 2 LCD HDTVs and 4,500 Footballs in Las Vegas for the record-setting event. At 10:44 a.m., a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records declared the “Largest Autograph Signing by Professional Athletes” had been completed. “It’s a great achievement,” said rep Molloy, “and it’s a Guinness World Record any sports fan can appreciate.” Approximately 20 members of the Las Vegas Boys & Girls Club were on-hand and had the opportunity to meet football legends such as Marcus Allen, Michael Irvin, Anthony Munoz, Deacon Jones, Carl Eller, Harry Carson, Fred Belitnikoff, Merlin Olsen and many more. During the event, Samsung formally gave their gift of $10,000 in product to the Las Vegas chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. “We are so thankful that Samsung, Circuit City and the Pro Football Hall of Fame included us in this wonderful program,” said Jim Richards, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Boys & Girls Club. “The fact that they included a Las Vegas charity shows they are sincere about making a real difference in the lives of the youngsters living in our community.”
JUVENTUS GIVES LOVE
Italian soccer team Juventus are in Malta for a five-day training camp, and some of their hotties took a time out to spread some love. Sexy Pavel Nedved (L) and Vincenzo Iaquinta® stopped by the children’s ward of the Mater Dei Hospital outside Valletta, and I can only image how many kids are smiling today because of these mighty-fine beasts.
ATHLETE CHARITY EVENTS/FUNDRAISERS
If you’re looking to have some fun this year while joining our hotties in their quest to better the world, please check out the Athlete Charity Events calendar link (under categories, top right side of this site). It’s updated as the events are announced, with pa-lenty of great happenings going on already. If you would like to have an event listed, please contact me and Ill be happy to add it. Also, be sure to check out LooktotheStars.org, where I contribute articles to on a regular basis in efforts to raise awareness about athletes/celebrities who do good in this world. (The link to all my articles can be found in the category section as Delinda on the Web)