September 19, 2013
Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American
Miami Heat star LeBron James married longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson in San Diego on Saturday.
Sources close to the couple told the Associated Press that the wedding took place at the Grand Del Mar Hotel and included about 200 guests.
James and Brinson have yet to give out any details regarding their ceremony and so the sources spoke under anonymity. They had a three day celebration including the ceremony on Saturday and a brunch on Sunday
James and Brinson have been together since high school and have two sons.
James popped the big question just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2012 in Miami Beach.
The wedding included extreme security measures to keep the specific details from the press and public. Even guests were unclear of the exact details in the days leading up to the event.
The guests arrived with umbrellas to shield their identity and were taken to the wedding area, which was covered in tents.
Heat owner Micky Arison, coach Erik Spoelstra and many of James’ teammates including Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were on the guest list.
None of the guests released any details about the wedding Saturday and word is no cell phones were allowed during the ceremony.
Information from Eurweb.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
September 12, 2013
By Chris B. Bennett
Special to the NNPA from The Seattle Medium
The University of Washington Huskies’ football team has a long and storied history. Depending on what side of the street you sit on that history can be either good or bad.
A few years ago, much to the dismay of many in the African American community, the University of Washington honored former head football coach Jim Owens by placing a statue of his likeness in front of the entrance to Husky Stadium. There are those who refer to Owens as a legendary coach, although his name is not among the four Husky football coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Last weekend, I attended the first football game in the newly renovated Husky Stadium. There was much fanfare about the new facility and the venue is top notch. One of the things that caught my attention during the game was that two UW players were wearing the number “1” on their jersey – the same number worn by NFL Hall of Famer and former UW quarterback Warren Moon.
As I thought about the history of the UW football program, I wondered why Warren Moon’s jersey had not been retired. After all, he was the MVP of the 1978 Rose Bowl in which the Huskies upset the highly favored Michigan Wolverines. That game marked the Huskies first bowl appearance since 1964 and first bowl victory since 1961.
As it relates to Husky football, there is no doubt that Warren Moon is legendary. However, it was his accomplishments at the pro level that are even more extraordinary. Over the course of his 23-year career in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the NFL, Moon threw for 70,533 yards and 435 touchdowns. In 2005, Moon became the first African American quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Upon further investigation, I discovered that the University of Washington has retired the numbers of only three football players – (2) Chuck Carroll, (33) George Wilson and (44) Roland Kirby. Carroll played during the late 1920’s and helped lead the Huskies to a 28-4 record during his collegiate career. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1964. Wilson, a three time All-American halfback during the mid 1920’s, was Washington’s first consensus All-American. Kirby was a member of the Husky’s fearsome foursome backfield in 1950 that featured Hugh McElhenny, Don Heinrich and Bill Early.
In reading the UW Gameday magazine, I saw an advertisement for the Big W Club Jersey Retirement that highlighted four former Huskies who were having their jerseys retired during the 2013-2014 season. According to the advertisement, “For a jersey to be retired, a student-athlete must win the national player of the year award in their respective sport.”
This appears to be short-sighted by whoever implemented this policy. This explains why the last Husky football player to have his number retired played back in the 1950s.
It appears that this policy needs to be re-addressed and the school needs to seriously consider the retirement of Warren Moon’s jersey. When you talk about legends and ambassadors of the game of football, Warren Moon’s name is certainly among the best of the best. Personally, I believe that it’s a travesty that 35 years after leading his team to one of the most historic Bowl wins in school history the University of Washington has failed to properly honor the achievements of Warren Moon by retiring his jersey.
Warren Moon was part of the beginning of a Husky football legacy that laid the foundation for the new Husky Stadium to be built. Without the football tradition that began in the late 70’s, we probably would not be talking about Rose Bowl victories, national championships and competing for top recruits. Warren Moon is one of the prominent faces of Husky football and it’s time for the Huskies to retire his jersey and truly honor the most accomplished football player the history of the school.
Special to the NNPA from the Atlanta Daily World
Atlanta’s own multimedia personality Rashan Ali will begin her stint as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports this fall.
As the 2013 college football season gets into full swing, the network has tapped Ali, best known to Atlantans for her presence on the city’s morning radio airwaves, to provide sports commentary from the sidelines of college football games that will air this fall nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Games featured will include long-time, exciting rivalries like Fordham University vs. LeHigh University and Southern Miss vs. Marshall.
Ali worked as a Sports Reporter while at HOT 107.9 in Atlanta and was invited to become a sideline reporter for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, which she did for four years. In 2009, Ali became one of few African American women providing sports commentary on a national scale as a reporter for the Chic-Fil-A Bowl Preview Show, which aired on ESPN 2 and ESPN U. She continued her work as the Social Media Correspondent during the 2010 & 2011 NBA Playoffs on NBA TV’s NBA Gametime Live, where she worked with analysts like Eric Snow and Chris Webber.
Most recently, Ali has been active on the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) football Classic circuit, providing live reporting from the inaugural Nation’s Classic, which featured Howard University vs. Morehouse College in Washington, DC and the Atlanta Football Classic, which featured Southern University against her alma mater Florida A&M University. She was also a sideline reporter for Southern Conference Football during the 2011-2012 season.
“Covering college football on a major network is such an honor. I have always loved the essence of college football so to be on the sideline in this capacity is truly a dream come true,” said Ali. “There are some great teams being featured on the network that I’ve continued to follow over the years, so having the opportunity to work with their coaching staffs and players is monumental.”
In addition to her career as a sports commentator, Ali is also the host of the “Streetz Morning Grind” radio show on Streetz 94.5 FM in Atlanta, where she will continue to be featured weekdays from 6 am – 10 am. She will also continue her work with Sporty Girls, Inc., an Atlanta-based non-profit organization she founded that exposes girls ages 8 – 18 to nontraditional sports like golf, soccer, tennis and swimming to help them improve social skills and academic performance while increasing their chances for collegiate scholarships.
By Donald Hunt
Special to the NNPA from The Philadelphia Tribune
Allen Iverson is preparing to officially announce his retirement from the NBA soon according to a SLAM Web report. Iverson hasn’t played an NBA game since 2010 when he played for the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2011, he played professional basketball in Turkey.
Iverson, 38, played 13 seasons in the NBA. He averaged 26.7 points a game for his career during the regular season. In the playoffs, he tallied 29.7 points a game. Interviewed at a Sixers’ game on March 30, Iverson told SLAM, “My No. 1 goal is trying to accomplish to be the best dad that I can. And if basketball is in my near future, then God will make that happen. But if not, I had a great ride and I’ve done a lot of special things that a lot of guys have not been able to accomplish and people thought I couldn ‘t accomplish.”
Iverson played six years (1997-2003) for head coach Larry Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers, who now coaches SMU. Brown has vivid memories of coaching one of the NBA’s most explosive players.
“He might be the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen,” Brown told SLAM. “I don’t think there will be another one like him.”
Iverson was a tremendous scholastic basketball and football player at Bethel High School in Hampton, Va. He played his college basketball at Georgetown University from 1994 to 1996. The 6-foot, 165-pound shooting guard, was chosen by the Sixers with No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. He was selected the NBA Rookie of the Year during the 1996-97 season. Iverson was named Most Valuable Player during the 2000-2001 season. That year, he led the Sixers to the NBA Finals.
He won four league scoring crowns. Iverson was selected to 11 NBA All-Star Games. He won the MVP honors in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game as well as 2005. He played for the Sixers from 1996 to 2006.
In 2006, he was traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played two seasons for the Nuggets. In 2008, he was traded to the Detroit Pistons where he played for one season. In 2009, he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. That same year, the Sixers re-acquired him.
According to SLAM, Iverson will be eligible for enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
NEW YORK -- Dennis Rodman is going back to North Korea yet again, and this time he plans to bring a team of former NBA players with him.
Days after returning from his second trip to visit Kim Jong Un -- in which he said he became the first foreigner to hold the leader's newborn daughter -- Rodman announced plans Monday to stage two exhibition games in North Korea in January.
The first will be Jan. 8 -- Kim's birthday -- with another to follow two days later.
Rodman's friendship with the autocratic leader has been criticized -- and led to a couple of testy exchanges during his Manhattan news conference. But Rodman insists Kim is a good person and wants to have better relations with the United States, and that Rodman is the one who can help make it happen with his plan for "basketball diplomacy."
"Why North Korea? It'll open doors," Rodman said.
Touting his friendship with Kim and taunting President Barack Obama for not talking with him, Rodman said he will return to North Korea for a week in December to help select local players for the games. He hopes to have stars such as Karl Malone and former Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen.
"Michael Jordan, he won't do it, because he's Michael Jordan," Rodman said.
Rodman, holding a cigar and wearing the shirt of a vodka company and a hat of a betting company that is funding the event, said Kim has asked him to train North Korea's players to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics and offered to allow the Hall of Famer to write a book about him.
Despite looking like a billboard, Rodman said he's not doing the event for money. He said the Irish betting company Paddy Power would put up $3.5 million. Paddy Power later said finances hadn't been determined.
And Rodman, who joked that he hadn't drawn such a crowd in New York since he wore a wedding dress to a book signing, was adamant that this venture was serious -- "groundbreaking," in Rodman's words.
"People think this is a gimmick. I would love to make this a gimmick ... but it's not about the money," he said.
He rarely referred to Kim by name, frequently calling him "the marshal." Rodman met Kim, a basketball fan, when traveling to North Korea in February for a film project.
Though saying he didn't want to discuss politics, Rodman raised his voice when answering a questioner about Kim's human rights record, and he portrayed himself as the person who could make outsiders see the young leader as different from his father and grandfather.
"He has to do his job, but he's a very good guy," Rodman said. "If he wanted to bomb anybody in the world, he would have done it."
Instead, Rodman had harder words for Obama, of whom he spoke angrily while talking to reporters last week after his trip. He talked around a question about American citizen and Christian missionary Kenneth Bae, who was arrested in November and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what Pyongyang described as hostile acts against the state. Kim has the power to grant special pardons under North Korea's constitution.
Rodman said lobbying for the release of a prisoner wasn't his job, blaming the president for not reaching out to ease tensions between the countries.
"Why, Obama, are you afraid to talk to Dennis Rodman?" Rodman said, his voice rising as if he were a professional wrestler -- another former pursuit -- calling out an opponent. "You're not afraid to talk to Beyonce and Jay Z, why not me? Why not me? I'm pretty important now, right?"
Rodman also said he would interview Kim on live TV during the trip. Organizers said details would be provided at a later date.
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