Feb 25

Black History Athlete of the Week: Jim Brown

51268665FS_SPA021592019Jim Brown was born on St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1936. After a stellar college career at Syracuse University, Brown was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1957. At just 30 years of age, he retired and pursued a career in acting, appearing in The Dirty Dozen and 100 Rifles. He has also worked to support black-owned businesses and rehabilitate gang members.

Born February 17, 1936, on St. Simons Island off the southern coast of Georgia, James Nathaniel Brown experienced a childhood shaped by struggle. He was just two weeks old when his father abandoned the family. His mother soon departed from his life as well, taking a job as a maid in Manhasset, New York, and leaving the care of her young son in the hands of Brown’s great-grandmother.

Brown was 8 years old when his mother finally sent for him to come live with her in New York. In his new home, Brown did well, thriving on the football field for the largely white Manhasset High School. During his senior year, the young running back averaged an astonishing 14.9 yards per carry, more than good enough to earn him a spot at Syracuse University. In college, Brown dominated the competition, both on the football field and on the basketball court. He also ran track and was a talented lacrosse player. As a running back, Brown earned national attention for his strong, explosive play. In the final regular-season game of his senior year, Brown capped off his college career by rushing for 197 yards, scoring six touchdowns and kicking seven extra points.

In 1957 the Cleveland Browns selected Brown with the sixth overall pick in the National Football League draft. Brown wasted little time adjusting to the new competition, leading the league in rushing yards with 942 on his way to capturing the league’s Rookie of the Year honors.

It was just the start. Over the next seven seasons Brown became the standard-bearer for all NFL running backs. At a time when defenses were geared toward stopping the ground game, Brown bulldozed his way past opposition, posting remarkable season totals: 1,527 yards (1958), 1,329 (1959), 1,257 (1960), 1,408 (1961), 1,863 (1963), 1,446 (1964) and 1,544 (1965).

His only “down” year came in 1962, when Brown rushed for 996 yards. It was the one season in his brilliant but brief football career that he failed to lead the league in yards. In 1964 Brown steered Cleveland to the NFL championship, where the club routed Baltimore to win the
title, 27-0. In the game, Brown ran for 114 yards. jim-brown
But Brown saw a life for himself outside of football, and before the start of the 1966 season, he stunned the sports world by announcing his retirement. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Just 30 years old when he stepped away from the game, Brown wanted to use his post-football life to focus on a movie career. While some doubted he would stay away from the game for long, Brown stayed true to his word, leaving football for good and going on to appear in more than 30 films, including “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) and “100 Rifles” (1969). But trouble also followed the temperamental Brown. For much of his adult life he’s been dogged by accusations of assault. In 1968 he was accused of his throwing his then girlfriend off a second-story balcony. The following year he managed to escape charges that alleged he assaulted another man following a traffic accident.

More recently, in 1999, Brown was convicted of smashing the window of his wife’s car. After refusing to attend counseling, Brown served a six-month jail sentence in 2002. But Brown’s life has also been defined by his support of African-American causes. In the 1960s he threw his support behind black-owned business by helping to create the Negro Industrial Economic Union. In the late 1980s he started the Amer-I-Can program, which aimed to turn the lives around of young gang members. He’s also been fiercely critical of modern black athletes, such as Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, for not being better role models for younger black athletes.

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Feb 19

Black History Athlete of the Week: Michael Jordan

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American basketball star Michael Jordan was born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. Jordan left college after his junior year to join the NBA. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, he helped the team make it to the playoffs. For his efforts there, Jordan received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. With five regular-season MVPs and three All-Star MVPs, Jordan became the most decorated player in the NBA.

Professional basketball player, Olympic athlete, businessperson, actor. Born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. Considered one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan dominated the sport from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. He led the Chicago Bulls to six national championships, and earned the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player Award five times.

Growing up in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jordan developed a competitive edge at an early age. He wanted to win every game he played. As his father James later noted, “What he does have is a competition problem. He was born with that … the person he tries to outdo most of the time is himself.”

Jordan enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981 and soon became an important member of the school’s basketball team. His team won the NCAA Division I championships in 1982 with Jordan scoring the final basket needed to defeat Georgetown University. He was also singled out as the NCAA College Player of the Year in 1983 and in 1984.

During the summer of 1984, Jordan made his first appearance at the Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The team won the gold at the games that year, which were held in Los Angeles. Jordan later helped the American team bring home the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, held in Barcelona, Spain.

Jordan left college after his junior year to join the NBA. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, he soon proved himself on the court. He helped the team make it to the playoffs and scored an average of 28.2 points per game that season. For his efforts, Jordan received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was selected for the All-Star Game.

In 1985, he finished his bachelor’s degree in geography and continued to play basketball professionally. While his second season was marred by injury, Jordan was breaking new ground on the court during the 1986-1987 season. He became the first player since Wilt Chamberlin to score more than 3,000 points in a single season. The following season, Jordan received his first Most Valuable Player Award from NBA—an honor he would earn four more times in 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998.

By the late 1980s, the Chicago Bulls was quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, and Jordan was an instrumental part of the team’s success. The Bulls made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1990 and won their first NBA championship the following year by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. A rising NBA superstar, Jordan became known for his power and agility on the court as well as for his leadership abilities.

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He eventually landed several endorsement deals with such companies as Nike, which further pushed him into the spotlight.

In 1992, the Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers to win their second NBA championship title. The team took their third championship the following year, dominating in the basketball world. Jordan, however, had other things on his mind. He lost his father, James, to an act of violence after the end of the 1992-1993 season. Two teenagers shot James Jordan during an apparent robbery and were later convicted of the crime. In a move that shocked many, Michael Jordan decided to retire from basketball to pursue baseball. He played for a minor league team, the Birmingham Barons, as an outfielder for a year.

In March 1995, however, Jordan returned to the basketball court. He rejoined the Chicago Bulls and eventually helped them win the championship against the Seattle Sonics in the 1995-1996 season. That same year, Jordan made a big splash in another arena—film—as the star of Space Jam (1996). The film mixed live action and animation and paired Jordan with cartoon legends Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck on screen.

Thefollowing  season Jordan came back even stronger, averaging 30.4 points per game. Starting all 82 games that season, he helped the team finish the regular season with 72 wins and clinch a win in the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. The two teams faced each other again for the championships in 1998, and Jordan helped the Bulls beat them for the second year in a row.

Retiring after the 1997-1998 season, Jordan did not stray from the sport for too long. He joined the Washington Wizards as a part owner and as president of basketball operations. In the fall of 2001, Jordan relinquished these roles to return the court once more. He played for the Wizards for two seasons before hanging up his jersey for good in 2003.

In 2006, Jordan bought a share of the Charlotte Bobcats and joined the team’s executive ranks as its managing member of basketball operations. He experienced some personal changes that same year, ending his 17-year marriage to his wife Juanita. The couple divorced in December 2006. They had three children together during the course of their marriage—Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine.

The following year, Michael Jordan made news—this time as the father of an up-and-coming college basketball player. His eldest son, Jeffrey Jordan, made the team at the University of Illinois. Both Michael Jordan and his ex-wife Juanita have supported their son and tried to help him deal with playing in the shadow of a NBA legend. “He wants to be a basketball player, but he wants to do it on his own terms…The thing that we have tried to tell Jeff is that you set your own expectations. By no means in this world can you ever live up someone else’s expectations of who you are,” Michael Jordan said during an appearance on the Today show.

In April 2009, Jordan received one of basketball’s greatest honors: He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Attending the induction ceremony was a bittersweet affair for Jordan because being at the event meant “your basketball career is completely over,” he explained.

While he may not be playing on the court, Jordan remains active in his sport. He became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010 and serves as the team’s chairman. And improving the team’s less-than-stellar record seems to be Jordan’s number one priority these days. He told ESPN in November 2012 that “I don’t anticipate getting out of this business. My competitive nature is I want to succeed. It’s always been said that when I can’t find a way to do anything, I will find a way to do it.”

Outside of his work with the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan is involved in a number of business ventures, including several restaurants. He also does a lot for charity, including hosting the annual golf event known as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational. He is engaged to model Yvette Priesto.

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Feb 11

Black History Month Athlete of the Week:

Muhammad Ali

Boxer, philanthropist and social activist Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Considered one of the greatest athletes in boxing history, Ali showed at an early age that he wasn’t afraid of any bout—inside or outside of the ring. Growing up in the segregated South, Ali experienced racial prejudice and discrimination firsthand, which likely contributed to his early passion for boxing.

At the age of 12, Ali discovered his talent for boxing through an odd twist of fate. His bike was stolen, and Ali told a police officer, Joe Martin, that he wanted to beat up the thief. “Well, you better learn how to fight before you start challenging people,” Martin reportedly told him at the time. In addition to being a police officer, Martin also trained young boxers at a local gym. Ali started working with Martin to learn how to box, and soon began his boxing career. In his first amateur bout in 1954, he won the fight by split decision. Ali went on to win the 1956 Golden Gloves tournament for novices in the light heavyweight class. Three years later, he won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, as well as the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title for the light-heavyweight division.

In 1960, Ali won a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team. He traveled to Rome, Italy, to compete. At 6 feet 3 inches tall, Ali was an imposing figure in the ring. He was known for his footwork, and for possessing a powerful jab. After winning his first three bouts, Ali then defeated Zbigniew Pietrzkowski from Poland to win the gold medal. After his Olympic victory, Ali was heralded as an American hero. He soon turned professional with the backing of the Louisville Sponsoring Group. During the 1960s Ali seemed unstoppable, winning all of his bouts with majority of them being by knockouts. He took out British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper in 1963 and then knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

Often referring to himself as “the greatest,” Ali was not afraid to sing his own praises. He was known for boasting about his skills before a fight and for his colorful descriptions and phrases. In one of his more famously quoted descriptions, Ali told reporters that he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in the boxing ring.

This bold public persona belied what was happening in Ali’s personal life, however. He was doing some spiritual searching and decided to join the black Muslim group, the Nation of Islam, in 1964. At first, he called himself “Cassius X,” eventually settling on the name Muhammad Ali. Two years later, Ali started a different kind of fight when he refused to acknowledge his military service after being drafted. He said that he was a practicing Muslim minister, and that his religious beliefs prevented him from fighting in the Vietnam War.In 1967, Ali put his personal values ahead of his career. The U.S. Department of Justice pursued a legal case against Ali, denying his claim for conscientious objector status. He was found guilty of refusing to be inducted into the military, but Ali later cleared his name after a lengthy court battle. Professionally, however, Ali did not fare as well. The boxing association took away his title and suspended him from the sport for three and a half years.

217490-muhammad-aliReturning to the ring in 1970, Ali won his first bout after his forced hiatus. He knocked out Jerry Quarry in October in Atlanta. The following year, Ali took on Joe Frazier in what has been called the “Fight of the Century.” Frazier and Ali went for 15 rounds before Frazier briefly dropped Ali to the ground, before beating Ali by decision. Ali later beat Frazier in a 1974 rematch.

Another legendary Ali fight took place in 1974. Billed as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the bout was organized by promoter Don King and held in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali fought the reigning heavyweight champion George Foreman. For once, Ali was seen as the underdog to his younger, powerful opponent. Ali silenced his critics by defeating Foreman and once again becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.

Perhaps one of his toughest bouts took place in 1975 when he battled longtime rival Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila” fight. Held in Quezon City, Philippines, the match lasted for more than 14 rounds with each fighter giving it their all. Ali emerged victorious in the end.

By the late 1970s, Ali’s career had started to decline. He was defeated by Leon Spinks in 1978 and was knocked out by Larry Holmes in 1980. In 1981, Ali fought his last bout, losing his heavyweight title to Trevor Berbick. He announced his retirement from boxing the next day.a-825576787

In his retirement, Ali has devoted much of his time to philanthropy. He announced that he has Parkinson’s disease in 1984, a degenerative neurological condition, and has been involved in raising funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the years, Ali has also supported the Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation among other organizations.

Muhammad Ali has traveled to numerous countries, including Mexico and Morocco, to help out those in need. In 1998, he was chosen to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace because of his work in developing countries.

In 2005, Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. He also opened the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, that same year. “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given,” he said. “I believed in myself and I believe in the goodness of others,” said Ali.

Feb 05

Black History Month Athlete of the Week: Jackie Robinson

 

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Jack (Jackie) Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children. They were the only black family on their block, and the prejudice they encountered only strengthened their bond. From this humble beginning would grow the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years.

Growing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie’s army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.

In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation’s preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.images-9

At the end of Robinson’s rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he had become National League Rookie of the Year with 12 homers, a league-leading 29 steals, and a .297 average. In 1949, he was selected as the NL’s Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. As a result of his great success, Jackie was eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Jackie married Rachel Isum, a nursing student he met at UCLA, in 1946. As an African-American baseball player, Jackie was on display for the whole country to judge. Rachel and their three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David, provided Jackie with the emotional support and sense of purpose essential for bearing the pressure during the early years of baseball.

Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy will be remembered as one of the most important in American history. In 1997, the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Jackie’s breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier. In doing so, we honored the man who stood defiantly against those who would work against racial equality and acknowledged the profound influence of one man’s life on the American culture. On the date of Robinson’s historic debut, all Major League teams across the nation celebrated this milestone. Also that year, on United States Post Office honored Robinson by making him the subject of a commemorative postage stamp. On Tuesday, April 15 President Bill Clinton paid tribute to Jackie at Shea Stadium in New York in a special ceremony.

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Jan 14

Runnin’ Rebels Fly High Against Air Force

Anthony Marshall sizes up the defense on his way to a season high 12 assists.

Anthony Marshall sizes up the defense on his way to a season high 12 assists.

The Rebels game Saturday night was nothing short of exhilirating. For the fans in attendance as well as those watching at home, there were more than a few checking their blood pressure following the Rebels 76-71 Overtime thriller over Air Force. Yet this was another game where the Runnin’ Rebels seemed to have completely under control leading by as many as 9 points in the second half only to let it slip away. This isn’t taking anything away from the Falcons of Air Force but UNLV should have easily won this game.

ABeast throws down the tomahawk slam on his way to 22 Points and 16 Rebounds

ABeast throws down the tomahawk slam on his way to 22 Points and 16 Rebounds

There were the usual exploits, Anthony Bennett had his normal 22 points and threw in 16 rebounds, Anthony Marshall didn’t have a single point but was huge as the Senior leader of this team dishing out 12 assists, and Bryce Dejean-Jones was the spark plug off the bench throwing in 18 points and coming up huge down the stretch and in Overtime. But what is most concerning about this win and moving forward this season is the inability to put teams away. Allowing teams such as Air Force to gain confidence and hang around can put you in a dogfight like this one. UNLV couldn’t throw a Free Throw in the Ocean in the 2nd half and that almost cost them, if not for Bryce saving the day nailing both of his to tie the game with thirty-six seconds on the clock. And the days of the Rebels going 6-25 from 3-point range must STOP…NOW!  I love Katin Reinhardt but him consistently being a volume shooter that scores 10 points a game aren’t helping us right now. Three pointers are nice and they help spread the floor but that can’t be the end game of your offensive attack especially when you have ABeast on the block, hyper active Khem Birch, and a healthy Mike Moser as your inside attack. The Rebels must find a way to stay balanced. I say this all the time but this team can be dangerous but only if they realize it.

With their record now sitting at 1-1 in conference play the sky isn’t falling and I don’t mean to come off as cynical, but it’s time for this team to stop hitting the snooze button and Wake Up. They can truly make a push for the conference championship this March and maybe a deep run in the tournament. But that all becomes a moot point if they can’t simply put teams away.

Joshua Williams

General Manager / Editor

Care 2 Play Sports Magazine

Dec 27

For The Rebels The Time To Prove It.. Is Now

Photo Rights Reserved by Joshua Williams / Care 2 Play Sports Magazine

Bennett & Birch Get It Done

Here we go Rebel Nation one game that will tell the tale of the 2012-2013 UNLV Basketball season. One game on prime time television against a (slightly battered) heavyweight opponent. If the Runnin’ Rebels can find a way to pull out this road contest in the Dean Dome against the UNC Tar Heels with their Hall of Fame National Championship Coach, they’re ready. Ready for what? To truly push themselves into the national conversation.

After three wins in six days versus inferior talent the Rebels have proven they can beat, Inferior Talent. It’s time to see how they fare against a team that is more on their level, with a coach who knows how to get the most out of his players on any given night. This game will truthfully decide the direction of the program.

Can A.Beast slow down the Tar Heels sophomore sensation James Michael McAdoo while continuing to carry his team? Which team’s senior leadership will shine more? Who’s second unit will have the greatest impact on the games outcome? These questions easily can decide Saturday’s game. If Anthony Bennett continues playing with the level of efficiency that he has all season he’ll carry this team. If Anthony Marshall controls the tempo of the game and limits turnovers the Rebels can win. And if Khem Birch can continue playing like a man possessed coming off of the UNLV bench then we can control the Tar Heels second unit. UNLV can win this game, and if the current national rankings mean anything (UNLV is currently ranked 17th in the country) we “should” win this game. But remember the Tar Heels “should” have easily beaten the unranked Runnin’ Rebels at The Orleans Arena last year when they were ranked #1 in the nation.

If this year’s UNLV Basketball team is better than last year’s, this is their chance to prove it. And if they do they will not only be 12-1 and continuing to build their resume for March Madness, but also validating the resurrection of their program.

 

Joshua Williams

General Manager / Editor

Care 2 Play Sports Magazine

Dec 17

UNLV Basketball Runnin’ Again

After year’s of waiting the UNLV Runnin Rebels might truly be poised for a deep push into March this season. Why? Fantastic “Diaper Dandy” performances from Katin Reinhardt, Savon Goodman, and All American Forward Anthony Bennett. Bennett truly has been the catalyst for this season’s resurgence of title hopes, not only in the Mountain West Conference but in the NCAA tournament as well. Boasting over twenty Points Per Game (20.3) and nearly nine Rebounds Per Game   (8.9) Bennett has lived up to his new A.Beast moniker.

As great as this season has started it hasn’t come without it’s share of bumps and bruises along the way (that clunker versus Oregon immediately jumps to mind). The injuries sustained by team leader Mike Moser, and the stretches of uninspired play and missed opportunities have been cause for concern. Will this team be battle tested enough when March rolls around? When you look at other nationally ranked teams they have at least a few games they can point to that tested the make up of their ball clubs. The Rebels have taken the confidence building approach of stockpiling victories while keeping a relatively low RPI. The loss of Moser is a significant blow from a leadership standpoint but with the return of Pitt transfer Khem Birch his statistical numbers might be offset.

Moving forward the game versus UNC on the 29th will be telling, and the first real test of the season. If the Runnin’ Rebels can come out of that contest unscathed this might truly be a season to remember.

Joshua Williams

General Manager / Editor

Care 2 Play Sports Magazine

Sep 26

Care 2 Play Sports Magazine

With the start of a new school year well under way, we here at Care 2 Play Sports would like to congratulate all youth who stayed active during the summer months. The 2012 – 2013 school year represents another opportunity to become involved in a new sport or continue participating in another. Physical Fitness is big part of any daily routine and healthy way of life, and we will continue bringing all the local Vegas Sports news to you.

Feb 22

Care 2 Play Sports Magazine

Letter from the Editor,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to review the Care 2 Play Sports guide for your community.

In this issue, you will see the kids on the move in your community, what are the hottest kicks flying off the shelves in the store, the new youth league on the block, the JYD project which is a community service power house, UNLV’s new aggressive basketball player, the featured story of Bishop Gorman vs. Findlay Prep, and much, much more juicy content.

At Care 2 Play Sports, we strive to inform, educate and entertain. Covering community service, community events, and leaving you with words of wisdom. We enjoyed producing this issue and hope you enjoy it too. Return often to see what’s new, and write to us too. Please visit us at www.care2playsports.com and keep us updated on community content and the rising stars!

Remember, life is as beautiful as you allow it to be, everyday, take a moment to appreciate the beauty surrounding us. Play hard!

To view our current edition, please click here.

Dominique Harris
(Reporter/Editor)