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Mikey Williams Considering An HBCU Could Really Shake Things Up In College Basketball

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Mikey Williams

The money goes where the players are so it isn’t a stretch that when the nation’s best 15-year-old basketball player Mikey Williams tweeted that going to an HBCU wouldn’t be too bad, he sent twitter into a frenzy.

In a recent post, Yahoo Sports described the history HBCUs which gives great context around why this move by Mikey Williams would be historic. Read an excerpt below:

Before the desegregation of college sports in the South, it once was common for top black athletes to attend predominantly black colleges. HBCUs produced many of the nation’s best-known athletes, from Tennessee State’s Wilma Rudolph, to Florida A&M’s Bob Hayes, to Grambling State’s Willis Reed, to Winston-Salem State’s Earl “the Pearl” Monroe.

By the end of the civil rights movement, even the most stubborn Deep South coaches knew they needed to integrate to remain competitive.

Majority-white institutions began siphoning away much of the South’s top black talent, positioning those schools to cash in when college sports evolved into a big-dollar business and pushing HBCUs further and further behind.

Mikey williams

Consider Grambling State, home of maybe the most storied HBCU football program. In 2013 players staged a boycott and forfeited a game in protest of the school’s crumbling facilities, long bus trips to road games and frequent coaching changes.

Or take Mississippi Valley State, which often can’t afford to play a single non-league basketball game at home. To aid their cash-strapped athletic department, the Delta Devils crisscross the country playing nothing but road games and collecting tens of thousands of dollars in appearance fees from each opponent.

The disparity in resources is only part of the reason why most blue-chip recruits don’t consider picking North Carolina A&T over North Carolina or Florida A&M over Florida. Power-conference programs can typically also offer bigger crowds, stronger competition, more proven coaching and a better chance to win.

Whereas HBCU coaches once resisted wasting time and money recruiting against high-major programs with deeper pockets, that has recently begun to change. HBCU coaches recognize an opportunity with the Black Lives Matter movement inspiring black teens to show more pride in their culture and strengthen their communities.

Last October, two of the nation’s top high school players took official visits to Howard University on back-to-back weekends. The visits were a jolt of positive publicity for Howard even though Makur Maker has moved on to other schools and Josh Christopher has chosen Arizona State.

Mikey Williams

“Howard was seriously considered,” said Laron Christopher, Josh’s father. “The courage it took Josh to take the visit was powerful to me because it said that he was different. He was standing for something bigger than basketball.”

Because their recruiting budgets are so meager, HBCU coaches try to be selective about which Rivals 150 prospects they pursue.

The primary factor is whether a coach already has a strong relationship with someone close to the player. Coaches may also look for elite prospects who have a parent who attended an HBCU or who appear unusually comfortable taking a different path than their peers.

There are two schools of thought for how an HBCU can win a recruiting battle against prestigious power-conference programs.

The first is exemplified by a tweet sent earlier this week by Mo Williams, a 14-year NBA veteran and newly hired Alabama State coach. He portrayed choosing an HBCU over a predominantly white institution as a way of strengthening the black community and protesting racial inequality.

Recently Mo Williams Tweeted an idea for a silent protest which asked parents to pull kids out of D1 Schools and enroll them in HBCUs.

Mikey Williams made the point to say that named brand college programs are not the only stepping stones to the NBA. “If you’re a pro, [then] you’re a pro no matter what college you go to,” Williams wrote Wednesday in an Instagram post elaborating on his interest in HBCUs.

What makes going to an HBCU appealing to Williams is that the revenue he generates during his college career would stay within the black community. He says multiple HBCUs will make the cut next time he narrows the list of colleges he is considering.

“And,” he adds, “they won’t just be there for show.”

“I AM RIDING FOR MY PEOPLE!” Williams wrote. “I’M 10 TOES BEHIND THE BLACK COMMUNITY! Any way I can help or make a change in the black community, best believe I am going to do that.”

Interest from the nation’s top-ranked rising sophomore came as a welcome surprise to HBCU coaches across the country. Within minutes, coaches who previously viewed Williams as unattainable suddenly began bombarding his AAU coach with calls and texts.

Tennessee State offered Williams a scholarship on Tuesday without seeing him play in person. Norfolk State and Texas Southern did the same. By Wednesday afternoon, the dynamic 6-foot-2 guard had piled up offers from about a dozen HBCU programs.

 

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“I don’t think any schools thought seriously about offering him until he posted that tweet,” Etop Udo-Uma, the coach of the talent-rich Compton Magic AAU team, told Yahoo Sports. “Within two hours he had more HBCU offers than any kid I’ve ever coached.”

While a talent like Mikey Williams would instantly elevate whatever college he chooses, some HBCU coaches insist they would be happy if he picks any of their schools. They’re hoping to find a trailblazer whose bold choice to come to an HBCU could inspire other elite prospects to buck conventional wisdom and do the same.

For decades, predominantly white institutions have raked in revenue in part because of the achievements of black athletes. Someone like Williams could demonstrate that black athletes can generate money and exposure for HBCUs without sacrificing their pursuit of a pro career to do it.

On Wednesday Williams wrote:

“Why does it always have to be the big names?” Williams wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “Have you ever thought about helping your own people out?? WE ARE THE REASON THAT THESE SCHOOLS HAVE SUCH BIG NAMES AND SUCH GOOD HISTORY..But in the end what do we get out of it??”

As the offers roll in Mikey will have a decision to make either way we are proud of him!

Read our last post here and read more via Yahoo! Sports.

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Did You Know Michael Jordan Used To Smoke A Cigar Before Every Home Game?

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Michael Jordan

Most people know that Michael Jordan rarely gives interviews and according to GQ he stopped talking to the press around 1994 and a few misses during interviews or inflammatory sports stories. He did, however, give an interview to Cigar Aficionado where he spoke about his six-smokes-a-day habit.

Marvin Shanken the editor in chief of CF recently described to GQ how he got that interview back in 2005.

Read below:
I had indirect access to him through a friend, who plays golf with him. He helped arrange it. Obviously, Michael loves cigars, and knew of me, and read the magazine, and so forth. He was in Chicago. I flew out one day and we played golf.

How was that?

The rumor is that he likes to play for a lot of money. He wants to play for more money than you can afford to lose. He thinks he has an edge that way. So he started off—I don’t remember the number, but he wanted to play for so much a hole that I said, “You’re out of your mind! I’m not gonna play for that.” So we chiseled it down to an amount that he agreed but was more than I wanted to gamble. It was me and my friend versus Michael and my executive editor at the time, Gordon Mott. Coming down to the 18th hole, I think we were down $400. It was a push—we didn’t lose any money. But that showed me the competitiveness that he had. I play with him occasionally in Florida, and he’s a very laid-back, fun guy to be with and to play with. He doesn’t know who he is when he’s on the course having a good time.

There’s no fans, there’s no cameras—it’s a relatively private moment. Yeah. And he loves his golf, and he loves his cigars. I love golf, I love cigars. It worked fine.

The NBA legend smoked a cigar before every home game, puffing away to deal with the Chicago traffic. “I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game,” he said in an exclusive 2005 interview with Cigar Aficionado editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken, his first with the magazine.

“I started out with the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona. … I never rushed. … It became such a relaxing thing to do. Not many people know about it. When they read this, they’ll know that each and every day for a home game, I smoked a cigar. I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It’s the most relaxing thing,” added Jordan.

Read the entire interview here. Also do not forget to read our latest post here.

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Colin Kaepernick: Unpatriotic Villian or Philanthropic Hero?

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With all things considered Colin Kaepernick had a very good run with the San Francisco 49ers. Last season his performance was not that of the vintage Kaepernick when he advanced the team to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens but Kap still has more than enough in the tank to do it again.

When we jump to the 2017 season and several days after the start of the NFL’s free agency and Colin Kaepernick is still unsigned.

Now there are two schools of thought on this, one Kaepernick is simply a bad or underperforming quarterback and as we know, bad quarterbacks do not get a whole lot of love by the powers that be in the NFL or by the fans for that matter.

Or secondly, Kaepernick is being blackballed as a result of the national (negative) attention that he received when he began to protest the United States National Anthem during the 2016 football season.

To complicate things further last night President Donald Trump gloated about Kaps unemployment during a rally in Louisville Kentucky; seemingly taking credit for it.

He made note that many of the NFL owners do not want to pick up Kaepernick because they do not want the President to send out a “nasty Tweet” about it. Therefore they are avoiding any political backlash by not signing him.

In our opinion, if the President had time to send out a nasty tweet directed at a team or an individual football player then his stock just went up, #Nordstroms; but we digress!

At the end of the day, Kaepernick not getting signed is not surprising because we are inclined to believe that his ‘controversial antics” are the main cause and that he himself probably prepared for any negativity it would have brought to his career.

Sometimes we like to say “There is no money in defending black folk”,  and that it’s simply not beneficial to do so, in fact for some, it can be career ending.

Meanwhile, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick makes good use of his time off the field by helping others. Last year he pledged to donate $1 million to different organizations of his choice and not only that but the proceeds of his jersey sales from the 2016 season.

Most recently in 2017, he has been instrumental in helping to get an airplane “Turkish Airlines” to aid Somalia with food and water. That was a big win for him and his partners and a huge win for the people of Somalia.

Sometimes life can take you to places where you never planned to go and if being philanthropic and helping others in need is what he wants to do I say God Bless and bring on the nasty tweets!

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From Football Player To Surgeon – How Myron Rolle Is Breaking The Jock Stereotype

Petra Lomax

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We first caught wind of the Myron Rolle story yesterday and knew we had to share it. This young man left high school as the number 1 football prospect in the entire U.S. and as you can imagine NFL scouts kept a close eye on him.

He was rated by ESPN as the number one football recruit in the United States in 2006 which naturally landed him in the NFL but the story doesn’t  end there. Rolle cut his career short to attend medical school at just 25, read his story below:

Myron Rolle

 

Via The Doctors

“I played football, but I didn’t want to be categorized as just a jock.” Those are the words of Myron Rolle.

During his time in the NFL, he wasn’t your usual player. He researched stem cells. He started anti-obesity programs that the U.S. Department of Interior adopted. He even raised money for hospitals.

But just before his NFL dreams came true by enlisting in the draft, as scouts were eager to snatch him up, Rolle decided to delay his entering the NFL draft for a whole year to study medicine in Oxford, England. During that time, he was named a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship, the most prestigious academic award given.

When he made it back to the States, the Tennessee Titans took on Rolle, selecting him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. The progress he made in his first year with Tennessee — “I thought I was making strides and getting better with each snap, picking up things I didn’t pick up before,” he said — took a hit with the departure of head coach Jeff Fisher and the 2011 lockout putting a halt to OTAs.

Rolle was released right before the start of the 2011 season. The Steelers signed him to a reserve/future contract the next off-season, only to release Rolle at the tail end of the 2012 preseason.

Afterward, it took Rolle three weeks of soul searching to realize that it was for the best that his football-playing career was done at age 25.

“I talked to my family, brothers and pastors asking them what they thought,” he said. “I still received interest from a few teams, and it didn’t have to be over. Then I said to myself, ‘I can knock my head against the wall for 8-9 years or move on to medicine.’ I was leaving the game with no concussions and dexterity in both my hands, where I could be a neurosurgeon one day.”

“The NFL experience was amazing. I had a chance to play alongside some of the best athletes in the world. Only two other people can say that they were a Rhodes Scholar and an NFL player (Pat Haden and Byron White). I look back and say, ‘I got to the league, I got drafted.’”

So now, after much study and hard work, the 30-year-old Rolle will be graduating this Spring 2017 with his doctorate from Florida State University College of Medicine!

But that’s not all, Rolle is also the chairman of the Myron L. Rolle Foundation, which serves people who do not have access to health, wellness and education in the U.S. and around the world.

The Foundation also hosts the Myron Rolle Wellness and Leadership Academy for Florida foster children, “Rhodes to Success” (an academic workshop for at-risk teenagers) and “Our Way to Health” (an anti-obesity program for American Indians of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo tribes).

“It’s always, ‘What’s next?,’” explains Myron. “I think people align themselves with my way of thinking when they’re talking to me. They try to create new avenues for me to pursue, so if you want to be a doctor and you have interest in human rights and philanthropy and social equality of medicine and disease, why don’t you think about being surgeon general? Then you could have a political impact, with a stronger influence and a bigger platform. I’m that person. ‘What’s next? What’s next?’”

Whatever it is we wish Rolle the best of luck even though we do not think he will need it.

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