Category: Sports

Former New York Knicks Star Stephon Marbury Sets Up Deal to Deliver 10 Million N95 Masks to NY Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Former NBA star Stephon Marbury (photos via Backgrid, Twitter)

According to nypost.com, former New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury wants to deliver something the city needs even more than an NBA title — 10 million N95 masks for hospital workers and other first responders on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

To quote:

Marbury, who played in the NBA 14 years before moving overseas to become a legend in the Chinese Basketball Association, told The Post he’s made arrangements with a mask supplier in China willing to sell New York 10 million masks “at cost” for $2.75 each – well below the roughly $7.50 that N95 retailers have been quoting the state.

The Coney Island native said he got the idea last week after learning of the state’s lack of protective gear and the astronomical price its been paying for masks. So the now-retired, former point guard decided to reach out to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a presumptive 2021 mayoral candidate who has backed Marbury’s local charities in the past, to let him know he’s ready to dish his biggest assist yet.

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury said during a call from his Beijing home. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

“I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time.”

With China now beginning to recover from the pandemic, Marbury’s mask contact has more N95s than that country currently needs, according to Brooklyn Borough Hall. The gear would be delivered 2 million at a time over five weeks.

Read more: https://nypost.com/2020/03/29/stephon-marbury-plans-to-deliver-10-million-masks-to-ny-amid-coronavirus-crisis/

Russell Wilson and Ciara Pledge to Donate One Million Meals to Food Lifeline and Feeding America in Wake of Pandemic

NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson and Musical Artist Ciara (photo via flickr.com)

According to NBCSports.com, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and singer Ciara have pledged 1 million meals to Food Lifeline and Feeding America in an effort to help keep Americans in need fed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

To quote the article:

Obviously this worldwide pandemic, coronavirus, is changing the world, second-by-second, minute-by minute. People are losing loved ones, the elderly and the young, people in between. … So what we’ve decided to do is partner with our local food bank in Seattle, Seattle Food Lifeline, and we’re going to donate a million meals and hopefully make a difference,” Wilson said in a video message.

Wilson and Ciara mentioned people losing jobs in the wake of increasing shut down initiatives in an effort to keep the spread of the virus from proliferating an exponential rates. They’ve already seen friends in the area that work for companies such as Alaska Airlines, the Seattle Sounders – where the pair are part owners – and Seattle Children’s Hospital hit with the effects of the virus.

“We want to encourage every out there to join us in whatever way that you can, big or small,” Ciara said. “Everything makes a difference. Everything that we do together makes a difference and together we will conquer this tough time that we’re going through.”

The Feeding America network of food banks “distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger.”

Charles Barkley to Sell Memorabilia to Build Affordable Housing in his Alabama Hometown

NBA great Charles Barkley (photo via commons.wikipedia.org)

According to the Washington Post, former NBA superstar Charles Barkley is selling his 1993 NBA MVP trophy and an Olympic gold medal among other memorabilia from his Hall of Fame basketball career so he can use the proceeds to build affordable housing in Leeds, Ala., where he grew up.

“That stuff’s not that important to me. I’ve had an unbelievable life,” Barkley told Birmingham’s WJOX-FM last week, explaining why he isn’t attached to these possessions. “I’ve been in Leeds a lot and we’ve probably got 30 eyesores, as I call them, where houses used to be when I was growing up. Either a rotted-out house or there’s just weeds that have overgrown.

“So, what I’m trying to do — I want to work with the city of Leeds, I want them to give me the spaces, number one. I want them to give me the houses, and I’m going to use my own money, selling my memorabilia.”

To quote the article:

Panini, a sports card and memorabilia company that Barkley has a relationship with, estimated that the MVP trophy alone could fetch $300,000 to $400,000, Barkley said. And his 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medals? “ ‘I don’t even want to guess,’ ” Barkley said he was told, “ ‘but I can get you a lot for those gold medals.’ ”\

“I got an autograph deal with Panini and I was talking to the guys,” Barkley said. “All that stuff is at my grandmother’s house; I don’t even keep it, to be honest with you. And I said, ‘How much could I get for my MVP trophy and my two gold medals? And I got an autographed plaque signed by the [1992] Dream Team.’ He says, ‘Oh, I can get you a lot of money for that stuff.’ ”

Barkley went to high school in Leeds, which is about 20 miles east of Birmingham, and played collegiately at Auburn from 1981 to 1984. Now working for TNT, Barkley lives in Arizona but remains vocal about his Alabama roots. He has toyed with the idea of running for political office and hasn’t shied away from offering his opinion, whether it’s about Roy Moore when he was a candidate for Senate in 2017, the issues of race and poverty, or Trump.

“I want to do something really nice for Leeds. And if I could build 10 to 20 affordable houses — I want to do green housing, too,” he said. “If I could sell all that stuff, it would just be a really cool thing for me.”

To read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/03/09/charles-barkley-is-selling-memorabilia-build-affordable-housing-his-alabama-hometown/

Students at LeBron James’ I Promise School in Ohio to Receive Free Tuition to Kent State

Photo via Kent.edu

The inaugural class of NBA superstar LeBron JamesI Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, has received some life-changing news, according to CNN.

All 193 students, who are high school juniors, will be receiving free tuition to Kent State University. The students, who were visiting the Kent State campus, erupted in cheers when they were told of the news, while many of their parents, watching from a live feed in a separate room, burst into tears.

Video of the announcement was released on Wednesday by the LeBron James Family Foundation. To see the video on Twitter, click here.

To quote the CNN article:

On Wednesday, James told reporters that his school has a great relationship with Kent State and the University of Akron. When the school opened in 2018, plans were announced to promise free tuition to the University of Akron when the students graduate.

“We have so many options, and I just know that so many kids in my community just don’t have many options,” James said. “So for me to be able to be in a position where I can give these kids options to decide what they want to do with their future, it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done.”

According to a press release, the students will be guaranteed free tuition for four years as well as one year of a free room and meal plan. The students will be eligible for the package as college freshmen for the 2021-2022 academic year. To be eligible, they must be admitted to Kent State, fill out required financial aid forms and have completed a required number of community service hours each semester.

To remain eligible, students need to remain in good academic standing, take part in a required number of community service or volunteer hours and complete a minimum number of credit hours per year.

“We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “Kent State looks forward to the time when our campus is teeming with I Promise students.”

‘Stay Close’: PBS Film Highlights Olympian Keeth Smart’s Rare Success as Black Man in Sport of Fencing

Keeth Smart (photo via Twitter.com)

Keeth Smart became the first American to reach No. 1 in the world in saber fencing and later won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. That he was black made it all the more compelling.

In 19 minutes, the sum of Smart’s life plays out in “Stay Close,” an inspiring short documentary that debuted last night on PBS and speaks to one man’s uncompromising desire to achieve in the face of hardship.

Using a combination of black and white animation, raw family footage and interviews, “Stay Close” illuminates Smart’s ascension from a West Indies community in Brooklyn to the apex of a sport blacks rarely compete in: fencing.

NFL Star Khalil Mack Pays Off $80K in Walmart Layaways in his Florida Hometown

NFL Star Khalil Mack (photo via commons.wikipedia.org)

NFL star Khalil Mack delivered holiday cheer for several customers at a Walmart in his Florida hometown over the weekend, according to KNX NewsRadio. The Chicago Bears linebacker reportedly paid off $80,000 worth of layaway accounts, leaving many families with less to worry about.

To quote the article:

The four-time Pro-Bowler took care of the debts at a Walmart in Fort Pierce through the Khalil Mack Foundation, which focuses on impacting lives of “inter-city and under-privileged youth and families.” The store announced the donation in a Facebook post and thanked him for the act of kindness.

“We have some wonderful News! If you have an active Holiday Layaway account at your local Ft. Pierce Wal-Mart, you account has been paid off!” the Walmart wrote. “We here at Walmart would like to thank the Khalil Mack Foundation for your generosity, and for making so many families happy for the holidays!”

Mack covered more than 300 accounts, which cost about $80,000 total, according to the Chicago Tribune. “His foundation came to us and said he wanted to be a secret Santa,” store manager Mathias Libardi told TCPalm.com.

Mack is known for giving back to his hometown. In June, he donated 100 pairs of cleats to the Fort Pierce Westwood football team.

To read more: https://knx1070.radio.com/articles/cbs-news/nfl-star-pays-off-walmart-layaways-in-his-hometown

Kenyan Runner Eliud Kipchoge Breaks 2-Hour Marathon Mark in Austria

Eliud Kipchoge wins INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria (image via twitter.com)

According to bbc.com, elite Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge, 34, has become the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours, beating the mark by 20 seconds.

Kipchoge covered the 26.2 miles in one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.

This feat will not be recognized officially as the marathon world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.

“This shows no-one is limited,” said Kipchoge. “Now I’ve done it, I am expecting more people to do it after me.”

To read more: https://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/50025543

Vanderbilt University Honors Trailblazing Student-Athlete Perry Wallace by Renaming a Street in His Honor

Perry Wallace (photo via vanderbilt.edu)

According to jbhe.comVanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee announced that part of 25th Avenue South in front of its Memorial Gymnasium will be ceremonially renamed “Perry Wallace Way” in memory of the trailblazing Vanderbilt student-athlete who integrated Southeastern Conference varsity basketball in 1967.

On December 2, 1967, Wallace made history when he played for Vanderbilt University in a game with Southern Methodist University. Two days later, he played in a game against Southeastern Conference rival, Auburn University. Wallace endured verbal abuse from fans and had objects thrown at him from the stands.

His story is told in Andrew Maraniss’ best-selling book Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South (Vanderbilt University Press, 2014).

After graduating from Vanderbilt University and Columbia Law School, Wallace served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Later, Wallace entered the academic world and served on the faculty of the law schools at Howard University, the University of Baltimore, and American University.

NBA Legend Michael Jordan Donates $1 million to Hurricane Relief in the Bahamas

Michael Jordan (photo via commons.wikipedia.com)

NBA Legend and former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan announced on Tuesday he will donate $1 million to relief efforts in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, CBS News reported.

“I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently,” Jordan said in a statement, shared on Twitter by his spokeswoman and manager, Estee Portnoy.  “My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and those who have lost loved ones.”

To read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-jordan-donates-1-million-to-hurricane-dorian-relief-in-the-bahamas-after-storm/

WNBA Legend Lisa Leslie to Be Honored with Statue Outside Staples Center in Los Angeles

 

WNBA great Lisa Leslie (photo via flickr.com)

WNBA superstar and Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie will be the first female athlete honored with a statue outside of Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Arash Markazi reported the news, writing that the Los Angeles Sparks and Anschutz Entertainment Group still have to iron out the specific date but agreed Leslie will be the 11th statue outside of the famed sports and entertainment arena. Leslie’s statue will also be the first of a WNBA player outside of a team’s home arena.

According to bleacherreport.com, Leslie went to the Sparks in the WNBA’s inaugural draft in 1997 and played her entire career with the team through 2009. During her professional basketball career, Leslie won three league MVPs, two championships, four Olympic gold medals and three All-Star Game MVPs .

Leslie, who was the first WNBA player to dunk in a game, was also named to eight All-Star teams and 12 All-WNBA teams, including eight first-team selections. In addition to her WNBA achievements, she once scored 101 points in a half during a game for Morningside High in Inglewood, and was named first-team all-conference in each of her four seasons at USC.

Leslie will now be forever memorialized alongside statues of Los Angeles legends such as Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.