NBA Stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade Address Gun Violence, Racial Turmoil at ESPYs

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NBA basketball players Carmelo Anthony, from left, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James speak on stage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP)

article by Evan Grossman via nydailynews.com

No highlight, championship or individual accomplishment showcased during the 2016 ESPY Awards Wednesday night was more powerful than the show’s cold opening.

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James teamed up for a moving call to action for other athletes to use their celebrity, influence and resources to make a difference in a divided America plagued by gun violence, injustice and racism.

Anthony turned to Instagram last week as the nation was torn by the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the retaliatory attack that led to the deaths of five Dallas police officers to urge others to inspire change. This week, he said he plans to use the Summer Olympics as another platform to spread his message, indicating he is not taking this lightly.

Reminiscent of Muhammad Ali’s black athlete summit from the summer of 1967, Melo started the show on a moving note when he was joined by fellow NBA stars Paul, Wade and James in a three-and-a-half-minute speech that, because of its social significance, timeliness and let’s face it, the need right now for more thoughtful and serious social leadership, may have eclipsed the legendary Jimmy V speech as ESPN’s finest moment.

Carmelo Anthony right to use Olympics as a platform for protest

Below is the transcript of their speech.

Carmelo Anthony:

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NBA basketball players LeBron James, from left, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade on stage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP)

Good evening. Tonight is a celebration of sports, celebrating our accomplishments and our victories. But, in this moment of celebration, we asked to start the show tonight this way, the four of us talking to our fellow athletes, with the country watching.

Because we cannot ignore the reality of the current state of America. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us.

Adam Silver praises Carmelo Anthony for ‘speaking from the heart’

The system is broken. The problems are not new. The violence is not new. And the racial divide definitely is not new.

But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high. Continue reading

Chicago Native and NBA Star Dwyane Wade Pays Tribute to Laquan McDonald on His Kicks

Dwyane Wade (l) and Laquan McDonald (r) [photo via bet.com]

Dwyane Wade created a memorial for Laquan McDonald the one place he knew everyone would look. The Miami Heat player etched the slain Chicago teen’s name into his game day sneakers, along with the hashtags “#Chicago” and “#Justice.”

It was a simple yet powerful way to honor the 17-year-old, who was shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder last week after dash-cam footage revealed the grisly details behind McDonald’s death.

While many have taken to the streets to protest, Wade — a Chicago native — recognized that his feet gain special attention during games and would make a fitting place for a tribute.

#laquanmcdonald #chicago #justice

A post shared by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

article by Evelyn Diaz via bet.com

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade Funds Literacy Program at Marquette University

Marquette alumnus and NBA superstar Dwyane Wade

Marquette alumnus and NBA superstar Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade, a star player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association and an alumnus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has pledged to donate $195,000 over three years through his Wade’s World Foundation to support a program to reduce the racial literacy gap among inner-city children.

The funds will be used to launch the Live to Dream summer reading program for second and third graders in Milwaukee public schools. Tutors from the university’s Ralph C. Hartman Literacy and Learning Center will help the children overcome any reading problems. Children will receive free transportation to the center for tutoring sessions. A book drive was held at a recent men’s basketball game at Marquette where attendees were asked to donate a book appropriate for young readers that will given to children in the summer reading program.

“Marquette has always been a champion of literacy, and this significant gift from Dwyane Wade and his foundation will give more children at risk of reading failure a much greater chance at a high quality of life,” said Dr. William Henk, dean of the College of Education. “To ensure their success in today’s world, we need to help them become skilled and confident in terms of their ability to read, write and listen.”

article via jbhe.com

For the 5th Year in a Row, Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy Students Achieve 100 Percent College Acceptance

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For the fifth year in a row, Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy has again achieved a 100 percent acceptance rate for its 2014 class.  This year, 240 students were accepted into four-year colleges and universities.  “I got into a lot of different schools but right now I’m thinking about four different choices,” student Keshawn Cathery said.

“I got into Georgetown University which I will be attending in the fall,” student Derrick Little said.

As part of an Urban Prep ritual, when seniors are admitted into college, they exchange their red uniform ties for a red and gold striped tie, a symbol of how hard they’ve worked.  “The tie represents to me moving on from a boy to becoming a young man and actually doing something with my life,” graduating senior Dumar Harris said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave the students a pep talk Tuesday, and NBA star Dwyane Wade donated $10,000 through his foundation to offset the cost of the student prom.

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But while students, staff and parents are celebrating the Class of 2014’s achievements, critics say the students in danger of not graduating never even make it to senior year.

“Urban Prep is not for everyone, and those students may leave us,” school founder and CEO Tim King, said. “But the fact that some students choose to leave us should not be used as a weapon against the students who have chosen to stay and have achieved this incredible accomplishment.”

Just ask Urban Prep alumni. The 2010 class the first to graduate from the school in 2010, and now they’re about to graduate from college.  “Being the first graduating class you see a lot of progression, you see a lot of downfall, but everything comes just together. If you keep striving for that one goal, no one can tell you no,” Urban Prep alumnus Paris Williams said.

To see video of this continually wonderful story, click here.

article by LeeAnn Trotter via nbcchicago.com

 

Michelle Obama Gets Assist from Miami Heat Stars in “Let’s Move” Promo, Dunks on LeBron James (VIDEO)

Michelle Obama

The stars of the Miami Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra joined Michelle Obama at the White House to help promote her “Let’s Move” campaign.

LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen were on hand to film a short video, encouraging viewers to eat healthy.  The group eats apples and drinks water throughout the promo, which is capped off with the first lady dunking a mini basketball into a hoop held by James.

article by Carrie Healey via thegrio.com

GQ Names LeBron James Most Stylish Athlete Of 2013

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As anyone who has been following basketball for the past two seasons can tell you, the most important thing a basketball player has to master in this day and age is his personal style. I know you might be thinking they should be working on their jumpers, watching film to learn defensive rotations or getting their cardio right with wind sprints, but that’s simply not the case. These days, if you’ve got the right look, you can become a notable NBA player for that reason alone. Don’t believe me, just consider how often you’ve thought about Andrew Bynum this season as compared to last year’s costume festival.  Now that I’ve convinced you of fashion’s importance in the NBA, you’ll be able to fully appreciate what an honor GQ just bestowed upon LeBron James, who was recently named their Most Stylish Athlete of 2013. Here’s what they had to say:

1. LeBron James
In his second year as the defending champion, LeBron has made good on his promise, silenced his critics, and now carries himself with the ease of a man who has nothing left to prove. And while his style remains polarizing, you can’t deny it works. Whether it’s his on-court tenacity or off-court kits, he goes hard both ways. Even his signature kicks have its dedicated devotees and detractors, but you know what they say: Haters gonna hate, but you can’t fault the Heat.

I know he has two titles, four MVPs, nine All-Star selections, seven All-NBA first team selections and five All-Defensive first team selections, but this might be the greatest award in LeBron’s career, and that’s including his 44 Player of the Week nods. The style game has become so competitive that besting an entire league of guys who are trying really hard to be the best-dressed is quite the accomplishment.

Continue reading

Miami Heat Star Dwyane Wade Sells TV Pilot to Fox

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According to Variety.com, NBA champion Dwyane Wade has teamed up with Smallville producer Mike Tollin and Sony Pictures Television to create half-hour comedy pilot Three the Hard Way for Fox, based on Wade’s life as a single father.  Wade will executive produce with Tollin and Mandalay Sports Media, as well as Justin Lin, Danielle Woodrow and Troy Craig Poon of Perfect Storm Entertainment.

Fellow executive producer Ben Watkins (Burn Notice) is writing the pilot script, which will tell the story of an NBA superstar named Daryl Wade and his eccentric entourage, who find themselves parenting by committee when the lead gets full custody of his two young sons.  The show is inspired by Wade’s book, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, in which he talks about parenting his two sons and recounting his own growing-up years and rise to the NBA elite.

Three the Hard Way is the first television development project for Wade’s ZZ Prods.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson