Thomas’ Tribe Completes a Trifecta in Coaches Vs. Coaches Event

The coaches pray at center court following a third-straight win by Coach Thomas’ Tribe

It was that time of year again when some of Alabama’s finest high school basketball coaches came together before official practices began primarily to raise funds for Midfield High School’s boys basketball program, but also to prove they can still ball… Lonzo.

For the sake of this article, I’m going to refer to the guest team as Thomas’ Tribe, since Midfield’s Charles Thomas has been the captain of the visiting squad since the inception of the Coaches vs. Coaches event. The home team will be referred to as Barber’s Bunch, since Darrell Barber is not only team captain but Midfield’s head boys coach and the mastermind behind the fundraiser.

In 2015, it was a battle of point guards between Barber and Minor’s Derrick Williams, but the x-factor would be Hoover’s Charles Burkett. Click link for recap of 2015 game  http://wp.me/p4cFCW-iV

Despite the loss, Barber was still thrilled to put on a successful fundraiser and looked forward to the following year.

Although Williams didn’t play in the 2016 game, Burkett put the Tribe on his back, and with the help of teammates like Woodlawn’s Chuck Winters, carried the team to back-to-back victories. Click link for  recap of 2016 game  http://wp.me/p4cFCW-r5

After two tough losses, Barber and the Bunch were determined to enter the win column in 2017. With a Winters trade from the Tribe to the Bunch and no Williams or Burkett on the Tribe’s roster, a win for Barber and the gang seemed to be in the palm of their hands… enter new Tribe member, Pinson Valley’s Jeremy Bogus; he would be a new burden for the Bunch.  Read More

D.Horton: “I Want to be Revered as the Shakespeare of Hip Hop” Part 2

Photo Credit: Hank Washington; Instagram: iam_hank

 

ADVISORY: This audio contains explicit language

 

Music Credits:

“Soul Food” – D.Horton; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 2

“Doin’ Something Right” – D.Horton; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 2

“The Friendly City” – D. Horton; produced by KTGotBeats and New1Message; The Sessions 2

“Black Butterfly” – D.Horton; produced by New1Message; The Sessions 2

“Lose Control” – D.Horton ft. Josias; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 3p: pt. 3

“I of God” – D.Horton; produced by New1Message; The Sessions 3: pt. 1

“Pocket Science” – D.Horton; produced by Joe Dent (3Seaven); The Sessions 3: pt. 2

“Mirror 2x” – D.Horton; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 3p: pt. 3

“The God Particle” – D.Horton; produced by KTGotBeats

For more of D.Horton’s music and “I am brilliant” tees, go to  http://davetherapper.com

D.Horton: “I Want to be Revered as the Shakespeare of Hip Hop” Part 1

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Photo Credits: Rey Leubh; Instagram: rey_leubh

 

ADVISORY: This audio contains explicit language

 

Music Credits:

“Still in the House” – D. Horton; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 2

“Hughes Road” – D.Horton; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 3P: Pt. 3

“Homecoming” – D. Horton; produced by Professor X; Brilliant Minds

“Yeah 2x” – D.Horton; produced by New1Message!; The Sessions 3: Pt. 1

“Believe” – D. Horton; produced by KTGotBeats; The Sessions 

“Father’s Day” – D.Horton; produced by Joe Dent (3Seaven); The Sessions 2

For more of D.Horton’s music and “I am brilliant” tees, go to  http://davetherapper.com

Nico Collins: The Man Behind the Helmet

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Photo Credits: Don and Nico Collins

Interview Credits: Don and Nico Collins; Robert Nelson Jr.; Kevin Brown (Xtreme Fitness & Performance – 1305 2nd Ave N., Suite 106 Birmingham, Ala. 35203)

Music Credits: Logic – Everybody; Drake – Sacrifices; Nas – The World Is Yours; Biggie – The Sky is the Limit

Sources: Rivals.com; AL.com; espn.com

Unsung Heroes Part I: Roderick Jackson V. Birmingham Board of Education

Photo Credit: espn.com

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, because standing up for what one believes is the right thing to do often times leads to consequences and backlash.

In “History Repeats Itself: The Protest that Began Over Four Decades Ago,” John Carlos, National Track and Field Hall of Famer and Olympic medalist, discusses the consequences he experienced following a humanitarian statement during the 1968 Olympics that was viewed as a protest of the American flag. Carlos and Tommie Smith, Olympic gold medalist, received death threats and were suspended from the U.S. team after standing with gloved fists during the medal ceremony.

In some cases, people may even be blackballed for standing up (or kneeling down) and speaking out. Former San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who spearheaded a national protest by choosing to kneel during the singing of the national anthem during the 2016-17 NFL season, has yet to be signed by an NFL team for the upcoming season. While Kaepernick isn’t the best quarterback on the market, he’s not the worst; therefore, there’s a strong chance he’s being blackballed.  http://wp.me/p4cFCW-qw

In a 2013 AL.com article, former Ensley and Jackson Olin High School girls head basketball coach Roderick Jackson suggests he’s been “permanently blackballed” from coaching in the Birmingham city school system. In 2001, as the girls head coach of then Ensley High School, Jackson complained the girls didn’t receive the same treatment as the boys team: the girls practiced in the old gym with wooden backboards, bent rims and no heat, had old uniforms and no budget for shoes, weren’t able to keep any money generated from admission and concessions and had to car pool to games while the boys used buses.

According to espn.com, Jackson spent $700 out of his own pocket to supply his players with shoes in his second season as head coach. He asked to review the athletic department’s books but was told they weren’t any of his business. Jackson complained to the athletic director and principal and they ignored him. Players even met with the principle to complain about the car pooling and practice facility; she told the players she would change it but never did. To make matters worse, the girls junior varsity program was cut.

Read More

The Lost Art of the Game: From a Player to a Critic’s Perspective

 

Now that University of Connecticut head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma has given his perspective of the game, allow me to add my two cents…

In his recent song “False Prophets,” rapper J.Cole makes a statement “always worried about the critics who aint never freaking did it, I write what’s in my heart, don’t really care who messing with it. But in a sense, I can relate, the need to be great turns into an obsession that keeps a brother up late writing words, hoping people observe the dedication that stirs in you constantly, but intentions get blurred.” That’s the clean version.

Well, I always write what’s in my heart, whether readers agree or not. And in this case, I am a critic, but the difference is I have done it.

I’ve had the perspective of an athlete, a coach and now a fan and a writer. But, it’s tough to be a fan and a writer and not be critical. So, as I critique the game and the players who play it, I have to remind myself I was once a player being talked, written, tweeted and posted about, good and bad. It annoys me to sit in the stands at a basketball game and fans make comments when they don’t even know the game or down-talk a player when they couldn’t do any better themselves. Although I’m entitled to my perspective, I try to be as honest and respectful as possible. Read More

Jen Welter: Women, Publicity and Leverage

Photocredit: fansfavoritefan.com

In the summer of 2015, Jen Welter took the sports world  by storm becoming the first woman coach in NFL history. Welter was hired by the Arizona Cardinals as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason to work with inside linebackers. But once her month-long internship with the Cardinals concluded, Welter didn’t land a full-time coaching job in the NFL.

This begs the question if Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians had any intentions of hiring Welter full-time or whether it was a publicity stunt for the Cardinal organization to be the first to give a woman a chance to coach in the NFL. A little less than a year prior to Welter being hired, Becky Hammon became the first full-time, paid woman coach in the NBA, working as an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs. Even with her reputable collegiate and professional basketball resume and future Hall of Fame likelihood, it’s likely Hammon did have to intern with the Spurs to see if she would be a good fit. However, the groundbreaking news was that Hammon was actually hired as a full-time assistant coach… meaning the internship was private and the announcement of her being hired was made public; the complete opposite of Jen Welter’s situation. Read More

Burkett Leads Visiting Team to Back-to-Back “Coaches vs. Coaches” Victories

2nd-annual-coches-vs-coaches-003

Hoover’s Charles Burkett scored 15 second-half points to lead his team to victory in the 2nd annual “Coaches vs. Coaches” basketball game.

Hoover’s Charles Burkett picked up where he left off from last year’s “Coaches vs. Coaches” basketball game leading his visiting team to a 70-66 victory.

In the first ever “Coaches Got Game Too” matchup in 2015, Burkett finished with 17 points and the only dunk of the game that was the cherry on top of a sweet, comeback victory for his ball club.

Click link to see highlights of 2015 game.

https://byoungncompany.com/2015/10/14/coaches-got-game-too-highlights/

This time around, Burkett and company led the entire first half, entering the break with a 36-31 advantage. However, similar to the previous year, the home squad didn’t go down without a fight. Led by Restoration Academy Demetrius Coates’ eight second-half points, the home team would go on a 17-to-9 run to take a 48-45 edge entering the fourth quarter.

Leading with just under five minutes left to play, home-team captain and event host Darrell Barber of Midfield said his team needed to continue to take care of the ball, play together and limit Burkett. Read More

The Big Question: Is Transferring The Same As Quitting?

blake-barnett-transfers

Photo credit: thespun.com

Following University of Alabama redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Barnett’s decision to transfer last month, there was a lot of controversy surrounding his choice to leave four games into the season.

Regarding midseason transfers, head coach Nick Saban says, “There’s certain pride people have in competition. There’s certain things I was taught growing up about not quitting and seeing things through. I think If I’d come home and told my dad that I was going to quit the team, I think he’d have kicked me out of the house.”

Barnett, a five-star recruit from California, started Alabama’s season opener against the University of Southern California before he was pulled in favor of freshman Jalen Hurts. Maybe it’s the timing in which Barnett left rather than the point of him leaving that has upset many supporters of the Crimson Tide. However, since Barnett decided to leave when he did, he will be eligible to play at another FBS program during this time next year if he meets the minimum credits and GPA, and graduates from the junior college he will currently attend.

On the other hand, it seems hypocritical of Coach Saban to criticize players transferring midseason when he left the Miami Dolphins – with three seasons remaining on his contract – in January 2007 to coach at Alabama. His departure was probably most shocking because of the statement he made in December 2006, amid a 6-10 Dolphins season: “I guess I have to say it: I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.” Read More

History Repeats Itself: The Protest That Began Over Four Decades Ago

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Photo credit: thenation.com

San Francisco 49ers’ backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick has recently sparked a protest among NFL players after refusing to stand for the national anthem, stating that he wasn’t “going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” During preseason games as well as the season opener, Kaepernick has knelt on the sidelines. Teammate Eric Reid chose to follow suit in kneeling beside Kaepernick in the season opener and some Miami Dolphins players decided to take a knee during their opener as well. However, players from the LA Rams, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs decided to take a different approach, standing while raising gloved fists, the same pose 200-meter gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos enacted during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Smith and Carlos’ gestures occurred during the American national anthem as well, unknowingly leading the way for many protests to come.

Successful entrepreneur and businessman Daymond John suggests, “You will never create anything new. There’ll only be a new delivery and a new market.” The context of this quote is centered around the business industry; however, the same applies for any other subject matter, including the NFL players’ protests. The sports in which the protests have occurred and the stage of the protests may differ, but the reason for the protests and their intended messages are the same – to stand against racial inequality and injustices against people of color. So in a sense, history repeats itself, as well as foreshadows the future.

In a documentary on the 1968 Mexico City games produced for HBO, Tommie Smith says, “We were just human beings who saw the need to bring attention to the inequality in our country… I don’t like the idea of people looking at it as a negative. There was nothing but a raised fist in the air and a bowed head – acknowledging the American flag – not symbolizing a hatred for it.”

According to Time magazine, the Australian, 200-meter silver medalist, Peter Norman, stood with Smith and Carlos wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge to show his support during the medal ceremony. Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at Norman’s funeral in 2006. Read More

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