Alabama Prep Sports Academy Working to Keep Student-Athletes’ Dreams Alive


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With a goal of bridging the gap between academics and athletics, the Alabama Prep Sports Academy provides an option that many parents and student-athletes don’t know is available to them.

Located in Calera, Ala., APSA is a post-graduate, academic-athletic program for students who want to continue their journey to earning an athletic scholarship to an accredited four-year institution. Many student-athletes choose to attend junior college when they don’t meet certain grade point averages, SAT or ACT scores, but athletes can achieve these goals through a post-graduate program without losing NCAA eligibility.

Through APSA, athletes have the opportunity to be exposed to a college-like academic program while competing at a college level in games against Division III, National Athletic Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) and community colleges, and other prep schools. Student-Athletes’ eligibility isn’t affected because they are not considered full-time students at APSA, only taking SAT and ACT prep courses and basic courses to receive some college credit. Most students are enrolled in the post-graduate program six months or longer.

However, not every student pursues a post-graduate program to meet certain qualifications or gain college credit. Some students may want to further develop as an athlete, gain more exposure at a higher level of competition, or maybe unsatisfied with their chosen college following high school. Read More

Midfield Boys Basketball Hosts First Ever “Coaches Got Game Too” All-Star Game

Midfield High School’s boys basketball program is hosting the first ever “Coaches Got Game Too” All-Star basketball game October 3.

The game will be held at Midfield’s gymnasium and will feature high school basketball coaches in the Birmingham Metro Area. Midfield’s head boys coach Darrell Barber will serve as the Home team’s captain, while Midfield’s head girls coach Charles Thomas will serve as the Away team’s captain.

Serving as the Home team’s head coach is also Wenonah High School girls head coach and three-time state champion Emmanuel Bell. He leads the way for a star-studded squad:
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Alabama Heat Elite Gear Up for Fall Finale Showcase

Heat Elite

Photo credit: Alabama Heat Elite

The Alabama Heat Elite AAU girls  basketball club is heading to Power Springs, Ga. for the Fall Finale Showcase.

The tournament will be held at McEacherm High School and serves as the last evaluation period for NCAA coaches before high school basketball tips off.

During July, the Heat played in a series of tournaments across the Southeast, and the girls’ performance improved at each showcase. According to freshman team head coach Steve Ward, his players finished 1-3 in the 10th-grade gold division at the Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla., the Sweet 16 at the Battle of the Boro in Franklin, Tenn., the Elite 8 at the Basketball on the Bayou in New Orleans, La., and were runners-up at the Garden City Summer Final in Augusta, Ga. In its first year of inception, the sophomore team also showed signs of progression.…super-showcase/ Read More

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Stops in Birmingham

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The World Cup champion U.S. Women’s Soccer team takes the field in Birmingham, Ala. as part of a countrywide, 10-game Victory Tour celebration.

The team plays Haiti at Birmingham’s Legion Field Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

Since defeating Japan to win its third World Cup, it’s been all work and play for the 2015 ESPY “Best Team” award winner. The USA opened the tour Aug. 16 against Costa Rica in Pittsburgh, and is currently 2-0 as it prepares to face Haiti in Detroit, Mich. tonight at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday. A special feature of the tour is the Women’s World Cup trophy that will be on display in two Birmingham locations: Alabama Sports Hall of Fame – Friday, Sept. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. and Legion Field, Fan HQ – Sunday, Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Read More

High School Football Preview: Birmingham Metro Area Teams to Watch in Week 3


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As action continues to heat up on the gridiron, here are a few high school games fans should keep a close eye on as they kickoff their Labor Day Weekend:

1. Pleasant Grove at Ramsay – Both teams are looking to capitalize off their momentum after shutout wins in week two. It’ll be a dog fight from start to finish, but the 2014 Class 5A, State Runner-up Spartans (1-1) have something to prove in the Region 5 matchup against the Rams (1-0). By the end of the night, Pleasant Grove prevails.

2. Spain Park at Thompson – Following a shutout win against the Hueytown Golden Gophers at home, The Jaguars (1-1) hit the road to face the unbeaten Thompson Warriors (2-0) in a Class 7A battle. Spain Park hopes to climb the ranks of Region 3 with with an upset, but the Jags have to put together a complete game. However, after a triple-overtime loss to Austin on the road in week one, Jags will find a way to go in and steal one for the upset.

3. Hoover at Mountain Brook – The Spartans are in action at home for the third-straight week. Mountain Brook (1-0-1) faces its toughest opponent thus far in the Hoover Buccaneers (2-0). The Class 7A, Region 5 matchup is the first in-state game for the No. 78 nationally ranked Bucs. Hoover knocked off Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. in week one and Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla. last week. As the face of high school football in Alabama (holding the state-record, 11 championships), the Bucs are chasing their fourth-straight state championship, as well as a national championship. Some notable players to watch for the Bucs are 6-foot-4, 205 pound outside linebacker Jeremiah Moon and 5-foot-11, 175 pound corneback P.J. Hall. Moon is a University of Florida commit and Hall is highly recruited by Louisville and Mississippi State University. Although Spartans have home-field advantage, Bucs will come out on top. Read More

For the Love of the Game: The Journey to Playing Professional Basketball

As the Women’s National Basketball Association is in descending mode and preparing to transition into the post season, many other women basketball players have recently taken flight to head overseas. It’s no secret that it’s tough for any athlete to play professionally in his or her chosen sport, but this phenomenon seems to be more salient within the WNBA. As a result, some American, women basketball players work hard to receive an offer to play professional basketball overseas after college.

BYNC reporter Brittany Young sits down with former University of Alabama, University of Southern California and current Clube Uniao Sportiva women’s basketball player Kaneisha Horn and former University of Alabama and LaSalle women’s basketball player Khristin Lee to discuss their road to playing professional basketball.


The Intertextuality of Hip Hop and Sport Part II


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In a time of social despair, the release of the “Straight Outta Compton” film continues to act as a pivotal element in re-inspiring multiple generations of people across the world. Although the timely film brought back some unsettled memories for a few people (get the story behind the film here:, it positively recollects how “the world’s most dangerous group” made Los Angeles professional sports apparel a popular trend within Hip Hop and many other cultures.

In the 2010 ESPN 30 for 30 “Straight Outta L.A.,” former NWA member Ice Cube talks about how LA Hip Hop changed the rules of the rap game in the same way the LA Raiders changed the rules of football. During the Raiders’ 13 years in LA, the team was known for being  the ruthless “bad boys” of football and NWA identified with that same ruthless, bad boy attitude in rap, which is why group members were frequently seen sporting black or wearing Raider gear. It was all  a part of their identity. Read More

Softball or Female Baseball Players?


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Although Little League dugouts and diamonds are slowly clearing out as fall approaches, there remains a lingering issue that has yet to hit home. In 2014, Philadelphia Taney Dragon Little League baseball player Mo’Ne Davis took the world by storm with her unique curveball and 70 mile per hour fast ball silencing the notion that girls can’t throw or compete with the boys. But why is Davis and many other girls competing with boys instead of competing in a league of their own? On one hand, there aren’t any baseball leagues for girls so they’re forced to play with the boys. On the other hand, girl’s softball leagues are lacking because many girls are playing baseball. Furthermore, the difference in the two games hurts girls once they get to high school and have to play softball, although many girls choose to continue to play baseball with boys in high school. These young ladies will likely experience some challenges once they make it to the college level. However, some colleges allow women to play baseball with the men. But this run will eventually come to an end, as there isn’t a professional baseball league for women. Many coaches and female players don’t consider softball to be equivalent to baseball because the dynamics of the game are different – different pitching styles, different distance between bases, different number of innings and different sizes of balls and fields. Many females prefer to pitch overhanded opposed to the unorthodox, underhanded pitch. The 1992 film “A League of Their Own” depicts the women of the 1940’s All American Girls Professional Baseball League pitching overhanded with baseballs instead of the larger softballs. So, if women had their own baseball league over 50 years ago, why are girls and women being limited to softball today? Read More

Jamarcus Nelson’s Sprint to the NFL

Many NFL players have played football their entire lives, but Jamarcus Nelson’s journey began his junior year in high school. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, his hands and speed catapulted him from a sleeper to one of the most talked about wide receivers and kickoff and punt returners in college football. BYNC Reporter Brittany Young speaks with the former UAB All-American and Arizona Cardinal rookie about his road to the NFL and his expectations for the upcoming season.

Three World Cups, Zero Pay Increase


Photo Credit: The Boston Globe

It’s the same old story, just a different sport. In my article “Challenging the Status Quo,” I discuss the television coverage and pay gap between the WNBA and the NBA. In 2005, Venus Williams wrote a letter to the London Times fighting for pay equality at Wimbledon, the same effort she put forth as an 18 year old in 1998. “Venus VS.” – the espnW Nine for IX film directed by Ava Duvernay – documents Williams’ fight for pay equality that led to her becoming the first Wimbledon women’s champion to earn as much as the men’s singles winner (Roger Federer) in 2007. Just like the WNBA, the Women’s Tennis Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association – and even after winning three World Cups – the United States Women’s National Soccer team are still being cheated financially. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association only gave the United States team $2 million for winning the World Cup from a total cup purse of $15 million distributed to the women’s World Cup teams.

In comparison, 2014 World Cup champion Germany received $35 million from a total FIFA purse of $358 million distributed to men’s World Cup teams. The World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan garnered the largest audience ever (on Fox and Telemundo) for a televised soccer game in the U.S. at 26.7 million, and produced record ratings in Japan, Canada, France, England and China. Furthermore, the Nine for IX film “the 99ers” highlights how the U.S. women’s soccer team positively changed the face of women’s athletics. Sixteen years ago, women soccer players were able to draw a crowd of more than 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and about 40 million Americans watching on television.

There’s no doubt soccer has the leverage to bring in sponsorships and there’s a market for women, but for some reason it’s still tough for them to gain support. Read More

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