Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Raising kids harder than KOing foes for Alexander

By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
November 1, 2007

Houston Alexander chuckles and begs you not to make him out to be Superman.

After carefully examining the facts, though, you arrive at the inescapable conclusion that Superman is the perfect nickname for the fast-rising UFC light heavyweight contender.

And no, it's not because of his two knockout victories in his first two UFC fights, which took a combined one minute and 49 seconds, though his victims, Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara, may be buying into the Superman hype a bit at this point.

And neither is it because of his ability to bench press as much as 450 pounds, or more than twice his body weight, because being a star weight lifter is no guarantee of success as a mixed martial arts fighter.

Alexander, who faces his biggest challenge on Nov. 17 at UFC 78 in Newark, N.J., when he meets Thiago Silva, earns the Superman moniker every day as the single parent of six children.

Taking care of six children between the ages of 5 and 16 is a big enough job for a small squadron of adults. For a guy who has emerged as one of the world's elite light heavyweights, with all the training and business demands that entails, to also be able to cook and clean around the house each day is super hero kind of stuff.

Cooking, cleaning and beating people up makes for a full day.

Admittedly, though, the image of one of mixed martial arts' baddest men pushing a vacuum cleaner and cleaning a toilet is priceless.

"But you tell all those UFC fans, they come to my house and they'll see me pushing that vacuum," he says, laughing. "I'm no different than they are. I have to clean the house, too."

He's already begun to clean house at 205 pounds, one of the UFC's deepest divisions. Alexander made his UFC debut in May, when he took a bout against Jardine on short notice.

At the time, it looked like Jardine was moving inexorably toward a title shot and there was a lot of backlash about the UFC selecting a guy precious few had heard of as his opponent.

Looking back, the hubbub seems ridiculous, but Alexander said he understood the concern.

"They didn't know me," Alexander said of the UFC's fan base. "Keith fought on TV (on the UFC's reality series, The Ultimate Fighter, on Spike TV) and he was well known. There was a way of doing things, where if you beat this guy then you fought that guy type of thing.

"But to a lot of the people, I came out of nowhere. I didn't, really, and I never doubted that I would win that fight. But because people didn't know who I was or what I was capable of doing, they sort of doubted me."

Alexander then went out and caught Jardine with a combination that made a sound so loud it resonated like the casino implosions that have occurred up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

It took only 48 seconds and Alexander was the winner.

"You do that and then all of a sudden, things change a lot for you," Alexander said. "The thing that pleased me, I got another fight (in the UFC)."

And though it took longer, this time, Alexander put those extra 13 seconds to good use. He pulverized Sakara at UFC 75 in London, making the battle of strikers essentially a one-man show.

He returns at UFC 78 with a potential 2008 title shot looming if he can get past Silva. And though Silva is 10-0 and was impressive in defeating Tomasz Drwal at UFC 75, he's facing a totally different type of opponent.

He attacks with a ferocity rarely seen in the fight game.

"If this guy is to beat me, he has to be a terror," Alexander said.

He's seen all kinds in his lengthy fighting career, much of which was completed in obscurity in small towns around the Midwest.

Alexander figures he has around 40 wins, though his official record has him at just 8-1. But regardless of whether the missing fights were non-sanctioned or amateur bouts, they were fights just the same and provided Alexander with the experience to be able to take on the likes of world-class fighters such as Jardine and Sakara.

And though his future will in large part ride upon how he performs against Silva, it's not causing him to lose so much as a wink of sleep.

"Pressure is raising six kids by yourself," Alexander said. "That's pressure. As far as fighting, I'm 35. I've got a lot of fights. However you want to categorize those fights I had, there still was someone standing across from me intending to hurt me. You learn from those – or at least you try – and after you've had a few, you don't feel any pressure.

"My pressure comes from wanting to do the right thing for my kids. I want them to have the best life possible. And there is so much work that has to be done. Fighting is just a job. Kids are work, believe me when I tell you that. You want pressure, that's pressure."

Kevin Iole covers boxing and mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Send Kevin a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fight To Learn: Rodney Moore

The "Fight To Learn" Program is Founded by the President/C.E.O. Rodney Moore, former professional welter wt. Boxing Champ and 2-time Boxing Hall of Famer.

The Fight to Learn After School Program provides a safe space and structured activities during non-school hours so children can learn and grow.

Our objective is to have 75% of the young people stay with Fight To Learn for the full contract period, thus one of the chief evaluation tools will be participant retention. In addition, we will continually solicit feedback from the participants, their parents, and their teachers to evaluate the success of the program and determine how it can improve.

Our goal is to expand the Fight to Learn Program throughout the Philadelphia area. Once established, the vision is to became a national organization. Our objective is to affect the lives of many children in a beneficial way and to help break the cycles of drug addiction, illiteracy, and incarceration.

Source: Fight To Learn

More About Rodney Moore

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ben Wallace joins the 'Starbury' movement

Stephon Marbury started it. Now, Ben Wallace is joining the cause.

Wallace is lending his name to the Starbury Movement, endorsing an affordable line of sneakers and apparel started by the New York Knicks’ star. Wallace will begin wearing the Starbury II basketball shoe Thursday when the Chicago Bulls play his former team, the Detroit Pistons. And his own sneaker — Big Ben — is expected to hit the market in late August or the fall.

“Kids don’t really understand what it takes to go out and buy a pair of $300 pair of shoes,” Wallace said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We don’t understand the pressure we put on our parents when we’re growing up. This is one of the things where I think the parents will appreciate it a lot more than the kids right now because it eliminates so much stress from the parents. All parents want to see their kids have nice things.”

Launched a year ago, the Starbury line is expanding from 50 products to 200 — nearly all available for $14.98 or less at Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear. It includes a joggers shoe, skater shoe, casual shoe, gym shoe, woven shirts, jackets, jeans, T-shirts, shorts, hats and other accessories.

At a time when youngsters feel pressure to wear expensive brands of shoes and clothing and are even being killed for what’s on their feet, Marbury and Wallace are trying to provide an alternative.

“Once parents and their kids begin to see that other pro athletes are getting down with this, then it just makes a world of difference,” Marbury said in a phone interview. “It’s not just one person doing it. Other people are wearing the shoes. Other people are putting their feet inside of shoes that they’re saying are cheap.”

Marbury and Wallace are not paid to endorse the products. Instead, they earn royalties on sales.

Marbury and representatives from Steve & Barry’s started developing the line after discussing it over dinner about a year-and-a-half ago, while Wallace joined in about four months ago.

Marbury said adding the four-time defensive player of the year “gives the brand some credibility,” and he plans to get more players involved. He hopes that, in turn, will help spread the word to children and their parents — that there are good, cheaper alternatives. Alternatives he wishes were available when he was younger.

Growing up on Coney Island in Brooklyn, Marbury couldn’t afford the top brands. So he wore “everything. No specific shoe.”

For Wallace, it was a steady flow of hand-me-downs.

The 10th of 11 children and the youngest of eight boys, he grew up poor in White Hall, Ala. He knows he had shoes, but which brands? He couldn’t say.

But with the Starbury line and the Big Ben sneaker coming out, there are more opportunities.

Although the shoes are inexpensive, Marbury and Wallace said they’re as durable as the more expensive brands.

“If you were to cut this in half, there’s absolutely no difference between this and the most expensive sneakers on the market,” Steve & Barry’s spokesman Howard Schacter said, holding a red, white and blue Starbury II. “This provides arch support, a reinforced heal. It really is the same deal, and what Ben and Steph are wearing on court is exactly the same shoe.”

Marbury said: “It’s not that they’re cheap; they’re just affordable. Now, as we begin to sign more players, kids won’t feel that burden.”

Wallace acknowledged he had doubts, but they went away once he tried a few pairs.

“They last just as long as any other pair,” he said. “I hope people do realize that regardless of how much you do pay for a pair of sneakers, eventually they are going to wear (out) somewhere.”

The Associated Press News Service

Click Here For Video


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Maurby's Starbury

For years, high-end basketball shoes, especially those endorsed by NBA stars, have been the ultimate status symbol for inner-city kids. Often priced in excess of $100, the shoes are unaffordable for many, which results in kids being robbed, beaten, and even killed for their sneakers. While few pro athletes have addressed this issue, New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury, who grew up in the hardscrabble Brooklyn projects, has tackled the problem head-on with an initiative on affordable athletic shoes. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg examines this disturbing trend and profiles one athlete's campaign in this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration.

Source: HBO: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel - Stories - Marbury's Starburys

Oprah Winfrey Highlights - Starbury Sneakers

Starbury Snearker's

Store Locator

Friday, October 5, 2007

`Oh my God, you're Allen Iverson.'

The college student was driving on Interstate 64 from Newport News to Hampton. It was after midnight, and Eileen Mellon was reaching toward the cup slot to her right, where she had tucked away her cell phone. She was pulling onto an exit ramp. She saw heavy construction cones and swerved. Her friend in the passenger seat screamed. The car flipped three times and landed on its side.And that was how, roughly six weeks ago, Mellon and Ashlee Skweres met Allen Iverson.``I turned the car off,'' recalled Mellon, who attends Roanoke College; Skweres attends Old Dominion University. ``I just figured I should do that. We were fine. And then there was someone knocking on the window, asking if we were all right. He told us to roll down the window. I had to turn the car back on. He pulled Ashlee out. I looked up and said, `Oh my God, you're Allen Iverson.' He got us out.

``By then, an ambulance came. They checked us and suggested we go to the hospital. Ashlee went. I waited for my mom.''It was all so fast, so surreal. It was enough for a friend, April Snoparsky, who has Philadelphia roots, to write a letter to the Philadelphia Daily News. She's an Iverson fan. All three girls are. Snoparsky wanted people to know about Iverson's rescue effort, that there was more than controversy to the former 76ers star.Iverson, who grew up in Hampton, said he was with some friends on I-64 ``on our way to see my uncle's house.''``I feel good that they're appreciative,'' Iverson said in a telephone conversation during a break in the Denver Nuggets' training camp. ``I look at it as just being a human being. They needed help. People have helped me.''Iverson said he hadn't thought about the situation ``in a while.''He said he had been unaware that it had become public knowledge until he was informed by his personal manager, Gary Moore. He hadn't seen Snoparsky's letter until Tuesday.``I just saw the car on the left side of the road,'' he told the Rocky Mountain News this week. ``It was crashed all up. You could see all the glass and stuff in the street from the wreck. The car was smoking. I was like, `We've got to go see what's up with these people.'``Both of them said they were all right. One of them (Mellon), her seat belt was still on. I remember looking in there and asking, `Are you sure you're all right? Is anything broken or anything like that?' One of them looked up and said, `Oh my God, are you Allen Iverson?' I was like, `Yeah, but don't worry about that. We're trying to get you all out and make sure you're all right.'''Pulled to safety, Iverson saw the girls suddenly realize the severity of the moment.``When they got out of the car and looked at (it), that's when both of them lost it,'' he said. ``They realized what it could have been. That's a scary sight. You can be in a car and be all right, but when you get out and look at the damage done, you're like, `It could have been so much worse.' ``Iverson said some other cars had pulled over to offer assistance, but when the police arrived ``they said they had everything under control.''``I've seen accidents before, but usually you see police, fire trucks,'' Iverson said Tuesday. ``Nine times out of 10, the people are getting assistance. Here, I didn't see anybody. I saw a car parked (nearby) on the grass, with the (headlights) shining, but I didn't see anybody.''Iverson said that one of his friends later stopped at the hospital to check on the situation. He said he had not had contact with either of the girls since the accident.``It was kind of crazy, to be rescued by someone of that nature,'' Mellon said. ``He didn't have to stop.''But Snoparsky, a 2005 graduate of Trinity College now living in Vermont, felt compelled to let people know what Iverson had done.``I'm a huge Iverson fan,'' Snoparsky said. ``I think people just don't hear enough about the good side of him.''As for Mellon and her cell phone, ``I was in the car one day and thought about sending a text message. I waited until I got home.''

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

4 Years of College for Free

The mission of the Call Me MISTER (acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) National Initiative is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background particularly among the State’s lowest performing elementary schools. Student participants are largely selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities.

The Call Me MISTER program is contributing to the talent pool of excellent teachers by identifying and supporting students like Mr. Mark Joseph (shown here), who are literally “touching the future” by teaching children. Mark’s teaching degree was made possible through the Call Me MISTER program.
Please forward to anyou know who could benefit from this wonderful opportunity. Do you know any Black Males (who are Seniors in high school) who want to go to college for FREE. These black colleges are looking for future Black Male Teachers and will send them to Universities/Colleges FOUR (4) YEARS FREE; THIS IS FOR MALES ONLY.
1. Have parents fill out this application.
2. Read the Mission Statement: There are Ten (10) different South Carolina Colleges and Universities including:

Benedict College Claflin University Clemson University Morris College South Carolina State University Greenville Technical College Midlands Technical College Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Tri-County Technical College Trident Technical College 3.

Send this to your family and friends also.

The web link is below: