Damien Wilkins on surprise in-game gender reveal

December/28/2017

When Damien Wilkins looked up during a timeout and saw his fiancée Jasmine Mitchell on the court, he assumed she was there for a Pacers trivia thing that they did with fans or something.

So, he ignored what was happening and went back to focusing on what his coaches were saying about the game.

But then, he saw a sign that said ‘it’s a boy.’

It took a second to sink in.

In the video posted by the Pacers he can be seen glancing at the screen, looking away and then doing a hilarious double take.

“I was totally caught off guard,” he said. “She did a good job with that one. That was impressive.”

But when it did, as everyone was still talking basketball around him?

“I was like ‘oh (expletive)’. That’s us! The video gets my reaction totally perfectly. My reaction said it all.”

Despite the life-changing news, Wilkins said he managed to stay locked into the game. But he of course couldn’t shake the feeling of being excited and nervous after the surprise reveal.

“Yesterday morning she told me she had a dentist appointment at 9 a.m. so she left the house and me presumably thinking she’s going to the dentist. But she (went) to the ultrasound.”

Mitchell gave the gender results to the Pacers’ director of player development, who set the reveal at the game – where they both learned they were having a baby boy.

Wilkins isn’t the only NBA player to have a creative gender reveal this week. Langston Galloway dunked a basketball in front of his teammates – with his wife watching – to reveal that he was also having a boy.

Wilkins said he had spoken with his fiancée about a gender reveal, but hadn’t been sure about the whole thing – even if it’s trendy right now.

“But I was super happy,” he said. “We’re blessed.”

BY Nina Mandell / PUBLISHED December/28/2017 / USA TODAY

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/12/damien-wilkins-gender-reveal
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Ray Allen + Grant Hill Eligible Candidates for the Class of 2018 HOF

December/21/2017

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Today, December 21st, marks the Birthday of Basketball – the game that was invented by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts and has grown into an international pastime. As part of the celebration of this momentous day, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the eligible candidates for the Class of 2018, after revealing earlier in the week that players would now be eligible after just three seasons of retirement.

A first look at the list of eligible nominees was provided by The Jump on ESPN, hosted by Amin Elhassan and Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady. A complete list of eligible candidates can be found below.

A press conference announcing the Finalists from the North American and Women’s committee for the Class of 2018 will be held during NBA All-Star Weekend, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 17th in Los Angeles, California. The entire Class of 2018, including those selected by the direct elect committees, will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.

Enshrinement festivities will take place in Springfield, Mass., September 6-8, 2018. Tickets for the various Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Enshrinement events are on sale as of noon eastern time on www.hoophall.com.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.

For more information:

Visit us online: www.hoophall.com

… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBHOF

… on Twitter/Instagram: @hoophall #18HoopClass

… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA

 

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Ballot

* Indicates First-Time Nominee

 North American Committee Nominations

  • Mark Aguirre (PLA)
  • Ray Allen (PLA)*
  • Chauncey Billups (PLA)*
  • Muggsy Bogues (PLA)
  • Irv Brown (REF)
  • Jim Burch (REF)
  • Maurice Cheeks (PLA)
  • Charles “Lefty” Driesell (COA)
  • Hugh Evans (REF)
  • Steve Fisher (COA)*
  • Bill Fitch (COA)
  • Cotton Fitzsimmons (COA)
  • Richard Hamilton (PLA)*
  • Tim Hardaway (PLA)
  • Ed Hightower (REF)*
  • Grant Hill (PLA)*
  • Bob Huggins (COA)*
  • Kevin Johnson (PLA)
  • Marques Johnson (PLA)
  • Bobby Jones (PLA)
  • Jerry “Tiger” Jones (COA)
  • Gene Keady (COA)
  • Ken Kern (COA)
  • Jason Kidd (PLA)*
  • Rollie Massimino (COA)
  • Gary McKnight (COA)
  • Danny Miles (COA)
  • Sidney Moncrief (PLA)
  • Dick Motta (COA)
  • Steve Nash (PLA)*
  • Jake O’Donnell (REF)
  • Jim Phelan (COA)
  • Lamont Robinson (PLA)
  • Lee Rose (COA)
  • Bo Ryan (COA)
  • Bob Saulsbury (COA)
  • Jack Sikma (PLA)
  • Steve Smith (COA)
  • Harry Statham (COA)
  • Eddie Sutton (COA)
  • Rudy Tomjanovich (COA)
  • Ben Wallace (PLA)
  • Chris Webber (PLA)
  • Willie West (COA)*
  • Paul Westphal (PLA)

BY Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame / PUBLISHED December/21/2017 / Hoops Hall

https://www.hoophall.com/news/naismith-memorial-basketball-hall-of-fame-announces-eligible-candidates-for-the-class-of-2018/
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Tandem Signs Michael Beasley

November/28/2017

NEWS RELEASE

New York Knicks Forward Michael Beasley Retains Tandem for Full-Service Representation

 

Arlington, VA, Nov. 28, 2017 – Tandem Sports + Entertainment has signed New York Knicks player Michael Beasley, Tandem president Jim Tanner and vice president of athlete representation Derrick Powell announced. Tandem will provide full-service representation for Beasley, overseeing contractual agreements, personal appearances, public relations services, corporate partnerships, community relations initiatives and business opportunities.

 

“Michael is an extremely talented player, and he’s ready to show how he’s matured both on and off the court,” Powell said. “He has a story to tell and has made tremendous progress. He wants the public and the fans to know who he really is and the values he stands for. Michael is focusing his efforts on being a team player while helping the Knicks reach their full potential this season. We couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the Tandem family and are excited to see him grow and tell his story.”

 

Beasley was the No. 2 overall pick by the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA Draft.  After his first NBA season, he earned All-Rookie First Team honors. Beasley holds career averages of 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds. Throughout his decade in the league, Beasley has played for the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

 

Beasley played at Kansas State University in 2007-08. He averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds while shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three-point range. Beasley was named the Big 12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year (Wayman Tisdale Award). He also received the 2008 Pete Newell Big Man Award.

 

ABOUT TANDEM SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Tandem’s roster of clients includes Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen, Justin Jackson, Jarrett Allen, John Henson, Brandan Wright, Thaddeus Young, Marvin Williams, Gerald Henderson, Raymond Felton, Wayne Ellington, C. J. Watson, Dominique Wilkins, Alana Beard and Tamika Catchings. Marketing and public relations clients include World Series champion pitcher Chris Young, three-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt and authors Jon Pessah (“THE GAME: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers”) and Adam Lazarus (“Hail to the Redskins”).

 

Contact:       

Meredith Geisler

Tandem Sports & Entertainment, LLC

(703) 740-5015

mgeisler@tandemse.com

 

 

###

BY Tandem Sports + Entertainment / PUBLISHED November/28/2017 / Tandem Sports + Entertainment

tandemse.com/news
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Jim Tanner discusses NCAA scandal, FBI investigation

November/15/2017

Agent Jim Tanner discusses NCAA scandal, FBI investigation and more

 

We spoke with Jim Tanner, the founder and president of Tandem Sports and Entertainment Agency, about the NCAA bribe scandal rocking the agent business right now.

Tanner, whose list of clients included NBA legend Tim Duncan and Ray Allen, currently represents players around the league including Jeremy Lin as well as rookies Jarrett Allen and Justin Jackson. He tells us about his career in the industry and a lot more.

Tell me about your background before you founded the Tandem Sports agency in 2013.

Jim Tanner: I’ve been a sports agent since 1997 and I’ve been an attorney since I graduated law school in 1993. I was a corporate attorney at Skadden Arps for four years, where I was working in mergers-and-acquisitions. I loved it and thought it was a great foundation but didn’t see myself practicing as a corporate lawyer for the rest of my life.

Then I had the opportunity to work for one of the top litigation law firms with Williams & Connolly. They represented Grant Hill and then around the time that I joined, Tim Duncan became a client as well. I was there from 1997 until 2013 and became a partner there and ran their sports practice.

What are you looking for in potential clients? What are the players are looking for?

JT: We’re looking for great players, obviously, but also great people. That’s something we’ve defined Tandem. You want to work with guys who understand and want to follow advice and maximize their careers. We’re also looking for people that have a great support structure around them so we can be a part of that.

I think the players are looking for integrity. When a client hires us, they know we’re going to represent their best interest in everything that we do. They’re also looking for personal attention and they’re made to feel very important by us. With someone like Duncan, he’s obviously lower-maintenance than some. The key is to give him all the attention he wants and then give the next client all the attention that he wants. You have to treat them like individuals and get to know what they want to provide the best service. Some demand more than others but we personalize and specialize based on the client.

Describe the biggest changes you’ve noticed in your 20 years as a sports agent.

JT: When I first started doing this, I saw a wave of consolidations so smaller agencies joined into bigger agencies. Then, you saw it go back the other way where it was more about the boutique agencies. That’s been a bit of a pendulum. But what I’ve seen the most, as highlighted by what was happening with the FBI recently, is more stories about decisions based on illegal practices that include illegal payments to players or family members or AAU coaches. That has dominated a lot of the most recent agency selections.

But that’s not a victimless crime. The players sometimes have no idea that money is exchanging hands and that player can never be certain of the motives of an agent or how hard that agent is going to fight for them or how loyal that agent is going to be to them.

Some may say players should be paid anyways and argue that they’re giving them the money they deserve. What are your thoughts on this?

JT: When players don’t know someone around them is being paid on their behalf, there is a huge gap in trust. This can extend deeper into other decisions that impact the player. And if you’re being represented by an agent who paid an influencer of yours – whether or not you were informed – who is the agent really working for? As soon as those unethical behaviors begin, the agent/player relationship is tainted and as a result, I don’t think a player can ever be sure the agent is 100 percent working toward what’s best for the client.

Explain what separates and honest agency from one that is dishonest in this space.

JT: We follow the rules, laws and regulations. It’s illegal to offer inducements so we avoid that at all costs and don’t participate in that game that’s being played. We avoid conflicts of interest and put their interests ahead of ours. That’s why there’s generally such a bad reputation. There are ethical agents and professional agents that tend to do things the right way but as a whole, the industry is painted very negatively.

I don’t take joy in seeing people go down. It saddens me to see people I know and consider friends caught up in this. I feel bad for them and their families.

Do you have predictions for changes that you think will come from the FBI investigation?

JT: The whole system needs scrutiny. I see a potential for the agent industry to be disrupted. I hope people change their way of doing things. I hope players and families reset how they select agents and go more towards selecting on the merits of the agent to identify the best, most qualified agent for that particular player. I’d like to see more college coaches get involved.

When I first started, they would have someone from the business school and the law school participate with the players. I’d like to see more schools go back to that and have more of the compliance office involved in the selection process. The biggest mistake programs can make is to keep all agents away. I think the best way to address it is to invite agents in at certain times and bring everything into the light. Schools will sometimes keep everyone away until the end of the year but that keeps away agents that are inclined to follow the rules while it opens the door for agents who are not.

You mentioned disruption in the agent industry. Can you expand on this? 

JT: Companies are always looking for ways to disrupt their industry to attract consumers and position the company positively. Think about the way Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry and what Uber has done to the taxi industry. In the agent industry, this disruption is coming from third parties – namely the FBI and the U.S. Attorney.

With greater scrutiny on corruption and unethical practices in the agent industry, I’m hopeful that big changes are coming.  This is an opportunity for players and their families to have a more open, honest and professional agent selection process than ever before. It’s something everyone here at Tandem is already doing, and I believe it can go a long way for the players and preparing them for the next level.

Some of your clients have played in the G League. Could that replace one-and-done?

JT: The whole one-and-done system in the NCAA needs to be eliminated, I don’t think that’s been successful. I’d like to see significant reform. The developmental league has gotten better every year. I think the salaries need to come up even more even though they recently raised them. I’m very optimistic about the future of the league.

But I tend to like the baseball model. It doesn’t prevent a player who’s good enough to be in the NBA out of high school from doing that. But if you make a commitment to go to college, you’re required to stay for a particular amount of time.

You studied under then-professor Barack Obama. Could he have a role in the NBA?

JT: I could certainly see him doing that. He loves basketball. Not only did I have him as a professor, but I remember playing pickup games with him at the University of Chicago. He’s always loved the game. I could see him being involved in the sport either as an owner or something else.

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So… About My Hair

October/03/2017

So…About My Hair

 

So … I have dreads now.

And you probably have some questions and comments. I definitely want to hear them.

But first, really quick, I hope I can take you back through my journey to get them.

I never thought I’d ever think so much about hair. Honestly, at first I was surprised anyone would care what I did with my hair. When I started growing it out a few years ago in Charlotte, it was just something I was doing with six of my family members and friends. It was meant to be fun, and to be an expression of freedom.

I didn’t really plan for it to be anything more than that.

Then I kept going with it and it started to become … a thing. Looking back, I can see why my hairstyles turned some heads. (What was I thinking here?) But I liked how the process of changing my look actually made me feel more like myself again. I realized that in the years since Linsanity, I had spent a lot of time in a box, worrying about other people’s opinions on what I should and shouldn’t be doing. I wanted to stop basing my decisions so much on what strangers or critics might say about me. It was cool how something as simple as how I wore my hair could pull me out of my comfort zone and make me feel more free. Before I got older and had a family and kids and all of that, I wanted to be able to say to myself, Who cares what anyone else thinks? For me, the different hairstyles became a fun way to do that.

People definitely had a lot of opinions about my hair. A lot of people didn’t like what I was doing — they sometimes questioned my judgment. The loudest person in this camp was my own mom. At one point, I even challenged myself to rock a double ponytail (I know, I know) just to test whether I was truly past the point of obsessing over outside approval. And yeah, maybe the whole thing seemed like it was a stunt to get attention. I can understand that view … even if I knew that it wasn’t my real motivation. Over time it stopped bothering me when people made fun of me — the whole point was for me to enjoy being myself, no matter the reaction.

There was one type of response, however, that made me pause. With my other hairstyles, the worst thing people said about them was like, “Dude, that looks dumb.” But I didn’t care too much. I was doing it for me.

But with dreads, I came to understand that it was different.

Friends would say things like, “Bro, what about appropriation?”

I’ll be honest: At first I didn’t see the connection between my own hair and cultural appropriation. Growing up, I’d only ever picked from one or two hairstyles that were popular among my friends and family at the time. But as an Asian-American, I do know something about cultural appropriation. I know what it feels like when people get my culture wrong. I know how much it bothers me when Hollywood relegates Asian people to token sidekicks, or worse, when it takes Asian stories and tells them without Asian people. I know how it feels when people don’t take the time to understand the people and history behind my culture. I’ve felt how hurtful it is when people reduce us to stereotypes of Bruce Lee or “shrimp fried rice.” It’s easy to brush some of these things off as “jokes,” but eventually they add up. And the full effect of them can make you feel like you’re worth less than others, and that your voice matters less than others.

So of course, I never want to do that to another culture.

But I had never really deeply considered how something as seemingly personal as my hair — as an Asian-American NBA player — could affect anyone else.

Which brings me to the dreads.

Actually, it all started with braids back in Charlotte — not dreads yet. I didn’t know much about braids, but Kemba helped me out. He even lent me one of his do-rags because I had no idea how to care for my braids or where to get a do-rag.

When I got to the Nets, the conversation continued. When I first signed in Brooklyn, I remember talking to Rondae about hair. He told me he would grow his hair out with me — and that he’d get dreads with me. One time, Caris chose my braid design when I wasn’t sure what to get. Before this season, D-Lo, DeMarre and I discussed what the process of getting dreads is like — how painful the beginning process is, whether you could still rock a hat, how to maintain them, things like that.

I still wasn’t sure. A recent conversation I had with Savannah Hart, a Nets staff member who’s African-American, really resonated with me. I told her about my thought process — how I was really unsure about getting dreads because I was worried I’d be appropriating black culture. She said that if it wasn’t my intention to be dismissive of another culture, then maybe it could be an opportunity to learn about that culture.

Savannah introduced me to Nancy Moreau — my kind and amazing braider from the All Hair Matters Salon in Rockland County — who did my hair when I first got to Brooklyn. Nancy is already well-known around the Nets practice facility for doing hair for myself and the Nets staff, and the players and their children. And Nancy gave me another push to go for dreads.

I took some time to think about it but still had reservations. I asked Rondae if he’d be willing to get dreads with me and he said, “Bro, I’ve been growing my hair out for you. Let’s do it.” So this weekend, Rondae and I got our hair dreaded — for eight hours straight.

At the beginning of this article, I said I wanted to hear what you think. I truly do.

Because honestly, I may be wrong here. Maybe one day I’ll look back and laugh at myself, or even cringe. I don’t have the answers. But I hope the thing you take away from what I’m writing is not that everyone should feel free to get braids or dreads — or that one gesture can smooth over the real misunderstandings that exist in our society around race and cultural identity. Not at all.

This process started out about hair, but it’s turned into something more for me. I’m really grateful to my teammates and friends for being willing to help me talk through such a difficult subject, one that I’m still learning about and working my way through. Over the course of the last few years and all these hairstyles, I’ve learned that there’s a difference between “not caring what other people think” and actually trying to walk around for a while in another person’s shoes. The conversations I had weren’t always very comfortable, and at times I know I didn’t say the right things. But I’m glad I had them — because I know as an Asian-American how rare it is for people to ask me about my heritage beyond a surface level.

It’s easy to take things that we enjoy from other cultures — that’s one of the coolest things about a melting-pot society like ours. But I think we have to be careful that taking doesn’t become all we do. With all the division, political turmoil and senseless violence in our society right now, we need to talk to each other more than ever.

To listen to the real concerns of someone from a different background — and not just their everyday, superficial experiences — that’s pretty uncomfortable. After Linsanity, for instance, a lot of people were excited about celebrating the underdog who happened to be a minority — which is great. But when it comes to more complicated topics — like racial discrimination, police brutality or the day-to-day difficulties of being a minority — sometimes people aren’t always as interested to go there.

Taking the time and energy to ask about the things we don’t know may be messy — but we don’t really have a choice. We can’t let our divisions get worse.

Again, I may not have gotten it right with my idea to get dreads. But I hope that this is a start, not an end, to more dialogue about our differences. We need more empathy, more compassion and less judgment. That takes actual work and communication. So let’s start now — please join me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this … now I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment or question on any of my social media platforms.

BY Jeremy Lin / PUBLISHED October/3/2017 / The Players' Tribune

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/jeremy-lin-brooklyn-nets-about-my-hair/
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Alana Beard Named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

September/12/2017

Los Angeles’ Alana Beard Named 2017 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

 

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2017 – Los Angeles Sparks guard/forward Alana Beard has been named the 2017 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, the WNBA announced today.  Beard earned the honor for the first time in her 12-year career and became the second Sparks player to win the award, joining Lisa Leslie (2004, 2008).

Beard received 28 votes from a national panel of 40 sportswriters and broadcasters.  Three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx finished second with five votes, while two-time winner Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury was third with four votes.  Sparks forward Candace Parker earned two votes and Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas received one vote.

Beard led the WNBA in steals for the first time, averaging 2.09 per game while starting all 34 of Los Angeles’ games.  Behind Beard, the Sparks paced the WNBA in steals (9.29 spg) and opponents’ turnovers per game (16.4).  They also ranked second in defensive rating (96.0 points per 100 possessions) and points allowed (75.2 ppg).

On Aug. 18, the four-time All-Star had a season-high seven defensive rebounds to go with a season-high-tying five steals in a 115-106 double-overtime road win against the Chicago Sky.  Beard also had five steals in a 78-68 home victory against the Seattle Storm on May 13, the opening day of the WNBA season.

Also this season, Beard averaged 6.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists and shot a career-best 49.7 percent from the field.  Her contributions helped the defending champion Sparks (26-8) finish with the third-most victories in franchise history and earn a double bye as the No. 2 seed in the WNBA Playoffs 2017 presented by Verizon.  Los Angeles opens its postseason tonight against Phoenix in Game 1 of the Semifinals (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

Beard has been selected to the WNBA All-Defensive Team seven times.  The former Duke star was the second overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft and played six seasons for the Washington Mystics before joining the Sparks in 2012.  She ranks fourth on the WNBA’s all-time steals list with 654, the most among active players.

In honor of being named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Beard will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co. 

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Don’t Forget About the Islands

September/09/2017

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE ISLANDS

 

Hey, it’s Tim.

I’m not normally one to speak directly in the media, or write stuff publicly. So I’m a little out of my comfort zone here. I don’t use Twitter. I don’t have a Facebook. Interviews are O.K., I guess, but I prefer when they’re on the shorter side.

But here I am, talking right to you, asking you for a favor. I promise I wouldn’t be asking if it didn’t matter so much. The basketball community has already given so much to me over the years. But right now I need your attention for a couple of minutes.

Right now as I type this, the U.S. Virgin Islands — the place where I was born and where I grew up — has been badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. The people there, many of whom are old friends of mine, are suffering. Weather reports say that another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Jose, is close behind. No one knows what the place will look like when the rain stops.

Now time is of the essence.

I’m donating $250,000 immediately — tonight — to the storm relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And going forward, I pledge to match your donations up to the first $1 million. That’s where you come in: You can go here to make a donation. I’ve included more information at the end of this article, too.

I know not everyone can give, and that’s O.K. — after all, a lot of you just got done giving financial support to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the fires on the West Coast. But if you’re able, here’s what I can promise: Every dollar donated will go directly to relief efforts on the ground. Starting as soon as the weather permits, I’ll be chartering an airplane full of supplies from San Antonio to St. Croix, the biggest town in the Virgin Islands. And I’m already busy putting together a team — some from the Virgin Islands and some who will fly in from elsewhere — to help manage the relief effort.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my old neighborhood in St. Croix, where I recently took my kids. I showed them where I used to play with my friends when I was their age. I showed them my high school. Now I’m asking myself, What will still be there after the storms?

We can pray. Then we must act.

Right now you — we — can really, really make a difference.

Coach Pop has always been a “say less, do more” kind of person, and I’ve always admired that in him and tried my best to follow his example. But Pop also knows when it’s time to talk, so in that spirit I want to take a moment to tell you why my home is so special, and why it needs your help so urgently right now. I’ll even try to work in a lesson I learned about Chef Boyardee somewhere if I can.

See, the thing that’s really hard to get your head around when someone in a faraway land is asking for relief money after a disaster is … well, it’s hard to imagine how it’ll help. I mean, how exactly it’ll help. And I don’t think that’s anybody’s fault because it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s experience if you’ve only see it on TV or read about it in the news. It’s easy to imagine the funds being wasted — or worse, never spent on what was intended.

But I’ve lived through a hurricane before. I’ve seen its destruction. I’ve seen why getting help — immediate and sustained help — is so vital.

The biggest storm to ever hit the Virgin Islands was Hurricane Hugo. Hugo was a Category 5, just like Irma. It was 1989 and I was 13 years old. I’d just started back to school. People still talk about Hugo. Some people even say that the island never really returned to normal. That’s how bad the damage was. They talk about the lag in relief efforts in the critical days and weeks after the disaster, which was mostly due to the island’s small size and distance from big cities.

Hugo hit at night. The first thing I remember is a loud boom from the windows blowing out of our house. My mother and sister burst into my bedroom and led me by the hand into another room. We spent the rest of the night sitting in a small bathroom, our eyes wide open. None of us could sleep. We heard the bangs and booms of debris. Once in a while, I’d peek down the hallway at my dad, who was watching our ceiling. One of the beams had a crack in it, and the crack slowly grew bigger throughout the night. I think my dad was praying.

Our roof stayed on, but others were not so lucky. Some people died and many were injured. Those of us who survived woke up to find our neighborhood destroyed. Many houses on our block were missing roofs, or entire walls. Our next-door neighbors lost their house. They had spent the night hiding in their kitchen cabinets. They ended up moving in with us for a while after that.

Hugo crippled the economy. People lost their businesses. Food prices went way, way up. For the next six months, parts of the island didn’t have power, and school was canceled for almost two months. We had to boil water to drink or cook. I got good at showering with a bucket. Without electricity, we had to get crafty to keep food and drinks cold. I remember tying ropes to jugs of milk or orange juice and then lowering them down into a cistern, which collects rainwater. The water was a lot cooler in there. I learned to adapt, like everyone else.

Every once in a while, people would get a generator and each family would take turns using it for a few hours at a time. The priority was always powering the lights and the fridge. As a kid I wanted to watch TV or play video games. (I had the original Nintendo, and Zelda had just come out.) But we knew we had to focus on what we needed, not on what we wanted.

Looking back now, I’m so impressed by how calmly my parents got my family through it. We did get through it. Not every family’s home or job was safe, but we were lucky.

Now that I’m older, I also know how important it is to get relief and to get it quickly — and how easily a small island can be forgotten. I can’t let that happen again.

Which is why I mentioned Chef Boyardee earlier.

I lived off that stuff after Hugo. Chef Boyardee was my guy. A distribution center was set up in our neighborhood, and cans of Chef Boyardee were some of the only meals available to us. Tang was a treat, as well, if they had it in the latest shipment — we’d boil water to make sure it was clean, and then mix in the Tang powder.

So this week I’ve been thinking a lot about those cans. Because they were a godsend. They were like magic to me. Someone had sent them — I don’t know who, or what organization, but someone had sent them. And I was so happy and grateful. Not because I loved them — I’ve probably haven’t had Chef Boyardee since — but because that food was a necessity. It got us through.

Islands like ours tend to get forgotten after storms. We’re remote, which makes it hard to deliver supplies quickly, cheaply and adequately. A lot of people don’t think of the Virgin Islands as someone’s home, but as more of a getaway — it was only when I got older that I figured that out. I remember the cruise ships. They’d come to the island. Groups of people would stroll downtown to check out the shops. They’d hang out at the beach or charter ships to nearby islands. It was always cool that all these strangers wanted to visit my faraway little island. After a few days, the cruise ships would leave.

After Hugo, the cruise ships didn’t come back for a long time.

I’m writing this to ask for your help in the relief efforts, but I’m also asking you not to forget about the Virgin Islands — and others in the Caribbean.

The news of the storm may fade from the headlines, but there are still real people there — good people — who need your goodwill, and who will never forget your generosity.

To join my effort, go to my Virgin Islands Hurricane Relief Page here.

I will match your financial donations up to the first $1 million. I’ve just started things off with my initial $250,000 contribution. 

And if you’re interested in contributing material goods, we’re setting up two drop off locations in San Antonio on Monday and Tuesday from 7am-7pm:

H-E-B Grocery Store
17238 Bulverde Rd, San Antonio, TX

and

H-E-B Grocery Store
4100 S New Braunfels, San Antonio, TX 78223

Thank you, again.

BY Tim Duncan / PUBLISHED September/9/2017 / The Players' Tribune

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/tim-duncan-hurricane-irma-us-virgin-islands/
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Gerald Henderson, Jr. Medical Update

August/17/2017

Gerald Henderson, Jr. Medical Update

 

Arlington, VA, August 17, 2017 – NBA player Gerald Henderson, Jr. had successful surgery on his left hip today, Tandem president Jim Tanner announced. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Edwin Su performed the surface replacement procedure at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Henderson will return to his home in Charlotte next week to begin rehabbing in preparation for his return to the NBA.

If you have any questions regarding this update, contact Meredith Geisler at mgeisler@tandemse.com or (703) 740-5015.

ABOUT TANDEM SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT:

Tandem’s roster of clients includes Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen, Justin Jackson, Jarrett Allen, John Henson, Brandan Wright, Thaddeus Young, Marvin Williams, Gerald Henderson, Raymond Felton, Wayne Ellington, C. J. Watson, Dominique Wilkins and Tamika Catchings. Marketing and public relations clients include World Series champion pitcher Chris Young, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Danny Barnes, three-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt and authors Jon Pessah (“THE GAME: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers”) and Adam Lazarus (“Hail to the Redskins”).

 

###

BY Tandem Sports + Entertainment / PUBLISHED August/17/2017 / Tandem Sports + Entertainment

tandemse.com/news
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Gerald Henderson, Jr. Makes Announcement Regarding 17-18 Season

August/02/2017

NEWS RELEASE

Gerald Henderson, Jr. Makes Announcement Regarding 2017-18 NBA Season

 

Arlington, VA, August 2, 2017 –NBA player Gerald Henderson, Jr. is evaluating surgical options for his left hip. The following is a statement from Henderson regarding details around this decision.

“Despite receiving genuine interest from several NBA teams, I have made the decision to continue to evaluate surgical options on my left hip. I have been playing through severe pain that has made it difficult to play to the best of my ability. Now the pain has started to impact my everyday life off the court. My family, my agent and I are working closely with my medical team to give me all of the information I will need to make the best decision, personally and professionally. I am as competitive as they come and want to play. I will fully commit myself to getting healthy. I am thankful for the many opportunities I’ve had and I look forward to returning to playing in the NBA.”

Henderson was the 12th overall selection by Charlotte in the 2009 NBA Draft. The Duke graduate most recently spent the 2016-17 season playing for his hometown Philadelphia 76ers.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, contact Meredith Geisler at mgeisler@tandemse.com or (703) 740-5015.

ABOUT TANDEM SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT:

Tandem’s roster of clients includes Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen, Justin Jackson, Jarrett Allen, John Henson, Brandan Wright, Thaddeus Young, Marvin Williams, Gerald Henderson, Raymond Felton, Wayne Ellington, C. J. Watson, Dominique Wilkins and Tamika Catchings. Marketing and public relations clients include World Series champion pitcher Chris Young, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Danny Barnes, three-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt and authors Jon Pessah (“THE GAME: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers”) and Adam Lazarus (“Hail to the Redskins”).

###

Contact:
Meredith Geisler
Tandem Sports & Entertainment, LLC
(703) 740-5015
mgeisler@tandemse.com

BY Tandem Sports + Entertainment / PUBLISHED August/2/2017 / tandemse.com

tandemse.com/news
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WNBA’s Alana Beard is learning to swim

July/21/2017

WNBA superstar Alana Beard has won LHSAA state titles, ACC crowns and now has a WNBA championship to her credit.

But the 35-year-old Shreveport native, Southwood and Duke graduate, who has stood in virtually every ocean in the world, does not know how to swim.

That bothers her — and Beard has always been one to do something about things that bother her. That’s why she was willing to fly into Shreveport Friday morning after playing a WNBA contest with the Los Angeles Sparks Thursday night, just to work with a group of about 30 young people involved with Common Ground Community.

The 2004 John R. Wooden Award as the national collegiate player of the year is learning to swim with them during the second annual Alana Beard’s Swim Safety event at the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana.

“It is very important to me to keep this going because up to 75 percent of African- Americans do not know how to swim,” Beard told The Times. “It’s not in their households to learn. It’s close to my heart after learning about the tragedy on the Red River in 2010.”

Six youngsters drowned that fateful day trying to save a friend in the swirling water.

Speaking with the panache of a CEO, Beard addressed her Common Ground visitors, who were rapt with attention. When she asked how many could swim, most of them raised their hands. When she asked how many could swim the length of the YMCA pool, only a couple of hands remained up.

“We’ll find out tomorrow when we get in the water,” Beard said smiling.

The students will be put through a hands-on swim session Saturday morning from 9-10 a.m. Beard will be in the pool with them before heading back to L.A. to continue trying to lead the second-place Sparks to a second consecutive title. She was obviously still reveling in her first championship as a pro on Friday afternoon. As a “Dukie,” she advanced to a pair of Woman’s NCAA Final Fours, but her Blue Devils lost in the semifinals both times.

“It felt absolutely amazing and it took a lot of mental capacity from all of us to pull it off,” Beard said. “I’ve never been that locked in about anything. Candace Parker and I were talking about it last night that we were just so overwhelmed with excitement, but were also exhausted.”

Beard, a past WNBA All-Star, has always been about family, which made sharing the 2016 WNBA title, her first in 12 professional seasons, with her mother, Marie, special.

“The best part was hearing the release from my mom,” Beard said. “She came on the floor and she was screaming. I’ve gone through so many tough times and my family has always been my support system.”

Beard has another half season with the Sparks, but her future as a pro is unclear at this point. Although she’s healthy and looks like she could still suit up for Steve McDowell on Walker Road, her contract is up after this season.

“I don’t know what will happen then. I don’t want to be one of those athletes who keeps hanging on. I want to leave the game on my own terms,” she said. “Some of it is dependent on my body. Right now it’s maybe, maybe not.”

Beard took questions from her new Common Ground friends, most of them surrounding basketball. One young man wanted to know if she could dunk.

“I’m 35,” she said with a smile.

Another asked about her scoring average?

“You’ll have to Google that. I’m about defense, but I can score when I need to,” said the shooter who posted 48 points with 20 rebounds in the LHSAA Class 5A state title game in 2000.

One young man wanted to know if she “made millions?”

“I play in the WNBA,” she said.

The YMCA’s Mason McGee offered some water safety tips, while Beard delivered the gathering some life tips.

“Only 2 percent of college athletes make it to the professional level. That’s why it’s extremely important to get your education,” Beard said. “Dream big, but do things like learn how to swim.”

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