Category Archives: Sports

Little League World Series – Jackie Robinson West

MLB Hall Of Fame

Derek Jeter #RE2PECT

Great video made by Nike.

No matter what hat you wear, tip it to The Captain. #RE2PECT

 

Lebron James

Lebron James has decided to leave The Miami Heat and go back to The Cleveland Cavaliers. Here is the letter he wrote in Sports Illustrated that announced his decision.

 

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by LeBron James (as told to Lee Jenkins)

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?
NBA
LeBron James announces his return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Complete SI.com coverage of LeBron’s return to the Cavaliers

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

 

http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers

 

Gabby Douglas – Olympic Gymnast

Gabby Douglas made Olympic history and shattered a color barrier Thursday by becoming the first black gymnast to win the all-around gold medal.

The 16-year-old beat two Russians and teammate Aly Raisman to take the top medal in her sport. Gabby was so overjoyed and overwhelmed by her victory that she didn’t appear to fathom at first that her trail-blazing triumph has done more than simply guarantee her spot on a Wheaties box.

“I kind of forgot about that,” Gabby said, a big grin spreading across her face. “Man, that’s awesome, that’s definitely an amazing feeling. I forgot about that.”

The only other African-American female gymnast to win any individual Olympic medal was Dominique Dawes, who took the bronze for her floor exercise in the 1996 Atlanta games.

“She was one of my inspirations and role models growing up,” Gabby said.

With her stunning performance Thursday, Gabby capped a meteoric and unprecedented rise in a mostly-white sport by becoming the fourth U.S. gymnast to capture the all-around title — joining the ranks of Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin.

Gabby, who was nicknamed “The Flying Squirrel” because of her aerial acrobatics on the uneven bars, also became the first American ever to win the team gold and the all-around gold in the same Olympics.

Congrats Gabby. You are an inspiration to us all

Cullen Jones – Olympic Swimmer

Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones is a U.S. competitive swimmer and Olympic gold medalist who specializes in freestyle sprint events. As part of the American team, he holds the world record in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay (long course). He is a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and is expected to compete in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He picked up a silver medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay today.

In a recent interview regarding swimming he described the pool as feeling like “home,” but it wasn’t always that way. After nearly drowning as a 5-year-old child, Jones learned to swim and has made it his mission to reduce the startling number of drowning deaths among African-American children each year.

“I remember what it feels like to be underwater and I remember what it feels like to be helpless,” said Jones of the time he nearly drowned at a water park. “I was underwater, I couldn’t breathe…and then I completely passed out.”

Now 28 years old, the freestyle sprinter is gearing up for the London Olympics after winning a gold medal four years ago in Beijing. While Jones’ swimming talent is remarkable, his near drowning experience is not. A study by the University of Memphis and the USA Swimming organization showed that around 70 percent of African-American children don’t know how to swim, compared to about 40 percent of white children. African-American children between the ages of five and 14 are three times more likely than other children to drown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When the African-American Jones first learned these numbers a few years ago, he was shocked.

“I am also one of the statistics, because I almost drowned. It seems like everything in my life was written on that page

Jones still vividly remembers the moment he almost died. He and his parents had left their New Jersey home for a day of fun at Pennsylvania’s Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. But at one point, his inner tube flipped over and he was underwater for 30 seconds.

“So I was holding on to this inner tube and I’m, like, flailing,” he said.

“My parents told me I was clinically dead,” Jones said. “My mom was in tears. My dad was trying to console her and the lifeguard was giving me CPR.”

Lifeguards performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring Jones back to life. Jones’ mother, Debra, watched in horror. She couldn’t swim and was unable to help her son. After nearly losing her only child, she decided to put Jones in swim classes within the week.

Jones now travels the country with the Make a Splash Initiative, recounting his story to minority kids in hopes that he can raise the number of minority swimmers and consequently reduce the amount of drowning deaths.

You can find out more about the Make A Splash Initiative by clicking on the USA Swimming logo.

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