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Claude Humphrey: First native Memphian in the NFL Hall of Fame

Ever wonder what the face of a native Memphian would look like in the NFL Hall of Fame? Well it resembles the face of Lester High School graduate and Tennessee State University alumnus Claude Humphrey. 
Humphrey spent 11 years of his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and the last four with the Philadelphia Eagles. And you can bet he will mention all of this in his acceptance speech on Saturday (Aug. 2) during the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. 
  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Category: Original

Building a legacy of Lawsons

No stranger to many sports-minded Memphians, Keelon Lawson’s headline count has ratcheted up in recent weeks.
The former boys’ basketball head coach at Hamilton High School is now an assistant coach for the University of Memphis men’s basketball program, Tigers head coach Josh Pastner announced last Wednesday (July 16).
Lawson’s sons – four deep – are newsmakers also. Two of them already have committed to play for the Tigers. In a win-win deal, Lawson gets to take his coaching to the next level as his sons keep their talent in their hometown and under his watchful eye.

What is one to make of Grizzlies’ off-season moves?

Just two years ago, the Memphis Grizzlies were referred to as a young and emerging team. Now they are a more established ball club in the basketball world with a diverse roster. 
With offense in mind and defense still a priority, the front office has made moves to put a roster in place that can take Memphis deeper into the playoffs
The moves include the addition of newcomer Vince Carter, a seasoned veteran with big-time credentials. With Carter’s entrance and a few other summer tidbits, fans are wondering if more is to come. Or is time to hold’em?
  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Category: Original

New ‘old’ player ready to help Grizz ‘over the hump’

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The Memphis Grizzlies now have a new addition who seems happy in the city of grit and grind.
It’s a 37-year-old veteran player who made his mark with one of the most-talked-about dunks in NBA All-Star history. Do you remember? It’s Vince Carter. He’ll be sporting his number, 15, this upcoming season with the Grizzlies.
  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Category: Original

Keyon Dooling’s life lessons

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One tall young man had the courage to admit that he never learned or, more accurately, was never taught. So Keyon Dooling, formerly with the Memphis Grizzlies and a 13-year NBA veteran, began to teach him step by step. The line grew longer, as more and more young men acknowledged they didn’t know how to tie a necktie either and wanted to learn. This was not a scene at a community center or a middle school mentoring session.  These were millionaires, NBA players who had never been taught the proper way to knot a tie.
That is extraordinarily surprising to most anybody else, but not Keyon. He is well familiar with the reality of young African-American men abundantly gifted with skills for the game of basketball with too few skills instilled in them for the game of life.  Plus, there is baggage, much of it secret baggage, that comes along from the complex, challenging, dysfunctional environments and backgrounds they escaped. Money and fame can exacerbate their issues. Global media exposure can point out the  problems and baggage like those optic yellow highlighters we use to illuminate parts of document or a book.

‘Dude, was that Hank Aaron?’

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We haven’t been co-hosting a sports show long enough to take anything for granted or consider as routine the new access we’ve had to visit with some iconic sports personalities of the highest order. We don’t feel jaded, we feel unbelievably blessed.
That’s why before and after interviewing one of the greatest baseball players in history, the Gen X’er and the Baby Boomer looked at each other, smiled and said something like, “Dude did we just interview Hank Aaron?”  Unbelievable.

Angelo Smith – the first of many!

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Angelo Smith is the first Booker T. Washington High School graduate under head basketball coach Antonio Harris to sign an official Letter-of Intent to play college basketball. 
Next season, Angelo will take his athletic talents to Dyersburg State Community College and perform for the Eagles. Of course, he will always be a BTW Warrior at heart; however, this is simply part of the process as he develops his craft.

Pastner’s view of the ‘State of the Tigers’

The 2013 basketball season was one of the most electrifying seasons pastner 600University of Memphis fans have experienced under the leadership of head basketball coach Josh Pastner.
Prior to last year’s season, the Pastner-led Tigers had racked up a high volume of wins. Unfortunately, none of those wins were against the country’s top 25 teams. With five such victories, not only did the most recent version of the Tigers get over the hump, they were able to sweep their historical rival Louisville Cardinals.
That was last year. With the 2014 season will come a new set of challenges for Pastner, whose team lost four quality guards. Pastner addressed those challenges during a Rotary Club luncheon at the University Center this week.
  • Written by Christopher Hope
  • Category: Original