Category Archives: Dallas Mavericks

Mid-South AAU hoops player Christian Brown following in foosteps of his mom and dad

BEAST MODE 

REMEMBER THE NAME — To his credit, AAU basketball standout Christian Brown went into beast mode during what was a memorable AAU game between Brown’s Murfreesboro, Tennessee-area Storm squad versus Eagleville. In a game that will go down as arguably the most memorable one to date for Brown, his Storm team faced a 12-point deficit with inside of two minutes remaining. That is when spectators witnessed flashes of greatness surrounding a kid who’s nearing 6-foot as a preteen.

He’s only 12 years of age.

But for a youth basketball player, Christian Brown is a beast on the court.

To his credit, he certainly went into full beast mode during what was a memorable AAU game between Brown’s Murfreesboro, Tennessee-area Storm squad versus Eagleville.

In a game that will go down as arguably the most memorable one to date for Brown, his Storm team faced a 12-point deficit with inside of two minutes remaining.
That is when spectators witnessed flashes of greatness surrounding a kid who’s nearing 6-foot as a preteen.
Brown was the catalyst for a Storm team that stormed back in the waning moments, erasing a double-digit deficit and miraculously coming away with a 50-49 victory, having outscored the opposition, 18-3, the rest of the way.
In manufacturing 17 points in what was an AAU game for the ages, Brown managed some late heroics when he stole an in-bounds pass and was fouled as a result.

His two clutch free throws helped the Storm ease out to the final margin and, most importantly, his immeasurable display proved to be a microcosm of his resiliency for which he customarily exemplifies in close-game situations.

So remember the name, much sooner than later: Christian Brown.

Because if there’s one thing he’s proven, it’s that his best and brightest days are well ahead of him.

“I always tell him he’s destined for greatness and to always make the most of each day,” said Chelsea Brown, Christians’s mother, during interview with Making Headline News this week. “That day will be confirmation of what we speak into his life on a daily basis.”

If anyone can appropriately assess — and critique — Christian’s progress on and off the court, it’s his mother.

Chelsea Brown was a basketball standout in her own right, most notably in high school, where she starred for perennial power Memphis Whitehaven (from 1990 to 1992), which boasted a number of Division 1 recruits. Brown went on to star at SWAC member Southern University from 1992 to 1995, capping off what was stellar basketball tenure for the native Memphian.


RESPECT DA HAVEN

IN RETROSPECT — Christian Brown’s mother, Chelsea Brown, was a basketball standout in her own right, most notably in high school, where she starred for perennial power Whitehaven (from 1990 to 1992), which boasted a number of Division 1 recruits.

Given that her son seems on path to following in the footsteps of his parents – both his mother and father are former athletes — it’s safe to assume that, well, the apple didn’t fall very far from the tree (with all due respect).

“Of course, I will be overjoyed to see his dreams and aspirations come to fruition,” said Chelsea Brown how special would it be if her son is fortunate to sign a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball. “But most of all, I’m thankful for the opportunity for him to continue to grow as an athlete.”

Chances are, the 5-foot-10 Christian Brown will grow — literally and figuratively — in the foreseeable future as he looks ahead to next season as one of the marquee players for Rocky Fork Middle School in Smyrna, Tennessee.

A slim 113-pounder — yet with so much growing to do and weight to put on — Christian often rotates between playing the small forward and shooting guard positions.

In addition to his attractive length for a 12-year-old, he’s proven to hold his own and make his presence felt, particularly against bigger and more experienced players, a trend that shouldn’t merely come as a surprise, considering Christian began playing competitive basketball at five years of age for the Rutherford County basketball league.

“He beat everyone down the court and played good defense,” Chelsea Brown said. “And he was the tallest kid on the court most of the time.”

The possibility exist that will surely be the case when he transitions to the prep basketball ranks, an attribute that figures to garner the attention of scouts and recruiters.


“He never ceases to amaze me,” Chelsea said her son’s continuous progress. “I love watching him exceed my expectations through growth and development. He always plays to the end.”

He sure does.

Remember that recent game against Eagleville?

His mother sure does. There’s a good chance she won’t be forgetting it, either.

FULL RIDE — Brown (in powder blue) went on to star at SWAC member Southern University from 1992 to 1995, capping off what was stellar basketball tenure for the native Memphian.

“I actually witnessed him lead his team to victory with two minutes on the clock and they were down by 12,” said Chelsea in pure wonderment. “I saw it in his eyes. He reads his opponents and went into (attack mode) and came out victorious.”

That, to his credit, figures to be a sign of things to come — much sooner than later.


“My parents always tell me that as long as I work hard, developing as a student-athlete, they will always provide an avenue for me to succeed,” said Christian, who recently was the beneficiary of the Athlete Academic Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average (he manufactured a 3.6 GPA), as well as being named Offensive Player of the Year in both football and basketball.

In addition to his attractive length for a 12-year-old, he’s proven to hold his own and make his presence felt, particularly against bigger and more experienced players, a trend that shouldn’t merely come as a surprise, considering Christian began playing competitive basketball at five years of age for the Rutherford County basketball league.

“My dad is always there to support me, and his presence always motivates me to play hard.”

Interestingly, although he has plenty of basketball left to play before bolting the high prep ranks, Christian doesn’t shy away from the notion that’s he’s presently auditioning for a full-ride athletic scholarship.

As far as he’s concerned, there’s no time to waste, not when he’s closing in on 6-feet in height as a preteen and making his presence felt against more experienced players.

“I would like (scouts and recruiters) to know that I am a hard worker and coachable,” said Christian, who will attend a hoops camp at Duke University over the summer. “I am a team player and have experience, playing every position on the floor. Most of all, I’m always open to learning and using skills learned from camps and other resources.”


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Dallas newlywed Adrianne Queen in saluting her husband: ‘He’s helped me become that Proverbs 31 woman’


For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (Matthew 19:5 KJV)


QUEEN OF HEARTS 

TEXAS TWO STEP — For Michael Queen, who turns 58 on Sunday, chances are he’s undoubtedly in for what figures to be one memorable and festive weekend for the Dallas native, who’s a little more than a month removed from having exchanged nuptials with fellow Texan Adrianne Queen.

DALLAS — Adrianne Queen wasted little time hastening to her Facebook timeline Friday morning.

At approximately 7:23 CST, Queen enlightened her nearly 3,700 social media followers of a rather enthralling event involving her newlywed husband.

“Happy Friday and it’s the Mr.’s birthday weekend!” Queen staged in a post that was accompanied by the hash tag: #LetsCelebrate.
For Michael Queen, who turns 58 on Sunday, chances are he’s undoubtedly in for what figures to be one memorable and festive weekend for the Dallas native, who’s a little more than a month removed from having exchanged nuptials with Adrianne Queen.

FRESH START

Even while demonstrating such compassion and receptiveness toward that about which Michael had to endure in recent years, Adrianne acknowledged, more than anything, she will steadfastly uplift, embrace, and honor her husband wholeheartedly..

During an interview this week with Making Headline News, Adrianne Queen spoke intensely about her close-knit bond with her husband, one that essentially began years ago via social media.

“We were friends on Facebook for years, and I was following his journey with his wife, dealing with her sickness, but we never had any correspondence with each other,” Adrianne recalls.

REMEMBERING CAROL — Unfortunately for Michael, his then-wife, Carol Queen, had ultimately lost her battle with her illness when she passed away on June 4, 2016, thus ending a 35-year marriage.

Unfortunately for Michael, his then-wife, Carol Queen, had ultimately lost her battle with her illness when she passed away on June 4, 2016, thus ending a 35-year marriage.

Still, in spite of the heartache and discomfort amid Carol’s death, amongst the things with which Michael had come to grips was that according to scripture (Genesis 2:18), God specifically reminds us that, “It isn’t good that a man be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Enters Adrianne and for all the right reasons, his newlywed bride whom, as she forthrightly tells it, is still very much smitten of the fact that God had strategically saved Michael exclusively for her.

During an interview this week with Making Headline News, Adrianne Queen spoke intensely about her close-knit bond with her husband, one that essentially began years ago via social media.

And vice versa.

“Speechless,” said Adrianne, when asked to assess her reaction when Michael won her heart.

Of course, it’s safe to assume that Michael likewise was somewhat at a loss for words, particularly upon having attracted the woman who’s a little more than a month removed from having become his wife.

An avid Dallas Cowboys fan, Adrianne doesn’t shy away from the notion that the love her husband routinely exhibits for his favorite team, in some aspects, is synonymous to the unyielding love he demonstrates to her.

In a nutshell, Michael — who has two biological children — is overwhelmingly passionate about having attracted his ideal mate.

Oh…and vice versa.

“His love for his team is unconditional regardless if they win or lose, and it’s the same for me on a good or bad day,” Adrianne, a Dallas Skyline High graduate and previously divorced mother of two, said. “The impact he has had on my life has been nothing short of amazing.”

So much, in fact, that the adoration and honor her husband customarily fortifies often prompts Adrianne to pay homage to God for having bestowed upon her, well, the kind of joy the world didn’t merely give her, to put it more plainly.

“In the natural, the level of happiness and peace I have is priceless,” said Adrianne, offering a detailed and vivid overview of her husband’s influential impact, as only she could. “In the spirit, he has helped me become that Proverbs 31 woman.”

Oh my.

Shut up…and keep talking.

“He has come a long way since losing his wife,” Adrianne continued. “He have his days…yes and I completely understand after being with someone for 35 years. That was all he knew.”

JOY RESTORED — In spite of the heartache and discomfort amid Carol’s death, amongst the things with which Michael had come to grips was that according to scripture (Genesis 2:18), God specifically reminds us that, “It isn’t good that a man be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Even while demonstrating such compassion and receptiveness toward that about which Michael had to endure in recent years, Adrianne acknowledged, more than anything, she will steadfastly uplift, embrace, and honor her husband wholeheartedly.

Every step of the way.

For the rest of their lives.

“As I was being escorted on (our) wedding day, the thought going through my mind was that I am marrying my king,” Adrianne said in pure wonderment. “I started crushing all over again.”

Oh…and vice versa.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Shreveport’s own LaTiffany Dunn-Ivory making remarkable strides as Dallas/Fort Worth-area actress


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)


IN HER ELEMENT 

HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION — A Dallas/Fort Worth-area businesswoman, LaTiffany Dunn-Ivory, 35, is in the prime of an acting career she hopes will attract more of a global presence much sooner than later.

DALLAS — LaTiffany Dunn-Ivory doesn’t have to boast or brag or flaunt, particularly when it comes to her immeasurable career as an actress.

That’s because her resume undoubtedly speaks for itself.
DEFYING ALL ODDS — A professional acting stint that spans a little more than nine years, Dunn-Ivory has gone to great lengths to weather arguably the toughest of obstacles, to clear arguably the grandest of hurdles, all the while steadfastly finding her niche in the process.
“I’ve been acting since 2010, but really knew l could do it professionally in 2012,” Dunn-Ivory, during an interview this week with Making Headline News said, referring to her notable role she landed in the film entitled, “The American Justice with Tiny Lister.”
A Dallas/Fort Worth-area businesswoman, Dunn-Ivory, 35, is in the prime of an acting career she hopes will attract more of a global presence much sooner than later.

To her credit, the acting tenure of this Shreveport, Louisiana native is certainly shaping up to be one that figures to turn heads of several of the industry’s big names directors and producers, in large part because, well, her resume undoubtedly speaks for itself.

A professional acting stint that spans a little more than nine years, Dunn-Ivory has gone to great lengths to weather arguably the toughest of obstacles, to clear arguably the grandest of hurdles, all the while steadfastly finding her niche in the process.

As if that isn’t enough to turn heads, this resourceful, resilient actress — who’s armed with a wealth of swagger and beauty — is positioning herself mightily to garner even more nationwide exposure in the coming months.

HOLDING IT DOWN — A graduate of Homer (Louisiana) High School, Dunn-Ivory’s passion for acting stems all the way back to elementary school days. As she vividly recalls, it was her kindergarten teacher who’s responsible for having inspired her to follow her dreams. Fortunately for Dunn-Ivory, she’s done just that, all the while going after all they say she couldn’t have.

Much to her delight, Dunn-Ivory’s itinerary is becoming quite congested, considering she’s scheduled to appear in a variety of plays, including:

  • “Something Else To Talk About” on April 28, during which she will play the character “Cheryl” 

  • “Insincere Twins” on June 1, a red carpet premiere during which she will assume the role as the character “T’s Receptionist.

  • “Skin Deep” on June 15, during which she will play “Nurse Paula” and,

  • “Black DIAMOND” in July (on a date to be announced), a red carpet premiere during which she will assume the role as “Fiend.”


A graduate of Homer (Louisiana) High School, Dunn-Ivory’s passion for acting stems all the way back to elementary school days.

As she vividly recalls, it was her kindergarten teacher who’s responsible for having inspired her to follow her dreams.

Fortunately for Dunn-Ivory, she’s done just that, all the while going after all they say she couldn’t have.

TEXAS TWO STEP

AND THE WINNER IS — For her immeasurable contributions to her selected industry, Dunn-Ivory has positioned herself to become the beneficiary of yet another accolade. She is a nominee for Best Supporting Actress in the upcoming Church Stars Awards, which will take September 28. Voting begins in July.

Look at her today, functioning fervently in her distinctly unique element with God, her Helper, steering the way, thus allowing her remarkably brilliant gifts to make room for her.


“I remember it like yesterday, sitting in the back of Mrs. Gearhart’s class, just singing (R & B entertainer) Karen White’s Superwoman like I was at home and she walked to the middle of the class and asked me to step outside,” said Dunn-Ivory, recalling a Kindergarten memory that essentially changed her life. “l thought l was in trouble for interrupting her class.”


But what Dunn-Ivory had ultimately discovered was that it was only a brief, impromptu counsel by her teacher, one that essentially jumpstarted her quest to connecting with the purpose for which she was created.

Interestingly, Dunn-Ivory has shown virtually no signs that she intends to slow down anytime soon, not in the prime of an acting career that seems well on path to giving way to even greater success.

“She walked me to in Ms. Emerson’s class and was like, ‘You have to hear her voice,’” Dunn-Ivory explained. “So l sang for her. Next thing you know, we’re going from classroom to classroom and I was justa singing. In that moment, l realized a star was born and I nurtured my gifts.”

And the rest, as they say, was history.

Interestingly, Dunn-Ivory has shown virtually no signs that she intends to slow down anytime soon, not when she’s in the prime of an acting career that seems well on path to giving way to even greater success.

A former Grambling State University student who relocated in September 2005 to the Dallas/Fort Worth-area, Dunn-Ivory’s work has been seen in Oklahoma, Texas, her native home state, as well as in several establishments outside of the United States.

“The competitiveness (in this industry) has taught me that for every ‘No’ at an audition, the ‘Yes’ is around the corner, and it’s up to me to go get it and show that I deserve it,” Dunn-Ivory said. “I’m also a firm believer that what’s for me, no one can take that away, so I continue to strive daily and go get what’s already mine.”

For Dunn-Ivory, it’s a foregone conclusion that acting and assuming various roles essentially comes natural to her.

As if anyone should really be surprised.

As Dunn-Ivory vividly recalls, it was her kindergarten teacher who’s responsible for having inspired her to follow her dreams. Fortunately for Dunn-Ivory, she’s done just that, all the while going after all they say she couldn’t have.

“The fact that in each character or role I play, I leave the audience with an inspirational impression that could be life changing to them,” Dunn-Ivory said. “I love being a tool to bring people’s visions to life.”

For her immeasurable contributions to her selected industry, Dunn-Ivory has positioned herself to become the beneficiary of yet another accolade.

She is a nominee for Best Supporting Actress in the upcoming Church Stars Awards, which will take September 28.

Voting begins in July.

A former Grambling State University student who relocated in September 2005 to the Dallas/Fort Worth-area, Dunn-Ivory’s work has been seen in Oklahoma, Texas, her native home state, as well as in several establishments outside of the United States.

Now with plans of ending a five-year hiatus in the singing studio, Dunn-Ivory emphasized, among other things, she’s just giddy in that she’s been blessed to walk in her purpose.

THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE

SHE AIN’T DONE — Now with plans of ending a five-year hiatus in the singing studio, Dunn-Ivory emphasized, among other things, she’s just giddy in that she’s been blessed to walk in her purpose.

“It’s imperative that I inspire others, because every step I have made, I earned it,” Dunn-Ivory said. “There was a time when that thing called sickle cell anemia had me down for years. The devil intended to take me out. But God. Here l am today, a healthy 35-year-old, inspiring those around me that life ain’t easy. It’s challenging, but also what you make it to be. You have to power to create your path, and if you can vision it, you can achieve it.”

She would know.

Especially since her resume undoubtedly speaks for itself.

Something about which she doesn’t have to boasts or brag to flaunt.


For more information about Dallas/Fort Worth actress LaTiffany Dunn-Ivory, or to schedule her for a public appearance or speaking engagement, connect with her via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/latiffany.dunn. Also, send email to: latiffanydunn83@gmail.com.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle delighted Virginia is back in the Final Four for the first time in 35 years

THEY’RE BACK 

LONG TIME COMING — After a 35-year drought, the Virginia men’s basketball program is back in the Final Four. The champions out of the South Region, the top-seeded Cavaliers (33-3) will face Midwest Region champion, fifth-seeded Auburn (30-9), Saturday at 5:09 p.m. CST from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (Getty Image Photo)

DALLAS — The Virginia men’s basketball program is back in the Final Four for the first time in 35 years.

Amongst the UVA alums who seems the proudest is Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Prior to Friday night’s game versus the Memphis Grizzlies in the American Airlines Center, Carlisle spoke of how delighted he is to witness Virginia atone for last year’s NCAA Tournament’s first-round exit by reaching the national semifinals.
The champions out of the South Region, the top-seeded Cavaliers (33-3) will face Midwest Region champion, fifth-seeded Auburn (30-9), Saturday at 5:09 p.m. CST from U. S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The second national semifinal matchup will pit No. 3 seed Texas Tech (30-6), the West Region champion, squaring off against East Region champion, No. 2 seed Michigan State (32-6).

For UVA, which became the first ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed when it was dealt a 74–54 drubbing by the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in last year’s opening round of the Big Dance, Carlisle applauded Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett for a job well done with a program that is making its third Final Four appearance in school history (1981, 1984, 2019). 

IN RETROSPECT 

THE LAST TIME — Carlisle (left) was a member of Virginia’s 1984 Final Four squad that lost in the national semifinals to Akeem Olajuwon and No. 2 seed Houston, 49-47, in overtime.

“They’ve been consistently great all year,” Carlisle said of the Cavaliers, winners of four straight and 13 of their last 14. “I think they’ve only lost two or three games by two or three points. They have a real resolve as a team.”

In reaching the Final Four for the first time since 1984, Virginia demonstrated some much-needed resolve in the waning moments of the South Region final against third-seeded Purdue.

The Cavaliers, in fact, needed a rather awkward buzzer-beater by junior swingman Mamadi Diakite just as time expired to tie the game at 70 and force overtime, then outscored the Boilermakers, 10-5, in the extra session to preserve the win, thus erasing the memory of last year’s opening-round heartbreaker to UMBC.

According to ESPN’s Matchup Predictor, Virginia has a 79.9 percent chance of defeating Auburn, which is making its first Final Four appearance in school history.

Michigan State, meanwhile, has a 61.1 percent chance to upend Texas Tech, according to ESPN’s Matchup Predictor.

As for who Carlisle’s predicting to win the first of two national semifinal games, well, that essentially goes without saying.

PRAYER ANSWERED — The Cavaliers needed a buzzer-beater by junior swingman Mamadi Diakite just as time expired to tie the game at 70 and force overtime, then outscored the Boilermakers, 10-5, in the extra session to preserve the win, erasing the memory of last year’s opening-round heartbreaker to UMBC. According to ESPN’s Matchup Predictor, UVA has a 79.9 percent chance of defeating Auburn, which is making its first Final Four appearance in school history.

“They have a style that you need into today’s game,” said Carlisle, who was a member of Virginia’s 1984 Final Four squad that lost in the national semifinals to No. 2 seed Houston, 49-47, in overtime. “They preach defense first thing and they really understand how to play with each other. You know, the way they won the Purdue game last week was really special.”

Now that they’ve atoned for last year’s postseason disappointment, can the grit and grind Cavaliers manage two more wins to capture the school’s first ever national title?

“They’ve got a real chance now,” Carlisle said.

With a slight grin.

That, much to his delight and to the satisfaction of the rest of the UVA faithful, is a far cry from last year’s disastrous turn of events in the Big Dance.


Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder/Publisher & Editor In Chief of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Letitia Scott Jackson’s DFW-based Keeping Families Connected nonprofit organization becoming a national fixture


“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.” (Matthew 25:40 NIV) 


DALLAS — Letitia Scott Jackson took to the airwaves over the weekend for all the right reasons.

Appearing on Dallas/Fort Worth’s 97.9 The Beat, Scott Jackson wasted little time offering some rather profound, spirited words of encouragement to the station’s thousands of listeners across the Metroplex.

ALL IN THE FAMILY 

WELCOME TO YOUR NEW SEASON — A Dallas/Fort Worth-based non-profit organization that Leititia Scott Jackson erected approximately four years ago, the strategic mission of Keeping Families Connected is centered in large part on enriching the lives of young people, most notably through events, as well as by way of providing educational resources, mentoring, and counseling services.
Said Scott Jackson in a rather forthright suggestion. “If you woke up this morning and didn’t thank God for waking you up, you are out of order.”
To grasp a thorough concept of why the opportunistic Scott Jackson deems it essential to embrace virtually every opportunity that’s afforded to her, look no further than how God has gone about moving on her behalf during a time when it seemed countless of others had written her off.

Wrongfully convicted only to wound up emerging victorious during her case that unfolded in the Texas Fifth Circuit Courts, Scott Jackson had become greatly inspired to establish Keeping Families Connected.

STAY CONNECTED: https://www.keepingfamilyconnected.org/

A DFW-based nonprofit organization that Scott Jackson erected approximately four years ago, the strategic mission of Keeping Families Connected is centered in large part on enriching the lives of young people, most notably through events, as well as by way of providing educational resources, mentoring, and counseling services.

“We believe that family matters most,” said a spokesperson for this thriving, flourishing nonprofit organization in a detailed overview at https://www.keepingfamilyconnected.org/.

A native of Houston who was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Scott Jackson is thoroughly convinced that her organization is steadily becoming a fixture throughout the region but, most importantly, she’s convinced it aligns solely with the purpose for which she was created.

DOING IT BIG IN TEXAS — Appearing on Dallas/Fort Worth’s 97.9 The Beat over the weekend, Scott Jackson wasted little time offering some rather profound words of encouragement to the station’s thousands of listeners across the Metroplex.

“My mission is for Keeping Families Connected to become a household name worldwide and eventually be able to provide free prison transportation in other states as the need is so great,” Scott Jackson told Making Headline News this week.

In order to better aid and promote her organization — particularly on national platforms — Scott Jackson has announced that she and her staff  will be launching a Keeping Families mobile app, which is scheduled to go into effect as early as June 1, 2019 during its Third Annual Creations of Fashion For A Cause Runway Show.

This yearly event, Scott Jackson said, is designed for children from various walks of life, particularly teens and young adults from Keeping Families Connected, during which they will participate in modeling, as well as meet and interact with professional models.

In order for better aid and promote her organization — particularly on national platforms — Scott Jackson has announced that she and her staff  will be launching a Keeping Families mobile app, which is scheduled to go into effect as early as June 1, 2019 during its Third Annual Creations of Fashion For A Cause Runway Show.

For Scott Jackson, the startup of her organization comes amid arguably the darkest chapter of her life.

“I couldn’t see my kids, because they were left with caregivers, who couldn’t afford to bring them to see them,” said Scott Jackson, recalling the tumultuous developments that fueled her desire to establish her nonprofit. “My daughters were in Louisiana and I was in Texas.”

Still, after the dust had ultimately settled and Scott Jackson had emerged victorious by winning her case, it wasn’t long thereafter that God had emphatically showed her why He had entrusted her to endure, yet conquer so much heartache and pain, both of which she emphatically outlasted.

Look at her today, walking fervently in her purpose as an accomplished businesswoman, who’s also widely known as a published author, public speaker, musician, and humanitarian.

To her credit, she birthed Keeping Families Connected out of “a personal desire,” one that would enable her to customarily make meaningful contributions to the lives of those who are incarcerated while being separated an extended period time from family members.

MAKING MUCH NOISE — Interestingly and to her credit, Scott Jackson’s Keeping Families Connected is, by all accounts, an effective institution, considering it’s also committed to rebuilding families and fostering life skills in youth and young adults from broken homes, Scott Jackson emphasized.

“Ever since (she was wrongfully convicted), she wants to spread the hope of redemption and connection one interaction, a letter to an inmate, and one prison visit at a time,” said a spokesperson for Scoot Jackson’s organization. “She also has a passion for speaking to youth and young adults about making the best choices now based on her own past experiences. She has been blessed to build several businesses and mentor students and members of her church to define their own success.”

“My mission is for Keeping Families Connected to become a household name worldwide and eventually be able to provide free prison transportation in other states as the need is so great,” Scott Jackson told Making Headline News this week.

Interestingly and to her credit, Scott Jackson’s Keeping Families Connected is, by all accounts, an effective institution, considering it’s also committed to rebuilding families and fostering life skills in youth and young adults from broken homes, she emphasized.

“For four years, we have been providing free breakfast, lunch, and transportation to prison facilities throughout the state of Texas for (people), especially kids that have incarcerated parents and individuals that have incarcerated loved ones,” Scott Jackson said.

Talk about being in total alignment with the purpose for which she was created.


COMING FULL CIRCLE 

SEASON OF THE REBIRTH — To her credit, Scott Jackson birthed Keeping Families Connected out of “a personal desire,” one that would enable her to customarily make meaningful contributions to the lives of those who are incarcerated while being separated an extended period time from family members.

“My life’s trials and tribulations set me up for this journey,” Scott said. “I lost my mom, my dad, and my only son to death, and I really feel that God was removing all of my leaning posts so that I could find my connection and my calling in life and, more so, to help me maximize my potential.”

To her credit, she’s doing just that.

And, what’s remarkably astounding is that she’s nowhere out of order.

Not by a long shot.


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For more information about Dallas/Fort Worth-area Businesswoman Letitia Scott Jackson of Keeping Families Connected, or to schedule her for a public appearance, a book signing or speaking engagement, connect with her via Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/tetiascott. Also, send email to: keepingfamiliesconnected2015@yahoo.com.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Chris Paul on Mavs star Luka Dončić: ‘He probably is the frontrunner’ for Rookie of the Year

HALLE-LUKA

LEADING THE CHARGE — A year after emerging as the EuroLeague MVP during a season that was highlighted by a EuroLeague championship for Real Madrid, Luka Dončić has been as good advertised since being traded on draft night to the Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Young and a protected future first round pick in 2019 (Photos by Glenn James/NBAE Getty Images) 

 

Standing in front of his locker, surrounded by a throng of reporters, Dallas Mavericks prized rookie Luka Dončić tried all he could to assess how the Mavs’ furious rally in the waning moments fell short, thus resulting in a 94-93 loss to the visiting Houston Rockets before an announced sellout crowd in the American Airlines Center Sunday night.

Then within minutes, Dončić was eventually brought to smiles, courtesy of some postgame pleasantries passed along in the visitor’s locker room by Rockets star point guard Chris Paul, who was asked whom he senses is the frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year.

As usual, Paul — who came away from the league’s Rookie of the Year hardware in 2006 — was rather forthright while chiming in.

“He probably is the frontrunner,” Paul, a 13-year veteran, told LaTambria Smith of Making Headline News. “Trae (Atlanta’s Young) is playing really well, you know what I mean? But both of them are great players.”

KEEPING IT 100 — Houston Rockets star point guard Chris Paul, who was asked whom he senses is the frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year. As usual, Paul — who came away from the league’s Rookie of the Year hardware in 2006 — was rather forthright while chiming in.

Though Dončić and Young have seemingly been mentioned in the same breath ever since they entered the NBA last summer, many media pundits believe that Dončić has created more of a continuous buzz as arguably one of the bright stars of the league in the coming years.

A year after emerging as the EuroLeague MVP during a season that was highlighted by a EuroLeague championship and Finals MVP as the marquee player for Madrid, Dončić has been as good advertised since being traded on draft night to the Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Young and a protected future first round pick in 2019.

Having started each of the Mavs’ 66 games, Dončić is Dallas’ leading scorer at 21.1 points per outing.

Young, meanwhile, has started each of the Hawks’ 68 games, averaging 18.3 points per contest, second only to John Collins’ 19.8 points.

Like Young, Dončić has been nothing short of remarkable since he set foot on an NBA court.

Consider, for instance, the fact that the 6-foot-7 Slovenian has garnered NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for three consecutive months from November through January, becoming only the second Mavs rookie to accomplish such a feat (Jay Vincent earned it three times in during the 1981-82 season).

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle speaks with Dončić during Sunday night’s game against the Houston Rockets in American Airlines Center. Carlisle’s rookie sensation is the first Mavs newcomer to receive Western Conference Rookie of the Month in each of the first three months of the season.

Interestingly, Dončić is the first Mavs rookie to receive Western Conference Rookie of the Month in each of the first three months of the season.

That Paul, a nine-time All-Star, was especially complementary of Dallas’ 20-year-old star rookie had eventually prompted Dončić to exhibit a slight grin, this on a night in which the Mavs had witnessed their winless streak reach five games with just 16 games remaining in the regular season.

“That was very nice of him,” Dončić said after learning of Paul’s comments. “I mean…Chris Paul, I’ve watched him as a kid. He’s a great player and do a lot on the court, and it’s so hard to guard him.”


Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder/Publisher & Editor In Chief of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Accomplished Atlanta author Dr. Carolyn Stephens spearheads a book that figures to change a generation


Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Romans 8:37 KJV)


GOD’S LEADING LADY 

WELCOME TO YOUR NEW SEASON — An accomplished Atlanta-area author and businesswoman, Dr. Carolyn Stephens is responsible for forwarding the book entitled, “I Am A Black Woman, Volume 2,” her much-anticipated sophomore edition that is is widely known as “One Voice” — a project that addresses a variety of pertinent topics, most notably surviving divorce, sexual and physical abuse, broken identity, and mental illness, among other subjects.

DALLAS — Dr. Carolyn Stephens has something she needs to get off of her chest.

So pay attention.

“The black woman has been stereotypically criticized, marginalized, and sexualized for decades, and most of the negative connotations are a misunderstanding or a traditional belief system that has continued to demean the women of our culture,” Dr. Stephens, during an interview this week with Making Headline News, said, explain in detail the developments that fueled her desire to write an awe-inspiring book.

It is, by all accounts, due in large part to this assortment of stereotypes that Dr. Stephens deemed it absolutely essential to compose a book that figures to enrich and impact a generation for years to come.

An accomplished Atlanta-area author and businesswoman, Dr. Stephens is responsible for forwarding the book entitled, “I Am A Black Woman, Volume 2,” her much-anticipated sophomore edition that is is widely known as “One Voice” — a project that addresses a variety of pertinent topics, most notably surviving divorce, sexual and physical abuse, broken identity, and mental illness, among other subjects.


THE PROVERBS 31 FACTOR 

“I decided to construct a book project that would allow black women to have a voice and vocalize their obstacles, processes, and victories,” Dr. Stephens said.

As this gifted author-turned-businesswoman explained, her primary objective for composing a second edition of “I Am A Black Woman” was centered largely on uniting a dozen black women from various walks of life, all of whom demonstrate the courage to share a common goal and vision as a strategic way to create healing, thus establish a sense of unity within their respective community.

ON ONE ACCORD — More than anything, Dr. Stephens acknowledged, she’s especially appreciative to the gallery of African-American authors who collectively bought into her massive vision to construct a book that figures to impact a generation and will be promoted in a number of establishments around the country, most notably New York, Alabama, Warner Robins, Georgia, Detroit, as well as Florida, Texas, and Jamaica.

“We have chosen to execute this book in the form of an anthology to create a level of cohesiveness between black women in order to demonstrate the results of what we call sister synergy,” said Dr. Stephens, explaining her purpose for “I Am A Black Woman, Volume 2. “This compilation book project not only discloses the many challenges that black women face, such as divorce, sexual and physical violence, single parenthood, etc., but also speaks of the therapeutic resolutions necessary to bring about change.”

Interestingly, Dr. Stephens — who’s widely known also as a public speaker and a clinical therapist — disclosed a rather intriguing statistic pertaining to the struggles a slew of struggles with which countless of black women customarily endure.

MORE ON DR. STEPHENS’ NEW BOOK: https://www.facebook.com/iaabw/

SET ASIDE FOR GOD’S USE — Interestingly, Dr. Stephens — who’s widely known also as a public speaker and a clinical therapist — disclosed a rather intriguing statistics pertaining to the struggles a slew of struggles with which countless of black women customarily endure.

“Over several years of working in my practice, I discovered that 98 percent of my patient population was African-American single women, who were often- times diagnosed with dual diagnoses as a result of the traumatic experiences they have endured,” Dr. Stephens explained. “I was challenged to explore the emotional triggers and root causes that produce many of the toxic behaviors demonstrated among many black women that oftentimes cause us to stay divided.”

All things considered and to her credit, such a discovery practically sums up why Dr. Stephens thought it necessary to assemble a second edition of “I Am A Black Woman.”


“As a result of launching this project, a loving sisterhood was birthed and has now developed into a long awaited movement,” Dr. Stephens said of her forthcoming book, which is scheduled to be officially released in June. “The sisterhood of the IAABW represents the edification and affirmation of the black woman.”


More than anything, Dr. Stephens acknowledged, she’s especially appreciative to the gallery of African-American authors who collectively bought into her massive vision to construct a book that figures to impact a generation and will be promoted in a number of establishments around the country, most notably New York, Alabama, Warner Robins, Georgia, Detroit, as well as Florida, Texas, and Jamaica.

“Myself and the co-authors of IAABW would like to help support the healing process of the black family and see the revival of the black community through love, strength, and prosperity,” Dr. Stephens said.

BUT GOD — As this gifted author-turned-businesswoman explained, her primary objective for composing a second edition of “I Am A Black Woman” was centered largely on uniting a dozen black women from various walks of life, all of whom demonstrate the courage to share a common goal and vision as a strategic way to create healing, thus establish a sense of unity within their respective community.

Ironically, Dr. Stephens thought it essential to compose a book in a rather similar fashion, or one that would be centered primarily on African-American men.

Just recently, Dr. Stephens announced that she will be producing an “I Am A Black Man” book that is slated to be released in October 2019.

“The IAABW movement is continuing to grow,” Dr. Stephens said. “We are proud to announce the launching of (I Am A Black Man), thus solidifying our belief that we are a community that is strong and powerful.”

So pay attention.


CHECK OUT THIS FOOTAGE: 


For more information about Atlanta-area Author Dr. Carolyn Stephens, or to order her book, schedule her for a public appearance, a book signing, or speaking engagement, call 404.839.5102, or connect with her via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/drcstephens. Also, send email to: dr.carolyn21@yahoo.com.


CONNECT WITH THIS AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Washington, DC-area author Kinite McCrae’s unorthodox connection to God gives way to an inspiring new book


Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 KJV)


 

As it pertains to her faith walk, Kinite McCrae is…well…let’s put it this way:

Her walk with God is somewhat unconventional, to say the least.

By and large, McCrae isn’t whom many would deem “your typical” Christian story.

For starters, she was not raised in the church, nor did she grow up in a Christian-oriented community.

MASSIVE KINGDOM IMPACT — A native of Washington, DC, Kinite McCrae’s “I Am A Christian…This Is Why: A Logical Response To The Skeptic” will make its debut on November 18, a book that will be available for purchase on Amazon.com and on her personal website at https://www.authorkinite.com/.

Come to think of it, in fact, she spent her early adult years mostly skeptical about what she described as “organized religion,” not to mention the authenticity of the Bible until she consequently decided to embark upon a rather unorthodox journey, one that was centered on her having studied world religions in a search for truth.

What she had eventually discovered was that, well, only what we do for Christ will last.

That’s because during her in-depth spiritual journey, she had ultimately come to grips with the notion that Christianity is, in fact, logical and intelligent and that conclusion had eventually given way to her to accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.


PURCHASE AUTHOR KINITE’S BOOK HERE: https://www.authorkinite.com/

Interestingly, that McCrae had made peace with God was a life-changing development, of sorts, an awe-inspiring occurrence that had proved to be the precursor to her present ministry, one that inspired her to compose the book entitled, “I Am A Christian…This Is Why: A Logical Response To The Skeptic.”

A book whereby God has infused within her the vision to compose some five years ago, McCrae’s “I Am A Christian…This Is Why: A Logical Response To The Skeptic” has been deemed what this writer has dubbed “a quick read,” one that provides what she labels to-the-point arguments, evidence-based answers, not to mention one that raises logical questions as a strategic way to provoke readers to engage in critical thinking, all the while assuming the desire to go further in their search for truth.

“Life happens and in my busyness, I put it on the back burner until this year, the Holy Spirit would not let me rest until I finished this book,” McCrae told Making Headline News during a recent interview. “After I returned from my mission’s trip to Africa, I was so inspired, I was able to finish in about two weeks.”

Much to her delight, McCrae is just days away from witnessing her newly-produced book make its much-anticipated presence on the market.

A native of Washington, DC, McCrae’s “I Am A Christian…This Is Why: A Logical Response To The Skeptic” will make its debut on November 18, a book that will be available for purchase on Amazon.com and on her personal website at https://www.authorkinite.com/.

When asked what was the single, most underlying reason she chose to produce her new book, McCrae said, “Most Christians know what they believe, but have difficulty explaining why they believe, which are two different questions with two different answers. I want to help equip Christians to logically and intelligently explain the why behind the what. (Furthermore), I want to help the skeptic or the person that’s on the fence by answering some of the difficult or confusing questions about Christianity.”

For what it’s worth, McCrae has gone to great lengths through her soon-to-be-released book to remind God’s people that we serve an “intelligent God” and an “intelligent Spirit” which means we should be able to defend the faith both intelligently and spiritually, she acknowledged.


WHO IS KINITE McCRAE? https://www.authorkinite.com/

HARVEST SEASON UNFOLDING — Much to her delight, McCrae is just days away from witnessing her newly-produced book make its much-anticipated presence on the market.

“After all, He said, ‘Come let us reason with one another,’” said McCrae, reciting the familiar Biblical passage that is Isaiah 1:18. “And the word, ‘reason,’ requires an exchange of intellect and ideas.”

A little less than two weeks away from its official release, McCrae is extremely grateful of the early favorable feedback of her book.

“It has been amazing,” McCrae said of the hoopla and buzz surrounding her newly-assembled written work. “I’ve had so many people tell me that I have explained things in a simple and logical way, a way that they never thought about before or had explained to them in all their years of church. And now they finally understand. I’m so humbled by that, because I know that the revelation truly comes from God, but that He would use me…all I can say is what is man that He is mindful.”

Fortunately for McCrae, God has already shown her much favor through a book that has yet to hit the market.

“I’ve already spoken at several conferences leading up to this launch, where I’ve had the opportunity to encourage and exhort woman, men and, youth,” said McCrae, whose official book launch is November 18 at 12 p.m. EST and will be hosted by her church (located at 3801 West Braddock Road in Alexandria, Virginia, inside T. C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus).

“All are welcome (to attend the book launch),” said McCrae, requesting that those who plan to attend to RSVP at www.authorkinite.com, considering lunch will be served. “Also, they don’t have to wait until 12 noon to show up; all are welcome to join us that morning for worship services, which begins at 9 am with breakfast.”

Also, McCrae announced that her forthcoming book is the first of the “I Am” series and that additional written documents are in the works, which will explain what she describes as other Bible difficulties, most notably heaven, hell, and life after death.

“I discovered early on that my spiritual gifts are exhortation, teaching and leading,” McCrae said. “So I would say that with this book, I will exhort, teach and through the work of the Holy Spirit, take part in leading many to Christ.”

Never mind that her walk with God has been somewhat unconventional, to say the least.


For more information about Washington, D.C.-area Author Kinite McCrae, or to schedule her for a public appearance, a book signing or speaking engagement, connect with her via social media under: Facebook: authorkinitemccrae; Instagram: @kinitemccrae; Twitter: @authorkinite. Also, send email to: authorteam2@gmail.com, or call 703-577-7029.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. looking to add Slam Dunk champion to his banner rookie season

DALLAS — Approximately 90 minutes prior to the Dallas Mavericks’ final game before the All-Star break on Tuesday, Mavs point guard Dennis Smith Jr. sat in front of his locker, trying all he could to keep from basking in the glory of the moment.

Too late.

AIR DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. will compete in the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest as part the NBA All-Star festivities Saturday Night at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday. The former North Carolina State star is the third player in Mavs history to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest. (Photo by Lecka/Getty Images North America)

That’s because Dallas’ prized rookie was a couple of days away from showcasing his skills on the NBA’s most celebrated and star-studded stage.

A former North Carolina State star, Smith Jr. will compete in the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest as part the NBA All-Star Game festivities Saturday Night at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.

An event that will precede the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the JBL Three-Point Contest, Smith Jr. is the third player in Mavs history to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, joining Tony Dumas and Michael Finley.

Finley, who played for Dallas from 1996-2005, finished third at the event held in Cleveland in 1997. Dumas, whose four NBA seasons were spent mostly with Dallas from 1994 to 1996, failed to advance past the first round of the 1995 competition held in Phoenix.

The 67th Annual All-Star Game is Sunday at 7 p.m. CST on TNT and will feature Team Stephen versus Team LeBron.

For the 20-year-old Smith Jr., whose 48-inch vertical leap during a pre-draft workout with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer reportedly tied an NBA record, if things go his way Saturday night, the possibility exist that he will emerge as the Slam Dunk champion.

According to odds makers, while labeling this year’s competition as an open race, they predict the winner of this year’s event will likely come to down to Smith Jr. and newly-acquired Cleveland power forward Larry Nance Jr., with the 6-foot-3 Smith edging out Nance in the finals.

Joining Smith Jr. in the Slam Dunk competition are fellow rookie Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, the field’s only All-Star, and Nance Jr., a second-generation dunk contest participant, whose father won the contest in 1984.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said that Smith Jr. appearing on the league’s grandest stage this weekend for the All-Star festivities is testament of the solid work he’s put it prior to entering the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick last June.

“I’m humbled by it,” Smith Jr., during an interview with Making Headline News, said of being selected to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest. “It’s a blessing to be there. You know, you work hard and dream about things like that and, finally, it’s a great honor for me. It’s a blessing.”

Though Mavs coach Rick Carlisle earlier this week was complementary of his star rookie being selected for a chance to become the first slam dunk champion in team history, he also took the time to pass along to the team’s second-leading scorer some pertinent advice that was comprised of just two words.

“Be safe,” Carlisle said.

Aside from joining arguably the NBA’s finest players this weekend in Los Angeles, where he will also compete for the U.S. Team in the Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game Friday night, Smith Jr. described participating in the Slam Dunk Contest as a “dream come true,” considering he’s spent years watching YouTube footage of Michael Jordan and a host of other electrifying dunkers.

“I like Vince (Sacramento Kings veteran Carter), T-Mac (Tracy McGrady), Jordan,” Smith Jr. said. “You know, there’s a couple of others…Steve Francis. And Penny (Hardaway). That’s my dawg, but I’m not going to throw him in (on the list).”

According to odds makers, while labeling this year’s competition as an open race, they predict the winner of this year’s event will likely come to down to Smith Jr. and newly-acquired Cleveland power forward Larry Nance Jr., with the 6-foot-3 Smith Jr. edging out Nance in the finals. (Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)

For what it’s worth, Carlisle said that Smith Jr. appearing on the league’s grandest stage this weekend is a testament of the solid work he’s put in prior to entering the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick last June.

“I want him to learn from it,” Carlisle said. “He’s hard to guard and he gets his teammates involved. You know, I love the way he’s being an aggressive scorer with the awareness of putting his teammates in position to score. From the perspective of how he understood the game even before coming to the NBA to where he is now, you know, he’s made tremendous strides there.”

If things go his way Saturday night, the Mavs’ prized newcomer will add yet another notable accolade to what is already a memorable rookie campaign.

What: Verizon Slam Dunk
When: Saturday, Feb. 17 | 8 p.m. ET  (3rd Event)
TV: TNT 
Where: STAPLES Center

 

Andre Johnson is the Founder/Publisher And Editor In Chief of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Mavs guard Devin Harris on tragic death of his older brother: ‘He was a guy that everybody knew and everybody loved’

REMEMBERING BIG BRUH — Speaking publicly for the first time since his brother, 38-year-old Bruce Harris, died last week as a result of injuries he sustained in a crash, Dallas Mavericks veteran guard Devin Harris on Monday spoke with reporters prior to the Mavs’ game versus the Golden State Warriors, during which he spoke briefly about his close-knit relationship with his older brother.

 

DALLAS — Trying hard to make sense of his brother’s tragic death, Dallas Mavericks veteran shooting guard Devin Harris felt it was time to step out for some fresh air.

Even if meant temporarily rejoining his teammates.

Speaking publicly for the first time since his brother, 38-year-old Bruce Harris, died last week as a result of injuries he sustained in a crash, Devin Harris addressed reporters prior to the Mavs’ game Monday night versus the Golden State Warriors, during which he spoke briefly about his close-knit relationship with his older sibling.

Appearing rather teary-eyed while fielding questions from the media in front of his locker, the Mavs’ reserved guard spoke about how anguished times are now for him and his family, who are presently preparing to lay his brother to rest.

“I lost my brother tragically,” Harris said. “It’s been a tough week. My family is taking it pretty hard as you would expect them to…probably the saddest thing I’ve had to deal with as far as trying to explain it to his kids and my kids.”

As expected, the support from the Mavericks and community has been overwhelming said Harris, a 13-year-veteran who is in his second stint with Dallas.

“The support I’ve gotten from the team and the community has been great,” Harris said. “And I ask for a little privacy as we try to deal with this for the next couple of weeks and hopefully we can get back to some type normalcy.”

Granted an immediate leave of absence by the team, Harris said there is no timetable for his return to a Mavs squad that fell to 0-4 on the season following Monday night’s 133-103 loss to the defending NBA champion Warriors in the American Airlines Center.

Prior to the game, Golden State superstar Stephen Curry took a moment to console Harris’ 9-year-old nephew, Brayden, amid his father’s death, a meeting that was set up by Curry’s brother, Seth, a backup guard with the Mavericks, and Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, a longtime friend of Harris.

According to a Dallas police statement,  Harris’ brother died in the afternoon on October 12 as a result of injuries from a 1:40 a.m. crash on Texas U.S. 75 just north of Loop 12 in North Dallas. Officer Tamika Dameron, a police spokeswoman, said Harris and another man were in a disabled vehicle when it was slammed from behind and set on fire by a car with two 23-year-old men.

Consequently, all four occupants were taken to Presbyterian Hospital about a block from the site of the crash.

Harris died hours later.

“We still don’t have a whole lot of details,” Devin Harris said. “All we know is the car broke down and he got rear-ended and that’s as much as we know. I mean, there are still some details to be collected and we look forward to having those answers.”

NOTABLE ASSIST — Prior to Monday night’s game between the Dallas Mavericks versus the Golden State Warriors in American Airlines Center, Warriors superstar Stephen Curry took a moment to console Mavs guard Devin Harris’ 9-year-old nephew, Brayden, amid his father’s tragic death, a meeting that was set up by Curry’s brother, Seth, a backup guard with the Mavericks, and Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, a longtime friend of Harris.

Five days removed from fielding the devastating news of his brother’s tragic death, Harris sensed it was time to seek some sort of solace as his bereaved family prepares to bid farewell to Bruce.

“I can only sit in the house for so long and…I mean, to get out and get some fresh air,” Harris, a native of Milwaukee, said. “You know, (my teammates) are my brothers too. I spend every day with them, so just to see them and be around them has helped with my healing as well. It’s been that way when other things have happened, so I don’t see why it would be any different now. I’ve worked out the past couple of days, but it still hasn’t really felt normal. But like I said, hopefully it’ll get back to that feeling.”

Asked to assess his brother’s legacy, Harris, hinting that he plans to dedicate the remainder of the season to Bruce, said, “I mean, he was a guy that everybody knew and everybody loved. I mean, he touched a lot of people, whether it was here in Dallas or whether it was in Milwaukee. He had the biggest heart and he was a great father and a great brother, and I think we will try to display that when we remember him.”

The Mavericks return to action Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CST when they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies (3-0) to the American Airlines Center.

 

Andre Johnson is the Founder/Publisher And Editor-In-Chief of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.