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Long before his personal encounter with Shaq, young Mekhi Welch has become a gifted sports buff

MEKHI’S MAD SKILLZ

HE’S THE TRUTH — For the child who’s widely known as “Mekhi,” a rather distinctly unique thing occurred some three years or so ago, according to his mother, Tawanna Chamberlain. “Mekhi has been a sports buff since the age of three,” Chamberlain told Making Headline News this week. “But when he started to read around five years old, he asked me to read books to him about the history of basketball and great players.”

DALLAS — Mekhi Welch is just eight years old, meaning for a kid his age, one would think he’s essentially in the beginner’s stage with regards to his knowledge about sports.

For the child who’s widely known as “Mekhi,” a rather distinctly unique thing occurred some three years or so ago, according to his mother, Tawanna Chamberlain.
“Mekhi has been a sports buff since the age of three,” Chamberlain, a Clearwater, Florida resident, told Making Headline News this week. “But when he started to read around five years old, he asked me to read books to him about the history of basketball and great players.”
And just like that, a rising young sports historian, of sorts, was born, considering Mekhi’s sports knowledge is such that he could perhaps teach these old vets a thing of two about arguably some of the celebrated athletes of our generation.
Thanks in large part to his mother routinely reading his autobiographies of Lewis Alcindor, Jr, (famously known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabar), Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality,” “When The Game Was Ours,” featuring Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson’s “Eleven Rings” Sam Smith’s “The Jordan Rules,” Mitch Albom’s “Fab Five,” Dick Devenzo’s “Stuff Good Players Should Know,” LeBron James’ “The Boy Who Became King,” Stephen Curry’s “The Boy Who Never Gave Up,” “Michael Jordan: The Life,” and “Little Shaq” by Shaquille O’neal,” among others, and it’s no wonder little Mekhi boasts lofty aspirations of someday emerging as household name in what has become a multi-million dollar sport industry, particularly for some the world’s most prominent sports journalists.

LOOK! IT’S DA BIG DIESEL!

GOTTA LOOK AT THIS THIS — “Then it happened,” Chamberlain said. “Three days later, I received a personal video message from Shaq to Mekhi and I almost lost it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a surreal moment in time. I couldn’t wait to show Mekhi that his hero, Shaq, had sent him a personal message. When Mekhi saw the message from Shaq, he was overjoyed. He was smiling from ear-to-ear and he talked about the video message all the way to school that morning.”

“We absolutely love to read in our home,” Chamberlain said son’s newfound gift as a sports enthusiast. “In fact, it’s our favorite pastime. We literally own more books than we can count, and when Mekhi would become disinterested with me reading countless of books to him, he would pick up his iPad and Google interesting basketball stats and facts.”

To his credit, the more he deems it essential to become knowledge about sports opposite those up-to-date scores that customarily scroll across SportCenter’s Bottom Line, the more it seems that Mekhi essentially broadens his journalistic mechanics that figure to set him apart mightily from his peers much more sooner than later.

Never mind that he’s only eight years of age.

“Over the last five years, he has become a real life NBA basketball Wikipedia,” said Chamberlain, trying the best she could to assess her young and gifted son’s amazing gift that centered on big time sports. “You can ask him any question you want to about players from Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, Kobe, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Tracy McGrady, Charles Barkley, Step Curry, Kevin Durant, Kwahi Leonard, Clay Thompson, Ben Simmons to Zion Williamson.”

Once someone picks Mekhi’s brain about any major professional athlete — past or present — they might as well brace themselves for what essentially will be said next.

“Amazingly, he can recall their height, what cities they were born in, all the teams that each player played on, what year they were recruited and drafted to the NBA, who their rivals were, their current stats, their highest scoring games in a season, the years they were injured, and how the injury impacted their careers,” Chamberlain said. “You should hear him tell the story about Yao Ming.”

And then there is Mekhi’s personal encounter with O’Neal, five-time NBA champion and former LSU All-American.

According to Chamberlain, her son and Shaq established friendship during which an awe-inspiring encounter took place, a development that resulted in her son being the beneficiary.


“Mekhi has always loved Shaq,” Chamberlain said. Since he was five years old, he would tell me that his dream was to play a game of one-on-one with Shaq. To Mekhi, Shaquille O’Neal is larger-than-life. The other day I was in the living room watching something on TV and a commercial for a national pizza chain came on. Just as the commercial came on, Mekhi walked out of his room and was mesmerized by the fact that Shaq was going all around the town delivering pizzas to people.”


Much to his delight, the young sports buff had become even more attentive to the commercial ad featuring his hero.

“Over the last five years, he has become a real life NBA basketball Wikipedia,” said Chamberlain, trying the best she could to assess her young and gifted son’s amazing gift that centered on big time sports. “You can ask him any question you want to about players from Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, Kobe, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Tracy McGrady, Charles Barkley, Step Curry, Kevin Durant, Kwahi Leonard, Clay Thompson, Ben Simmons to Zion Williamson.”

“Mekhi could not believe his eyes…he thought that was the coolest thing ever,” Chamberlain recalled. “Right after the commercial went off, Mekhi asked me to call or text Shaq and ask him to bring him a (Papa John’s) pepperoni pizza. I just looked at him with a blank stare—I honestly didn’t know what to say to him regarding his request, because I was thinking to myself, “Yeah right. I don’t know Shaq’s telephone number—so I can’t call or text him and ask him to bring a pizza over here.

“Mekhi wholeheartedly believed that I would know how to contact Shaq and he was very persistent, so he went as far as to go pick up my cell phone and he handed it to me and said, ‘Here mom, please go ahead and call or text Shaq.’”

Interestingly, things would eventually become even more interesting for Mehki.

“Mekhi wholeheartedly believed that I would know how to contact Shaq and he was very persistent, so he went as far as to go pick up my cell phone and he handed it to me and said, ‘Here mom, please go ahead and call or text Shaq.’”

“Not wanting to let my child down, I grabbed my phone and sent a ‘Hail Mary’ DM to Shaq on Instagram, because my son was standing right there watching me type the message,” Chamberlain said. “No pressure…and I hit, ‘send,’ never thinking that Shaq would actually see the message or read it.”

Boy, was she wrong — wrong for all the right reasons to put it more precisely.

“A few days passed, but everyday Mekhi would ask me, ‘Did Shaq text you back yet?’” Chamberlain said. “While looking for his pizza, he truly believed his favorite player wouldn’t let him down. So I would just remind Mekhi that Shaq is a very busy man, but told him that perhaps when he isn’t so busy, he would make time to respond to my message.”

Once someone picks Mekhi’s brain about any major professional athlete — past or present — they might as well brace themselves for what essentially will be said next.

Suddenly, the long-awaited and figurative slam dunk for which Mekhi had waited was finally executed.

“Then it happened,” Chamberlain said. “Three days later, I received a personal video message from Shaq to Mekhi and I almost lost it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a surreal moment in time. I couldn’t wait to show Mekhi that his hero, Shaq, had sent him a personal message. When Mekhi saw the message from Shaq, he was overjoyed. He was smiling from ear-to-ear and he talked about the video message all the way to school that morning.

“That same day, I was contacted by the National Pizza Chain via Twitter and they made it possible for Mekhi’s entire class to enjoy a pizza party, which made everyone’s day,” Chamberlain continued. “This is the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Much like the wealth of knowledge Chamberlain’s son has garnered as such a young age.

Stay tuned. This kid seems well on his way to making major moves in the sports world, something that, well, perhaps even Shaq has sensed.


REMEMBER THE NAME 

STAR WATCH — To his credit, the more he deems it essential to become knowledge about sports opposite up-to-date scores that customarily scroll across SportCenter’s Bottom Line, the more it seems that Mekhi essentially broadens his journalistic mechanics that figure to set him apart mightily from his peers much more sooner than later.

“It was so very thoughtful of Shaquille O’Neal to take a few moments out of his busy schedule to send Mekhi a message,” Chamberlain said. “It meant the world to him and it is something that he will never forget.”

With all of the sports knowledge he’s acquired in recent years, how could he?


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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 makingheadlinenews@gmail.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Is Oklahoma businessman Carlos Morrison the beard growth industry’s best kept secret?

DON’T FEAR DA BEARD 

MAKING MAJOR MOVES — Tulsa, Oklahoma entrepreneur Carlos Morrison ceremoniously launched Ebony Rise For Men in 2016, a credible product that was created primarily for men who struggle with beard growth and basic skin care regimes.

DALLAS — In case you don’t know him, Carlos Morrison would like to introduce himself.

A resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Morrison, 32, earlier this year was deemed a keynote entrepreneur through Black Upstart.
In addition, he was named Oklahoma 40-and-under 40 in Business & Marketing in 2018, during which he successfully created business profits for hundreds of individuals that same year.

MORE ON EBONY RISE FOR MEN: https://ebonyriseformen.com/

As if those notable accolades aren’t enough to turn heads, Morrison ceremoniously launched Ebony Rise For Men in 2016, a credible product that was created primarily for men who struggle with beard growth and basic skin care regimes.

Specifically created for ethnic men ages ranging in ages 18 to 65 — most notably those with coarse, curly, or oily facial hair — Morrison’s Ebony Rise For Men can customarily be applied virtually every day, thus growing consumers’ beard up to as much as two-to-four inches, as mentioned at https://ebonyriseformen.com/erlg.

Having joined Russell Brunson’s Inner Circle in 2015, Morrison told Making Headline News during a weekend interview that he deemed it especially necessary to start his own business, in large part because of numerous failed attempts to grow his beard.


“I created (Ebony Rise For Men), because I was unable to grow facial hair and, after becoming bald, I wanted something to keep up with my look,” said Morrison, whose fledging business venture is supported mightily by a gallery of supporters, most notably his wife, Chephon Morrison.


When all else failed, Carlos Morrison acknowledged, it was time he aggressively step out on faith by strategically executing the unlikely trend of, well…stepping out of faith.

Specifically created for ethnic men ages ranging in ages 18 to 65 — most notably those with coarse, curly, or oily facial hair — Morrison’s Ebony Rise For Men can customarily be applied virtually every day, thus growing consumers’ beard up to as much as two-to-four inches, as mentioned at https://ebonyriseformen.com/erlg.

Much to his delight, it wasn’t long thereafter that miraculously Morrison came up with a project that, to his credit, is making a strong case to have what this young entrepreneur hopes is a global impact.

It seems he’s well on his way to reaching such a milestone.

“I tried many products, but still struggled with patches and dryness,” Morrison, a licensed CDL Class A truck driver, explained.

Not to be outdone, though, this entrepreneurship guru had gone as far as to implement the essential result, a trend he didn’t shy away from until he reaped the favorable results he so desperately sought.


LET’S RISE UP

“(My products) have been used by individuals across the U.S. and in the Bahamas and Mexico,” Morrison said. “The purpose is to help men feel more confident and to help them take care of their beards the proper way with natural products manufactured in the U.S.”

“I looked up ingredients that would solve issues and formulated an oil with those ingredients that promoted hair growth,” Morrison, a former Marketing student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, recalled.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

When all else failed, Carlos Morrison acknowledged, it was time he aggressively step out on faith by strategically executing the unlikely trend of, well, stepping out of faith.

Fortunately for Morrison, Ebony Rise For Men has been on the rise for three years. And counting.

Interestingly, Morrison’s invention is steadily making its presence felt, particularly outside of the United States.

“(My products) have been used by individuals across the U.S. and in the Bahamas and Mexico,” Morrison said. “The purpose is to help men feel more confident and to help them take care of their beards the proper way with natural products manufactured in the U.S.

“I tried many products, but still struggled with patches and dryness,” Morrison, a licensed CDL Class A truck driver, explained.

“My goal is to inspire men of color who really needed a product designed specifically them that they can have a great routine that produces amazing results.”

To his credit, he’s doing just that, all the while having a constant global impact in the process.


For more information on Tulsa, Oklahoma-area Businessman Carlos Morrison of Ebony Rise For Men, connect with him via email at: myebonyrise@gmail.com. Also, following him on Instagram at: EbonyRiseOnline.


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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.

Connecticut businesswoman Lieutenant Shelly Carter bringing awareness to ‘lack of females in the fire service’

 


CHANGING OF THE GUARD 

PRESSING FORWARD — To her credit, Lieutenant Shelly Carter is empowering girls and women to build their confidence, courtesy of her annual Girls Future Firefighters Camp, an event that is centered largely on bringing awareness to what this firefighter-turned-businesswoman describes as a “lack of females in the fire service.”

For a 19-year-veteran of the City of Hartford Fire Department, Lieutenant Shelly Carter has learned, seen, and discovered a lot.

Still, even to this very day, Carter doesn’t shy away from the notion that she’s clinging to one crucial concern.

“What I realized was there are few women who know about becoming a firefighter, because no one never presented the idea to them,” Carter told Making Headline News during a weekend interview. “My goal is to empower girls and women and to build their confidence.”
To her credit, Carter is doing just that — and much more — courtesy of her annual Girls Future Firefighters Camp, an event that is centered largely on bringing awareness to what this firefighter-turned-businesswoman describes as a “lack of females in the fire service.”

HERE’S MORE ON GFFC: https://www.facebook.com/girlsfuturefirefightercamp/

“My girls will leave my camp knowing that there are no obstacles that they cannot handle,” Carter, 49, said.

A credible, community-wide event that is entering its fourth year of existence, Carter emphasized, among other things, that while a date has yet to be determined for a Girls Future Firefighters Camp that customarily takes place during the summer months, now is still an ideal time to promote it as a strategic way to create change in one of the world’s most respected industry.

A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Carter began her fire service stint with the City of Hartford Fire Department in July 1999, during which she was assigned to what is known as Engine Company 9.

Interestingly, she assumed responsibilities as a structural firefighter until she was promoted to Driver/ Engineer in December 2011, this after having turned in a masterful display while functioning diligently in a predominately male role.


SETTING MAJOR TRENDS 

WE’RE ALL IN — A credible, community-wide event that is entering its fourth year of existence, Carter emphasized, among other things, that while a date has yet to be determined for a Girls Future Firefighters Camp that customarily takes place during the summer months, now is still an ideal time to promote it as a strategic way to create change in one of the nation’s most respected industry.

As it turned out and much to her delight, one favorable effort had ultimately given way to even more sustained success for Carter, who holds Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration from Charter Oak State College and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Anna Maria College.

That’s because Carter was eventually assigned to the role of Driver/Engineer for what is known as Engine Company 10 and 16.

MUCH RESPECT — A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Carter began her fire service stint with the City of Hartford Fire Department in July 1999, during which she was assigned to what is known as Engine Company 9.

Then in August 2015, P. O. Carter was installed as Lieutenant in the Fire Marshal’s office, where she is currently working as a Fire Prevention Lieutenant, Arson Investigator, as well as a Fire Code Official.

In addition, Lieutenant Carter has been detailed to the Special Services Division, as well as the Training Division as an accomplished instructor, a development that has benefited her mightily, thus sums up in large part why her annual Girls Future Firefighters Camp is absolutely essential.


A MASSIVE IMPACT 

SHE GOT THAT RIGHT — “My girls will leave my camp knowing that there are no obstacles that they cannot handle,” Carter, 49, said.

“My personal mission is to show girls and women that they are strong and very, very capable,” said Carter, a devout woman of faith who’s also an accomplished minister. “My hope is that they will begin to think outside the box and explore non-conventional careers such as firefighting, which is so rewarding.”


Given how Carter has been blessed to move up the ranks in an industry that is dominated by her male counterparts, and it’s no wonder she has appropriately assumed the illustrious role as a spokesperson for ladies who aspire to delve off into the fire fighter arena.

GIVING BACK BIG TIME — All things considered, Carter doesn’t shy away from the notion also that it is her civic duty to give back in a big way and, most importantly, inspire other women to become empowered about one of the world’s most respected industries.

“The people that inspire me to do this camp are the faces of the little girls that I see when I step off the fire truck,” Carter said. “And they are amazed that I am a woman.”

All things considered, Carter doesn’t shy away from the notion also that it is her civic duty to give back in a big way and, most importantly, inspire other women to become empowered about one of the world’s most respected industries.

HATS OFF TO HER — “The people that inspire me to do this camp are the faces of the little girls that I see when I step off the fire truck,” Carter said. “And they are amazed that I am a woman.”

“(I’m doing this) for all the women who are in the fire service who have been looked over or pushed aside and treated unfairly,” Carter said of an annual camp that’s geared mostly toward girls ranging in ages 13-to-18. “For the women who’s shoulders I stand on that have paved the way for me to be here…for me to be a firefighter.”

All the while deeming it essential to reach back and help others follow suit.

“To God be the glory for the things he has done,” Carter said.


For more information about Hartford, Connecticut area Businesswoman Shelly Carter and her Girls Future Firefighters Camp, connect with him via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/girlsfuturefirefightercamp/. Also, email him at: girlsfuturefirefightercamp@gmail.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.

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.

Baltimore area entrepreneur/investor Manny Gathers aiming to have a global impact through his professional track and field league

Just after 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, Manny Gathers staged to his Facebook timeline some pretty compelling information regarding professional sports entertainment rankings.

Surprisingly, track and field was amongst the 19 sports listed on the chart.

With a No. 3 ranking being rated “Excellent” and No. 1 ranking being rated “Poor,” track and field, as it turned out, ranked near the bottom of the pack with three No. 1’s. Nevertheless, there is a silver lining and it is called American League Track & Field.

According to Gathers, ALTF has corrected all of the issues that traditional track and field faces today. “ALTF is supreme and is the solution to elevating this Globally Recognized Sport to its rightful position,” Gathers said. 

All things considered, credit Gathers and his staff for playing some of favorable role to what undoubtedly is an ongoing upward trend, considering track and field figures to remain one of the world’s most popular sports.

An accomplished Baltimore-area entrepreneur and investor, Gathers is the mastermind by behind organizing what he describes as a “uniquely designed” Professional Track And Field League.

Widely regarded as the first of its kind, Gathers said this is the first and only professional sports league that is comprised of men and women teammates, an up-and-coming league in which many of these athletes have a share in ownership and revenue.

“(We’re) the first to have passive, fractional ownership of each team which allows middle-class investors to participate,” Gathers told Making Headline News during a weekend interview.

Interesting enough, this track and field organization is the first to consolidate sponsors’ contracts into a single, short-term agreement model, Gathers said.

“I enjoy being able to meet, work with and served people of various backgrounds the most,” said Gathers, explaining what he admires the most about a uniquely distinct business he hopes will attract more of a global presence in the foreseeable future. “Being able to be a part of a diverse team is a rewarding experience.”

SOLID SUPPORTING CAST — “My personal mission is to successfully bring track and field to life as a professional sport,” said Gathers, who acknowledged that he was inspired to organize the league by Ernest Lindo, whom he deems the Author and Founder of this business model. “By doing that, we will be creating thousands of job opportunities, a new shared ownership model, and more financial good for the communities in which we will operate.”

What’s even more intriguing is that this league strives diligently to attract talented athletes from various levels, most notably former high school and college athletes, or those who have a solid past resume in this internationally-acclaimed sport.

“As far as athletes goes, we will attract and hire graduates from the high school and collegiate levels to participate in the sport,” Gathers said.

A league that is steadily devising ways to generate more exposure, it seems that this organization is starting to become a fixture for those who have a fond interest in track and field.

Spectators included.

“Because of our unique capital raising model and debt mitigation strategies, we will draw families to our events,” said Gathers, adding that ticket prices will typically range in the neighborhood of less than $35 for regular seating — VIP seats are also available, he said — which will make his organization’s events affordable for fans and other groups. “Imagine being able to bring your babies and entire family to a professional sporting event because of affordable ticket prices.”

A native of Eutawville, South Carolina, Gathers served more than 20 years of active duty in the Marine Corps and also boasts experience in mid-level management by way of the ever-so-competitive Corporate America industry.

It is due in large part, he said, to his solid experience as an accomplished businessman that has contributed mightily in his latest venture.

“I have been conditioned to manage complex operations, high-valued budgets, and people management,” said Gathers, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Operations and an MBA Degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College. “My life experiences and world travels have allowed me to interact with people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Strong interpersonal skills have prepared me for this next chapter of my life.”

Extensive traveling both in the military and his selected profession have greatly aided him as well.

“I have traveled around the world a couple of times and have lived in multiple countries and states within the USA,” Gathers said.

As for his mission for electing to organize an athletic venture of this magnitude, well, his primary objective is simple.

MAKING MAJOR MOVES — An accomplished Baltimore area entrepreneur and investor, Manny Gathers is the mastermind by behind organizing what he describes as a “uniquely designed” Professional Track And Field League. Widely regarded as the first of its kind, Gathers said this is the first and only professional sports league that is comprised of men women teammates, a league in which many of whom of the athletes have a share in ownership and revenue.

“My personal mission is to successfully bring track and field to life as a professional sport,” said Gathers, who acknowledged that he was inspired to organize the league by Ernest Lindo, whom he deems the Author and Founder of this business model. “By doing that, we will be creating thousands of job opportunities, a new shared ownership model, and more financial good for the communities in which we will operate.

As for the notable forthcoming additions and changes with this organization, Gathers said a number of projects are presently in the works as he and his staff continues to upgrade and enhance their brand.

“We have recently begun collaborating with the Black Men United Organization and plan on conducting strategic think-tank events to attract the brightest and ideal Leaders to run the business,” Gathers said. “Our primary goal is to target credible celebrities and business owners that share our belief that we can build a successful business model that will provide family entertainment once again, financial and business education, and wealth creation for generations to come.”

“Track and field is the oldest known sport in the world,” Gathers added. “It is popular in America and internationally. How bad do you want it is the question. When asked, ‘Manny, what is it that you need to make this thing work?’ I simply say, ‘connections’…introduce me to Colin Kaepernick, Usain Bolt, T.I., Olympic Medalists or any respectable Star that can help give birth to this Game-Changing idea.’”

For more information about Manny Gathers and his professional track and field organization, email Manny Gathers at manny@bestmoneystrategies.com. Also, contact Manny via his website www.bestmoneystrategies.com

 

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 Founder and Publisher for 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, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Lancaster (Texas) High combo guard Kaila Cooks has been as good as advertised since bursting onto prep scene

MAD SKILLSIt is, by all accounts, because of Kaila Cooks’ steadfast commitment to fine tune her mechanics, upgrade her fundamentals and, most importantly, it is due in large part to the unyielding support of her family that has greatly enabled the Lancaster (Texas) High combo guard to exemplify she’s a constant success on and off the court. For starters, Kaila Cooks is making it count mightily in the classroom, where she’s become a fixture as an honor student. As if that isn’t impressive enough, Cooks’ dazzling basketball skills have been nothing short of impressive, for as long as, well, she burst onto the high school ranks.

DALLAS — It seems that just the mentioning of Kaila Symone Cooks’ name will immediately prompt Cheree Cooks to come to smiles and engage in a pretty intriguing conversation about her beloved daughter.

Such was the case this week when Cheree Cooks during an interview with Making Headline News was asked, among other things, about her daughter’s continuous rise as a prep basketball standout.

KAILA AND HER CREWTo get a thorough understanding of how Kaila Cooks has enjoyed sustained success for someone boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level, look no further than the tireless support of family and on-the-court supporting cast — from her mom, Cheree Cooks, to her father, Ivary Cooks, to her AAU coaches Dez and Ken Willingham, to Linson and her staff, as well as trainers Charles Stoker and Bootsy McCuen.

“It’s very tiring (at times),” Cooks said. “But I remember growing up that my dad was at every game and the support of a parent means a lot. So I push myself because I believe in her and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.”

It is, by all accounts, because of Kaila Cooks’ steadfast commitment to fine tuning her mechanics, upgrading her fundamentals and, most importantly, it is due in large part to the unyielding support of her family that have greatly enabled the Lancaster (Texas) High junior combo guard to exemplify she’s a constant success on and off the court.

For starters, Kaila Cooks, who’s widely known as “KC Cooks,” is making it count mightily in the classroom, where she’s become a fixture as an honor student. As if that isn’t impressive enough, Cooks’ dazzling basketball skills have been nothing short of impressive, remarkable for as long as, well, since she burst onto the high school ranks.

How else to explain her coming-out-party some three years ago when she manufactured a 32-point outburst as an eighth grader? How else to explain how this Texas Top Prospects AAU hoops phenom has routinely managed to draw rave reviews from her high school coaches, a trend that ultimately gave way to her earning a varsity roster spot as a freshman?

“My main goal is to pick up an offer this school year during basketball season and AAU season that is coming up in 2017,” said Kaila Cooks, when asked what are short and long-term goals as a student athlete. “I’ve been playing with (AAU ball) for about five years now, and I just really want this last year of AAU ball to get this one school that would want to offer me (a full ride scholarship).”

To get a thorough understanding of how Kaila Cooks has enjoyed sustained success for someone boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level, look no further than the tireless support of her family and her on-the-court supporting cast — from her mother, to her father, Ivary Cooks, to her AAU coaches Dez and Ken Willingham, to Linson and her staff, as well as trainers Charles Stoker and Bootsy McCain.

“My parents and coaches always say, ‘You got this,’” Kaila Cooks said. “Yeah, everyone have bad games. But they tell me to just keep pushing to get better and trust the process and trust myself and just play my game of basketball. And just about anything that I do in life, (my goal is to) continue to be successful and always have the mentality that I got this and just be patient and trust the process of it.”

CHECK OUT KAILA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgk_mCIVIRQ.

For Kaila Cooks, the process at times certainly seemed rugged and discomforting and downright unbearable.

TRUE GO-GETTERFor Kaila Cooks, the process at times certainly seemed rugged and discomforting and seemingly unbearable.
Take, for instance, how two years ago when she surprisingly sustained a torn ACL during a freak, non-basketball-related incident.
For Cheree Cooks, her daughter’s injury was undoubtedly came as a complete shock, one that consequently gave way to a slew of restless nights for a mother who customarily comes to smiles and engages in pretty intriguing conversations about her beloved daughter.

Take, for instance, how two years ago when she surprisingly sustained a torn ACL during an apparent freak, non-basketball-related incident.

For Cheree Cooks, her daughter’s injury undoubtedly came as a tear-jerking shock, one that consequently gave way to a slew of restless nights for a big-hearted mother who customarily comes to smiles and engages in pretty intriguing conversations about her beloved daughter.

“The doctor called and said she has a torn anterior cruciate ligament,” Cheree Cooks explained. “My response was, ‘Can she still play?’ He said not without surgery and that it’s going to take about six-to-none months (to recuperate).”

As expected, Cheree Cooks found it difficult to stomach such horrifying news.

“I then said, ‘Speak English…What did she do?’” Cheree Cooks said. “He said she tore her ACL. I had no words.”

Well, in actuality, she did have words.

Lots of them, mind you.

That’s because during her daughter’s rehabilitation period, Cheree was the mastermind, of sorts, particularly with regards to keeping Kaila Cooks in favorable spirits.

So much, in fact, that she staged on the walls throughout their home torn pieces of notebook papers accompanied by encouraging words, a trend that, to Kaila’s credit, benefited her mightily as she continued to recoup comfortably from what obviously was a devastating injury.

LOOKING AHEAD“My main goal is to pick up an offer this school year during basketball season and AAU season that is coming up in 2017,” said Kaila Cooks, when asked what are short and long-term goals as a student athlete. “I’ve been playing with (AAU ball) for about five years now, and I just really want this last year of AAU ball to get this one school that would want to offer me (a full ride scholarship).”

One that, as it pertains to taking inventory of her young life, essentially has made Kaila the catalyst of an upstart Lancaster basketball team — on and off the court.

“Kaila loves this game, she sees the floor like no other and, although this process has been hard, I know in the end she will win because she has put in the Work,” Cheree Cooks said. Kaila has a great support system and all Kaila family wants the world to see what we see.”

Now the world is starting to know.

Now the world is starting to see.



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 founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.