Tag Archives: Final Four

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.

 

Georgia Pastor Vincent and Lady Ardys Leslie savoring the abundant life that Christ came to give them


Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. (1 Peter 5:2-4 NKJV)


THE JOHN 10:10 AFFECT

FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR — Powered by the motto that reads: We are real people with real issues looking for real answers, Abundant Life is widely deemed “one church in two locations,” considering it will unveil a campus in nearby Augusta the final weekend of April. As if that isn’t enough to set off a festive, jubilant, collective praise break amongst the masses, Abundant Life commemorated its fifth anniversary the first weekend in April, a feat Pastor Vincent and Lady Ardys Leslie don’t merely take lightly, considering God had strategically set them aside for His use — particularly to serve faithfully alongside each other for such a pivotal time as now.

DALLAS — While addressing the media Friday afternoon, Vincent Leslie recalled in great detail how God had strategically gone about placing him on an pivotal assignment for such a time as now.

A massive, life-changing endeavor, one that, to his distinctly unique credit, is steadily impacting and enriching the kingdom unlike never before.

“I didn’t just roll out of bed one day and start preaching,” Pastor Leslie told Making Headline News during a phone interview from Atlanta. “I’ve been preaching the gospel for over 20 years.”
For Pastor Leslie, it is a two-plus-decade journey that has benefited him mightily as one of God’s anointed spokesperson, who happens to be the Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Church of Atlanta and Augusta.

MORE ON ABUNDANT LIFE CHURCH: http://www.alifewc.org/

GOD’S PLAN — For Pastor Leslie, his two-plus-decade ministerial journey has benefited him mightily as one of God’s anointed spokesperson, who happens to be the Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Church of Atlanta and Augusta.

Officially referred to as Abundant Life Worship Center, this institution that has become a fixture in the Atlanta metropolitan area and has flourished fervently since its 2012 inception, in large part because it continues to fortify its awe-inspiring vision that’s centered on meeting people where they are, thus helping them to become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Powered by the motto that reads: We are real people with real issues looking for real answers, Abundant Life is widely deemed “one church in two locations,” considering it will unveil a campus in nearby Augusta the final weekend of April.

As if that isn’t enough to set off a festive, jubilant, collective praise break amongst the masses, Abundant Life commemorated its fifth anniversary the first weekend in April, a feat Pastor and Lady Ardys Leslie don’t merely take lightly, considering God had strategically set them aside for His use — particularly to serve faithfully alongside each other for such a pivotal time as now.

GOD’S LEADING LADY — A native of Los Angeles, Lady Leslie is a former salon owner and master stylist, who was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. Not to be outdone, though, while it seemed she was “sold out to that religion” for an extended period of time, arguably the most crucial phenomenon she had come to discover is that Jesus isn’t just the Reason for every season but, above all, He’s the Reason she’s been set aside for God’s use.

Because they have diligently obeyed the Voice of God, today unlike never before, this couple — who share four children — are steadily savoring the fruits of their labor, not to mention possessing and savoring the Abundant Life that Christ came to give them.

For Pastor Leslie — a former Alabama A&M University student who spent eight years in the U. S. Army Reserve — his rise to selling out solely to God began at the tender age of 12.

A native of Huntsville, Alabama, who’s widely regarded as a man who God has commissioned and ordained to assure that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is disseminated to all mankind, Pastor Leslie  emerged as a young, gifted saxophonist, one who customarily played gospel music on a slew of platforms — most notably appearing as opening acts for a number of national recording artists.

Interestingly, it wasn’t until 1999 that he officially answered the call of God on his life, a development that had ultimately given way to his becoming a licensed minister at the historic Greater Hope Tabernacle Church in his native establishment.

A former armor bearer, whose kingdom duties included traveling the country as an adjutant (or godly servant), amongst the notable factors Pastor Leslie discovered was that authentic ministry meant to “to meet the needs of the people.”

All of which had eventually led to his much-anticipated Pastorate tenure in 2003 when he was installed as Senior Pastor of Greater Hope Tabernacle Church  in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a milestone that unfolded just two years after he had become an ordained elder.

Nearly a decade later, however, Pastor Leslie assumed his next major ministerial assignment when he founded Abundant Life Ministries in Lawrenceville along with his beloved companion.

A native of Los Angeles, Lady Leslie is a former salon owner and master stylist, who was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Not to be outdone, though, while it seemed she was “sold out to that religion” for an extended period of time, arguably the most crucial phenomenon she had come to discover is that Jesus isn’t just the Reason for every season but, above all, He’s the Reason she’s been set aside for God’s use.

THIS IS HOLY GROUND 

SERVANT’S HEART — A former armor bearer, whose kingdom duties included traveling the country as an adjutant (or godly servant), amongst the notable factors Pastor Leslie discovered was that authentic ministry meant to “to meet the needs of the people.” All of which had eventually led to his much-anticipated Pastorate tenure in 2003 when he was installed as Senior Pastor of Greater Hope Tabernacle Church  in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a milestone that unfolded just two years after he had become an ordained elder.

How else to explain why she serves with keen, immeasurable excellence alongside her husband as a devoted evangelist?

“She strives to help women know their worth and value,” said a spokesperson in a detailed introduction of Lady Leslie, who also serves as director of Abundant Life Church Of Atlanta and Augusta’s Women’s Ministry, whereby she assembles and oversees programs that will enable disciple women to grow and thrive in their relationship with Christ.

Having adopted a mission in which she’s destined to “win lost souls to Christ,” Lady Leslie’s other kingdom-based responsibilities include hosting an annual women’s retreat and a monthly women’s bible study.

BEACON OF LIGHT — Officially referred to as Abundant Life Worship Center, this institution that has become a fixture in the Atlanta metropolitan area and has flourished fervently since its 2012 inception, in large part because it continues to fortify its awe-inspiring vision that’s centered on meeting people where they are, thus helping them to become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Interestingly, she is widely known for being a relationship coach, which affords her the golden opportunity to empower women of all ages, particularly through life-enhancing speeches, health and wellness, and encouraging wholeness.

The owner and adviser of the Mentor Me MasterClass — a Christian-based company and mentorship program that centers on providing spiritual oversight, wisdom, guidance, and purpose for women — Lady Leslie is an advocate for inspiring women from various walks of life to execute the essential work that would greatly enable them to savor a physically, emotionally, and spiritually-equipped healthy lifestyle.

“Our ministry is targeted toward couples and families,” Pastor Leslie said.

Now we know why.

Talk about a massive, life-changing endeavor, one that, to this couple’s distinctly unique credit, is steadily impacting and enriching the kingdom unlike never before.


For more information about Atlanta-area Pastor Vincent Leslie of Abundant Life Church of Atlanta and Augusta, or to schedule him for a public appearance or speaking engagement, call .678.667-4458, or connect with him via Facebook at: alchurchthatcares; Instagram: alchurchofatlanta; Twitter: @alchurchofatl. Also, connect with Lady Ardys Leslie at: Instagram: @ladyardysleslie; Twitter: firstladyleslie; Facebook: @ardysismycoach.


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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.

OKC businessman Karim Muhammad aiming to promote his nonprofit organization on national talk and syndicated radio shows

A NATIONAL IMPACT

MAJOR MAJOR STRIDES — A native of Oklahoma City, Karim Muhammad is especially grateful of the immeasurable strides he made through his Teachers Appreciation Foundation, which is steadily attracting more of a national presence.

DALLAS — Karim Muhammad is on a mission.

A great, big one, to be more technical.

Consider, for instance, Muhammad’s fervent, unyielding quest in having a monumental impact as the founder and executive director of the Teachers Appreciation Foundation, his Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization he founded nearly five years ago.

“Inspiring others is very instrumental (in that I’m afforded the golden opportunity) to encourage them to follow their dreams,” Muhammad told Making Headline News during a weekend interview.

WHAT ABOUT TAF? https://www.taf5.org/

A native of Oklahoma City, Muhammad is especially grateful of the immeasurable strides he’s made through his organization, which is steadily attracting more of a national presence.

So much, in fact, that this young businessman doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s destined to devise ways to grasp the attention of a few renowned celebrities and political figures.

“Our goal is to convey the mission and the message on a national talk show and syndicated radio talk show,” said Muhammad, referring specifically to the Steve Harveys, Wendy Williamses, Dr. Phils, and the Rickey Smileys of the world, just to name a few.

A former Langston University and Oklahoma State University student, Muhammad’s Teachers Appreciation Foundation is comprised of a five-person leadership board in which his mother serves as President. Pictured with Muhammad is Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.

A nonprofit organization that went into full operations in June 2014, Teachers Appreciation Foundation’s mission is centered largely on remaining dedicated to the movement of appreciating the school village responsible for teaching the future leaders of the world, as mentioned in a detailed breakdown of this institution at https://www.taf5.org/.

Moreover, this credible nonprofit is widely known for giving back to Oklahoma schools by acknowledging and appreciating educators and support workers in a big way.

Powered by the motto, “The School Village Will Teach The Child” — a catchphrase that was spearheaded by Muhammad’s mother, former longtime educator Miniimah Muhammad — Muhammad was determined to start a foundation that honors school teachers, custodians, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and everyone involved in the school system as a whole, he said.

Nearing its fifth year of existence, Teachers Appreciation Foundation has become a fixture, particularly in highlighting what Muhammad describes as “the roots of these phenomenal people” in large part because “they are pieces to the educational puzzle,” he said.

Interestingly and to his credit, Muhammad’s mother — whose teaching career spanned more than three decades — were amongst those elated and enthused about the concept to establish a credible and worthy foundation.

“I want to provide a quintessential service to my community and other communities worldwide,” Muhammad, an OKC Northeast High School graduate, said, explaining his purpose for his organization, which accommodates people 25 years of age and up. “(I love) putting smiles on the faces and bringing excitement to dignitaries, educators and supporting staff.”

A nonprofit organization that went into full operations in June 2014, Teachers Appreciation Foundation’s mission is centered largely on remaining dedicated to the movement of appreciating the school village responsible for teaching the future leaders of the world, as mentioned in a detailed breakdown of this institution at https://www.taf5.org/.

Much to his delight, social media has benefited Muhammad’s organization mightily in that it has helped spread the word about his flourishing endeavor, which will be hosting its annual TAF Awards Show in the coming months.

According to Muhammad, he and his staff are in discussion for the 2020 TAF Awards to be held in Oklahoma City (February 1 of that year) and nearby Arlington, Texas (on February 8).

In addition, his organization will be hosting a number of community-related events, most notably its TAF Awards Sponsorship Seminars, which customarily take place the third Thursday of each month and is free and open to the public.

A former Langston University and Oklahoma State University student, Muhammad’s Teachers Appreciation Foundation is comprised of a five-person leadership board in which his mother serves as President.

Dawud Ali is TAF’s Vice President, Moneka Sharee is Secretary, and Julie Sharif and Latasha Howell assume the roles as staff members.

Nearing its fifth year of existence, Teachers Appreciation Foundation has become a fixture, particularly in highlighting what Muhammad describes as “the roots of these phenomenal people” in large part because “they are pieces to the educational puzzle,” he said.

WHAT ABOUT TAF? https://www.taf5.org/

Powered by the motto, “The School Village Will Teach The Child” — a catchphrase that was spearheaded by Muhammad’s mother, former longtime educator Miniimah Muhammad — Muhammad was determined to start a foundation that honors school teachers, custodians, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers and everyone involved in the school system as a whole.

“We want to build the movement of appreciating the whole school body,” Muhammad added. “I want the people who go to school to get their teaching certification and degrees to look forward to the Teachers Appreciation Foundation Awards Show. I want them to look forward to the awards show as the Grammys for teachers and staff.”

Talk about a man on a mission.

A great, big one, to be more technical.


For more information about Oklahoma City-area Businessman Karim Muhammad, or to schedule him for a public appearance or speaking engagement, call 405.532.3488 or write to: P.O. Box 17613, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73136. Also, connect with TAF via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/teachAF1978/. Also, send email to: tafteam5@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.