Tag Archives: Maxpreps

Texas prep football player Elijah E. Harvey: ‘I just don’t wanna stop playing after high school’

CRUNCH TIME AUDITION 

LOFTY GOALS — The catalyst of a Sandcrab offensive unit as one of the team’s featured rushers, Elijah Harvey said his primary focus is centered largely on helping propel Calhoun to a region title and, most importantly, a lengthy postseason run.

DALLAS — Just recently, Elijah Harvey was asked to assess the overall landscape of his performance as a member of the Calhoun High football program.

As usual, he was rather forthright and straight to the point.
“I think I’ve done pretty good since the coaches switched me from linebacker to outside linebacker for last season,” Harvey told Making Headline News this week.
For Harvey, a speedy 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, he’s certainly proven to be an integral part of a Calhoun defensive unit that has emerged amongst Texas 5A-2 Region IV District 15’s finest.
The catalyst of a Sandcrab offensive unit as one of the team’s featured rushers, Harvey said his primary focus is centered largely on helping to propel Calhoun to a region title and, most importantly, a lengthy postseason run.
The Sandcrabs enjoyed a 10-4 campaign last year, which ended in a 48–17 loss to district rival Calallen in the region final in San Antonio.
ON THE CLOCK — Fortunately for Elijah, he’s certainly got time — six more regular season games and hopeful a satisfactory postseason run, to put it more precisely — to emerge as a late bloomer amongst college scouts, this after a summer in which his schedule did not allow for him to attend any football camps. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

With Calhoun carrying a 2-1 mark into Friday night’s region opener at Gregory-Portland, Harvey also doesn’t shy away from the notion that this undoubtedly is a crucial time in his final prep season.

That’s because Harvey admittedly is auditioning for the chance to play football at the collegiate level. He especially remains hopeful he does the necessary things that would subsequently draw the attention of scouts and recruiters.

Surely, there’s still a lot of football left to play, although he’s approaching every week as if he’s got something to prove.

In actuality, he does. And he knows it.

“Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning,” said Harvey, alluding to his arguably his crucial days of the week during which he enhances his conditioning schedule.

Besides playing on the amateur circuit years ago, Elijah’s older brother, Malik also is amongst a few fellow family members who have inspired him to stick with football.

According Harvey’s father, Leonard Harvey, he sensed that dating back to his son’s amateur playing days, he was destined to go a long ways on the gridiron.

“When he was small, he used to carry a football are a basketball everywhere he go,” Leonard Harvey recalled. “When he was five years old, what we have called CCYFL is like Pop Warner. I knew he was good, but as a parent, you always think your kid is good.”

The more Elijah’s parents began to sign him up to play at the competitive level, the more his football mechanics were noticed by people outside of the Harvey household.


“When other people start telling you how special your kid, is my first response was (I was) happy that he found something he loves so early in life,” Leonard Harvey said of his son’s football skills. “But then as a parent, I was scared every game, hoping and praying he doesn’t get hurt.”


All things considered, placing his son on field has been a risk worth taking, in large part because as far as Elijah is concerned, he simply could go on without football.

Now we know why, given he diligently boasts lofty aspirations of playing beyond high school.

So far, so good for this multi-sport athlete who, much to his delight, has drawn interest from at least school: Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown, Texas.


FOR STARTERS

According Harvey’s father, Leonard Harvey, he sensed that dating back to his son’s amateur playing days, he was destined to go a long ways on the gridiron.

Could other schools come calling with so much football left to play, with so much more to prove by a kid who’s been playing competitive football for nearly all of his young life?

“(They will be getting a) hard-working player who’s always ready to practice and have fun,” said Elijah Harvey, when asked what kind of player would a college inherit if it extends to him an offer. “I’m as serious as I can be and I will be ready for any moment they need me in.”

Besides playing on the amateur circuit years ago, Elijah’s older brother, Malik, is amongst a few fellow family members who have inspired him to stick with football.

With Calhoun carrying a 2-1 mark into Friday region opener at Gregory-Portland, Harvey also doesn’t shy away from the notion that this undoubtedly is a crucial time in his final prep season. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

Fortunately for Elijah, he’s certainly got time — six more regular season games and hopefully a satisfactory postseason run, to put it more precisely — to emerge as a late bloomer amongst college scouts, this after a summer in which his schedule did not allow for him to attend any football camps.

“I always tell him that there is no limit and that anything is possible,” Leonard Harvey said of his son’s display to this point. “I tell him he can do anything and that he has to work for it, has to be coachable.”

Especially long before Friday nights under the lights.


For Harvey, a speedy 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, he’s certainly proven to be an integral part of a Calhoun defensive unit that has emerged amongst Texas 5A-2 Region IV District 15’s finest.

“(I tell him) when others are at home watching games, you have to be outside practicing, getting better, always wanting to get better and never being satisfied where you are.”

Talk about being rather forthright and straight to the point to his son, a kid who boasts a never-say-die attitude on and off the field, a trend he’s confident some college program will ultimately embrace.

“I love the game,” Eiljah Harvey said. “I just don’t wanna stop after high school. I wanna see how long I can keep this going for myself. Everything about it, I know I can do it, so why stop now when I can prove myself to more people?”


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.

Arizona AAU basketball player Hannah Young ‘will be D-1 ready’ by 2023, her prep coach says

YOUNG AND GIFTED

BRINGIN’ IT — Besides proving to be as good as advertised for a player whose best and brightest days are well ahead of her, Arizona Select 15-and-under basketball player Hannah Young seemingly has taken it upon herself to go to the extra mile, particularly with regards to becoming a better overall student athlete.

DALLAS — It doesn’t take much to fuel Robin Young’s desire to strike up an in-depth conversation about Hannah Young, her gifted amateur athlete daughter, who’s making her presence felt on the AAU circuit.

Consider, for instance, how Robin routinely goes about assessing the performance of her daughter, a 13-year-old athlete who stars for the Arizona Select Girls Under Amour Association 15-and-under squad that’s based in Phoenix.
“Hannah is a diamond in the rough,” Robin told Making Headline News during a recent interview.
That her immeasurable mechanics, coupled with her length and wing span, have progressed considerably in recent years, Robin and those who have monitored closely Hannah’s rise as a youth basketball player have christened her with a name that figures to stick for years to come.

“We call her the clean-up woman,” Robin said of her daughter, who has gone from a shooting guard to a power forward since making a transition to the 15-and-under division. “She makes moves to the basket and finishes when giving the ball in the post. Rebounding and mid-range jumper have improved along with her put-backs.”

Besides proving to be as good as advertised for a player whose best and brightest days are well ahead of her, Hannah seemingly has taken it upon herself to go the extra mile, particularly with regards to becoming a better overall student athlete.

That her immeasurable mechanics, coupled with her length and wing span, have progressed considerably in recent years, Robin and those who have monitored closely Hannah’s rise as a youth basketball player have christened her with a name that figures to stick for years to come.

During the course of the summer, for instance, the rising Xavier College Preparatory freshman not only established a camaraderie by playing pickup games with her high school teammates, but she also found time between competitive play by taking two summer school classes.

For her valiant efforts: two A’s, a feat that consequently brought her mother to all smiles.


“She understands the true meaning of student athlete,” Robin said of her daughter’s willingness to exceed her own expectations. “She works hard on and off the court.”


A native of nearby Irving, Texas, Hannah has become engaged in what undoubtedly has been an eventful summer for a youth athlete, who’s making a solid case that she’s destined to attract interests from college scouts and recruiters — much sooner than later.

Amongst the reasons is that she’s currently active with a somewhat congested AAU itinerary, one that included a recent visit to the Mill City Invitational in Minnesota and the Girls Under Amour Session II in Indianapolis.

But wait. She isn’t finished.

Hannah also is scheduled to participate in the AAU’s Southern Showtime in Atlanta from July 20-22 and will cap off her summer-long slate by competing in the Girls Under Amour Finals July 23-26.

Arizona Select is comprised of five different teams and three UAA age divisions (15, 16, and 17-and-under).


MORE ON HANNAH YOUNG: https://recruit-match.ncsasports.org/clientrms/athletes/6295766

ALL-AROUND ATHLETE — During the course of the summer, for instance, the rising Xavier College Preparatory freshman not only established a camaraderie by playing pickup games with her high school team, but she also found the time between competitive play by taking two summer school classes. For her valiant efforts: two A’s, a feat that consequently brought her mother to all smiles.

The 15-and-under squad is comprised of its top freshmen and middle school players, particularly those who do not earn roster spots on 16-and-under team. A team that represents Arizona Select’s Girls 15-and-under division of Under Armour Association, players selected to this team are elite participants, who successfully compete against elite competition at their respective age division and are striving to play high level college basketball.

Interestingly, the players will compete in regional and national events against other GUAA teams, as well as against elite competition nationwide. Their schedules include — but isn’t limited to — team practices, skills training, strength and conditioning training, and frequent out-of-state travel.

As for the immeasurable exposure Hannah has had the luxury to garner, Robin says she daughter is especially deserving of it, given her solid work ethic.

“(Xavier College Preparatory) coach Jennifer Gillom is excited to have Hannah as a freshman,” Robin said. “She believes that at the end of her four years at Xavier, she will be D-1 (Division 1) ready. Gillom loves that fact that Hannah is coachable and so eager to get to the next level.”


ARIZONA MADNESS 

NATIONAL AUDITION — The 15-and-under UAA team is comprised of its top freshmen and middle school players, particularly those who do not earn roster spots on 16-and-under team. A team that represents Arizona Select’s Girls 15-and-under division of Under Armour Association, players selected to this team is elite players, who successfully compete against elite competition at their respective age division and are striving to play high level college basketball.

But first thing’s first, Robin’s stressed.

“Hannah’s goal is to bring Xavier College Preparatory its first girls’ high school state championship.”

As if anyone should be surprised.


A RELATED STORY:

Arizona youth basketball player Hannah Young learning life lessons, fine-tuning her skills with help of former WNBA player


CONNECT WITH THIS AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

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 of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and 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 makingheadlinenews@gmail.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

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.”


CONNECT WITH THIS AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST FOR MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

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.

Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. under several college radars, hopes to land official offer soon

WHO WILL IT BE? During an interview on Friday with Making Headline News, Duncanville (Texas) High senior shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dexter Johnson, Sr. said that the University of Texas at San Antonio, Murray State, Texas State, East Texas Baptist University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of San Francisco, Sam Houston State, and the University of North Texas are amongst the schools that have Johnson, Jr. under their radar, although the 6-foot-3 senior has yet to field an official offers.
Given the immense strides and considerable process he made both on the AAU and prep circuits in recent months, the possibility exist — and is expected to — that could change in Johnson, Jr.’s favor. (Photo by Jim Redman/Maxpreps)

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — As far as college basketball recruiting goes, the assortment of schools that have expressed interest in Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. reads much like one similar to that of an NCAA Tournament’s list of mid-major automatic bids.

During an interview on Friday with Making Headline News, Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dexter Johnson, Sr. said that the University of Texas at San Antonio, Murray State, Texas State, East Texas Baptist University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of San Francisco, Sam Houston State, and the University of North Texas are amongst the schools that have Johnson, Jr. under their radar, although the 6-foot-3 senior has yet to field any official offers.

A TRUE BALLERA two-year starter for a Duncanville team that is currently 23-7 and ranked No. 25 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Johnson, Jr.’s amongst the top scorers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to area stats released by The Dallas Morning News.
Through 30 games, Johnson, Jr. (left) is averaging 13.4 points per game, second only to Duncanville’s Miles McDougal (18.9 points per game).

Given the immense strides and considerable process he’s made both on the AAU and prep circuits in recent months, the possibility exist that could very well change in Johnson, Jr.’s favor.

Any day now.

A two-year starter for a Duncanville team that is currently 23-7 and ranked No. 25 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Johnson, Jr. is amongst the top scorers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to recent area stats released by The Dallas Morning News.

Through 30 games, Johnson, Jr. is averaging 13.4 points per game, second only to Duncanville’s Miles McDougal (18.9 points per game).

Add to the fact that he has proven time and again that he can compete with some of the fiercest talent in the nation — he’s a former teammate of Emanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets, Micah Seaborn of Monmouth University, Baylor’s Terrance Ferguson and Mark Vital, and Kansas signee Billy Preston — and it’s no wonder Johnson, Jr. is being monitored closely by schools that figure to come calling with official offers.

Any day now.

Whichever schools lands a kid whom many recruiting analysts have dubbed amongst the most underrated in Dallas/Fort Worth will undoubtedly inherit a player who possess the poise and maturity to contribute immediately.

“(They are going to get) a diligent, hard-working leader who is going to show up and give maximum effort day in and day out,” Johnson, Jr. said. “I have spent my entire life working toward the opportunity to play the game I love on the college level. College ball will provide me the platform to grow as a leader both on the court and in the classroom. I want to be the positive example for other young ballers, like many college ball players have been for me.”

LONG TIME AT IT — A kid who has first picked up a basketball at just eight months of age and, consequently, began to adopt a deep admiration, coupled with a relatively favorable IQ for the game during his days of playing basketball for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s recreational team, the mystery that remains is at what point will one — or several — of these schools suddenly extend a scholarship offer to Johnson, Jr.

A guard whose skills have been likened to that of former Murray State star and current Oklahoma City Thunder reserve guard Cameron Payne, Johnson, Jr. believes he’s deserving of a chance to put his skills on display at the collegiate level, in large part because aside from having blossomed into a prolific scorer who has the ability to create his own shoot, he’s gone to great lengths to fine tune his mechanics in the offseason — most notably his mental toughness, defense, as well as his floor vision.

“It really didn’t surprise me,” said Johnson, Sr., when asked what his immediate reaction when he discovered that his son could actually go a long ways in his chosen sport. “(My biggest expectation is) that he leaves the court satisfied with his efforts.”

WATCH FOOTAGE OF DEXTER, JR. IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=HhDIjsCXJS0.

Aside from his solid body of work on the court, Johnson, Sr. acknowledged his son also boasts the smarts and resiliency to master the hustle and bustle that comes with being a student athlete at the collegiate level.

DAD KNOWS BEST — Aside from his solid body of work on the court, Johnson, Sr. acknowledged his son also boasts the smarts and resiliency to master the hustle and bustle that comes with being a student athlete at the collegiate level.
“Academically speaking, Dexter is a great student who works hard in the classroom,” Johnson, Jr. said. “As an athlete, he trains hard to get better.”

“Academically speaking, Dexter is a great student who works hard in the classroom,” Johnson, Jr. said. “As an athlete, he trains hard to get better.”

A kid who first picked up a basketball at just eight months of age and, consequently, began to adopt a deep admiration, coupled with a relatively favorable IQ for the game during his days of playing basketball for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s recreational team, the mystery that remains is at what point will one — or several — of these schools suddenly extend a scholarship offer to Johnson, Jr.

By and large, he doesn’t shy away from the notion that he hopes it is much sooner than later.

TEXAS SIZE HOOP DREAMS — A guard whose skills have been likened to that of former Murray State star and current Oklahoma City Thunder reserve guard Cameron Payne, Johnson, Jr. emphasized he believes he deserving of a chance to put his skills on display at the collegiate level, in large part because aside from having being a prolific scorer who has the ability to create his own shoot, he’s gone to great lengths to fine tune his mechanics in the offseason — most notably his mental toughness, defense, as well as his ability to read the floor.

WATCH MORE FOOTAGE OF DEXTER, JR. IN ACTION: http://www.scout.com/player/208036-dexter-johnson/videos.

“I am a true leader and all-around team player,” said Johnson, Jr., continuing to make a plea that he’s worthy of a college basketball scholarship. “I am dedicated, extremely disciplined, and I continue to better my skills every chance that I get.”

Notable attributes about which he’s hopeful the schools that are closely watching him will take into account.

Any day now.

 

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 and a former sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, 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.

 

Germantown Middle scholar athlete Chris Martin excels on and off the court

 

“It’s my favorite thing to do. Nothing makes me happier than putting the ball through the hoop.” — Memphis-area Middle School hoops phenom Chris Martin

 

ONLY BY GOD’S GRACE — A speedy, slim combo guard who’s armed with much promise as a rising youth basketball standout in this hoops-crazed Bluff City area, Germantown Middle School combo guard Christopher Martin, like his older brother, is blessed of the fact that God has strategically spared his mother life, in part so she could witness firsthand his immense strides on and off the court. 

MEMPHIS — In case you don’t know Christopher Martin, allow him to introduce himself.

For starters, Martin (widely known as Chris Martin) is a native Memphian who has emerged as a rather crafty, skillful basketball player, most notably on the amateur circuit.

 

MOTHERLY LOVE — Not only has Martin flourished academically, which has given way to his assuming his rightful place as part of Germantown Middle’s Optional STEM Program, but his keen leadership as the Red Devils’ floor general has inspired his teammates and coaches to name him team captain, something by which his mother finds intriguing and downright gratifying, in large part because, well, her Creator has blessed her to stick around to witness it all unfold.

 

A scholar athlete who has become a fixture both on and off the court in recent years, Martin is the catalyst of Germantown Middle School’s basketball team and, given his notable track record as an amateur athlete, it’s safe to assume his biggest and brightest days are well ahead of him.

Moreover, as a speedy, slim combo guard who’s armed with much promise as a rising youth basketball standout in this hoops-crazed Shelby-Metro area, Martin, like his older brother, is blessed of the fact that God has strategically spared his mother’s life, in large part so she could witness firsthand his immense strides on and off the court.

“I love my mom very much,” said Martin, counting his blessings yet again, a trend by which he’s guilty of exemplifying daily. “She has risked days to go to games and has been basically involved in everything I do. Win or lose, she’s always proud of me, as long as I do my best.”

STAY TUNED. MEMPHISIt is, by all accounts, because of Martin’s constant progress, coupled with his team-first concept that have benefited him mightily as a young student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the prep and collegiate levels in the coming years.

It is, by all accounts, because of Martin’s constant progress, coupled with his team-first concept that have benefited him mightily as a young student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the prep and collegiate levels in the coming years.

CHRIS’ HOOPS PAGE: http://www.cmballin.com

Not only has he flourished academically, which has given way to his assuming his rightful place as part of Germantown Middle’s Optional STEM Program, but his keen leadership as the Red Devils’ floor general has inspired his teammates and coaches to name him team captain, something by which his mother finds intriguing and downright gratifying, in large part because, well, her Creator has blessed her to stick around to witness it all unfold.

AWWWWWW — “My heart is overjoyed when I see how grateful, loving, and humble he remains,” Lamberth said of her son’s assortment of accolades. “His leadership skills are outstanding and his teammates look up to him and respect him. He does more than just play ball.”

“My heart is overjoyed when I see how grateful, loving, and humble he remains,” Lamberth said of her son’s assortment of accolades. “His leadership skills are outstanding and his teammates look up to him and respect him. He does more than just play ball.”

And, within the next year or so, some local high school-area coach undoubtedly will be fortunate to install Martin — a rather big guard who can create his own shot and certainly has much more growing to do —– to his roster.

Which, after all, means one thing: this hoops-crazed city hasn’t heard the last of him.

“I’m going to keep making good grades and (hopefully) get that Division 1 (scholarship), so one day I can pay (my mother) back for everything she’s done for me to help make my dreams come true,” said Martin, counting his blessings once again.

All while his mother continues to live to see it all unfold.

Just as God intended it to be.

 

 



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.

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.