DALLAS — Ever since he’s made his NBA coming out party last season, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić has been the beneficiary of a slew of accolades and figurative pats on the back.
Especially from arguably the best basketball player on the planet.
Three-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has been especially complementary of Dončić, the Mavericks’ prized swingman, who’s been as good as advertised since he made the transition from the EuroLeague to U. S. soil following the 2018 campaign.
Having been dubbed the best 20-year-old player in NBA history behind James — who entered the NBA at 18 years of age — all Dončić has done since being anointed NBA Rookie of The Year last season is pick up where he left off.
The 6-foot-7 Slovenian’s 29.6 points per game is third best in the NBA behind Houston’s James Harden (38.5) and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league’s reigning MVP.
Add to the fact that Dončić’s display undoubtedly has given way to the Mavs having become one of the NBA’s biggest surprises this season, and it’s no wonder the greatest player of this generation deems it essential to often give props to a youngster, who’s already assumed the superstar label, a feat he’s emphatically cemented less than one year removed from the ceremonious retirement of Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki.
Much to the delight of Dončić, James is certainly a fan of the NBA sophomore sensation.
“He’s a great, young talent,” James told Making Headline News during a recent interview. “I love his game. He has the ability to not only create shots for himself, but I love the fact that he can get great looks for his team.”
It is, by all accounts, because of Dončić’s remarkable play, coupled with last year’s midseason acquisition of Kristaps Porziņģis, that Dallas will be vying for a playoff spot between now and season’s end.
Heading into Friday night’s nationally-televised showdown against the first place Lakers at the American Airlines Center (8:45 CST on ESPN) in what appears to be a potential playoff preview, the Mavericks (23-14) are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings, having amassed eight more wins than last season after 27 games.
“They’re a competitive team with KP (Kristaps Porziņģis) and Luka with (Maxi) Kleber, (Dorian) Finney-Smith, and Seth (Curry) and those guys they have around him,” James said of a Dallas team that has dropped two of three meetings with the Lakers this season. “They play fast. They shoot a lot of threes and push the tempo to keep you off balance. (Mavs coach Rick) Carlisle’s team has always been well-coached.”
Said fellow Lakers superstar Anthony Davis in assessing the resurgence a Mavs team that’s looking to snap a four-year playoff drought: “They’re a very good team. They’re a playoff team. Their cornerstone is KP and Luka with a great supporting cast around them.”
While James has praised the way the Mavs’ leader has gone about adjusting to life as one of the NBA’s young bright stars, Dončić, on the other hand, has always been equally fond of James, a 16-year veteran and 14-time All-Star.
During a game in L. A. last November, Dončić was spotted waiting outside of the Lakers’ locker room, where he received an autographed jersey signed by James.
One of James’ representatives emerged from the locker room with a signed No. 23 jersey that read “To: Luka D, God Bless and continue to #StriveForGreatness.”
All things considered, striving for greatness seems to have become a personal mantra, of sorts, for Dončić, who unquestionably has made his presence felt since he’s entered the NBA ranks.
Just like James, his biggest mentor, had done a little more than a decade-and-a-half ago as an NBA newcomer.
“That’s what I like about him,” said James, who has gone on record recently and said Dončić is the kind of player with whom he’d like to play. “He plays the game the right way.”
A pretty remarkably brilliant assessment from arguably the best basketball player on the planet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.
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.
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“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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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“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 email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.
EDITOR’S NOTE:This is the first of two Making Headline News in-depth news feature stories on Newark, Delaware Businesswoman Charlotte Robinson.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NIV)
For a thriving, flourishing entrepreneur, Charlotte Robinson takes great delight in achieving her customer services goals and objectives.
For her valiant efforts and contributions, God routinely gives her the desires of heart in the process.
“I get a joy out of seeing my customers debut their articles of clothing,” Robinson, during an interview this week with Making Headline News, said of her featured business venture as owner and CEO of A Design by Diva.
Commonly known as “Char” amongst those whom are closely connected to her, Robinson’s Newark, Delaware-based A Design by Diva is a credible and full fledge fashion design company, whereby she customarily assembles rhinestone and screen print designed tees (T-shirts), as well as affordable clothing for plus size women.
“Many of the tees are custom (made) and come from the ideas of my customers,” Robinson, 49, said. “I also like having the capability to design clothing that is flattering to plus size women with class.”
An award-winning entrepreneur whose business venture went into full operations some six years ago, Robinson has enjoyed sustained success while functioning in her immeasurable element, considering her gifts and talents have given way to her promoting her business in a variety of places around the country, most notably Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, her home state of Delaware, Washington, D.C, Virginia, Florida, and Texas, among other establishments.
Interestingly and to her distinctly unique credit, Robinson witnessed her venture soar to immense heights just last year when she was christened the winner in Tampa, Florida-area businesswoman Kia A. Wells’ inaugural Women of Business Showcase that took place in Clearwater, Florida.
Robinson will be on hand for this year’s showcase that is scheduled for July 21, during which she will crown a winner for 2018.
Also, she announced that she will be competing in Sixth Annual Face of Kurvacious Model Competition in New York on August 25, during which the Camden, New Jersey native plans to showcase and unveil several of her newly-established custom designs — which, fortunately for her, will earn mentions in the August/September of Enovi Magazine (https://www.enovimagazine.com/).
As for the continuous strides she’s made through A Design by Diva, Robinson emphasized that her business has enjoyed sustained a considerable amount of success, in large part because she believes that women should be able to dress, look and, as she plainly puts it, “act sexy,” regardless of their size.
“I plan to help accent the features that you have with the look that you love,” said Robinson, a plus size woman of tremendous beauty and, most importantly, pure poise and confidence, not to mention a woman who was blessed to have conquered cancer head on. “I was inspired by my dad and mom (to delve off into entrepreneurship). My father always wanted to own his own company and, growing up, we had many talks about me owning mine at that time I had no idea what it would be. My mom has always been the creative one and, through watching her creating flower arrangements and other projects, my creative side flourished.”
The rest, as they say, was history.
Today, unlike never before, this vibrant and enthusiastically gifted businesswoman is steadily basking in the glory of her uniquely brilliant element — plus size beauty and all.
“My business started out as a hobby, which turned into A Design by Diva,” Robinson said. “I never realized the joy I would get when I would see individuals wearing my designs.”
Which, to Robinson’s credit, practically sums up why for a thriving, flourishing entrepreneur, she takes great delight in achieving her customer services goals and objectives.
“It’s imperative that I esteem and inspire other daily, because I want women and children to know that regardless of how your story starts, you determine the path,” Robinson said. “I was a single parent, survived domestic violence and cancer, but never lost sight of what I wanted or where I’m headed.”
For her valiant efforts and contributions, God routinely gives her the desires of heart in the process.
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 email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.
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DALLAS — Hannah Young is pretty young, 11 years young to be exact.
But not too young to make some relatively cool connections with a household name in women’s professional basketball.
For the past four years or so, Hannah has been training and acquiring some pivotal life lessons and on-the-court pointers from former WNBA player Bridget Pettis, who is currently an assistant coach for the Dallas Wings.
For Young, who resides in Arizona but is visiting relatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth-area until mid-July, that she’s been afforded the golden opportunity to broaden her athletic mechanics at the disposal of a notable former pro is starting to benefit her mightily.
A former University of Florida standout, Pettis spent eight seasons in the WNBA during the 1990s and 2000s, first for the Phoenix Mercury, then Indiana Fever.
Having appeared in 228 games while making 71 starts, Pettis scored 1,408 career points before calling it a career.
Hired as an assistant coach in March 2014 by the Tulsa Shock, Pettis retained her position after the team relocated to Dallas two seasons ago.
Even before the franchise had headed South from Oklahoma to Texas, Hannah was — for a lack of better words — getting the hookup, courtesy of a true pro, a trend that has given way to some sustained success for an amateur athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of appearing on a WNBA stage someday.
“Hannah’s work ethic is what stands out to me,” Hannah’ grandmother Aretha Young told Making Headline News this week. If she is unsure of what to do, she will go to the park and practice on her free time. That’s commitment.”
Such a commitment to athletic excellence has been monitored closely by Pettis, something that figures to aid Hannah as she prepares to make her AAU basketball debut this fall.
Add to the fact that this speedy, multi-sport athlete is 5-foot-7, is pretty efficient as a newcomer to the volleyball circuit, and still has much more growing to do, and it’s no wonder the sky’s the limit for a youth athlete whom, even as a preteen, is seemingly holding herself to some pretty high standards, particularly as it pertains to long-term ambitions.
“I plan to continue working hard,” Hannah said. “I want to get a college scholarship. I would like to attend University of Hawaii.”
All things considered, if this young athlete – whose athletic IQ appears to be higher than that of an 11-year-old — continues to demonstrate the competitive drive that has caught the attention of a former pro basketball player, chances are a slew of colleges will wound up vying for her services by the time her prep career culminates.
Just as they did for her biggest mentor, who also happens to be her grandest Yoga partner.
“Working with Coach Pettis is an amazing experience,” said Hannah, who has become a fixture at WNBA games. “Coach P makes getting better on the court fun. Our lessons were not just about what to do on the court, but also about what to do in the classroom. Books first, basketball second.”
By and large, the camaraderie Hannah has established with Pettis figures to impact her young life for years to come, especially since she’s already playing with and competing against individuals a few years older than her.
Given her solid work ethic, coupled with the immense strides she’s made in recent years, Hannah doesn’t seem fazed by such a challenge.
If nothing else, she fully welcomes them.
“This summer, I plan to attend training camps, train harder, and focus on getting better,” said Hannah, who plays for several teams in Arizona, most notably a team sanctioned by Give N Go Hoops (http://www.givengohoops.com) and the City Of Surprise Basketball And Volleyball Leagues (https://www.surpriseaz.gov/ 233/Sports-Programs)
“My nana (grandmother) has supported me and is always there to cheer me on.”
Just like her “she”-ro, the former WNBA pro.
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 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 email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.