Tag Archives: USA Today Sports

Collierville offensive lineman Kendarius Malone’s mother writes him an open letter as he lobbies for football scholarship

MEMPHIS — Kendarius Malone can be appropriately described as an opportunistic student athlete.

STOCK RISING — Aside from helping steer the Collierville High to a third place finish in the always rugged 6A Region 7 district, Kendarius Malone enjoyed a resourceful, yet crucial senior season which, to his credit, had given way to at least one college thrusting him under its radar. According to the 17-year-old Collierville native, Mid-South Conference member Kentucky Christian University has expressed interest in Malone, who earned All-Region Honorable Mention for his valiant contributions.

Consider, for instance, how Malone, who recently wrapped up his prep football tenure for Collierville High, had gone about doing the necessary things to enhance his stock as he continues to lobby for a full ride scholarship.

A 6-foot, 260-pound left tackle, Malone made appearances — thus made his presence felt — this past spring and summer during camps at the University of Memphis, Belhaven College, Austin Peay State, not to mention the Team USA Camp.

“In the Team USA Camp, I made it to the final round to be able to play for the United States,” an enthused Malone told Making Headline News this week. “However, I had to withdraw so that I would not lose my eligibility to play for my senior year because of TSSAA rules.”

Although Malone didn’t savor the chance to showcase his football mechanics for his country, his immeasurable body of work, nevertheless, undoubtedly was nothing short of impressive.

For starters, he was the catalyst his senior campaign for a Collierville team that finished the season with a 5-6 overall record, but still managed to advance to the opening round of the TSSAA state playoffs.


EYE OF THE DRAGON

SOMEONE SIGN THIS KID — Malone, who recently wrapped up his prep football tenure for Collierville High, had gone about doing the necessary things to enhance his stock as he continues to lobby for a full ride scholarship.

Aside from helping steer the Dragons to a third place finish in the always rugged 6A Region 7 district, Malone enjoyed a resourceful, yet crucial senior season which, to his credit, had given way to at least one college thrusting him under its radar.

According to the 17-year-old Collierville native, Mid-South Conference member Kentucky Christian University has expressed interest in Malone, who earned All-Region Honorable Mention for his valiant contributions.

“I would say that I had an excellent season,” Malone said.

Much to Malone’s delight, no can attest to how great a season he enjoyed more than his mother, Jennifer Bogan.

ALL AMERICAN IN HIS OWN RIGHT — A 6-foot, 260-pound left tackle, Malone made it appearance — thus made his presence felt — this past spring and summer during camps at the University of Memphis, Belhaven College, Austin Peay State, not to mention the Team USA Camp.

Hours after the Collierville’s team banquet Monday night, Bogan took to her Facebook page, where she assembled an open letter to her son in relatively loving, emotional fashion.

Said Bogan in a spirited, tear-jerking, early morning post that was made public before her nearly-400 social media followers:


Congratulations to Kendarius on a wonderful time at the CHS football banquet. You didn’t receive the top award that you wanted, but baby, the champion lies within your heart. You fought a great battle, and to even see last night happen and for that, there is no trophy, certificate, banner, or plaque worthy enough to symbolize how blessed you are after all that you have been through. You didn’t lose sight of your dreams and didn’t lose your faith in seeing your senior football season happen! Your story is still unfinished. The reason of this path is still unknown, but what we do know is there is purpose behind every situation! The thing I love about you is no matter what, you have not gotten discouraged and still hours later, you looked on to what’s getting ready to happen in the next chapter and the next doors that’s opening, and for that I’m sooo proud of you! Again, congratulations on the award you did receive…keep going and keep having the heart of a champion in all the things you do…with God, ALL things are possible!!! Mama loves you! 


Talk about an encouraging, open letter for the ages — this from a mother whom, years ago, didn’t sense her son would become engaged in athletics.

“I never thought that Kendarius would play football, because he was never interested in sports growing up,” Bogan, a Pharmacy Technician Supervisor at Baptist Memorial Hospital, said. “He was in the shadows of his older brother’s basketball teams, being the water boy. I never thought he would play football until he started his eighth year at First Assembly Christian School and the coaches kept begging him to play and told me that they see so much potential in him.

HOLDING IT DOWN — Malone was the catalyst his senior campaign for a Collierville team that finished the season with a 5-6 overall record, but still managed to advance to the opening round of the TSSAA state playoffs.

“However, I didn’t think anything of it and had said ‘No’ to him playing football until one day he came home with pads, and a consent form.”

Malone, as Bogan recalled, was 14 years old at the time.

A little more than three years removed from having come home with a consent form to play competitive football, Bogan’s son now finds himself just one National Letter of Intent signing away from attending college free of charge.

What a difference having initially assumed the role as a water boy has made.

When asked what kind of player will a college be inheriting if he’s offered a football scholarship, Malone said, “A player that is passionate about the game of football… (one who is) ready to learn and be taught how to excel at the college level, a player that is open to all possibilities, and one the will give 110 percent on every snap and every down.

That, after all, practically sums up why he can be appropriately described as an opportunistic student athlete.


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

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

 

 

Lewisville High football standout Tahj Martin: ‘It is a dream for me to play college football’

LEWISVILLE, Texas — Tahj Martin is just a tender 15-year-old student athlete.

A great, big gigantic one, that is.

Consider, for instance, Martin’s massive frame that is comprised of his standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 261 pounds which, to his credit, is practically equivalent of an NFL lineup.


FRESHMAN SENSATION

UNDER THE RADAR — Assuming roles on both sides of the ball as a left tackle and defensive end for Lewisville coach Michael Odle’s squad, Tahj Martin enjoyed a significant amount of action this past season for the Farmers as his stock amongst college scouts and recruiters increased mightily in the process.

Speaking of the NFL, Martin doesn’t shy away from the notion that playing football on Sundays undoubtedly is amongst his major long-term ambitions.

But first thing’s first: blossoming as a rising prep footballer.

“I am a hard working athlete, who has come from very humble surroundings,” Martin told Making Headline News during a weekend interview. “I am a magnet and people gravitate to me, because of my winning personality and attitude.”

A triumphant mentality certainly highlights Martin’s assortment of key attributes as a true freshman for Lewisville (Texas) High’s football team.

 

STOCK IS RISING — With so much high school football ahead of him, Martin has already garnered interests from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas.

Martin, in fact, is coming off of a productive and breakthrough season for an upstart Lewisville team that finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-3 mark, including an impressive 6-1 record in 6A Region I District 6, second only to conference rival Flower Mound.

Assuming roles on both sides of the ball as a left tackle and defensive end for coach Michael Odle’s squad, Martin enjoyed a significant amount of action for the Farmers as his stock amongst college scouts and recruiters increased mightily in the process.

No one, it seems, can attest to his notion more than his father, Geoffrey Grant Martin, who’s thoroughly convinced that his son is making a strong case that his prep football career will culminate with him signing a National Letter of Intent.

TEXAS-SIZED IMPACT — Martin is coming off of a productive and breakthrough season for an upstart Lewisville team that finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-3 mark, including an impressive 6-1 record in 6A Region I District 6, second only to conference rival Flower Mound.

“Tahj has grown tremendously both on the field and off,” Geoffrey Grant said. “He’s gained a level of confidence and passion for not only his role on the team, but for the entire team itself, all while maintaining his grades academically.”

All things considered, Martin’s favorable display as a true freshmen for the Farmers has, in fact, given way to a few college scouts deeming it essential to thrust him under their radar.

With so much high school football ahead of him, Martin has already garnered interests from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas.

DOING IT BIG IN TEXAS — Martin’s massive frame that is comprised of his standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 261 pounds which, to his credit, is practically equivalent of an NFL lineup.

Given the immeasurable impact he’s had thus far in his prep career, expect that list to expand much sooner than later.

“It is a dream for me (to play college football), because I am made and built for the sport of football,” Martin said. “I know that all the years I have been playing will pay off and a college scholarship would be the ultimate satisfaction of all.”

Although he did not attend any camps this past summer because of unforeseen circumstances, Martin was especially active, particularly as it relates to conditioning regularly and monitoring his weight.

“(I would typically workout) Monday and Wednesday mornings and in the afternoons, (and would take part in) cardio training on Saturdays and Sundays,” Martin said. “I also work on healthy eating habits that include making smoothies and protein snacks to build a strong muscle mass.”

DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING — A triumphant mentality certainly highlights Martin’s assortment of key attributes as a true freshman for Lewisville High’s football team.

Despite his overall body of work on and off the field, coupled with the impressive resume he’s established to this point, Martin also doesn’t shy away from the notion that no one has to persuade him not to hit the cruise control button at this point.

Not with so much prep football ahead of him.


“I performed exceptionally well (during the 2018 season), but I still have more work to do. I’ve got to work more on dropping into coverage. I have to work on that. My speed needs to improve, but with growth, I know I will get faster.” — Lewisville freshman Tahj Martin


WAITING HIS TURN — All things considered, Martin’s favorable display a true underclassmen for the Farmers has, in fact, given way to a few college scouts deeming it essential to thrust him under their radar.

A pretty wise and thorough assessment, this coming from a tender 15-year-old student athlete.

A great, big gigantic one, that is.

One whose short list of interested colleges undoubtedly is expected to expand much sooner than later.

So stay tuned.


For more information about Lewisville (Texas) High School football standout Tahj Gabriel Martin, connect with him via social media at:

Instagram: @tahjmartin12

Snaphat: tmahal_878

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tahj.martin.1

Twitter: @martin2Tahj


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

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

 

Atlanta-area prep basketball standout Markus Lofton is as good as advertised as he auditions for a scholarship

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a series of reports on Berkmar High School basketball standout Markus Lofton as Making Headline News will chronicle his progress through his upcoming senior campaign. 


Making Headline News earlier this week took some time to observe YouTube footage of Atlanta-area prep basketball standout Markus Lofton.

Yep, surely, the kid who’s widely known as “The Old Soul” and “The Silent Assassin” is as good as advertised, a trend a flurry of college scouts and recruiters will likely discover in this, Lofton’s forthcoming final full year of high hoops.

“Markus first started playing basketball when he was three years old,” said Marlon Lofton, Markus’ father. “He would not leave the house without a basketball jersey, wrist bands, and head band on.”

Ever since his parents first introduced him to basketball, Markus Lofton has been nothing short of brilliant, especially on the ever-so-competitive ATL hoops circuit.

A 6-foot swingman who helped propel Greg Phillips’ Berkmar High team to a third place region mark of 16-13 finish in 2017-18, Markus Lofton figures to raise his level of play in what undoubtedly will be a crucial campaign for him.

Crucial in the sense that he knows full well that he’s auditioning for a full ride scholarship, something he’s dreamt about since, well, he first picked up a basketball at tender age of three.

“They’ve been very encouraging and uplifting,” said Markus Lofton, explaining his parents’ immeasurable impact on rise as one of Berkmar’s marquee players. “They always persuade me to follow my dreams.”

SOLID SUPPORTING CAST — For what’s it worth, the Loftons are confident that given their son’s immeasurable track record on the court to date, the time and work he’s invested will surely pay off with arguably his grand prize — a full ride scholarship, coupled with a college basketball uniform.

And following diligently after his dreams is certainly what this basketball-crazed kid has done throughout the years.

Coming off of a stellar junior campaign in which he was afforded the golden opportunity to play significant roles both of the varsity and junior varsity squads, Markus Lofton held his own and, a majority of the time, he exceeded his own expectations.

WATCH MARKUS LOFTON IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=BPzdPSgVf7Y&t=2s

For starters, he manufactured an impressive scoring average last year with 16 points per game along with four rebounds, while handing out five assists while being the only Berkmar player to see action both on JV and varsity. Add to the fact that he converted 91 percent of his free throws and shot an impressive 52 percent from three-point range, and it’s no wonder he’s already fallen under the radar of a handful of major Division 1 schools.

AUDITIONS UNDERWAY — According to Markus Lofton, Baylor, Stetson, Auburn, and Clemson are amongst the schools that have expressed interest in his services.

With others likely to follow, presuming his all-around game takes a significant upgrade this upcoming season.

According to Markus Lofton, Baylor, Stetson, Auburn, and Clemson are amongst the schools that have expressed interest in his services.

“It’s been a dream since I was younger,” Markus Lofton said of the possibility of playing major college basketball. “Basketball is all that I know and have studied, so it not being a dream wasn’t an option for me.”

As he prepares for his decisive prep season, Markus’ father, too, has stressed to his son the importance of not settling for the success he enjoyed last year. Rather, he deems it essential to often remind him on the importance of increasing his productivity and leadership qualities. 

MORE OF MARKUS LOFTON IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=MuYCATpagZ0&t=6s 

“To whom much is given, much is required,” said Marlon Lofton, when asked what pertinent advice he often passes along his son, whose impressive basketball resume includes playing for the Georgia Tornadoes, G- Team USA and ATL Playmakers AAU squads. “I also tell him what his great grandmother told me: ‘Let the work you do, speak for you.’ I think this is why he is always in the gym. He doesn’t miss a day in the gym with his coaches or working on his game and training.”

HOOP DREAMS — For what’s it worth, the Loftons are confident that given their son’s immeasurable track record on the court to date, the time and work he’s invested will surely pay off with arguably his grand prize — a full ride scholarship, coupled with a college basketball uniform.

For what’s it worth, the Loftons are confident that given their son’s immeasurable track record on the court to date, the time and work he’s invested will surely pay off with arguably his long-awaited grand prize — a full ride scholarship, coupled with a college basketball uniform.

And everything else that comes with it.

“He is smart, witty, and wants to study Sports Management, Education, and Health outside of basketball,” said Marlon Lofton, adding that his son boasts what he deems a high IQ and exceptional wisdom. “With sports growing the way that it does, the door for him is wide open with major opportunities.

“My wife of 31 years and I believed that he loved the sport so much, he would sit and study the game, watching his older brother (Markele) who is a good player and has graduated from Georgia State University.”

DAD KNOWS BEST — “To whom much is given, much is required,” said Marlon Lofton, when asked what pertinent advice he often passes along his son, whose impressive basketball resume includes playing for the Georgia Tornadoes, G- Team USA and ATL Playmakers AAU squads. “I also tell him what his great grandmother told me: ‘Let the work you do, speak for you.’ I think this is why he is always in the gym. He doesn’t miss a day in the gym with his coaches or working on his game and training.”

If Markus Lofton’s has his way and continues to show he’s as good as advertised, the Lofton household will soon find itself going to more college basketball games in the near future.

So stay tuned.

As evidenced by all of that impressive YouTube footage of the kid who’s widely known as “The Old Soul” and “The Silent Assassin”. 


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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.

Alabama-based minister/businesswoman ‘Nia’ advancing the kingdom mightily courtesy of her thriving ministry

Just recently, accomplished Alabama-based minister/businesswoman Nia was asked to share in great detail her present endeavors.

And just like that, a life-enhancing, emotional testimony unfolded for all the right reasons. 

“I am a planter in the kingdom vineyard,” Nia, 43, told Making Headline News during an exclusive interview.

BOLD GOD-ORDAINED DECLARATION — For what it’s worth and because of the immeasurable, God-orchestrated calling on her life, Nia can dauntlessly profess that she’s one who is qualified to function in the endeavors to which God has strategically assigned her.

A disabled United States Navy veteran and a retired Department of Labor Counselor, Nia is actively involved in a variety of kingdom-based endeavors, most notably an E-Magazine and a Radio Talk Show, both of which are powered by  her forthcoming publication, “Untold Chronicles.” In addition, she has authored several books, as well as conducts regular seminars, and hosts a prayer line.

Having admittedly birthed these of endeavors out of what she describes as “the hurt, the shame, the disappointment, the ridicule, the defamation of character, the back stabbing, the neglect for my soul and the souls of others,” Nia doesn’t shy away from the notion that she’s steadfastly walking in the purpose for which God created her.

“This is now my purpose in life that initially was not seen through my natural eyes, but after an encounter with God, it was revealed to me that my testimony was to be someone else’s salvation,” Nia explained while referencing the familiar passage that is Romans 8:30. “But I first had to be tried, tested and fit for the Master’s use. To whom He calls, He qualifies.”

For what it’s worth and because of the immeasurable, God-orchestrated calling on her life, Nia can dauntlessly profess that she’s one who is surely qualified to function in the endeavors to which God has strategically assigned her.

“First, I love the interactions with meeting people in all walks of life and being able to tell them about my personal experiences and how I found Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And, how after seeing Him through the eyes of others (leaders, mature Saints, and those that accepted Jesus in their lives before me), and finally realizing that I myself had not being taught or shown how to know — having an intimate relationship— Him for myself,” Nia said.

WOMAN OF MANY HATS — A disabled United States Navy veteran and a retired Department of Labor Counselor, Nia is actively involved in a variety of kingdom-based endeavors, most notably an E-Magazine and a Radio Talk Show. In addition, she has authored several books, conducts regular seminars, and hosts a prayer line.

As for the spiritual and competitive drive that have greatly fueled her desire to diligently advance the kingdom for such a time as now, Nia  appropriately alluded to what she deems her “bulldog tenacity,” the kind of passion that is synonymous to that of David.

“Though I was small like David in stature and size, I had to have a ferocious nature,” Nia said. Due to being what my family and society deemed as being not the norm, I had to figure out how to navigate through life on my own. My environment gave me no choice other than to be a natural fighter and, when I turned to the church, where I was supposed to have solace and refuge in order to not have to fight alone, it was quickly revealed that the difference between what I was accustomed to in the world and what I was now — being subjected to in the church — was the words, because the actions were exactly the same.”

A proud 1992 graduate of Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, Alabama, Nia sold out completely to God when she dedicated her life to Christ in April 1994, during which she served in the United States Navy and was based in Honolulu.

“See, I was born into an environment where I was predisposed for failure, teen pregnancy by multiple fathers and an impoverished lifestyle,” Nia recalled. “Over the course of 23 years, the experiences and encounters that I was faced with set the stage for me to be able to take an honest look at myself first, and then be willing to be transparent about my own interactions.”

Upon finishing high school, Nia advanced her education, first by earning an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies, then a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science from Tulane University in 2009. Consequently, she earned a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary in 2013.

As for what has shaped up to be a flourishing ministry, it was due in large part to Nia’s array of transparency that this big-hearted, beloved, spiritually aggressive and devout woman of faith had ultimately possessed the courage to outlast the enemy with God, her Helper, leading the way.

KEEPING IT 100  — It was, by all accounts, due in large part to her array of transparency that this big-hearted, beloved, spiritually aggressive and devout woman of faith had ultimately possessed the courage to outlast the enemy with God, her Helper, leading the way.

“Those events paved the way for me to have the courage to expose the enemy concerning the interactions of those that were supposed to lead me through this journey,” Nia said.

Armed with an assortment of immense spiritual gifts that, to her credit, have afforded her the golden opportunity to minister in such establishments as Mississippi, Alabama, Philadelphia, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and the nation’s capital, it’s safe to assume that Nia’s well-publicized ministry has been embraced by many throughout the Body of Christ.

Yep, that’s just like God.

“The word of God is for everyone that will accept Him,” said Nia, alluding to Luke 14:23. “but my assignment to the Body of Christ — because everyone has been given a particular assignment, gift and calling — is to the Millennials. Those in this era that are misunderstood, downtrodden, talked about, given up on, ridiculed, hated and shown extreme amounts of prejudices need a voice to speak to them and for them.”

To grasp a thorough concept of this rather fervent, bold approach by which Nia customarily takes, look no further than what she labels her “niche by God’s design.”

“(It) has been to those already in a relationship with Him, but have suffered at the hands of those that lead them,” said Nia, explaining in detail her mission for her latest endeavors. “This epidemic continues to plague the Body of Christ in a way that casts a dark and derogatory image over us.”

Wait…because she has more to add to such an intriguing, thought-provoking notion.

Armed with an assortment of immense spiritual gifts that, to her credit, have afforded her the golden opportunity to minister in such places as Mississippi, Alabama, Philadelphia, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and the nation’s capital, it’s safe to assume that Nia’s well-publicized ministry has been embraced by many throughout the Body of Christ.

“See, we all have played a role at some point in this infection diseased community,” said Nia, referencing Isaiah 65:8. “The hurter — the one who did the hurting — the on-looker of the hurt that is being done — the one watching the hurt being done to someone — and the hurtee — the one that has been hurt — but is yet giving out the hurt that they themselves once experienced.”

All of which essentially sums up why that Nia is a planter in the kingdom vineyard makes all of the sense in the world, all of which practically explains why her unique, awe-inspiring presence in the modern-day church is so prevalent for a time such as now.

Talk about having a massive and influential kingdom impact.

“Throughout this journey, I have experienced a high-level of spiritual warfare with a great level of non-comprehension…just extreme amounts of hurt,” said Nia, who has been serving in her ministry for over five years but have been rooted and grounded in the Body of Christ for a nearly a decade and a half. “These experiences have allowed me to grow into the person I currently am and, the entire reason that I do what I do for the Body of Christ, I never want to see anyone endure what was thrust upon me.”

Interestingly, Nia emphasized, it all goes back to what she describes as her level of admiration, love, and compassion for people, just as God commands us through His word.

“(My love and compassion for people) continues to overwhelm me,” Nia said. “So much so that I will give all I have and all of my time to forever serve them and bring them into a level of understanding of where they are and what God has called them to do as well.

“This brings to mind several specific instances that occurred that may shed a little light on my tenacity,” continued Nia, while offering thorough breakdown, one that goes something like this:

 

NIA: IN HER OWN WORDS

(As told to Making Headline News)

2003 – I had been serving at this ministry for over five years and had experienced nothing but continual death to my spirit. I was talked about from the pulpit, I was embarrassed on more than one occasion, my character was on trial, my marriage place in jeopardy, finances constantly lacking because of giving and no reaping and no glimmer of hope at the forefront of my life. Needless to say, this was all at the hands of my SPIRITUAL LEADERS!

2005-2009 – In a very odd place in my life confused, broken, battered by the words that had been spoken spiritually and naturally, plagued by condemnation of my own self-inflicted wounds and destroyed by constant open scars and reminders of those that were supposed to comfort me in these stages of my life. Instead my name was spoken from lip to lip, church to church, city to city where they knew me. What should have been silent, and an indiscretion shared amongst leaders and myself was handed out like a free chicken dinner after church on Sunday afternoon.

2016 – Everything was great, OR SO I THOUGHT. I had finally overcome many obstacles through the blood of the lamb and the words of my testimony, I told GOD yes to whatever he wanted from me and I was moving forward to my next phase in him. Starting preparing to launch my ministry in 2015 and was aware that we would officially be New Era Ministries (where the millennials dwell) in January 2016. I had all things in order and family and I were ready to go. Don’t you know the enemy has to throw in a monkey wrench or he would not be himself. A couple of supposed to be pastors from a big city, Mega Ministry and high ranking platforms….or so they said. New to an area, had the same vision, and decided to move forward together. Of course you know this ended badly and the events that transpired took me completely out the game, vowing NEVER to preach again. The events above not only affected me greatly but also my family who more so than I vowed to NEVER put their trust in “church folks” again.

 

For more information about Nia or for  booking information, contact Omekia McNeal at 561-900-5079. Also, send email to: belindagailmanagement@gmail.com

 

LISTEN IN TO NIA AND BE BLESSED:

Penetecostal Church of Christ – Philadelphia, PA

A post shared by Nia Gee (@niageeministries) on

MORE OF NIA:

Penetecostal Church of Christ – Philadelphia, PA

A post shared by Nia Gee (@niageeministries) on

 

 

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 staff reporter 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.

 

South Carolina Pastor James Perry, Jr. winning souls both on and off the court as a thriving AAU basketball coach

 

LOVE AND BASKETBALL…AND THE BIBLEA former Abbeville (Alabama) High School and Lander University basketball standout, James Perry, Jr. is widely known as the Founder and Senior Pastor at Empowerment Worship Center in Greenville, South Carolina.
Interesting enough, when the 44-year-old minister isn’t decked out in his spiffy, flowing robe and giving sermons within the four walls of his church that is housed at 31 Calhoun Avenue in Greenville, chances are he’s somewhere nearby on EWC’s campus, teaching all things basketball fundamentals and mechanics as the head coach of the South Carolina Raptors seventh grade AAU squad.

Because of his deep admiration for spreading the Gospel and coaching basketball, it’s safe to assume that James Perry, Jr. is savoring the best of both worlds.

“Well, I love basketball for one,” said Perry, Jr. told Making Headline News during a recent interview. “I love mentoring the youth and I love pastoring. Having a gym at my church makes it so much. I mean, it’s hard work, but it’s community service.”

To his distinct credit, Perry, Jr. is strategically impacting lives both from the pulpit and on the hardwood.

HOOPS ON HOLY GROUNDMore than anything else, it seems, coaching the sport he loves essentially serves as a spiritual GPS system, of sorts, particularly as it relates to helping youngster find their way to Christ, all while simultaneously learning good sportsmanship and upgrading their skills and fundamentals.

A former Abbeville (Alabama) High School and Lander University basketball standout, Perry, Jr. is widely known as the Founder and Senior Pastor at Empowerment Worship Center in Greenville, South Carolina.

Interesting enough, when the 44-year-old minister isn’t decked out in his spiffy, flowing robe and giving sermons within the four walls of his church that is housed at 31 Calhoun Avenue in Greenville, chances are he’s somewhere nearby on EWC’s campus, teaching all things basketball fundamentals and mechanics as an assistant coach of the South Carolina Raptors seventh grade AAU squad.

Even upon finally accepting his calling to preach the Gospel come 18-plus year ago, the 6-foot-4 preacher was still very much active in competitive hoops.
How else to explain why today, approximately two years removed from his congregation having moved to its present location, Perry, Jr. still acknowledges how blessed and grateful he is to have a gymnasium adjacent to his sanctuary?

For Perry, Jr., while preaching isn’t something about which he was passionate even as a young preacher’s kid — or PK — he admittedly has always held a basketball close to his heart, considering the sport served as an outlet, of sorts, particularly with regards to him bolting home for college.

Even upon finally accepting his calling to preach the Gospel some 18-plus year ago, this 6-foot-4 giant of a preacher was still very much active in competitive hoops.

How else to explain why today, approximately two years removed from his congregation having moved to its present location, Perry, Jr. still acknowledges how blessed and grateful he is to have a gymnasium a few dribbles away from his sanctuary?

MORE THAN CONQUERORSIn many cases, Perry, Jr. said, coaching basketball is synonymous to preaching to the masses in that he’s often faced with the sometimes brutal tasks of taking the good with the bad encounters and vice versa.
“Basketball can be challenging and there are good and bad days,” Perry, Jr. explained. “You apply this to life, because no matter how hard it gets, you never quit and you keep pushing.

Talk about savoring the best of both worlds.

“I am passionate about basketball because I love it and it gives me the opportunity to teach and build relationships with young men,” Perry, Jr., who’s coached five years at the high school ranks, said. “It gives me the chance to be a counselor, a motivator and mentor while being a coach.”

More than anything else, it seems, coaching the sport he loves essentially serves as a spiritual GPS system, of sorts, particularly as it relates to helping youngsters find their way to Christ, all while simultaneously learning good sportsmanship and upgrading their skills and fundamentals.

BECOME EMPOWERED: http://empowermentworshipcenter.org/

In many cases, Perry, Jr. said, coaching basketball is synonymous to preaching to the masses in that he’s often faced with the sometimes brutal tasks of taking the good with the bad encounters and vice versa.

“Basketball can be challenging and there are good and bad days,” Perry, Jr. explained. “You apply this to life, because no matter how hard it gets, you never quit and you keep pushing. Many times, the kids get down on themselves, and this gives me the opportunity to lift them up. Life is the same way, but it will present roadblocks and challenges and they must know they have to keep pushing through.”

SLAM DUNKING FOR JESUS — For Perry, Jr., while preaching isn’t something about which he was passionate even as a young preacher’s kid — or PK — he admittedly has always held a basketball close to his heart, considering the sport served as an outlet, of sorts, particularly with regards to him bolting home for college.

Much like Perry, Jr., a Charlotte, North Carolina native, had found himself doing while growing up in a rather strict, Christian-oriented environment in which attending church had seemingly become as customary as, say, going to school.

Regardless, it is because of his father’s tough love and unyielding Godly wisdom, coupled with his strict parental commands that have greatly empowered Perry, Jr. to help empower youth athletes on the importance of staying empowered through Biblical principles and basketball — all on the campus of the Empowerment Worship Center.

How empowering.

“The sky is the limit because we teach our kids the game and life,” said Perry, Jr. whose Raptors have competed in such places as Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Florida. “We push the student athlete and enforce accountability.”

All while savoring the best of both worlds.

Which, in Perry, Jr.’s case, is just the way God intended it to be all along.

 

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 staff reporter 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.

Former New York Knick Derek Harper to Charles Oakley after MSG fiasco: ‘You got my support more than anything’

 

Y’ALL CHILL OUT: Hours after the New York Knicks fiasco involving Charles Oakley and owner James Dolan on February 8, former NBA point guard Derek Harper (left), an analyst for the Mavericks through Fox Sports Southwest who spent two seasons in New York from 1994-1996, contacted his former teammate to offer support. (Photo courtesy of The Dallas Morning News)

DALLAS — Saying that Charles Oakley “should have dealt with this situation differently,” former New York Knicks point guard Derek Harper wasted little time reaching out to his former teammate in the wake of an altercation involving Oakley and Madison Square Garden security guards on February 8.

In a statement released by the Knicks, the team said that upon arriving to the arena, Oakley behaved in a “highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” which led to his ejection from MSG and his subsequent arrest by the New York City Police Department.

MADISON SQUARE SQUABBLE — In a statement released by the Knicks, the team said that upon arriving to the arena, Oakley behaved in a “highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” which led to his ejection from MSG and his subsequent arrest by the New York City Police Department. The incident was believed to have been fueled by Oakley’s strained relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan, who banned Oakley a few days following the incident.

The incident was believed to have been fueled by Oakley’s strained relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan, who banned Oakley a few days following their alleged fallout. Dolan lifted the ban after meeting with Oakley and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, although Oakley, a former Knick who played 10 seasons in New York, has yet to accept the invitation and return to MSG.

A native of Cleveland, Oakley sat courtside next to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert Thursday night to witness the Knicks drop their second consecutive game, 119-104.

Hours after the Knicks fiasco, Harper, an analyst for the Mavericks through Fox Sports Southwest who spent two seasons in New York from 1994-1996, contacted his former teammate to offer his support.

WELCOME HOME — A native of Cleveland, Oakley sat courtside next to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert Thursday night to witness the Knicks drop their second consecutive game, 119-104. (Getty Images Photo)

“I texted Oak and told him he has my support more than anything,” Harper, who was drafted by the Mavericks with the 11th overall pick of the 1983 NBA Draft, told Making Headline News. “We had a dog pound in New York, and I was apart of the dog pound with Oak, so I’m not surprised he tried to protect himself. That’s who Oak is. Everybody loves Charles Oakley.”

According to the Knicks, Oakley was ejected from the arena midway through the first quarter of their game against the Los Angeles Clippers after he allegedly yelled at Dolan and refused to stop, an allegation Oakley has repeatedly disowned.

Consequently, Oakley, 53, was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and criminal trespassing, a development that prompted current players such as LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade to hasten to various message boards to offer their support for the ex-NBA All-Star power forward.

Guarding former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan in the 1996 Eastern Conference semifinals, Harper spent two seasons in New York from 1994-1996. (Getty Images Photo)

“It’s hard because you don’t have all of the information,” said Harper, 55, when asked to assess the drama involving Oakley and the Knicks. “I’m one that don’t believe in running out talking about something unless I totally understand it. But with that being said, Charles Oakley was the heart and soul of the teams I played on in New York and he will always be respected by the fans in that city.”

Still, Harper, who played 16 seasons with four teams before retiring from the NBA in 1999, contends things could have been handled differently between Oakley and Knicks.

BELOVED KNICK — Harper was quite complementary of Oakley (No. 34), particularly about how he had taken ownership of his role of MSG catastrophe heard around the NBA.
“I love Oak,” Harper said. “We exchanged text messages the next morning. (Getty Images Photo)

“Dolan is the new owner now and he and Oak, for some reason, haven’t seen eye to eye,” Harper said. “He wanted, in that situation, I think for Charles to be removed from his seat and out of the arena and, if I’m Oak, I’d respect that. I’d respect what the owner of that team says and I’ll leave.

“But I think it really got blown out of proportion and escalated into something that was unfortunate for both sides in my opinion.”

All things considered, Harper was complementary of Oakley, particularly about how he had taken ownership of his role in the MSG catastrophe heard around the NBA.

Harper, a former University of Illinois All-American, was drafted by the Mavericks with the 11th overall pick of the 1983 NBA Draft. He returned to play for Dallas during the 1996-97 season. (Getty Images Photo)

“I love Oak,” Harper said. “We exchanged text messages the next morning. Oak is my confidant. That’s my guy and he’s already come out and said he should have dealt with this situation differently, and I think if he had to do it over again, he would choose not to put his hands on people.

“As an adult, I don’t want to be touched by another person, security officer or not. And I think he would admit that part of it was wrong. But it was wrong the way that they handled him as well.”

After Oakley and Dolan reportedly had met in hopes of reaching a resolution amid their fallout, Harper strongly believes it will be a matter of time that his former teammate will return to MSG.

“Absolutely, at some point,” Harper, who registered 16,006 points, 6,577 assists, and 1,957 steals during his NBA career, said. “There’s no question about it. I don’t know when. I don’t think anybody can say when it’s going to be.”

 

Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter 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.

 

 

 

 

Southeast Missouri State swingman Antonius Cleveland looking forward to Senior Day while aiming to boost his NBA stock

JOB WELL DONEHaving arrived on campus at Southeast Missouri State as a true freshman after a successful prep stint at Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici, Georgia, Memphian Anotonius Cleveland is a four-year starter who has proven to be as good as advertised. Cleveland will play his final collegiate home game when SEMO welcomes Austin Peay State. (Photo by Andrew Whitaket/SEMOBall.com)

Antonius Cleveland insists that it will be just like any other day.

Well, sort of.

“I think it’ll be like any other day, to be honest” Cleveland, during a telephone interview Wednesday night with Making Headline News, said when asked what will go through his mind when he’s honored during Saturday’s Senior Day pregame festivities as he prepares to play his final collegiate home game when Southeast Missouri State welcomes Austin Peay State. “I’m just prepared to play a home game. But it’s being my final home game will be special.”

Not to mention a rather emotional, tear-jerking occasion orchestrated by his mother, Shonda Bowie, who is expected to bring a busload of family members, close friends, and well-wishers from Memphis as they witness her son play for the final time at SEMO’s Show Me Center.

HOOP DREAMS — Besides his dazzling athleticism and remarkable leaping ability, Cleveland (left) boasts an efficient all-around game, considering he leads the Redhawks in scoring (17.0 per game), field goal percentage (.054), and minutes played (32.9 per game).
Add to the fact that 6-foot-6, 188-pound swingman has managed to draw the attention of pro scouts, and it’s no wonder the possibility exists that this mid-major standout could very well find himself auditioning for an NBA roster spot in the foreseeable future. (Photo by Andrew Whitaket/SEMOBall.com).

While there is still a lot of basketball to play for the Redhawks (13-16, 8-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference), who are aiming to end a 17-year NCAA Tournament drought, Saturday figures to be a day of remembrance — and reflection — for Cleveland, one of SEMO’s four seniors and the team’s featured player who’s making a strong case that he could perform on basketball’s grandest stage in the coming months — the NBA.

Having arrived on campus as a true freshman after a successful prep stint at Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici, Georgia, Cleveland is a four-year starter who has proven to be as good as advertised.

Besides his dazzling athleticism and remarkable leaping ability, Cleveland boasts an efficient all-around game, considering he leads the Redhawks in scoring (17.0 per game), field goal percentage (.054), and minutes played (32.9 per game).

AIR ANTONIUS — To his credit, Cleveland certain has been dubbed one of college basketball’s best dunkers. Last week, SEMO announced that Cleveland is among 16 finalists for the 2017 Dark Horse Dunker competition and that he is in the running to compete in the State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship Final Four weekend in Phoenix. (Photo by Glenn Landberg/SEMOBall.com).

Add to the fact that 6-foot-6, 188-pound swingman has managed to attract the attention of several pro scouts while appearing in each of SEMO’s 29 games, and it’s no wonder the possibility exists that this mid-major standout could very well find himself auditioning for an NBA roster spot in the foreseeable future.

According to DraftExpress.com, Cleveland is ranked amongst the nation’s top 15 seniors and is rated No. 99 amongst the top 100 prospects, which means if the NBA Draft took place today, the 23-year Cleveland would, in all likelihood, sign as an unrestricted free agent.

All things considered, what is extremely pivotal for Cleveland at this point is to earn an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament April 12-15 in Portsmouth, Virginia.

While his chances appear favorable, Cleveland contends that isn’t his primary focus.

“I don’t think it’s something I’ve been thinking about as much,” Cleveland said. “Right now, I’m just focusing on the season and finishing the year strong, although I’m just as talented as anybody else.”

To his credit, Cleveland certainly has been dubbed one of college basketball’s best dunkers.

Last week, SEMO announced that Cleveland is among 16 finalists for the 2017 Dark Horse Dunker competition and that he is in the running to compete in the State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship Final Four weekend in Phoenix.

VOTE FOR ANTONIUS: http://gosoutheast.com/news/2017/2/13/mens-basketball-voting-begins-for-dark-horse-dunker-competition.aspx?path=mbball.

The mostly soft-spoken Cleveland, who was informed this week that he has advanced to the round of eight, seemed somewhat surprised by the news.

SHOW ME YOUR SKILLSAs for increasing his NBA stock, Cleveland, who isn’t listing among the 60 picks in NBADraft.net’s latest mock draft that was released on February 16, said the Redhawks earning an automatic to the NCAA Tournament could allow him to generate more exposure as a mid-major prospect. “I think it’s important, because it’ll say a lot about your program,” Cleveland said. And, as for myself, it’ll be a boost as far as people realizing who I am.” (Photo by Andrew Whitaket/SEMOBall.com)

“Our SID (Jeff Honza) told me that I was nominated and I told him I was cool with it,” Cleveland said. “The school has done a great job of promoting it. I think I’ve got a good chance and my chances are pretty good.”

As for increasing his NBA stock, Cleveland, who isn’t listing among the 60 picks in NBADraft.net’s latest mock draft that was released on February 16, said the Redhawks earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament essentially could allow him to generate more exposure as a legitimate mid-major prospect.

“I think it’s important, because it’ll say a lot about your program,” Cleveland said. And, as for myself, it’ll be a boost as far as people realizing who I am.”

Much like the gallery that will be making the 2 1/2-hour trip from Memphis to Cape Girardeau, Missouri to witness him play for his final home game.

 

Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Erik Talton is as good as advertised while boosting his recruiting stock

TEXAS HIGH RISEDuncanville shoting guard Erik Talton, a 6-foot-2, 155-pound senior was seen dunking for the first time when he was a sophomore. It was long thereafter that he began to add to his basketball repertoire, having established himself as a player whose strengths consists of shooting mid-to-long range, creating his own shot off the dribble and, most importantly, demonstrating the ability to get his teammates in the flow of the game. (Photos courtesy of Cross Town Images)

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Without question, Kenneth Talton loves his son.

Surely, he wants the best for him.

So much, in fact, that every now and then, Talton deems it necessary to demonstrate some tough love as a way to steer him in the right direction.

Take, for instance, how some time ago when Talton’s son, Erik Talton, assembled a Facebook page. You know, as expected, he was only doing that about which his peers were engaging in.

MAKING MAJOR MOVES — An honor student who’s ambition in the coming months is to suit up in college basketball uniform, Erik Talton is an electrifying, high-leaping shooting guard for perennial power Duncanville (Texas) High, which checked in at No. 25 in the state in the latest Maxpreps.com poll that was released last week.

Still, his father had other reasonable ideas. By all accounts, he sensed that Facebook could potentially be a recipe for disaster for a kid with dazzling basketball skills.

“When I discovered that Erik had created a Facebook page and that he was using it to communicate with his friends, I immediately made him take it down and began to educate him on social media,” Kenneth Talton told Making Headline News on Monday. “I told him the first thing he did wrong was not getting my permission and that there was a reaction for every action he makes wrong, right or indifferent. I felt that he was too young to engage in social media.”

Consequently, Kenneth Talton’s firm gesture and forthright response to his son having erected a Facebook, as it turned out, has proven beneficial in a variety of ways, most notably on the basketball court.

CHECK OUT ERIK TALTON: http://www.ncsasports.org/mens-basketball-recruiting/texas/duncanville/duncanville-high-school1/erik-talton.

Although his father unceremoniously suspended his Facebook account, Erik Talton, to his created, essentially has been nothing short of impressive. In fact, while playing alongside fellow Duncanville seniors Dexter Johnson, Jr. and Tyler Watkins — the three have been teammates on the same AAU team since fifth grade — Erik Talton, for a lack of better words, have posted favorable statuses not on social media, but on the court as evidenced by the slew of recruiting analysts that have followed him in recent years.

An honor student who’s ambition in the coming months is to suit up in a college basketball uniform, Erik Talton is an electrifying, high-leaping shooting guard for perennial power Duncanville (Texas) High, which checked in at No. 25 in the state in the latest Maxpreps.com poll that was released last week.

Although his father demanded that he unceremoniously suspend his Facebook account, Erik Talton, to his credit, essentially has been nothing short of impressive.

In fact, while playing alongside fellow Duncanville seniors Dexter Johnson, Jr. and Tyler Watkins — the three have been teammates on the same AAU team since fifth grade — Erik Talton, for a lack of better words, have posted favorable statuses not on social media, but on the court, as evidenced by the slew of recruiting analysts who have followed him in recent years.

For starters, the 6-foot-2, 155-pound senior was spotted dunking for the first time when he was a sophomore. It wasn’t long thereafter that he began to add to his basketball repertoire, having established himself as a player whose strengths consists of shooting efficiently from mid-to-long range, creating his own shot off the dribble and, most importantly, demonstrating the ability to get his teammates in the flow of the game.

For his valiant efforts, his solid body of work has drawn the attention of several schools, including Frank Phillips College, Hartnell Junior College in California, Northeastern Junior College in Colorado), The King’s College in New York, Norwich University, Luther College, and Kansas Wesleyan University, he said on Monday.

“I have the qualities that college coaches are looking for in a player,” Erik Talton said. “I come from a family of athletes and educators. I’m not afraid of a challenge or hard work, and I have great passion for the game. I am a high energy player, very athletic, I pride myself on defense as well as offense and I work extremely hard in the classroom and on the basketball court. I challenge myself daily to improve on my skills.”

COLLEGE BOUND FOR SUREFor his valiant efforts, his solid body of work has drawn the attention of several schools, including Frank Phillips College, Hartnell Junior College in California, Northeastern Junior College in Colorado), The King’s College in New York, Norwich University, Luther College, and Kansas Wesleyan University, he said on Monday.

Still, he realizes now is not the time to go on cruise control, in large part because he has yet to field any official offers. How else to explain his remarkable display this past summer when following what was a banner junior campaign, he enjoyed what he described as a “very big summer” on the AAU circuit when he averaged 20 points per game and led his team to consecutive championships in two major tournaments (The Great American Shootout in Duncanville and the Fab48 in Las Vegas)?

In essence, Erik’s Talton’s progress on and off the court emerged amid the wake of adversity, according to his father.

“The adversities Erik had to overcome from losing his cousin which was his best friend at the age of six and, at the age of eight, having multiple surgeries on his forearm and maintaining his drive and his desire to once again play sports at the same level prior to his injury, to the custody issues between his mom and me, which ultimately led to him moving completely with me,” Kenneth Talton said.

“That caused him to transfer his junior year from one school district (Mansfield High), where he was well established as a student athlete and played varsity since his sophomore year to another school district. He understood the impact that such a move could have on his basketball career at the college level.”

All things considered, such an untimely move from nearby Mansfield to Duncanville has in no way, shape or form hamper Erik Talton, who admittedly feels confident about his chances of playing at the collegiate level.

And to think, he didn’t need a Facebook page to express to the masses who he is.

The basketball court was a big enough platform.

“Whatever college offers me scholarship, they will get a player with tenacity, who’s a competitor, an athlete, a hard worker, a defender, a shooter and a winner,” Erik Talton said.

What a favorable difference that tough love has made.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houston-area prep football standout Anthony Williams, Jr. generates one scholarship offer, ‘expects list to expand’ his coach says

TEXAS SIZE DREAMSA two-year starter for Hightower High in Missouri City, Texas — which is in the outskirts of Houston — Anthony Williams, Jr. doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his skills on display at the next level.
To his credit, it’s not a matter of if he will be afforded the golden opportunity of playing college football. Rather, it’s a matter of when. The first school to toss its name in the hat for the Williams, Jr. sweepstakes: Alcorn State University. (Photos by Cris Armijo)

Anthony Williams, Jr. was seemingly too young to remember.

For the record, he was four years old.

Old enough to become involved in recreational sports, as far as his mother, Rosalind Banks-Mayshack, was concerned.

“At the age of four, Anthony was enrolled in several sports at the local YMCA for extra-curricular activity,” Banks-Mayshack told Making Headline News this week. “He is an only child and there were literally no children in the neighborhood in his age group, so the YMCA was one of the avenues used to allow him to play and interact with other kids his age.”

STAR WATCH Add to the fact that he was ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in Texas and amongst the Top 25 offensive tackles in the state by Lonestar Prospects, and it’s no wonder many who have witnessed Williams, Jr. (No. 76 in green) continuous progress in recent years believe other schools in all likelihood will surface with scholarship offers.

As Banks-Mayshack recalled, her son initially gave basketball a go.

Then he ventured off into T-ball.

Months later, it was on to flag football.

By the time he had turned six, he advanced to competitive football.

PROTECTING THE BLIND SIDEEven while being entrusted with a new role, Williams, Jr.’s was as good as advertised — this after he helped propelled the Hurricanes to an impressive 10-1 finished in his first full season as a starter. For his efforts, other schools have taken notice, thus placed him under their radar.

That is when things got a little more intriguing.

A little more than 11 years removed from having made his YMCA debut, Williams, Jr. has evolved as a prep football standout in mighty Texas, where this tradition-rich sport undoubtedly has become a hotbed for college scouts and recruiters.

A two-year starter for Hightower High in Missouri City, Texas — which is in the outskirts of Houston — Williams doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his skills on display at the next level.

To his credit, it’s not a matter of if he will be afforded the golden opportunity of playing college football.

CO-SIGNING“He’s a formidable kid,” Hightower coach Padriac McGinnis said of Williams, Jr. “He can play all three positions. He’s great kid…very respectful. He gets the job done. He’s almost like a coach on the field. He’s very vocal, but not a yeller. He’s leader in that he talks to (his teammates) and let them know what’s going on.”

Rather, it’s a matter of when.

A solid 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman, Williams, Jr. who has one full season of high school eligibility remaining, has already received one official scholarship offer, a development that transpired just before the start of the 2016 season.

The first school to toss its name in the hat for the Williams, Jr. sweepstakes: Alcorn State University.

“That list should expand,” Hightower coach Padriac McGinnis said of Williams, Jr., who was recently invited to Army All-American Combine in San Antonio. “I’m surprised he’s only gotten one offer.”

Still, Williams, Jr., whom McGinnis describes as one of the best all-around players he’s coached in some time, doesn’t appear fazed that his recruiting process is off to a somewhat slow start, in large part because he has manufactured a solid body of work over the past two seasons.

WATCH ANTHONY WILLIAMS, JR. IN ACTION: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4501897/5721e7530dcb0d12f889d0cb.

Asides from being installed as a starter for a second consecutive year for a Hightower team that finished with a 5-5 mark in 2016, Williams, Jr.’s list of accolades reads like someone who’s being introduced to give a speech.

For starters, he was named Second-Team All-District as a sophomore only to upgrade that to First-Team All-District as a junior.

Add to the fact that he was ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in Texas and amongst the Top 25 offensive tackles in the state by Lonestar Prospects, and it’s no wonder many who have witnessed Williams, Jr. continuous progress in recent years believe other schools in all likelihood will surface with scholarship offers.

The biggest mystery that remains is when.

STOCK RISINGAccording to Williams. Jr., the University of Houston, Texas State, Grambling State, Southern University, and the University of Minnesota have expressed interest in what appears to be shaping up to be a memorable culmination to high school football career.

“I played very well this season,” said Williams, Jr., who was selected to appear in the USA Football Development Games for a second straight year. “It was very challenging. However, I rose to the challenge.  I had to come into the season taking on a new position of left tackle and I had to take a leadership role as a returning starter.”

Even while being entrusted with a new role, Williams, Jr.’s was as good as advertised — this after he helped propelled the Hurricanes to an impressive 10-1 finished and a district championship in his first full season as a starter.

For his efforts, other schools have taken notice, thus placed him under their radar.

According to Williams. Jr., the University of Houston, Texas State, Grambling State, Southern University, and the University of Minnesota have expressed interest in what appears to be shaping up to be a memorable culmination to high school football career for a kid who’s gone to great lengths to make his mother proud.

“When I watch Anthony on the field, I am amazed and proud of the athlete and the young man that he has become,” Banks-Mayshack said. “He works very hard and his hard work is paying off both on and off of the field. He has a determination to do well and finish and that drive is exemplified on the football field.”

McGinnis echoed Banks-Mayshack’s thorough assessment.

“He’s a formidable kid,” McGinnis said of Williams, Jr. “He can play all three positions. He’s a great kid…very respectful. He gets the job done. He’s almost like a coach on the field. He’s very vocal, but not a yeller. He’s a leader in that he talks to (his teammates) and let them know what’s going on.”

After pausing momentarily, McGinnis suddenly offered a rather unique assessment about which scouts should consider.

A PROVEN LEADERMcGinnis suddenly offered a rather unique assessment about which scouts should consider. “If I’m running late (for practice), he’d go out and get the drills started without me even telling him,” McGinnis said.

“If I’m running late (for practice), he’d go out and get the drills started without me even telling him,” McGinnis said.

What a difference 11-plus years have made for a player who has made a strong case that he deserving of playing on Saturdays some time in Fall 2018.

“Anthony has come a long way from the six-year-old kid that did not know how to wrap up to the young man who loves the game and considers it his craft,” Banks-Mayshack said.

For the record, he knows exactly what he’s doing now, a trend about which a host of colleges will likewise find out.

Much sooner than later.



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.

Atlanta-area businessman and professional trainer Jerico Wiggins living out his dream through Enkore Fitness Pro, LLC

CHASING GREATNESSTo his distinct credit, Jerico Wiggins has steadfastly gone to great, immeasurable lengths to ensure that he helps enrich and adds value to the lives of others, most notably through his avenue of entrepreneurship.
A former athlete in a variety of competitive sports, Wiggins, 38, is owner and chief executive officer of Enkore Fitness Pro, LLC, a well-established Atlanta-area fitness gymnasium that offers sports conditioning for athletes that will greatly enable them to improve an assortment of key components, many of which will aid them in evolving as better athletes.

Just recently, Jerico Wiggins was asked why it is imperative that he esteem others daily highly than himself.

As usual, Wiggins, whose reputation and personality are such that he boasts a heart for people, provided the appropriate answer.

“It’s imperative to esteem and inspire (others) daily because it helps motivate growth, give others hope, and inspire others to be better,” Wiggins told Making Headline News this week.

To his distinct credit, Wiggins has steadfastly gone to great, immeasurable lengths to ensure that he helps enrich and adds value to the lives of others, most notably through his avenue of entrepreneurship.

MAKING STRIDESJust like athletes with whom he routinely crosses paths, it was his contributions to sports that greatly fueled his desire to establish — and prosper — as a thriving businessman/health fitness guru.
“Sports have helped me in my business in many ways but, most of all, because I also have a firsthand experience on what athletes go through as far as conditioning and preparing for competition,” Wiggins explained. “It also helped me to be able to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses in their performances.”

A former athlete in a variety of competitive sports, Wiggins, 38, is owner and chief executive officer of Enkore Fitness Pro, LLC, a well-established Atlanta-area fitness gymnasium that offers sports conditioning for athletes that will greatly enable them to improve an assortment of key components, many of which will aid them in evolving as better athletes.

“We do body transformation to clients as well,” a spokesperson for Enkore Fitness Pro said.

Located at 1999 Parker Court, Suite A, in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Wiggins’ company —- which is sanctioned through the Dekalb Chamber of Commerce — has appropriately adopted the catchphrase, “We’re The Foundation To Greatness.”

By and large, because of his commitment to serving his clients masterfully, coupled with his ability to inspire them to assume a positive disposition about their overall fitness and health, Enkore Fitness is surely a venture that’s on the move.

“I wanted to create a place where my clients can push, be pushed, educated, and mentally ready as an athlete to be pushed to greatness,” Wiggins, a native of Eatonton, Georgia said.

A TRUE INSPIRATIONBy and large, because of his commitment to serving his clients masterfully, coupled with his ability to inspire them to assume a positive disposition about their overall fitness and health, Enkore Fitness Pro is surely a venture that’s on the move.

Just like athletes with whom he routinely crosses paths, it was his contributions to sports that greatly fueled his desire to establish — and prosper — as a thriving businessman/health fitness guru.

FOLLOW ENKORE FITNESS PRO SOCIAL MEDIA: https://www.facebook.com/enkorefitnesspros/?pnref=about.overview

“Sports have helped me in my business in many ways but, most of all, because I also have a firsthand experience on what athletes go through as far as conditioning and preparing for competition,” Wiggins explained. “It also helped me to be able to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses in their performances.”

A Putnam County High School alum who is a former attendee of the Georgia Career Institute, Wiggins holds a certified professional personal training through the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, a credible institution that teaches personal trainer manual features, or a different combination of study aids designed to help aspiring fitness trainers prepare for the exam and excel within their career.

Given the immense strides he’s made since starting his gym nearly three years ago, Wiggins undoubtedly is proven success.

He’s been a professional trainer for a little more than 11 years.

“What I like about my business is it’s not only a dream come true and my passion, but I feel like it gives me purpose daily,” said Wiggins, adding his business caters to individuals of all ages. “And I’m able to pass (along my knowledge) to help someone else.

Aside of the helping young athletes achieve and savor excellence through their respective sport, Wiggins acknowledged that excellence in life is something by which he’s guilty of educating to his clients — as often as he can.

“My personal mission is to help others not only exceed in sports,” said Wiggins, “but to realize that with the proper skills and determination, the sky is the limit and to help them understand excellence is something that is worked on daily and doesn’t come easily.”

As usual, Wiggins, whose reputation and personality are such that he boasts a heart for people, provided the appropriate answers.

All of which practically sums up why Enkore Fitness Pro has become a fixture in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

 

For more information about Enkore Fitness Pro, LLC, call 678-663-2304. Also, send email to: enkorefitness@yahoo.com, or log on to http://enkorefitnesspros.com/.



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Andre Johnson is 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.