Memphis aspiring songwriter Terrance Mitchell, Jr. enjoying success, impacting community

aasGrowing up, Terrance Mitchell, Jr. was always taught to…you know…keep it real.

Take, for instance, the intriguing dialogue that took place some time ago between Mitchell, Jr. and his mother, Tise Tate.

As Tate recalls so vividly, she posed a compelling question to which her son fielded as if he expected.

“I asked him, ‘Why do you call yourself, “exclusive?’” Tate told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “He said, ‘Because there’s nobody like me.’ What can I say? He sometimes has that 15-year-old’s arrogance. But he always says it with a smile.”

Given the immense strides he’s made as an aspiring songwriter, it’s no wonder Mitchell’s reputation is such that he’s accustomed to putting on display his customary smile.

STAR WATCH --- Given the immense strides he’s made as an aspiring songwriter, it’s no wonder Terrance Mitchell, Jr.’s reputation is such that he’s accustomed to putting on display his customary smile. A native Memphian who will enroll at Overton School For Performing Arts the upcoming academic year, Mitchell is making a strong case that he keeps at this musically-inclined pace, he could very well emerge as a household name, of sorts, in a city where music essentially has become a way of life.

STAR WATCHGiven the immense strides he’s made as an aspiring songwriter, it’s no wonder Terrance Mitchell, Jr.’s reputation is such that he’s accustomed to putting on display his customary smile.
A native Memphian who will enroll at Overton School For Performing Arts the upcoming academic year, Mitchell is making a strong case that he keeps at this musically-inclined pace, he could very well emerge as a household name, of sorts, in a city where music essentially has become a way of life.

A native Memphian who will enroll at Overton School For Performing Arts the upcoming academic year, Mitchell is making a strong case that he keeps at this musically-inclined pace, he could very well emerge as a household name, of sorts, in a city where music essentially has become a way of life.

One minute, he’s sitting in the comfortable confines of his bedroom writing poetry. The next minute, he ultimately found himself taking his poetic repertoire to a whole new level, courtesy of his keen ability to transform them into lyrics.

Fluent, efficient lyrics, mind you.

vvvvvAll things considered, credit his parents for helping instill in Mitchell and his brother the beauty behind such beautiful music, a trend that ultimately has given way to what appears to be shaping up as bright future in this ever-so—competitive industry for this aspiring songwriter.

“Me and brother loved music that our parents used to play in the car,” Mitchell explained.

Growing up, Mitchell had become acclimated to following the likes of Marvin Gaye, Isaac Haynes, Al Green, Kem, Snoop Dogg, Eric B. And Rakim, among others.

“It was feel good and truth music,” said Mitchell, “so that’s what I decided to make mine about but with a twist.

To his credit, it was a rather riveting, attention-grabbing twist, mind you.

CHECK OUT TJ IN ACTION: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0sNROCpBi4Eblp0Z1NDTkR0MDQ/view?pref=2&pli=1

So much, in fact, that even at his young age, this vibrant, energetic kid has already recorded six hits, three of which have made ceremonious appearances on various message boards and social media sites.

MOTHERLY LOVE --- As Tise Tate recalls so vividly, she posed a compelling question to which her son fielded as if he expected. “I asked him, ‘Why do you call yourself, “exclusive?’” Tate told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “He said, ‘Because there's nobody like me.’ What can I say? He sometimes has that 15-year-old's arrogance. But he always says it with a smile.”

MOTHERLY LOVEAs Tise Tate recalls so vividly, she posed a compelling question to which her son fielded as if he expected.
“I asked him, ‘Why do you call yourself, “exclusive?’” Tate told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “He said, ‘Because there’s nobody like me.’ What can I say? He sometimes has that 15-year-old’s arrogance. But he always says it with a smile.”

Ahhhhhh, thank God for the world of social media where, fortunately for Mitchell, he’s starting to create a buzz as it pertains to his music.

So stay tuned.

Given his early success, it’s safe to assume he’s just now warming up.

“The people who inspire me are my parents, my uncle, my brothers, and my close friends that I have come to know that have stuck by me through thick and thin,” Mitchell said. “Also, my dad was also into music and he’s an inspiration to me.”

Amongst Mitchell’s current hits are: “Question Mark,” “Viewers Discretion,” and “Press Play,” each of which can be heard via social media.

FULL SPEED AHEAD --- All things considered, credit his parents for helping instill in Mitchell and his brother the beauty behind such beautiful music, a trend that ultimately has given way to what appears to be shaping up as bright future in this ever-so—competitive industry for this aspiring songwriter.

FULL SPEED AHEADAll things considered, credit his parents for helping instill in Mitchell and his brother the beauty behind such beautiful music, a trend that ultimately has given way to what appears to be shaping up as bright future in this ever-so—competitive industry for this aspiring songwriter.

“My biggest purpose is spread knowledge and wisdom through the words I speak,” Mitchell, an award-winning young artist who has appeared in a several talent shows, said of his music. “I also want to change the mindset because of my powerful voice.”

And not just mindsets, but the overall landscape of his community as well as the crime-invested, poverty-stricken Bluff City.

“The reason I started writing is because the truth seemed unfamiliar to many individuals, because the activities people were indulging themselves in resulted in them being unaware of the consequences that came with their actions,” said the musically-inclined Mitchell, sounding more like a social activist in his own right. “So I started to notice more things that didn’t add up to make sense of them so that they could understand my point of view of them.”

In essence, Mitchell doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Ask his mother, arguably his grandest supporter since he installed his very first lyric.

“The sky is the limit for TJ because he has the passion, the drive, and the determination to get his voice out there. He wants people to know that they should not pause their life for nonsense, they should always press play, which is one of the names of his songs.”

All of which explains why growing up, Mitchell, Jr. was always taught to…you know…keep it real.



12308302_1264615573553243_4556209296677596210_nEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, 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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

 

Former Vol Tony Harris on Pat Summitt’s death: ‘People in Knoxville loved this lady’

ROCKY TOP REMEMBERS PAT --- Having coached the University of Tennessee women's basketball program for 38 years from 1974-2012, Summitt is widely known in the sports world for having brought respectability and relevancy to women’s college basketball. Summitt died Tuesday morning, five years after being diagnosed with early onset dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s. She was 64. (Photo by Wade Payne/AP)

ROCKY TOP REMEMBERS PATHaving coached the University of Tennessee women’s basketball program for 38 years from 1974-2012, Pat Summitt is widely known in the sports world for having brought respectability and relevancy to women’s college basketball. Summitt died Tuesday morning, five years after being diagnosed with early onset dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s. She was 64. (Photo by Wade Payne/AP)

Former University of Tennessee point guard Tony Harris on Tuesday offered a rather riveting suggestion hours after news spread of Pat Summit’s death.

“That’s Pat Summitt University,” Harris, a former Memphis East High star told MemphiSport during a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “I mean, look at her success, her wins…she was the winningest coach in college basketball history.”

Summitt, the legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach who enjoyed an illustrious career that was highlighted by an unprecedented 1,098 wins, eight national championships, and 16 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles, died early Tuesday, five years after being diagnosed with early onset dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s.

She was 64.

A public memorial service for Summitt has been scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on July 14 at Thompson-Boling Arena on the Tennessee campus.

Having coached the Lady Volunteers for 38 years from 1974-2012, Summitt is widely known in the sports world for having brought respectability and relevancy to women’s college basketball.

TEN-NES-SEE THE SUCCESS --- Besides compiling a .841 winning percentage (1,098-208) during her stint with the Lady Vols, Summitt was named SEC Coach of The Year an unprecedented eight times and National Coach of The Year seven times, including in back-to-back seasons in 1994 and 1995. (AP Photo)

TEN-NES-SEE THE SUCCESSBesides compiling a .841 winning percentage (1,098-208) during her stint with the Lady Vols, Summitt was named SEC Coach of The Year an unprecedented eight times and National Coach of The Year seven times, including in back-to-back seasons in 1994 and 1995. (AP Photo)

Her best display as a Hall of Fame coach undoubtedly occurred in the mid-1990s when Summitt guided the Lady Vols to three consecutive NCAA titles from 1996-1998, that last of which came during Harris’ freshman season in Knoxville.

“It was a great experience,” Harris said of having crossed paths with Summitt. “I knew at the time she was going to be a Hall of Fame coach. So I was blessed to share the same campus with a legend. I had a close relationship with her as far as being a student athlete. The men’s basketball office was right next door to the women’s. And there were times I went in there. She was big on professionalism in everything I did.”

In August 2011, Summitt announced that she had been diagnosed three months earlier with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Still, she chose to coach Tennessee during the 2011–2012 season, but at a reduced role while longtime assistant Holly Warlick — an assistant under Summitt since 1985 — had assumed most of the responsibilities.

Besides compiling an all-time best winning percentage of. 841 (1,098-208) during her stint with the Lady Vols, Summitt was named SEC Coach of The Year an unprecedented eight times and National Coach of The Year seven times, including in back-to-back seasons in 1994 and 1995.

A former Parade All-American who named TSSAA Class AAA Mr. Basketball in 1997, Memphian Tony Harris starred at point guard for East from 1994-97 before ultimately signing a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Tennessee. To his credit, the Vols re-emerged as a national standout, having appeared in the NCAA Tournament in each of Harris’ four seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2000. (Getty Images Photo)

A former Parade All-American who named TSSAA Class AAA Mr. Basketball in 1997, Memphian Tony Harris starred at point guard for East from 1994-97 before ultimately signing a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Tennessee. To his credit, the Vols re-emerged as a national standout, having appeared in the NCAA Tournament in each of Harris’ four seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2000. (Getty Images Photo)

“People say she was stern,” Harris said. “But that sternness got her a lot of wins and won her a lot of championships. She had some of the top players in the country wanting to play for her.”

Although for years, the Tennessee football and women’s basketball enjoyed paralleled success, Harris said it was in large part because of Summitt’s well-publicized resume that the men’s basketball program had finally began to earn mentions on a national platform.

A former Parade All-American who was named TSSAA Class AAA Mr. Basketball in 1997, Harris starred at point guard for East from 1994-97 before ultimately signing a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Tennessee.

To his credit, the Vols re-emerged as a national standout, having appeared in the NCAA Tournament in each of Harris’ four seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2000.

“I can’t put a number on it,” Harris, founder of the Tony Harris Basketball Academy in Los Angeles said, when asked how many Lady Vols games he attended during his time in Knoxville. “But every time they played, I tried to make when we didn’t have a game.”

BEST LADY VOL EVER? Chamique Holdsclaw starred for Summitt's Lady Vols from 1995-1999, having guided the Tennessee to three consecutive NCAA Championships from 1996-1998. The 1998 national title capped Tennessee's first ever undefeated season at 39–0 and also set an NCAA record for the most wins ever in a season. (AP Photo)

BEST LADY VOL EVER? Two-time Naismith Award winner Chamique Holdsclaw starred for Summitt’s Lady Vols from 1995-1999, having guided the Tennessee to three consecutive NCAA Championships from 1996-1998. The 1998 national title capped Tennessee’s first ever undefeated season at 39–0 and also set an NCAA record for the most wins ever in a season. (AP Photo)

Even as the catalyst of the men’s team, Harris said attending Lady Vols’ games was an experience in its own right, largely because tickets were hard to come by.

“It was one the great experiences I’ve been a part of as a student athlete,” Harris said. “I never really watched women’s basketball until I got to UT and saw the impact (Summitt) had on the program.”

Not just in Rocky Top, but the entire Volunteer state, Harris quickly acknowledged.

“(The city of) Knoxville loved this lady,” Harris said. “Not just in Knoxville, but the whole state of Tennessee. When you talk about (the University of) Tennessee, you’ve got to talk about women’s basketball.”

Or, as Harris charismatically suggested, “Pat Summitt University.”



12308302_1264615573553243_4556209296677596210_nAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

Memphis AAU basketball phenom Derrick Miller, Jr. to appear on national stage

13517636_1537900049558126_3834513934650997694_oDerrick Miller, Sr. and his wife, Sherrell Bennett-Miller, are two hardworking individuals.

Both are gainfully employed.

Both partake in occasional date nights.

Both, to their credit, routinely make valiant efforts to ensure that family values remain a customary trend in their household.

Still, in spite of the hustle and bustle their respective day-to-day schedules often create, this couple has become fixtures, particularly as it pertains to supporting the athletic accomplishments of their son, Derrick Miller, Jr.

“Words can’t explain the joy we have watching our son do what he loves,” Mrs. Miller told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson Sunday night. “At times, he inspires us to go harder and stronger in things we do in our livelihood.”

A rising, nine-year-old standout for the Memphis War Eagles 10-and-under AAU basketball team, amongst the things about which Derrick, Jr. can attest is witnessing his parents cheering from the stands, regardless of where his team plays around the country.

Whether the War Eagles are slated for games on the East or West coast, the Northern or Southern regions, one can almost certainly consider it a foregone conclusion that Mr. and Mrs. Miller will make ceremonious appearances.

According to Mrs. Miller, in this calendar year alone, she and her husband have traveled more than 5,000 miles to watch Derrick, Jr. put his basketball skills on display on this ever-so-competitive AAU circuit.

Next week, the couple will be adding an additional 800-plus miles to their slew of cross-country trips to watch their son, this time when he and the War Eagles compete in the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida.

The War Eagles all but solidified a trip to the national tournament after coming away as co-champions in a recent state tourney in Clarksville, Tennessee.

More than anything, though, Mrs. Miller senses that this trip to nationals will greatly benefit her son, in large part because unlike a number of his peers, he’s being afforded the chance to pay witness to establishments outside of the Memphis metropolitan area.

WE ARE FAMILY --- Derrick Miller and his wife, Sherrell Bennett-Miller, are two hardworking individuals. Both are gainfully employed. Both partake in occasional date nights. Both, to their credit, routinely make valiant efforts to ensure that family values remain a customary trend in their household. Still, in spite of the hustle and bustle their respective day-to-day schedules often create, this couple has become fixtures, particularly as it pertains to supporting the athletic accomplishments of their son, Derrick Miller, Jr.

WE ARE FAMILYDerrick Miller and his wife, Sherrell Bennett-Miller, are two hardworking individuals.
Both are gainfully employed.
Both partake in occasional date nights.
Both, to their credit, routinely make valiant efforts to ensure that family values remain a customary trend in their household.
Still, in spite of the hustle and bustle their respective day-to-day schedules often create, this couple has become fixtures, particularly as it pertains to supporting the athletic accomplishments of their son, Derrick Miller, Jr.

In a nutshell, even at such a young age, amongst the things about which the Millers instill in their son is to always be open to broaden his horizon.

Since the beginning of the year, the Millers have traveled to Nashville, various places in Arkansas, Clarksville, New Orleans and to various sites throughout Memphis and surrounding areas to watch their son in action.

However, the forthcoming trip to Florida is unique for a variety of reasons, Derrick, Jr.’s mother acknowledged.

DONATE TO DERRICK’S TRIP TO FLORIDA: https://www.gofundme.com/22jzbbks

“The reason for the trip is to better his experience outside the Tennessee area,” Mrs. Miller explained. “This trip is vital to Derrick because this is a lifetime experience to challenge him for the upcoming year. He has a chance to claim the national championship, and it better for him with (these) out of town games, and also his loyalty and passion for the game.”

Because parents of AAU athletes routinely go above and beyond to support their children, most notably from a financial standpoint, the Millers thought it necessary to establish a GoFundMe account to help cover expenses for Derrick’s forthcoming trip to Orlando.

13494962_1537900122891452_683161927591259252_nMonies registered to this account will help underwrite and cover the cost of hotels, food, and other vital essentials for a youth athlete who’s been nothing short of impressive on and off the court.

Over the weekend, Derrick, Jr.’s parents announced that he will be returning to Florida in the coming weeks for a football-related event.

A student at Memphis’ Promise Academy Charter School, Derrick, Jr. has raised nearly half the amount of donations toward the $2,500 his parents have sought to compile.

Given the outpour of support from family, friends, coaches, and close acquaintances, it’s safe to assume that people from various walks of life believe in Derrick, Jr., especially the notable impact he’s having on the local AAU hoops circuit.

“Derrick goes to work out every day with a trainer or one of his basketball team he plays with,” Mrs. Miller said. “Or if there is no training, he’s outside in the driveway, going head-to-head with his two older brothers. He has been eager to fundraise to attend the events. He will go the extra mile to fundraise from sun up to sun down in between games.”

All while ensuring that family values remain a customary trend in the household.

Just like his loving, supportive parents.



MrJohnsonEDITOR’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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

Memphis author Catherine Walls sells out to God, then writes two compelling books

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 New International Version)

 

FB_IMG_14350328481611If nothing else, Catherine M. Walls made it a point to become guilty of heeding the voice of God.

It all unfolded, all unraveled, all came full circle some two decades ago.

Walls, at the time, was in her mid-20s and, for someone who had been raised primarily in a non-Christian-based environment, of sorts, she still sensed it was time to finally connect with her spiritual identity, if you will.

“It was one of the first scriptures God had given me when I started my journey with Him 20 years ago,” Walls told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I did not have a church background, didn’t know the scripture, but I was ready to serve and witness for Jesus.”

FB_IMG_14350328121251To her credit, her newfound love for Christ ultimately gave way to the peace and comfort and spiritually stability she so desperately needed to weather and conquer arguably one of the most disheartening, yet downtrodden encounters of her young life.

That’s because at the time, Walls explained, she was in the midst of suffering through a broken relationship, one that was mired by selfishness and verbal abuse, among other things, as she recalls.

Unfortunately, it was one that eventually landed her in divorce court.

20160613_2128301“I went straight into what I call a void marriage,” Walls, founder of Ministry For Real Life, explained. “A marriage that was void of love, communication, sex, and sharing. “He was not a bad man, just not the man I was supposed to marry. There was the sudden stress of struggling financially. Depression set in and soon after that came the anxiety, panic attacks, voices and hallucinations and really bad insomnia.”

All in all, it was due in large part to Walls’ tumultuous, yet apparent chaotic past that ultimately fueled her desire to delve off into the world of authorship.

Today, Walls, 45 is a rising authoress, having already written one compelling book with a second one currently in the works.

Her first book entitled, “Catherine And Her Cross,” was released in October 2012 and, to her credit, has benefitted not just he, but those whose share a similar checkered past as her.

FB_IMG_1466979292190As Walls explained, “Catherine And Her Cross” was produced largely to enlighten her reading audience of her life-changing testimonies in which he battled through broken relationships and the physically and mental challenges and breakdowns that ensued as a result of it.

In essence, Walls’ debut book greatly enabled her to seek and, most of all, make peace with Almighty God.

Her second book, which is entitled, “Getting To Know God: From Verse To Verse,” is expected to be released sometime in September, she said.

Just like “Catherine And Her Cross,” Walls forthcoming project also will be available for purchase at Amazon.com and Kindle.

FB_IMG_1466952981538-1In reciting the Apostle Paul’s familiar letter to member so of the Roman church Walls acknowledged that it was her unyielding faith and trust in her Creator that greatly helped shape the overall landscape of her life thus mightily enabled her to become an influential figure to others whose faith has been tried and tested.

“I had to trust and believe God,” Walls said. “I stayed in church, learned scriptures, stayed in prayer and kept the faith. Because I knew there was more to it than what I been seeing in what I call church goers.”

As far as Walls was concerned, she wanted more of church than just attending midweek and Sunday services.

“I didn’t just go to church,” she said, “I fell in love with Jesus, got filled with the Holy Ghost and got to know God. I tried God concerning His word and that’s where Book No. 2 came from.”

The rest, as they say is history.

Today, unlike never before, Walls, a 1989 Memphis Westwood High graduate, not only has completely sold out to God, but her books are likely to have a massive impact on people from various walks of life.

Just like God.

“Oh, but God,” Walls said. “When I tell people this testimony, I say that it was the worst thing and the best thing that could ever happen to me because it transformed my life.”

All because she made it a point to become guilty of heeding the voice of God.

For more information about Catherine M. Walls, log on to: Ministryforreallife.com. Also, follow her on Facebook under “Catherine Michelle.” 



MrJohnson

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, 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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

 

Memphis youth basketball standout Marlon McShane, Jr. excelling with support of family

ccccSharline Patterson and Marlon McShane, Sr. are the proud parents of Marlon Terrell McShane, Jr., a student Memphis’ Ross Elementary School.

Since the age of five, McShane, Jr. has managed to evolve into a student athlete, of sorts, considering he plays basketball virtually year round for both the Memphis Blueprint 5th Grade Division and the Team Payne War Eagles AAU team.

To his credit, the 10-year-old McShane essentially has found his niche, thus routinely makes his presence felt on this tradition-rich Bluff City basketball landscape.

Of course, as Patterson tells, she didn’t see this coming, in large because…well, perhaps she can explain it better.

MEMPHIS MADNESS --- To his credit, the 10-year-old Marlon McShane, Jr. essentially has found his niche, thus routinely makes his presence felt on this tradition-rich Bluff City basketball landscape.

MEMPHIS MADNESSTo his credit, the 10-year-old Marlon McShane, Jr. essentially has found his niche, thus routinely makes his presence felt on this tradition-rich Bluff City basketball landscape.

“My overall reaction was I was in disbelief when I saw that he was pretty good, mainly because his dad and I never played basketball,” Patterson told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Although I was an athlete in school, I actually took notice of his ability around the age of (one). That’s when I bought his first basketball. Week after week, I noticed his ball-handling skills getting stronger and stronger.”

Approximately a decade removed from having possessed his first basketball, McShane, Jr. has fine-tuned his mechanics and fundamentals to a point at which his immense skills have gone virtually unnoticed by his peers and coaches.

How else to explain why he customarily put his athletic contributions on display for not one, but two local youth basketball organizations?

“(Since the start of the summer began), I’ve attended at least three Shelby-Metro camps at different schools in the city, all while still playing in tournament games in and out of town,” said McShane, Jr. sounding not boasting, but more like the confident, resilient athlete for which he is widely known on the youth hoops circuit. “I love basketball so much, because it’s fun and

I’m good at it.”

WE ARE FAMILY --- Credit his mom and other family members and friends for their tireless support, a trend that has only fueled McShane, Jr.’s competitive drive to excel and maximize his potential --- both on and off the court. “My mom brings me to practice all the time and my dad and stepdad also comes to a lot of my games even the ones out of town,” McShane, Jr. explains. My grandma, sister, auntie and uncles also come see me play.”

WE ARE FAMILYCredit his mom and other family members and friends for their tireless support, a trend that has only fueled McShane, Jr.’s competitive drive to excel and maximize his potential — both on and off the court.
“My mom brings me to practice all the time and my dad and stepdad also comes to a lot of my games even the ones out of town,” McShane, Jr. explains. My grandma, sister, auntie and uncles also come see me play.”

Credit his mom and other family members and friends for their tireless support, a trend that has only fueled McShane, Jr.’s competitive drive to excel and maximize his potential — both on and off the court.

“My mom brings me to practice all the time and my dad and stepdad also comes to a lot of my games even the ones out of town,” McShane, Jr. explains. My grandma, sister, auntie and uncles also come see me play.”

More than anything, McShane acknowledged, his primary emphasis as a young student athlete is to achieve excellence, to go and above on and off the court, to exemplify good sportsmanship and, most importantly, to embroider in his mind what those closest to him routinely instill in him.

STAR WATCH --- McShane Jr. poses for a photo with Texas Christian University signee Jaylen Fisher, a former Bolton High star.

STAR WATCHMcShane Jr. poses for a photo with Texas Christian University basketball signee Jaylen Fisher, a former Bolton High star.

“My parents and coaches always tell me to never give up and to try my best,” said McShane who, along with his AAU teammates, are preparing for a national tournament in Clarksville, Tennessee in the coming weeks. “I’m going make good grades go to college and help my family someday.”

Talk about heeding the notable advice and wisdom from a family and host of well wishes who frequently hasten to his games and form what appears to be his own cheering section, of sorts.

In essence, because of the considerable progress this young, stellar student athlete has manufactured in recent years, it’s safe to assume that as his loving, supportive family goes, so goes McShane, Jr.

Never mind that his parents have never played competitive basketball.

HOOP DREAMS --- “He eats, breaths and sleeps basketball…just ask anybody that knows him,” Patterson said of her son. “He has been blessed to come across coaches that have believed in him from the beginning. One of his coaches in particular has been like a father figure to him for several years. “He has grown a bond with his teammates that will last a lifetime."

HOOP DREAMS“He eats, breaths and sleeps basketball…just ask anybody that knows him,” Patterson said of her son. “He has been blessed to come across coaches that have believed in him from the beginning. One of his coaches in particular has been like a father figure to him for several years.
“He has grown a bond with his teammates that will last a lifetime.”

“He eats, breaths and sleeps basketball…just ask anybody that knows him,” Patterson said of her son. “He has been blessed to come across coaches that have believed in him from the beginning. One of his coaches in particular has been like a father figure to him for several years.

“He has grown a bond with his teammates that will last a lifetime,” Patterson continued. “One life lesson that I always

preach to him is, ‘The only person that can hold you back is yourself,’ and my favorite is (motto) is, ‘Never

forget where your talents come from, because without God, it wouldn’t be possible.’ The sky is the limit for him, because I believe if he stays humble, keeps a positive attitude on and off the court, continues to work hard in school, and strive to keep learning his craft, nothing or nobody can limit him.”

No one knows that better than mom, the woman who’s responsible for handing out his first assist when she handed him his first basketball some 10 years ago.



MrJohnsonEDITOR’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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

Shaw (Miss.) High basketball star Anthony Davis, Jr. following in footsteps of his father

DALLAS — Anthony Davis, Jr. is a bad man.

Bad as in good, mind you.

bbbbbNot only is Davis a rising senior and the catalyst for a Shaw (Mississippi) High School basketball team that’s coached by his father, Anthony Davis, Sr., but given his well-publicized track record on the amateur hoops circuit in recent years, it’s safe to assume this athletically-gifted prodigy figures to be suiting up in a major college basketball uniform in a little less than two years.

For starters, Anthony Davis — widely known as “Little Tony” amongst family and friends — has become a fixture at Cleveland Cavaliers veteran swingman Mo Williams Academy that’s based in Dallas-Fort Worth area, where he is taught everything from aim to balance athletics and personal development, development as it pertains to the ability to set realistic but challenging individual goals, development as it relates to self-discipline and a commitment to personal success, not to mention a development with regards to respect and appreciation for others and the game as well as his ability to exhibit good sportsmanship.

JUST SHOWING OFF --- In leading Shaw to a 20-9 record this past season, Shaw High basketball star Anthony Davis, Jr. was as good as advertised, having averaged a team-best 14.1 points while appearing in 28 of the Hawks’ 29 games (according to Maxpreps.com). Add to the fact that this 5-foot-9 swingman helped propel his father’s team on an impressive postseason run, coupled with the efficient work he’s put in this offseason, and it’s no wonder that in all likelihood, scouts will surely come calling sooner than he thinks.

JUST SHOWING OFFIn leading Shaw to a 20-9 record this past season, Shaw High basketball star Anthony Davis, Jr. was as good as advertised, having averaged a team-best 12.7 points while appearing in 28 of the Hawks’ 29 games (according to Maxpreps.com).
Add to the fact that this 5-foot-9 swingman helped propel his father’s team on an impressive postseason run, coupled with the efficient work he’s put in this offseason, and it’s no wonder that in all likelihood, scouts will surely come calling sooner than he thinks.

“I’m an outstanding person, always willing to put in overtime work in my craft,” Anthony Davis, Jr. told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Tuesday. “I’m a hard worker and a great leader on the team.”

Fortunately for the 17-year-old guard, his overall body of work on the hardwood in the Magnolia State hasn’t gone unnoticed, not by a long shot.

That’s because Little Tony is currently amongst 150 prep players who are showcasing their skills and mechanics in the Second Annual ScoutsFocus All-American Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A three-day that ran from June 13-15, Little Tony was amongst 5-10 players invited from each showcase location.

Among ScoutsFocus’ notable alums is former University of Kansas and current Minnesota Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins.

Generally, because Little Tony has enjoyed a wealth of success with a full season left of major high school ball, many recruiting analysts believe he will only add to his already favorable stock.

In leading Shaw to a 20-9 record this past season, Little Tony was as good as advertised, having averaged a team-best 12.7 points while appearing in 28 of the Hawks’ 29 games (according to Maxpreps.com).

ddddAdd to the fact that this 5-foot-9 swingman helped propel his father’s team on an impressive postseason run, coupled with the efficient work he’s put in this offseason, and it’s no wonder that in all likelihood, scouts will surely come calling sooner than he thinks.

That, after all, will surface as a good problem, of sorts, for a kid who’s clinging to massive dreams of playing on college basketball’s grandest stage.

“I’ve been training every day at MWA (in Dallas) and conditioning every morning,” Little Tony said. “Whatever college gets me will be inheriting a great listener, team leader and hard worker. It’s a dream that I need to accomplish to get to the next level of play that I will push forward to play on, which is the NBA.”

As his old man tells it, anything’s possible for his giftedly-talented son, who has been nothing short impressive during his tenure at Shaw as well as the AAU circuit.

FAMILY FOCUS --- “I think the sky is the limit for him because of his work ethic,” Anthony Davis, Sr. said. “He wants to be better than his dad. I think that's what drives him. I always push him to better than me.”

FAMILY FOCUS“I think the sky is the limit for him because of his work ethic,” Anthony Davis, Sr. said. “He wants to be better than his dad. I think that’s what drives him. I always push him to better than me.”

“We’ll, I don’t watch him from the bleachers,” Anthony Davis, Sr., a McDonald’s All-American nominee in 1994 and an All SWAC player at the Mississippi Valley State University, said in critiquing his son’s overall progress. “I watch him from the sideline because I’m his coach. He has grown to be a really good basketball and baseball player.”

All of which practically sums up why this hoops prodigy will undoubtedly be heard loud and clear amongst scouts and recruiters in the foreseeable future.

So stay tuned.

In case you haven’t heard, Little Tony is about to do some big things.

“I think the sky is the limit for him because of his work ethic,” Anthony Davis, Sr. said. “He wants to be better than his dad. I think that’s what drives him. I always push him to better than me.”

Again…

Stay tuned.

In case you haven’t heard, Little Tony is about to do some big things.

How many times we’ve got to say it?



MrJohnsonEDITOR’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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

Mid-South-area prep basketball standout Quintiyus Causey making noise in Mississippi and Texas

For a 16-year-old rising junior basketball player who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his immense skills on display at the collegiate level, Cleveland (Mississippi) High’s Quintiyus Causey seems to already know how to handle the sometimes tough and challenging media.

Take, for instance, how Causey eloquently responded Monday afternoon when asked what it is he’d like for college scouts and recruiters to know about him.

aaaaTo his credit, he didn’t hold back, nor did he waver or dodge around with his answers.

Rather, he was forthright and to the point.

“(I’m a player) who is laid back, willing to learn, very coachable, able to take constructive criticism, ready to work, and give my all on and off the basketball court,” Causey told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson.

STOCK RISING --- In helping the upstart Cleveland High to a 14-14 finish despite a 2-7 showing in Mississippi Region 3-4A play, Quintiyus Causey, a 5-foot-9 swingman, held his own, thus made a solid case that his favorable performance this past season essentially is a sign of things to come in what figures to be a crucial senior campaign.

STOCK RISING — In helping the upstart Cleveland High to a 14-14 finish despite a 2-7 showing in Mississippi Region 3-4A play, Quintiyus Causey, a 5-foot-9 swingman, held his own, thus made a solid case that his favorable performance this past season essentially is a sign of things to come in what figures to be a crucial senior campaign.

To get a thorough concept of why Causey appears to harbor a wealth of poise and resolve at such a pivotal stage in his young basketball career, look no further than his stellar effort this past season for Cleveland.

Much to the delight of Cleveland coach James Strong’s Wildcats, Causey was nothing short of remarkable for a team that managed to manufacture the .500 mark by season’s end.

In helping the upstart Wildcats to a 14-14 finish despite a 2-7 showing in Mississippi Region 3-4A play, Causey, a 5-foot-9 swingman, held his own, thus made a solid case that his favorable performance this past season essentially is a sign of things to come in what figures to be a crucial junior campaign.

In emerging as one of the team’s marquee players, Causey appeared in each of Cleveland’s 28 games and averaged 14.1 points, second only to Ellis Townsend II’s 15.1 points per contest.

According to Maxpreps.com, Causey was one of four Cleveland players to see action in all 28 games, a trend that, according to his mother, Colleen Watson, provided her son with an array of confidence in the process.

“When I’m in the stands watching my son play, it brings joy to my heart,” Watson said. “I’m yelling and screaming throughout the games for the team as well as my son. I just continue to thank God daily for continuing his interest for basketball.”

By and large, his apparent continuous rise as an efficient basketball player has gone virtually unnoticed, considering Causey has been afforded the luxury of playing at the always competitive AAU ranks in another state.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACT --- By and large, his apparent continuous rise as an efficient basketball player has gone virtually unnoticed, considering Causey has been afforded the luxury of playing at the always competitive AAU ranks in another state. Causey currently is a member of the Fort Worth, Texas-based Beastmode AAU team and, fortunately for him, it seems he’s only increasing his stock with regards to drawing the attention of college scouts and recruiters.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACTBy and large, his apparent continuous rise as an efficient basketball player has gone virtually unnoticed, considering Causey has been afforded the luxury of playing at the always competitive AAU ranks in another state.
Causey currently is a member of the Fort Worth, Texas-based Beastmode AAU team and, fortunately for him, it seems he’s only increasing his stock with regards to drawing the attention of college scouts and recruiters.

Causey currently is a member of the Fort Worth, Texas-based Beastmode AAU team coached by Adarrial Coleman and, fortunately for him, it seems he’s only increasing his stock with regards to drawing the attention of college scouts and recruiters, considering all this does is win.

So much so that his AAU squad has collected an assortment of championship hardware.

Oh…and let’s not forget Causey’s keen ability to handle the media.

Need more proof?

Just listen to him.

aaassssss“Preparing for my senior year, I know I have to go out with a bang, so I would say (in order to progress) spending countless hours in the gym and in the weight room,” Causey said. “College basketball is very intense. Everything you do is done with a purpose. The things you work on in practice are not just to go through the motion, but you do those things to get something out of it. I’ve always been the type of player that if the game is not taken seriously, I don’t want to play and in college basketball, nothing is for fun and I want to be in an environment where I can play against guys who are said to be some of that nation’s best and let my game introduce me.”

Displaying her signature smile and customary support of Causey, Watson relishes the fact that her son has greatly handled the major high school/AAU basketball maturation processes with ease.

MOM KNOWS BEST ---"The sky is the limit for my son because he's dedicated, hardworking, very athletic, a team player and always willing to help and learn new things as it relates to everything, especially basketball,” Colleen Watson said.

MOM KNOWS BEST“The sky is the limit for my son because he’s dedicated, hardworking, very athletic, a team player and always willing to help and learn new things as it relates to everything, especially basketball,” Colleen Watson said.

She doesn’t expect him to let up anytime soon.

Look out Mississippi and Texas.

Chances are hoops-crazed fans haven’t heard the last of this athletically-talent kid whose best and brightest days are well ahead of him.

“The sky is the limit for my son because he’s dedicated, hardworking, very athletic, a team player and always willing to help and learn new things as it relates to everything, especially basketball,” Watson said.

Credit this basketball mom for always dishing out the biggest assist to an athletically-gifted kid who’s making a strong case that he’s destined to play at the collegiate level.



MrJohnsonEDITOR’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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

Memphian Brenda Swift is swiftly becoming a rising success as ‘The Water Lady’ for Xooma Worldwide

MAKING SWIFT MOVES --- Having been dubbed an “A Type personality,” Memphian Brenda Swift acknowledges that she never shied away from placing her total trust in God, a life-enhancing trend, a pivotal, gut-checking lifestyle, of sorts, that greatly fueled her desire to start a business venture. To her credit, it is a business concept whereby many from all walks of life can benefit. Swift, 51, is a national manager for Xooma Worldwide, a global company that has mightily afforded her with the keen ability to create her own company.

MAKING SWIFT MOVESHaving been dubbed an “A Type personality,” Memphian Brenda Swift acknowledges that she never shied away from placing her total trust in God, a life-enhancing trend, a pivotal, gut-checking lifestyle, of sorts, that greatly fueled her desire to start a business venture. To her credit, it is a business concept whereby many from all walks of life can benefit.
Swift, 51, is a national manager for Xooma Worldwide, a global company that has mightily afforded her with the keen ability to create her own company.

Brenda Swift is a proud alumna of Fairley High School in Memphis’ historic Whitehaven district.

After graduating from high school, where amongst her grandest achievements were being named a beauty queen as well as a thriving dancer while simultaneously starring on the tennis squad, being a member of the choir and various other clubs — mostly notably the Debutante — Swift took her immense talents to nearby Tennessee State University in Nashville.

While in college, she was nothing short of impressive, nothing short of successful it seemed, considering she ultimately became a lifetime member of the flagship Greek organization, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

During her illustrious journey to possessing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications/Speech And Theatre, amongst Swift’s notable accolades were having won an array of public speaking awards, all while making her presence felt in a number of stage plays.

Yes, life, as she knew it, was memorable and enjoyable to say the least.

But just as she once found herself living and basking in the glow on the larger side of God, Swift had to endure and see and consult her Creator amid life’s most challenging of obstacles.

SWIFT SUCCESS STORY --- A devout Christian and dedicated mother, Swift admittedly has been victimized by Multiple Sclerosis, a diagnosis that spans for more than a decade. A little more than 13 years to be technical. “The disease tried to rob me of my life,” Swift told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I was bedridden, couldn't stand without shaking nor walk.”

A SWIFT SUCCESS STORYA devout Christian and dedicated mother, Swift admittedly has been victimized by Multiple Sclerosis, a diagnosis that spans for more than a decade.
A little more than 13 years to be technical.
“The disease tried to rob me of my life,” Swift told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I was bedridden, couldn’t stand without shaking nor walk.”

A devout Christian and dedicated mother, Swift admittedly has been victimized by Multiple Sclerosis, a diagnosis that spans for more than a decade.

A little more than 13 years to be technical.

“The disease tried to rob me of my life,” Swift told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I was bedridden, couldn’t stand without shaking nor walk.”

Still, in spite of the slew of physical challenges that essentially surfaced to test and try her faith, Swift, to her credit, clung to unwavering faith.

So much, in fact, that with God, her Helper leading the way, she managed to persevere and eventually defied the odds of a disease she sensed would alter her life for all the wrong reasons.

But God…

Having been dubbed an “A Type personality,” Swift acknowledges that she never shied away from placing her total trust in God, a life-enhancing trend, a pivotal, gut-checking lifestyle, of sorts, that greatly fueled her desire to start a business venture.

ALAOJSSTo her credit, it is a business concept whereby many from all walks of life can benefit.

Swift, 51, is a national manager for Xooma Worldwide, a global company that has mightily afforded her with the keen ability to create her own company.

In addition, she is owner of Swift Health And Wellness Distribution.

FOLLOW BRENDA SWIFT’S BUSINESS ONLINE: http://swiftshealthandwellnessdistribution.com/.

LALLALKSLSAs Swift, widely known as “The Water Lady,” is swift to say, her newfound business has undoubtedly changed the overall landscape of her life.

“The Xooma products have changed my life,” Swift said. “I have been given a second chance as a disabled individual to continue to be a viable asset to my community.”

While she says that “no one” inspired her to start my company, Swift was quick to point out that she’s mostly appreciative of her husband, Kevin Clay, and her mother who, even after having gift birth to her a teenager in the 1960s, she had has a monumental impact on her life.

MORE ON BRENDA SWIFT: https://youtu.be/Ki8AgV0w4YM.

How else to explain why’s she managed to tackle and conquer her battle with Multiple Sclerosis?

ALLOSKS“I guess the disease did (challenge me) and it’s all the positive influences I’ve had in my life along the way,” said Swift, who’s also a longtime ordained minister. “Starting with my mother, who was a teenage mother in the 60s who decided to keep and raise her baby, I thank God for her and for my stepfather. It is their wisdom and examples of hard work and the belief and wisdom of a strong praying grandmother that were my examples. I was also blessed with guidance counselors and teachers that were a positive influence in my life.”

As a result to her life-changing and life-impacting influences, Swift — even a flourishing business owner — deems it necessary to pass along her wealth of knowledge to others.

Especially through her fledging business venture.

“I would encourage everyone from any early age to invest in their health,” Swift said. “It’s your life and you are responsible for it. “God gave us a mind. We have to use it.”

Spoken like the true, big-hearted fighter for which she is widely known.



MrJohnsonEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, 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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

MID-SOUTH RECRUITING: Cedric Rowzee’s best football days are ahead of him for Chicago’s Wheaton-Warrenville South

qqqqqqqqqTo his credit, Cedric Rowzee enjoyed a freshman campaign in which he was afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display for Chicago’s Wheaton Warrenville South High’s track and field squad.

Now in what has been an already busy offseason, Rowzee is clinging to lofty expectations of doing the necessary things that will enable him to assume more reps for Tigers coach Ron Muhitch’s varsity football roster.

A slim, but speedy 5-foot-9, 135-pound athlete, Rowzee starred mostly on Wheaton Warrenville’s junior varsity squad, but managed to witness limited action on varsity.

PUTTING IN WORK --- To his credit, Cedric Rowzee enjoyed a freshman campaign in which he was afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display for Chicago’s Wheaton Warrenville South High’s track and field squad. Now in what has been an already busy offseason, Rowzee is clinging to lofty expectations of doing the necessary things that will enable him to assume more reps for Tigers coach Ron Muhitch’s varsity football roster.

PUTTING IN WORKTo his credit, Cedric Rowzee enjoyed a freshman campaign in which he was afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display for Chicago’s Wheaton Warrenville South High’s track and field squad. Now in what has been an already busy offseason, Rowzee is clinging to lofty expectations of doing the necessary things that will enable him to assume more reps for Tigers coach Ron Muhitch’s varsity football roster.

That alone, in his estimation, was enough to fuel his desire to partake in what has been an efficient, productive offseason for the two-way athlete, in large part because he’s convinced his best and brightest days as a rising prep athlete are well ahead of him.

“It was a great way to start my career off as a freshman being on the football team and varsity track team,” Rowzee, in assessing his freshman season, told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview.

As far as Rowee and his mother, Tinisha Akers-Hood, are concerned, that Rowee played sparingly on varsity essentially is a precursor to what Muhitch and his staff can expect in the coming seasons.

While Rowsee has yet to garner any attention from college scouts and recruiters, he’s adamant that will all change as he continues to broaden his mechanics, particularly on the gridiron.

“I haven’t gotten any letters from any colleges, but I will be attending a few college camps (over the summer),” Rowzee said.

RUN ROWZEE RUN: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/5589514/cedric-rowzee.

As he awaits with great expectancy some form or feedback from colleges, Rowzee hinted that it’s not too early to audition, thus make a favorable case that he’s equipped to play at the collegiate level.

“I’m coachable and I’m very competitive,” Rowzee said. I lifted (weights) three days a week. My biggest strength is speed and my reaction time. My weakness would be my size.”

As he look ahead to attending a few football camps in the coming weeks, Rowzee acknowledged that he’s remaining hopeful that those who monitor his skills won’t make much of issue of his size.

MOM KNOWS BEST --- As far as Rowee and his mother, Tinisha Akers-Hood, are concerned, that Rowee played sparingly on varsity essentially is a precursor to what Muhitch and his staff can expect in the coming seasons.

MOM KNOWS BEST — As far as Rowee and his mother, Tinisha Akers-Hood, are concerned, that Rowee played sparingly on varsity essentially is a precursor to what Muhitch and his staff can expect in the coming seasons.

“God did it,” said Akers-Hood, when asked what her overall reaction to her son’s rise as a multi-sport athlete. “I’m a single mom and I love sports Both his father and I were track stars.

As it pertains to continuing to exemplify athletic success, Akers-Hood said that health and hitting the books are key.

“(I pray) God protects him so he doesn’t get hurt,” said Akers-Hood, “and I’m praying he scores (well on college entrance exams).”

In echoing virtually everyone else who have witnessed her progress and thrive as a young athlete, Akers-Hood obviously shares the same favorable assessment.

“Cedric is supernaturally talented,” she said.  “He wouldn’t have (all this talent) without Christ, Who strengths him.”

Not to mention these assortment of golden opportunities to put his skills on display for Chicago’s Wheaton Warrenville South High’s track and field squad.



MrJohnsonEDITOR’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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.

Is rising playwright and progressive actress Renii Charleston Memphis’ best kept secret?

BUT GOD --- To Renii Charleston's recollection, she was once a self-proclaimed procrastinator, particularly with regards to achieving goals and maximizing her potential. BUT GOD

To Renii Charleston’s recollection, she was once a self-proclaimed procrastinator, particularly with regards to achieving goals and maximizing her potential.

Surely, we all have our share of life-changing issues, these seemingly distracting stumbling blocks we seldom encounter that could greatly disrupt or delay the purpose for which God created us.

Renii Charleston, of all people, can greatly attest to this notion.

In fact, to her recollection, Charleston was once a self-proclaimed procrastinator, particularly with regards to achieving goals and maximizing her potential.

Then one day, just like that, her proverbial light bulb moment flashed right before her very eyes.

In a nutshell, Charleston began writing.

And writing some more.

And writing some more.

STAR WATCH --- Today, to her credit and unlike never before, Charleston is a rising Memphis-based playwright, producer, and actress. Given the immense strides she’s made in recent years, it’s safe to assume that her best and brightest days in this ever-so-evolving industry are well ahead of her.

STAR WATCHToday, to her credit and unlike never before, Charleston is a rising Memphis-based playwright, producer, and actress.
Given the immense strides she’s made in recent years, it’s safe to assume that her best and brightest days in this ever-so-evolving industry are well ahead of her. Photo by Darren Catron

So much so that this 44-year-old native of Chicago ultimately began to witness her craft, let alone her dreams become a reality.

Today, to her credit and unlike never before, Charleston is a rising Memphis-based owner  playwright, producer, actress and, most notably, owner and chief executive officer of DREAMTYME Productions.

Given the immense strides she’s made in recent years, it’s safe to assume that her best and brightest days in this ever-so-evolving industry are well ahead of her.

By and large, she has no one but her Creator to thank, no one to whom to pay homage moreso than God, Who thought enough of her to order her steps, thus strategically steer her in the right direction.

RENII SPEAKS --- “Over the years I have watched several playwrights such as David Talbert and Tyler Perry to name a few who have inspired me to divorce procrastination and to write this play and start writing those books, etc."

RENII SPEAKS“Over the years I have watched several playwrights such as David Talbert and Tyler Perry to name a few who have inspired me to divorce procrastination and to write this play and start writing those books, etc.” Photo by Darren Catron

“Over the years I have watched several playwrights such as David Talbert and Tyler Perry to name a few who have inspired me to divorce procrastination and to write this play and start writing those books, etc.,” Charleston told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview.

The play to which Charleston is alluding is her much-anticipated stage project called, “Dare to Dream,” a well-orchestrated and eloquently-written and designed play that was assembled largely to give hope, empower, and to spread the underlying message that “dreams do come true,” as Charleston is swift to point out.

FOLLOW RENII’S DREAMTYME PRODUCTION ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/dreamtymeproductions/info/?tab=page_info.

Moreover, Charleston said, this premiere event — which will take place July 23-24 at 5 p.m. daily at Fairley High’s Performing Arts Center — will challenge individuals socially and culturally, thus inspire people from various walks of life to dream “outside of the box.”

qqqqaaaaaA catalyst for positive, “Dare to Dream” possesses the power to alter decisions, ignite growth, and ultimately change lives, according to a spokesperson for the hit play.

“We are looking for individuals, businesses, and organizations to help us make this event truly special for our community,” said Charleston, who’s widely known also as a hairstylist, mentee coordinator, and dance instructor. “(A variety of) media coverage, sponsorships, and/or contributions will help us to put on this production on a major platform. It will also afford you the opportunity to target potential individuals that may not be captured in your current communities, church services, or promotional campaigns.”

More than anything, Charleston acknowledged, her stage play could very well have a monumental impact on the community, especially throughout a Memphis-metropolitan area that has been plagued by crime this year.

“It will also spotlight your community involvement and provide you with strong visibility in the communities of your potential audiences, which can mean additional support and possible membership,” Charleston said. “It is our goal to make our association with (our audience) a positive one, in promoting their participation and publicly expressing our appreciation.”

A mother of one biological child and a foster mother to her nephew, Charleston’s reputation is such that she’s always been devoted to ensuring that her craft as a playwright would ultimately come full circle.
FOLLOW RENII CHARLESTON: www.reniicharleston.com.

akalslGiven her continuous success of late, there’s no doubt she appears well on her way of savoring even more success as an actress.

“The importance of investing in people is a model that even our national leaders can’t deny,” Charleston, whose acting resume includes having appeared in two movies, said. “Because someone invested in me, I’ve had the honor of working with prestigious writers, producers, and directors in Memphis.”

received_10154250187824313In essence, nonetheless, she will be the first to tell you that her overall objective in her increasingly successful career is mightily enable others to maximize their potential, thus making their dreams a reality.

Talk about being committed to giving back and remembering where she came from.

”My biggest expectation is to give hope, empower, encourage, and change lives, causing individuals to launch out into the depths of the unknown and make their dreams come true,” Charleston said.

After all, she, of all people, can greatly attest to this notion.



MrJohnsonEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, 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 a senior writer for MemphiSport. 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.