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.

 

Memphis Dream Chasers Elite Basketball showing that championship pedigree

CHASING GREATNESS --- Last weekend, Brandon Johnson’s Dream Chasers Elite Basketball Organization coasted to a championship win in the Blueprint Summer Jam Tournament then followed that up with the Legends Game AAU crown, proving once that this assortment of talent players will be forces to reckon with for some.

CHASING GREATNESSLast weekend, Brandon Johnson’s Dream Chasers Elite Basketball Organization coasted to a championship win in the Blueprint Summer Jam Tournament then followed that up with the Legends Game AAU crown, proving once that this assortment of talented players will be forces to reckon with for some.

Brandon Johnson’s Dream Chasers Elite Basketball Organization 12-and-under AAU team is doing more than making its dreams come to fruition.

His troops appear to be racking up on championship hardware in the process.

“Our team has competed at high levels throughout the season,” Johnson told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Tuesday.

Much to the delight of the Dream Chasers’ faithful, this team formerly known as the Memphis Tigers undoubtedly has been nothing short of remarkable of late.

Last weekend, for instance, Johnson’s squad coasted to a championship win in the Blueprint Summer Jam Tournament then followed that up with the Legends Game AAU crown, proving once that this assortment of talented players will be forces to reckon with for some.

PLAYERS' COACH --- Johnson’s presence on the sideline, coupled with big-brother-like approach and compassion that includes getting the most out of his players is something by which this program’s strongest supporters don’t take lightly. “Coach Brandon Johnson dedicates his time to coaching the class of 2022 for the Dream Chasers,” said Dream Chasers longtime supporter Andrea Dandridge. “He also develops student athletes across the city through his Operation Skills Training Academy.”

PLAYERS’ COACHJohnson’s presence on the sideline, coupled with big-brother-like approach and compassion that includes getting the most out of his players is something by which this program’s strongest supporters don’t take lightly.
“Coach Brandon Johnson dedicates his time to coaching the class of 2022 for the Dream Chasers,” said Dream Chasers longtime supporter Andrea Dandridge. “He also develops student athletes across the city through his Operation Skills Training Academy.”

By and large, that the bulk of the Dream Chasers have been a close-knit bunch since the third grade, it would be hard pressed see Johnson and his staff breaking up this bunch, much less witnessing players scatter to other AAU programs.

Sorry, ain’t gone happen.

Just recently, the Dream Chasers claimed the Southeastern AAU state championship for a second consecutive year.

“The bond and the chemistry that this team has are unreal,” Johnson said. “It is more than I could ever imagine as a coach. It’s amazing to see 12 boys that consider themselves family. Their closeness is reflected on the court. Each of them is their brother’s keeper.”

And Johnson’s presence on the sideline, coupled with big-brother-like approach and compassion that includes getting the most out of his players is something by which this program’s strongest supporters don’t take lightly.

eeee“Coach Brandon Johnson dedicates his time to coaching the class of 2022 for the Dream Chasers,” said Dream Chasers longtime supporter Andrea Dandridge. “He also develops student athletes across the city through his Operation Skills Training Academy.”

And, come this weekend in Memphis, Johnson will be clinging to lofty expectations that will include, among other things, his team proving yet again to be as good as advertised.

The Dream Chasers will be amongst over 100 teams throughout the region that will compete in this weekend’s Down By The Riverside Youth Basketball Tournament.

The event will take place June 10-12 and games will be played at Memphis University School, Lausanne Collegiate School, Highland Oaks, Lawrence School, Southwind High, and Emmanuel Methodist Church, according to spokesperson for the tournament.

DREAM CHASERS CURRENT ROSTER

Landen Armstrong, Center Hill

Cartier “Turtle” Beverly, Bellevue

Craig Cunningham, Christ the King

Bryce DaileyFreeman

Philip Dotson, Arlington

Harold “HD3” Draper III, Freeman

Melvin Jackson, Schilling Farms

Armani McFadgon, Snowden

Darren Sharp, Houston

Zach Smith, Colonial

Eric Steward, Freeman

Dedrick Stone, Power Center

As usual, Johnson reiterated that he expects his players to demonstrate the same kind of poise and assertiveness that have given way to unyielding success as a unit and, most importantly, to fortify a countenance that suggests his troops will be destined to leave it all out on the floor.

“I expect for my boys to play aggressive defense and confidently execute the game plan,” Johnson said. “My expectation is that they will play together and be unselfish. But most of all, to have fun with (their) brothers.

wwww“We are extremely blessed as an organization,” Johnson continued. “God saw fit to put us together and sustain us through adversity. We will always keep God first and give Him glory for all He has done for us.”

As Johnson was swift to acknowledge on Wednesday, he’s convinced that God has more in store for his team, which has been dubbed one of the finest in the nation in recent years.

Stay tuned.

Chances are, hoops-crazed fans around the country haven’t seen the last of these players.

“I enjoy watching these players grow and develop,” Johnson said. “I envision that each of them will someday receive a quality college education while playing D1 ball. My goal is to help each of them get there.”

Let alone, to enable them to continue chasing dreams in the process.



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.

 

Washington, D.C. area realtor Aaron Person making much noise in real estate industry

Just recently, longtime Washington, D.C. area realtor Aaron Person was asked why is it important to esteem others daily highly than himself, a notable suggestion by which the Apostle Paul once offered to the church at Philippi.

As usual, Person was rather forthright and straight to the point.

fff“Purchasing a home for most people is the biggest investment they’ll make in life,” Person told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “It’s imperative that people understand the financial power that can be gained from being a home owner.  There are far more advantages to owning opposed to renting.  It’s extremely important to ensure that people understand those advantages.  Then, when ready, help them find a house to call home.”

To his credit, Person’s reputation is such that his keen professionalism as a realtor has been nothing short of impressive since he embarked upon this ever-so-competitive real estate industry in March 2004.

MAN OF COMPASSION --- Purchasing a home for most people is the biggest investment they’ll make in life,” Person told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “It’s imperative that people understand the financial power that can be gained from being a home owner."

MAN OF COMPASSION“Purchasing a home for most people is the biggest investment they’ll make in life,” Aaron Person told News Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “It’s imperative that people understand the financial power that can be gained from being a home owner.”

An Upper Marlboro, Maryland native and an alumnus of North Carolina Central University, Person is widely known as a licensed Realtor® in Washington, D.C. and greater Maryland areas, most notably as a fixture with EXiT Bennett Realty.

Having adopted the trade name, “The House Person,” Person would be the first to admit that arguably his grandest feeling in his profession is when homebuyers reach the much-anticipated closing stage of what can otherwise be a stressful, yet sometimes discouraging process.

“I love handing a first time home buyer the keys to their house,” Person said. “I feel honored to play a small role in the acquisition of the largest financial investment most people make in their lifetime.  It’s definitely a life-changing moment for people, and I’m fortunate enough to have a front row seat.”

In addition to Person’s compassion for his clients, amongst his key objectives as a veteran realtor is ensuring that others along with homebuyers benefit in some shape or form.

In a nutshell, it’s safe to assume that when home seekers entrust Person to help them garner favorable results during their home-buying process, others affiliated with the upcoming transition will greatly reap the celebratory benefits in some aspect.

Talk about demonstrating a heart for people.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER --- Speaking of classrooms, aside from enabling homebuyers to fulfill their long-awaited dreams of making the lofty transition to their home, Person is now devising ways to better educate home seekers and potential homebuyers through informative, life-enhancing seminars.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWERSpeaking of classrooms, aside from enabling homebuyers to fulfill their long-awaited dreams of making the lofty transition to their home, Person is now devising ways to better educate home seekers and potential homebuyers through informative, life-enhancing seminars.

That’s “The House Person” for you.

“I used to say that I help people buy and sell houses, which is true on the surface,” Person explained. “What I really do is foster economic development on the city, county, state, country and global levels. Every time someone buys or sells a house, that transaction helps to employ everyone associated with any part of a house. That includes the manufacturer of all items in the house, to the people who transport these items, to the people who actually installed them in the house.”

As for those who have greatly fueled his desire to maximize his potential, thus live daily on the larger side of God as we are reminded according to Philippians 4:13, Person acknowledges that renowned life coaches Les Brown and Eric Thomas essentially top his life.

HOMETOWN HERO --- An Upper Marlboro, Maryland native and an alumnus of North Carolina Central University, Person is widely known as a licensed Realtor® in Washington, D.C. and greater Maryland area, most notably as a fixture with EXiT Bennett Realty.

HOMETOWN HEROAn Upper Marlboro, Maryland native and an alumnus of North Carolina Central University, Person is widely known as a licensed Realtor® in Washington, D.C. and greater Maryland area, most notably as a fixture with EXiT Bennett Realty.

“The inspiration for the public speaking side of things would be Les Brown and Eric Thomas,” Person said. “Both offer some great motivational content” As far as the teaching side of things, it’s because my 8 ½ year working in PG County classrooms.”

Speaking of classrooms, aside from enabling homebuyers to fulfill their long-awaited dreams of making the lofty transition to their home, Person is now devising ways to better educate home seekers and potential homebuyers through informative, life-enhancing seminars.

“I expect to continue providing great content during the Home Buying Seminar I host.  I also expect everyone who attends a Seminar to receive enough information that they feel comfortable enough with the home buying process that they’re ready to engage in that process.”

To his credit, hosting seminars isn’t new to Person, who first began such a trend approximately two years after he made his professional real estate debut.

“I’ve taught the working with a Realtor® portion of a Home Buying Seminar for various non-profit organizations in the DC/Metro area since 2006,” Person said. “I started hosting my own events in September 2015.”

Looking ahead, don’t expect Person to slow down anytime soon, particularly as it relates to his well-publicized career as a flourishing realtor.

By and large, given the success he’s enjoyed in recent years, coupled with his wealth of knowledge in this industry, it’s safe to say that his best and brightest days undoubtedly are well ahead of him.

qqqaaaaa“In addition to the Home Buyer Seminar I host, there is a follow up session available that goes deeper into the financials of how to prequalify for a mortgage, curing credit & writing a winning offer,” said Person, sounding just as confident about his craft as ever before. “Upon departure, attendees are pre-approved or at least know what specifically they need to do in order to get pre-approved.  But to me, the best is that my team and I provide educators who utilize our services during the home buying process a discount of over $2,000 towards the cost to purchase.”

As usual, Person was rather forthright and straight to the point.

That’s “The House Person” for you.



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.

Memphian Damian Griffin goes from high school dropout to a rising gospel rap artist

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)

 

daJust after midday on Wednesday, Damian Griffin found himself meditating briefly on what undoubtedly is his favorable Biblical passage.

For Griffin, while such a scripture is amongst the most recited and familiar in the Body Christ, for him, it is one that has greatly shaped the overall landscape of his young life.

“It always reminds me that in all things, it is working out for my good,” Griffin told News Reporter Andre Johnson.

Fortunately for Griffin, a 24-year-old native of Memphis, his young life surely has been filled with its share of highs and lows — with the lows, to his recollection, steering him mightily ever so closely to Almighty God.

Looking back, it’s safe to assume that all things have worked out for his good, largely because of his immense talents through music.

TRULY INNOVATIVE --- Looking back, it’s safe to assume that all things have worked out for Damian Griffin's good, largely because of his immense talents through music. After spending years entertaining crowds as an up-and-coming rapper in the secular realm, Griffin miraculously witnessed his musically-inclined endeavors take on a whole new meaning when he ultimately had an unforeseen worship experience with Christ. Boy, did he ever.

TRULY INNOVATIVELooking back, it’s safe to assume that all things have worked out for Damian Griffin’s good, largely because of his immense talents through music.
After spending years entertaining crowds as an up-and-coming rapper in the secular realm, Griffin miraculously witnessed his musically-inclined endeavors take on a whole new meaning when he ultimately had an unforeseen worship experience with Christ.
Boy, did he ever.

After spending years entertaining crowds as an up-and-coming rapper in the secular realm, Griffin miraculously witnessed his musically-inclined endeavors take on a whole new meaning when he ultimately had an unforeseen worship experience with Christ.

Boy, did he ever.

“When I got saved, my way of living changed,” Griffin explained. “I was a secular rap artist before accepting Christ. After I accepted Him, I begin spreading the Gospel through rap music.”

 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”

 

For Griffin, who was raised in the heart of poverty-stricken South Memphis, life as he knew it wasn’t always such that he was living carefree, let alone on cruise control. Having dropped out of school months before he was scheduled to graduate from Memphis Carver High, Griffin subsequently witnessed his life seemingly take a dreaded detour.

An unchartered one at that.

All because he bolted school prematurely.

But God…

“I told my mother I would go and get (my diploma),” Griffin said. “I stayed persistent and I did.”

He eventually made good on his pledge.

Having re-enrolled in school, this time at Memphis’ Messick Adult High, Griffin last weekend earned his much-anticipated diploma, effectively ending the notion that this young black man was destined to become yet another statistic on the dangerous streets of Memphis.

 

“…to them who are the called according to his purpose….”

 

qqqqqAside from having earned his high school diploma days ago, life for Griffin appears headed a favorable direction.

For starters, he doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s become ever so close in his relationship with God.

“I didn’t grow up in church,” Griffin said. “I didn’t have anyone to drag me and my siblings into church. A lot of things I’m not familiar with because of this, but I have grown spiritually since being in church after I got saved.”

So much, in fact, that Griffin’s music talents soared to immense heights when he assembled his album entitled, “Jesus And Grind,” which was officially released on October 11, 2015.

A project that is comprised of seven tracks, amongst Griffin’s notable hits is a remix with Erica Campbell entitled “I Luh God.”

Not “Love,” mind you. But “Luh.”

DEFYING THE ODDS --- Having re-enrolled in school, this time at Memphis’ Messick Adult High, Griffin last weekend earned his much-anticipated diploma, effectively ending the notion that this young black man was destined to become yet another statistic on the dangerous streets of Memphis.

DEFYING THE ODDSHaving re-enrolled in school, this time at Memphis’ Messick Adult High, Griffin last weekend earned his much-anticipated diploma, effectively ending the notion that this young black man was destined to become yet another statistic on the dangerous streets of Memphis.

“It caught the attention of RJ Groove,” said Griffin, alluding to the renowned disk jockey for Memphis’ Hallelujah FM 95.7. “Two months later, I heard it on the radio.”

Griffin said the purpose for his album — which is starting to become known amongst Memphians — is to “uplift and inspire” people from various walks of life, regardless of their age, regardless of their race, creed or color.

JJJ“(I want) to let people know about God’s love by spreading the good news through song and recording,” Griffin said. “This album was inspired by my pastor, Marron Thomas, who often tells us to, ‘Have, Jesus and grind.’”

Much to the delight of Griffin, Thomas, the Senior Pastor of Innovation Church at 3925 Overton Crossing Street in the Frayser area of Memphis, has helped steer him in the right direction spiritually, particularly during a time he needed it the most.

“Pastor Marron is one of my greatest inspirations and a spiritual father to me,” Griffin said.

Not to mention a man who greatly helped him realize that even through his musical gifts, he’s empowered and equipped to reach the masses.

FATHER FIGURE --- Much to the delight of Griffin, Marron Thomas, the Senior Pastor of Innovation Church at 3925 Overton Crossing Street in the Frayser area of Memphis, has helped steer him in the right direction spiritually, particularly during a time he needed it the most.

FATHER FIGUREMuch to the delight of Griffin, Marron Thomas, the Senior Pastor of Innovation Church at 3925 Overton Crossing Street in the Frayser area of Memphis, has helped steer him in the right direction spiritually, particularly during a time he needed it the most.

“My ministry as a recording artist is anointed,” Griffin explained. “The thing I love to do is include a scripture in my songs. I honestly like to prefer them as sermons. Because I don’t see myself as an artist, but as a minister. The booth is my pulpit, and when I’m recording, I’m spreading the word of God. God has blessed me with the ability to actually memorize my rhymes instead of writing them. So when you see me recording, it’s neither pencil nor paper near me…just me, the microphone, and God.”

By and large, as Griffin tells it, there is no certain catch to putting his gospel rapping talents on display.

“I usually pray before recording a song,” he said.

Something by which we all ought to follow suit.



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.

Dallas-area Pastor Dorothy Renee Harris-Curry transforming lives through her book, “Give Me My Panties Back”

sddDALLAS — Earlier this week, there was Renee Harris-Curry, taking the time to recall her upbringing.

From her native hometown of Chicago, where she was raised in an arguably one of the most poverty-stricken, crime-infested communities in the Windy City.

To her days of residing in Sacramento, California, where she and her husband, Leon, had collectively become closer to Almighty God.

To her residing presently in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where, to her credit, it’s safe to assume she’s undoubtedly on the brink of entering yet another commendable phase of her life.

All things considered, to grasp a thorough understanding of why Harris-Curry found herself dwelling on and basking in the glory of just how far from which God has brought her, well…perhaps she can sum it better.

So pay attention.

“My growing up years were bittersweet,” Harris-Curry told News Reporter Andre Johnson during an exclusive interview.” “We lived on the West side of Chicago with my mom, who was a single parent at the time until she get married and we move to the suburbs and from the suburbs we moved to the projects.”

Cabrini-Green is what they called them.

“If anybody knows about Cabrini-Green, you know that that was the toughest project in the city of Chicago,” Harris-Curry explained. “Tough to the point where the mayor, Jane Byrne, had to come and live in the projects to control the violence.   That’s how tough it was living in Cabrini-Green.

dddd“I remember one night, we were coming home from church, and a gang fight erupted,” Harris-Curry continued. They began shooting at the other gang. You can literally hear the bullets flying over your head, but God protected us. He had His angels surrounding us.”

Aside from being raised in one of Chicago’s most rugged communities, Harris admittedly faced an assortment of other obstacles, most notably the peer pressure that comes with being a young, struggling teenager from the inner city.

As usual, she was forthright and direct about her relentless pursuit of seeking a sense of belongingness.

“Growing up, all I wanted was to be loved,” Harris-Curry said. “All I wanted was to be validated, and I was searching for love in all the wrong places. My biological father walked out of my life, and that left a void in my life.”

Consequently, other obstacles led to Harris-Curry being victimized by molestation.

While such disturbing, life-changing occurrences had caused her to become resentful, thus questioning her very existence, because of who she is in God, Harris-Curry’s faith was such that she was determined to never take her eyes off of Jesus, her Present Help in trouble.

“The most defining moment in my life was when I literally had a hell experience,” Harris-Curry explained. “My parents were pastors in the church, and I was the praise and worship leader. I was leading the people (in worship), but I wasn’t living the life and God kept warning me (to live). I didn’t listen to the voice of the Lord until one day He literally dropped me into hell. My boyfriend at that time had just left my home. I was so caught up into him at that time and he was much older than me, and we both knew we were fornicating when my head hit my pillow. That’s when I went to hell and I was in hell screaming and hollering and begging for God to give me another chance.

“And I told the Lord, ‘If you get me out of hell, I will tell every man, woman and boy that hell is real and so is God,'” Harris-Curry continued. “(God) spoke from heaven into hell and said, ‘This is what became your god.’ When I saw what the spirit of fornication looked like, fear gripped me I began to plead with the Lord God, ‘I give you my life.’ That’s when God sent an angel to get me out of hell and, when I came too, I was soak and wet and my hair was stuck to my face.”

From that point on — despite having battled depression and harboring suicidal thoughts — her life undoubtedly was never the same.

“That’s when the transformation began to take place in my life,” Harris-Curry explained. “God began to heal me from the inside out. Once I had a heart transplant, I was able to forgive. Was it easy? No it wasn’t. That’s when the compassion of the Lord took over and love began to flow in those deep wounds, causing healing and forgiveness to come.”

GOD'S CHILD --- All things considered, to grasp a thorough understanding of why Harris-Curry found herself dwelling on and basking in the glory of just how far from which God has brought her, well…perhaps she can sum it better. So pay attention. “My growing up years were bittersweet,” Harry Curry told News Reporter Andre Johnson during an exclusive interview.”

GOD’S CHILDAll things considered, to grasp a thorough understanding of why Harris-Curry found herself dwelling on and basking in the glory of just how far from which God has brought her, well…perhaps she can sum it better.
So pay attention.
“My growing up years were bittersweet,” Harry Curry told News Reporter Andre Johnson during an exclusive interview.”

Still, in spite of her ongoing transgressions, many who witnessed Harris-Curry grow up in the church as a preacher’s kid — or PK — knew that she had a divine calling on her life, one that to this very day appears to have come full circle.

BUY RENEE’S BOOK NOW: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Give-Me-My-Panties-Back-by-Dorothy-Renee-Harris-Curry-/331632027881

A pastor of a DFW-area ministry, Harris-Curry also is a rising author, having composed five books, most notably, “Give Me My P-A-N-T-I-E-S Back!”

Published officially on August 7, 2015, “Give Me My Panties Back” is an uplifting read that depicts Harris-Curry’s spiritual growth and what she describes as a “personal self-discovery.” After various experiences and lesson she learned during her maturation process, she ultimately found herself experiencing painful relationships, but still managed to reconnect with God’s unyielding love. According to a review at Ebay.com, it cited that as Harris-Curry rekindled her connection with God after dealing with a slew of difficult emotions, she shared her life-changing encounters and subsequent deliverance to those who, like her, endured suffering and doubting God.

WOMAN OF WISDOM --- “I wrote ‘GIVE Me My P-A-N-T-I-E-S Back’ to let people know that they are not alone and that there is power in forgiveness,” Harris-Curry explained.

WOMAN OF WISDOM“I wrote ‘GIVE Me My P-A-N-T-I-E-S Back’ to let people know that they are not alone and that there is power in forgiveness,” Harris-Curry explained.

“Her words are encouraging and remind you that God cares and is willing to bear your burden and that you are wonderfully made and loved,” according to one of her readers in a review on Ebay.com. “This is an ideal book for women uncertain of their ability to persevere.”

FOLLOW RENEE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter@PastorRenee45; Instagram Dorothy_Harris_Curry; Facebook: Renee Harris; Email: drcurry.rc@gmail.com 

Harris-Curry’s book also is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

“I wrote ‘GIVE Me My P-A-N-T-I-E-S Back’ to let people know that they are not alone and that there is power in forgiveness,” Harris-Curry explained.

In addition, she said her other books are currently in the publishing phases and that release dates have yet to be determined.

“I’ve written these books to help others because I know that if I went through what I’ve experienced, others have gone through it too,” Harris-Curry said. “And I am providing a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves.”

And to think, the devil thought he had her.

Thanks be to God, Who had other ideas.



 

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.