Memphian Marcellous Boyd Jr. showing athleticism, assertiveness on AAU circuit

Marcell1In case you don’t know who Marcellous Boyd Jr. is, allow his cousin, Tiffany Lowe, to introduce him.

“My little cousin is the truth,” Lowe wrote in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon.

To get a thorough understanding of why Boyd has garnered so much praise in recent years as a rising amateur athlete, look no further than his resume, most notably as a fixture for the Memphis Tigers 4.0 Boys/Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers 11-and-under AAU squad that captured the Southeastern AAU State Championship last week.

To his credit, Boyd, an 11-year-old swingman for the Tigers who began playing competitive basketball approximately three years ago, has done a masterful job in complementing the display of Tiger floor general, Harold Draper III.

Add to the fact that he has proven to play multiple positions, thus provide the Tigers will some much-needed offensive presence, and it’s no wonder his cousin and those who have followed his progress on the hardwood believe he very well could flourish into a household name in this, the hoops-crazed Bluff City.

ONE-TWO PUNCH --- Marcellous Boyd, an 11-year-old swingman for the Tiger who began playing competitive basketball approximately three years ago, has done a masterful job in complementing the display of Tiger floor general, Harold Draper III. (Photos by Christopher Schmidt)

ONE-TWO PUNCH — Marcellous Boyd, an 11-year-old swingman for the Tiger who began playing competitive basketball approximately three years ago, has done a masterful job in complementing the display of Tiger floor general, Harold Draper III. (Photos by Christopher Schmidt)

“Words can’t explain how happy I am now and how happy I will always be to see Marcellous strive for success on and off the court,” Vanessa Holmes, Marcellous’ mother, told MemphiSport on Thursday. “He is exactly what a mom would want her son to be.”

A self-proclaimed “cheerleader from the stands” whenever her son suits up to play, Holmes, a full-time working mom acknowledges that never does she grows tired of preparing for game day to watch her son in action, although his AAU schedule often gives way to array of traveling.

Surely, like hundreds of other basketball moms, Holmes figures to be on hand this extended weekend when the 4.0 Boys/Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers travel to New Orleans to take part in the always popular PrimeTime Super 60 Basketball Tournament.

This three-day event will showcase over 600 premier teams from around the nation, something about which isn’t new to Marcellous, who is accustomed to performing on the big stage.

“It is never tiring,” Holmes said of the seemingly congested checklist that is essential with regards to putting her son in the best possible position to generate exposure as a young athlete. “In fact, if I could add more hours to the day to watch my son I would. I love every second. I am Marcellous’ biggest fan. I live to watch him excel while living and achieving his dreams I am excited because I knew this was a great opportunity to show America what Marcellous has to offer on and off the court.”

A student at Memphis’ Christ the King Lutheran School, Marcellous not only has evolved as a young local hoops standout, but rather he has enjoyed success as a youth football player as a member of the Whitehaven Rams.

 

TWO-WAY ATHLETE --- A student at Memphis’ Christ the King Lutheran School, Marcellous not has evolved as a young local hoops standout, but rather he has enjoyed success as a youth football player as a member a Memphis-area youth league.

TWO-WAY ATHLETE — A student at Memphis’ Christ the King Lutheran School, Marcellous not has evolved as a young local hoops standout, but rather he has enjoyed success as a youth football player as a member a Memphis-area youth league.

Still, as Marcellous, a tall, slim, speedy multisport athlete says with boldness and pure confidence, basketball apparently is what he savors the most, as evidenced by his continuous progress on the local hoops amateur circuit.

“(Basketball) is my life,” Marcellous said. I dream, sleep, and eat basketball. I plan on taking basketball to another level.”

By and large, Marcellous credits his mother and father, Marcellous Boyd, Sr. for his assortment of life lessons they’ve instilled in him.

On and off the court, of course.

“They are the reason why I am who I am,” Marcellous said. “My mom and dad give me more positive advice than anyone can ask for. They always remind me that the sky is the limit and anything is possible if I believe in myself, because no one can take self-confidence. My coaches always tell me it’s not about the beginning it’s about the end results.”

PARENTAL SALUTE --- By and large, Marcellous credits his mother and father, Marcellous Boyd, Sr. for his the assortment of life lessons they’ve instilled in him. On and off the court, of course. “They are the reason why I am who I am,” Marcellous said.

PARENTAL SALUTE — By and large, Marcellous credits his mother and father, Marcellous Boyd, Sr. for his the assortment of life lessons they’ve instilled in him. On and off the court, of course. “They are the reason why I am who I am,” Marcellous said.

In the meantime, while basketball has afforded this young kid an array of opportunities to travel the country and put his skills on display, Marcellous realizes wholeheartedly that if his athletic dreams are to become a reality, he must continue to prioritize.

On and off the court, of course.

“I will stay focused, determined, make good grades, stay humble, be respectful and strive for the best at all times,” Marcellous said.

Sounding as if he knows he’s the truth…as his cousin suggested.

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

DreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Throwback Thursday: Lawler & Dundee return to Mid-South Coliseum

roundhouse revival

When Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee return to the Mid-South Coliseum this Saturday, it’ll be under much different terms than in the past.  Although they have a longtime rivalry, they will set their differences aside to help save a building they both made famous together.

Roundhouse Revival is an all-day event in the parking lot of the Mid-South Coliseum and is free to the public.  Along with music, basketball and food – Lawler & Dundee will face the Coliseum Crushers in the day’s main event.  Longtime referee Jerry Calhoun will be there to officiate the match-up.

We know very little about the Coliseum Crushers.  However, we all know how well Lawler and Dundee can work together as a team.  In case you’ve forgotten, let me take you back to 1987 where the duo captured the AWA World Tag Team Titles.  To make it a little sweeter – the victory came inside the Mid-South Coliseum.

I will be reporting live from the Mid-South Coliseum this Saturday and will have free Memphis Wildfire Wrestling tickets.  Memphis in MAYhem takes place next Thursday night (May 28) at Woodland Hills Event Center in Cordova, TN and features a Street Fight between myself (with Maria) and Bill Dundee.  Also, you will have your chance to win free tickets on Cerrito Live.  Cerrito Live airs on Saturday afternoons from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CT on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM.

For more information on Roundhouse Revival – Click here

For more information on Wild Fire Wrestling’s Memphis in MAYhem – Click here.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Sports media types blaming Stephen Curry’s daughter is deplorable on all levels

COMMENTARY

DALLAS — While covering the 2012 NBA best-of-7 opening-round playoff series between the Los Angeles Clippers versus the Memphis Grizzlies, I noticed that Clippers point Chris Paul on several occasions had brought his son, Chris Paul, Jr., to postgame news conferences.

THE REAL MVP --- Although Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry was named league MVP recently, his two-year-old daughter Riley essentially stole the show during Tuesday night's postgame news conference after the Warriors' 110-106 come-from-behind win against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals best-of-7 series. (Photos by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

THE REAL MVP — Although Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry was named league MVP recently, his two-year-old daughter Riley essentially stole the show during Tuesday night’s postgame news conference after the Warriors’ 110-106 come-from-behind win against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals best-of-7 series. (Photos by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

In addition, while in Houston to cover the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant brought one of his daughters to the Media Day festivities as he addressed a massive gallery of reporters.

Which is to say that in the wake of the Golden State Warriors’ 110-106 come-from-behind win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets Tuesday night, I deem it downright ridiculous and insulting that several media pundits sounded off negatively about Warriors All-Star point guard Stephen Curry for bringing his beautiful daughter to the postgame news conference.

That several sportswriters had gone as far as to say the presence of the adorable two-year-old Riley, Curry’s daughter — who was allowed to sit on her father’s lap and made disruptive, cute comments terrible twos customarily utter — made it increasingly difficult for them to make their writing deadline is deplorable on all levels.

As a veteran sportswriter who made his professional debut in the print journalism industry some 15 years ago straight out of Journalism School, I am fully aware that one can’t possibly be trusted by his editor to hold such a responsible beat in covering a major college athletic program or professional sports franchise if he or she will often find it difficult meeting brutal reporting deadlines.

SHOW STOPPER --- Several sportswriters had gone as far as to say the presence of the adorable two-year-old Riley, Curry's daughter --- who was allowed to sit on her father's lap and made disruptive, cute comments terrible twos normally utter --- made it increasingly difficult for them to make their writing deadline.

SHOW STOPPER — Several sportswriters had gone as far as to say the presence of the adorable two-year-old Riley, Curry’s daughter — who was allowed to sit on her father’s lap and made disruptive, cute comments terrible twos normally utter — made it increasingly difficult for them to make their writing deadline.

That is, by all accounts, an essential requirement of the job. Reporters, particularly those who are employed by major daily metropolitan newspapers, must be able to gather news under intense pressure, let alone file and submit stories under the tightest and strictest of deadlines.

That several sportswriters had gone as far as to criticize Curry for allowing his precious angel of a daughter to join her league Most Valuable Player father on the postgame platform while he took questions from the media following his 34-point outburst is valid proof that some sports journalists not only are habitual whiners but, most of all, it shows just how soft they are with regards to fulfilling their job responsibilities.

Because, if, by chance, these reporters are routinely faced with stiff deadlines as they harshly suggested after Tuesday’s Rockets-Warriors game, surely they shouldn’t pin blame on Curry, much less blame the presence of his daughter who, to her credit, brought humor and life to what essentially was a boring, dead postgame news conference.

If, by chance, these reporters are routinely faced with stiff deadlines as they harshly suggested after Tuesday game, surely they shouldn't pin blame on Curry, much less blame the presence of his daughter who, to her credit, brought humor and life to what essentially was a boring, dead postgame news conference.

If, by chance, these reporters are routinely faced with stiff deadlines as they harshly suggested after Tuesday game, surely they shouldn’t pin blame on Curry, much less blame the presence of his daughter who, to her credit, brought humor and life to what essentially was a boring, dead postgame news conference.

If nothing else, these journalists ought to blame themselves for their inability to deliver, ought to point fingers at themselves simply because it seems they often have issues in meeting their editor’s lofty expectations while reporting on basketball’s grandest stage.

As for a silver lining to all of this constant postseason murmuring by media members, well, at least they will be afforded the golden opportunity to atone for their lethargic reporting display after Game 1.

Game 2 is Thursday night in Oakland.

Same place.

Same time.

Same tight deadline.

DreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

As Memphis AAU hoops phenom Harold Draper III goes, so goes his teammates

Draper1Arguably the scariest thing about Harold Draper III, particularly for those who must face him on the basketball court in the coming years, is that this kid’s best days are well ahead of him.

At just 10 years of age, Draper — nicknamed “HD3” — a vibrant, speed point guard on the Memphis-area AAU circuit, has become a fixture amongst those who have monitored closely his immense skills in recent years.

Armed with what many AAU coaches say is a basketball IQ similar to that of a varsity athlete, it would hard pressed to tell that Draper III — because of his draw-dropping skills on the hardwood — is a year away from entering the middle school ranks.

“He has become very much more aware of how defense creates offense,” said Andrea Dandridge, arguably Draper III’s most devoted fan. “Defensively, he has improved tremendously.”

DOUBLE THREAT --- Not only is Harold Draper III --- the cousin and mentee of former University of Memphis senior guard Trey Draper who boasts lofty aspirations of someday playing for the perennial power Tigers --- efficient on the court, but he has proven to be just as effective in the classroom at Memphis’ Double Tree Montessori and Technology School.  Just recently, Draper III was recently honored with the Presidential Award For Academic Excellence, a prestigious accolade that is given to the student that produces the highest grade average. (Photos by Christopher Schmidt)

DOUBLE THREAT — Not only is Harold Draper III — the cousin and mentee of former University of Memphis senior guard Trey Draper who boasts lofty aspirations of someday playing for the perennial power Tigers — efficient on the court, but he has proven to be just as effective in the classroom at Memphis’ Double Tree Montessori and Technology School.
Just recently, Draper III was recently honored with the Presidential Award For Academic Excellence, a prestigious accolade that is given to the student that produces the highest grade average. (Photos by Christopher Schmidt)

Not only has his defensive mechanics become nearly equally efficient as his offensive skillset, but whenever Draper III suits us for the Memphis Tigers 4.0 Boys/Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers 11-and-under AAU squad, those with whom he plays alongside routinely benefits mightily from his on-court presence.

In a nutshell, as Draper goes, so goes his teammates, a rather favorable trend that customarily brings 4.0Boys/Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers coach Brandon Johnson to smiles from the sidelines.

“Harold is a kid that relies on fundamentals,” Johnson told MemphiSport on Tuesday. “He is a leader on and off the court and is an honor student athlete.”

Indeed he is.

Not only is Draper III — the cousin and mentee of former University of Memphis senior guard Trey Draper who boasts lofty aspirations of someday playing for the perennial power Tigers — efficient on the court, but he has proven to be just as effective in the classroom at Memphis’ Double Tree Montessori and Technology School.

Check out HD3 on YouTube: http://youtu.be/TzjSyTun6js

Just recently, Draper III was recently honored with the Presidential Award For Academic Excellence, a prestigious accolade that is given to the student that produces the highest grade average.

To his credit, Draper III’s reputation is such that he not only dishes out eye-catching A’s (assists) on the court, but he’s doing the same even when he isn’t in the gymnasium.

In other words, Draper III is a straight-A student.

“Harold holds his priorities dear to him…Christ, class, court,” Dandridge said. “He knows that his abilities are a blessing, so he honors God in everything that he does. He is aware that he is a student athlete and that there is nothing more important than an education. He surrounds himself with people that he can foster positive relationships with, who will encourage and inspire him. He knows that the opportunity that he has to play is a privilege. So he never takes it for granted when his feet hits the hardwood.”

Come this weekend, the kid who has made a name for himself in gyms throughout this basketball-crazed Bluff City will once again be afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display.

Only this time it will be on a much-larger stage.

OFF TO NAWLINS --- Come Saturday, the kid who has made a name for himself in gyms throughout this basketball-crazed Bluff City will once again be afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display.  Only this time it will be on a much-larger stage.  That’s when the Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers will travel to New Orleans to partake in the always popular PrimeTime Super 60 Basketball Tournament this weekend.  This three-day event will showcase over 600 premier teams from around the nation, something about which isn’t new to Draper III, who is accustomed to performing on the big stage.

OFF TO NAWLINS — Come Saturday, the kid who has made a name for himself in gyms throughout this basketball-crazed Bluff City will once again be afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display.
Only this time it will be on a much-larger stage.
That’s when the 4.0 Boys/Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers will travel to New Orleans to partake in the always popular PrimeTime Super 60 Basketball Tournament this weekend.
This three-day event will showcase over 600 premier teams from around the nation, something about which isn’t new to Draper III, who is accustomed to performing on the big stage.

That’s when the 4.0 Boys/Gentlemen of Memphis Tigers will travel to New Orleans to partake in the always popular PrimeTime Super 60 Basketball Tournament this weekend.  This three-day event will showcase over 600 premier teams from around the nation, something about which isn’t new to Draper III, who is accustomed to performing on the big stage.

Even if it’s in the Big Easy.

Last week, Draper III engineered the Tigers to the Southeastern AAU State Championship.

“I think that I am a little faster and my shots have gotten better,” said Draper III, assessing his progress within the past year. “On the court, my team is special. Everybody is talented. It is special (group of athletes) because we are more than teammates; we are brothers and friends. I’m better because they make me better.”

For someone who many say boasts the immense skills, maturity, and talent to emerge as a local big name point guard much like Memphians Andre Turner, Elliot Perry, and Joe Jackson, among others, Draper doesn’t shy away from the notion that his priorities must remain intact as he continues to make his presence felt.

On and off the court.

“I’ll make my parents proud by keeping my priorities in order…Christ, class, court,” Draper III said. “I’ll make my coach proud by staying humble, being a gentlemen, and earning my keeps.”

Which, after all, is the scariest thing about the young HD3.

That’s because his best playing days are well ahead of him.

Without question.

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

DreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Bolton senior Karlon King survives near-death experience, will earn diploma Saturday

As always, Karlon William King fields the question as if he expects it.

“People often ask me, ‘How are you still here?’ Karlon explained. “And I reply, ‘It’s nothing but the grace and mercy of God. The Lord has a calling upon my life and I don’t think it’s time for me to leave this earth until my assignment is finally finished.”

Karlon1To get a thorough understanding of why Karlon has deemed himself a self-proclaimed “walking miracle,” look no further than the potentially fatal events that surrounding him days after his birth 19 years ago.

Having endured an assortment of physical challenges upon his birth, Karlon had to have a shunt inserted down the left side of his head and was extended down inside of his stomach.

MIRACLE CHILD --- Four years removed from an apparent frightening medical procedure many feared would ultimately send him to his grave before his Sweet 16th birthday, Karlon King’s family and friends will almost certainly be left crying tears of joy when the Bolton High senior walks across the stage to receive his diploma on Saturday.

MIRACLE CHILD — Four years removed from an apparent frightening medical procedure many feared would ultimately send him to his grave before his Sweet 16th birthday, Karlon King’s family and friends will almost certainly be left crying tears of joy when the Bolton High senior walks across the stage to receive his diploma on Saturday.

According to Medtronics.com, a shunt is hole or a small passage that moves or allows movement of fluid from one part of the body to another. The term may describe either congenital or acquired shunts and acquired shunts — sometimes referred to as iatrogenic shunts — may be either biological or mechanical.

In Karlon’s case, the shunt was installed to drain excess fluids off of his brain that wasn’t needed.

However, four years ago, the Lynwood, Calif. native was rushed to the hospital after doctors discovered what had been an improperly installed shunt, a potentially fatal occurrence that hospitalized him for a lengthy period of time.

“Only God knew exactly what He was doing,” Karlon recalled. “He was giving me a testimony for millions to hear all around the world.”

Four years removed from an apparent frightening medical procedure many feared would ultimately send him to his grave before his Sweet 16th birthday, Karlon’s family and friends will almost certainly be left crying tears of joy when the

Bolton High senior walks across the stage to receive his diploma on Saturday.

PRAYING MAMA --- One minute, this soft-spoken, devout Christian teenager is lying stretched out on an operation table, his young life hanging the balance in the process. Four years later, he’s surprisingly filling out college applications, looking ahead to a bright future that once seemed very much in doubt.  “I am very proud of Karlon,” said Ernestine King, Karlon’s mother in MemphiSport’s inaugural Salute To Graduates 2015. “When I look at him I see how marvelous God is. Karlon is a walking, talking miracle. Doctors had given him up to die. They said he would not survive a week. Karlon was born four months prematurely. He had hemorrhaging and fluid on his brain which required emergency surgery and a shunt placement to drain the fluid. He was on the respirator for the first four months of his life. For the first five years of his life Karlon had a swallowing disorder due to the tube in his throat. He could eat solid foods.”

PRAYING MAMA — One minute, this soft-spoken, devout Christian teenager is lying stretched out on an operation table, his young life hanging the balance in the process. Four years later, he’s surprisingly filling out college applications, looking ahead to a bright future that once seemed very much in doubt.
“I am very proud of Karlon,” said Ernestine King, Karlon’s mother in MemphiSport’s inaugural Salute To Graduates 2015. “When I look at him I see how marvelous God is. Karlon is a walking, talking miracle. Doctors had given him up to die. They said he would not survive a week. Karlon was born four months prematurely. He had hemorrhaging and fluid on his brain which required emergency surgery and a shunt placement to drain the fluid. He was on the respirator for the first four months of his life. For the first five years of his life Karlon had a swallowing disorder due to the tube in his throat. He could eat solid foods.”

One minute, this soft-spoken, devout Christian teenager is lying stretched out on an operation table, his young life hanging the balance in the process. Four years later, he’s surprisingly filling out college applications, looking ahead to a bright future that once seemed very much in doubt.

“I am very proud of Karlon,” said Ernestine King, Karlon’s mother in MemphiSport’s inaugural Salute To Graduates 2015. “When I look at him I see how marvelous God is. Karlon is a walking, talking miracle. Doctors had given him up to die. They said he would not survive a week. Karlon was born four months prematurely. He had hemorrhaging and fluid on his brain which required emergency surgery and a shunt placement to drain the fluid. He was on the respirator for the first four months of his life. For the first five years of his life Karlon had a swallowing disorder due to the tube in his throat. He could eat solid foods.”

Looking at him today, people would be hard-pressed to tell that Karlon had once faced arguably the darkest hours of his young life. As his mother has said time and again when sharing testimonies, though, God had other plans for her son who, today, is a fixture in the historic Church of God In Christ.

A couple years ago, Karlon was installed as a national Adjutant under the leadership Of Bishop Matthew Williams in which he works mostly with the Board of Bishops, most notably COGIC’s Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr.

In addition, he routinely assists and serves Tennessee Fourth Ecclesiastical Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop Jerry L. Maynard, Sr. under the leadership of Pastor Antonio M. Buckley. Also, he serves his local church (Faith Temple Ministries COGIC), where assists Pastor Andrew Jackson, Sr.

“I must say that the Church Of God In Christ has allowed me to use my gift to the glory of God,” Karlon said. “And I will be forever grateful for a wonderful leader that we have for the COGIC Inc.”

As for his future ambitions, Karlon, who acquired a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, will attend Southwest Tennessee Community College this fall, where he plans to major in Computer Engineering and minor in Music.

STRONG SURVIVOR --- As for his future ambitions, Karlon, who acquired a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, will attend Southwest Tennessee Community College this fall, where he plans to major in Computer Engineering and minor in Music.  Eventually, he plans to become an entrepreneur.

STRONG SURVIVOR — As for his future ambitions, Karlon, who acquired a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, will attend Southwest Tennessee Community College this fall, where he plans to major in Computer Engineering and minor in Music.
Eventually, he plans to become an entrepreneur.

Eventually, he plans to become an entrepreneur.

All of which, of course, is dramatic comeback for the ages for a vibrant, enthusiastic kid who, just four years ago, witnessed his life hanging in the balance.

“I’m proud and thankful that God gave Karlon the will and determination to fight, struggle, and overcome every single obstacle that came his way,” Ernestine said. “Because of what Karlon’s been through, he now councils, comforts and encourages others, young and old. Karlon has the right stuff. His friends nicknamed him “Bishop”, “Deacon” and “Grandpa” as terms of respect. The sky is the limit for Karlon because God has His hands on his life. Truly, God left Karlon on this earth for a God-ordained purpose.”

That, after all, is why her son fields the question as if he expects it.

“People often ask me, ‘How are you still here?’” Karlon said once again.

This time while displaying his signature smile.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like to salute a Class of 2015 graduate with a unique celebratory tribute that will be designed like this one, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

DreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Memphian Robert Lee making academic noise in New York, headed to Vandy in fall

Robert T. Lee Jr. is the younger of Felicia Lee’s two children.

RobAmong the things about which Felicia admires mostly about Robert is his continuous drive and determination to excel, his competitive nature to go above and beyond to produce favorable results, his tireless commitment to manufacturing academic excellence — all of which, to his credit, has benefited him mightily in recent years.

Miles and miles away from his native hometown of Memphis.

At 18 years of age, Robert is a senior at Scarsdale High School, a tradition-rich public institution in Scarsdale, New York, located in the coterminous town and village in Westchester County, New York. Founded in 1917, the school is a part of the Scarsdale Union Free School District.

IN HIGH DEMAND --- Just like a well-sought-after five-star prep athlete, Robert Lee had drawn interest from an array of colleges before deciding to accept a full-ride academic scholarship offer from Vanderbilt University. (Photos submitted by F. Lee)

IN HIGH DEMAND — Just like a well-sought-after five-star prep athlete, Robert Lee had drawn interest from an array of colleges before deciding to accept a full-ride academic scholarship offer from Vanderbilt University. (Photos submitted by F. Lee)

According to a study implemented by U.S. News & World Report, Scarsdale High School was rated among the nation’s top 100 institutions for math and science.

Like many of his peers who have enjoyed academic success at Scarsdale, Robert Lee has held his own at a school that boasts arguably some of the highest academic standards.

For starters, he has compiled a cumulative grade of average of 3.7 and has become a fixture in an assortment of activities — most notably an officer for Habitat for Humanity, the treasurer for Cooking For A Cause, a member of the Invisible Children’s Club, Hawthorne Cedar Knolls Club, Global Camps for Africa, Midnight Run, not to mention a House Representative for the Student Government.

While a majority of his success has transpired hundreds of miles away from the Bluff City, Felecia Lee admittedly is all smiles, considering her son has been nothing short of impressive in since he set foot on the Scarsdale campus.

“I’m extremely proud of Robert on his many accomplishments,” Felicia Lee told MemphiSport Thursday afternoon during its inaugural “Salute To Graduates 2015.” “He has expressed all of the key factors. His father and I taught him during his journey in New York. He has taken every opportunity offered to him and enjoyed every step of the way. He’s the youngest of his siblings I couldn’t be more amazed of how he’s approaching his life with full speed and determination.”

Just like a well-sought-after five-star prep athlete, Robert Lee had drawn interest from an array of colleges before deciding to accept a full-ride academic scholarship offer from Vanderbilt University.

Initially, the former Memphis Craigmont High student had considered Rhodes College, Ursinus College, the University of Memphis, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Hampton University.
After completing his higher educational studies, he plans to become a Neuro-Radiologist.

According to his mother, Robert Lee chose Vanderbilt, in large part because it was willing to offer him more scholarship funding. He was selected as an Ingram Scholar.

MOTHERLY LOVE --- Robert T. Lee Jr. is the younger of Felicia Lee’s two children. Among the things about which Felecia admires mostly about Robert is his continuous drive and determination to excel, his competitive nature to go above and beyond to produce favorable results, his tireless commitment to manufacturing academic excellence.

MOTHERLY LOVE — Robert T. Lee Jr. is the younger of Felicia Lee’s two children. Among the things about which Felecia admires mostly about Robert is his continuous drive and determination to excel, his competitive nature to go above and beyond to produce favorable results, his tireless commitment to manufacturing academic excellence.

Still, while her son continues to bring her to smiles, Felicia admittedly misses him “dearly” as she acknowledged time and again on Thursday.

“We communicate on a daily basis,” Felicia said. “He’s my youngest child, but yet left home at the tender age of 16. He was selected by the STEP Program to attend Scarsdale High School and living with host Parents. All the hard work he put in studying all night, all the essays he wrote to apply for different colleges, all the trials and tribulations he’s faced in high school…he overcame them all.”

All of which undoubtedly will give way to Felicia Lee unleashing tears of joy when her youngest child’s name is called on graduation night on June 26.

“When his name is called on graduation night,” said Felicia, “I will think about how his life changed overnight…all the praying and how fast those two years went by.”

Two memorable years in which her youngest child had been nothing short of impressive.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like to salute a Class of 2015 graduate with a unique celebratory tribute that will be designed like this one, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

DreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Playing Hurt Podcast: Greatest Masked Men in Sports

grizzlies mask

Join Cerrito Live producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports DESK host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during Playing Hurt Podcast.

MemphiSport Live

Throwback Thursday: Coliseum Classic

With the big Roundhouse Revival right around the corner and brand new Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame shirts fresh off the press, why not take a look back at a Mid-South Coliseum classic?  In Memphis, it doesn’t get any bigger than “Fabulous” Jackie Fargo and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

On October 4th, 1976 – 8,000+ jam-packed the Mid-South Coliseum to watch Jackie Fargo try to take the Championship away from Jerry Lawler.  You’ll be shocked at how this one ends.

Be sure to join us for Pro Wrestling Trivia Night at The Green Beetle on Thursday, May 14 (8:00 pm- 10:00 pm).  Kevin Cerrito will be your host and winners will get FREE tix to Wild Fire Wrestling‘s Memphis in MAYhem event on May 28th at Woodland Hills Event Center.  Plus, other great prizes for 2nd, 3rd and Best Team Name!

For more information click here.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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Throwback Thursday: Classic USWA tag team wrestling

This week, I have a clip that features two WWE trainers, a Superstar, and one of the biggest names in pro wrestling history all in one tag team match.  Looking back 25 years ago, this footage is golden.

“Superstar” Bill Dundee & Steve Keirn vs Steve Austin & Tom Prichard – and if that isn’t good enough for you – the late Tojo Yamamoto is ringside causing trouble.  Enjoy!

Speaking of “Superstar” Bill Dundee – I have one more clip I would like to share on Throwback Thursday.  Only this time, we go back just one week ago to Memphis Wildfire Wrestling‘s RETURN of the BURN.  Maria & I went head to head with Bill Dundee in the main event at Woodland Hills Event Center.  Things got a little out of hand in the end!

Don’t miss Memphis Wildfire Wrestling‘s Memphis in Mayhem at Woodland Hills Event Center on May 28th.  For more details, click here.

Fun Fact:  Steve Keirn and Tom Prichard have both been trainers for World Wrestling Entertainment.  Prichard is a former WWE Tag Team Champion, while Keirn was one half of The Fabulous Ones.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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Mid-South amateur boxer Mike Davis’ skills drawing comparisons to Floyd Mayweather

DALLAS — Amateur boxer Mike Davis is often referred to as “Iron Mike,” a nickname that was given to him a couple of years ago by his coach, Devonshea Smith.

GREATEST EVER? Dubbed the Battle for Greatness or The Fight of the Century, Floyd "Money" Mayweather, who boasts a 47-0 record with 26 knockouts, will put his unified WBA, WBC, WBO welterweight titles on the line against an upset-minded Pacquiao, whom many media pundits sense is arguably the champion’s toughest foe to date. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

GREATEST EVER? Dubbed the Battle for Greatness or The Fight of the Century, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who boasts a 47-0 record with 26 knockouts, will put his unified WBA, WBC, WBO welterweight titles on the line against an upset-minded Pacquiao, whom many media pundits sense is arguably the champion’s toughest foe to date. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Although former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is widely known as “Iron Mike” in the professional boxing world, Davis essentially has added a unique distinction to such a familiar label.

Among the reasons is those who have followed Davis closely since he made his debut on the amateur circuit three years ago don’t merely liken his mechanics to Tyson.

Instead, many believe Davis’ immense skills have drawn comparisons to that of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, the undefeated, five-division world champion and world’s No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound boxer who will square off Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao in a much-anticipated bout in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.

He reminds me of Floyd Mayweather with his confidence and drive,” Alicia Davis, Mike Davis’ mother, told MemphiSport during a telephone interview from St. Louis Thursday afternoon.

'IRON MIKE' --- To his credit, Mike Davis, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas native, has held his own in such a brief time on the amateur boxing circuit. For starters, this slim, speedy 12-year-old six-grader took part in his first competitive fight October 2012 and won by unanimous decision. He’s since had 31 competitive bouts, having won a majority of them. (Photo submitted by A. Davis)

‘IRON MIKE’ — To his credit, Mike Davis, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas native, has held his own in such a brief time on the amateur boxing circuit. For starters, this slim, speedy 12-year-old six-grader took part in his first competitive fight October 2012 and won by unanimous decision.
He’s since had 31 competitive bouts, having won a majority of them. (Photo submitted by A. Davis)

Dubbed the Battle for Greatness or The Fight of the Century, Mayweather, who boasts a 47-0 record with 26 knockouts, will put his unified WBA, WBC, WBO welterweight titles on the line against an upset-minded Pacquiao, whom many media pundits sense is arguably the champion’s toughest foe to date.

A native of Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines and nicknamed, “Pac-Man,” the 36-year-old Pacquiao brings a 57–5–2 record into Saturday’s main event, having won three consecutive bouts.
Thirty-eight of Pacquiao’s wins have come as a result of knockouts.

“Yes sir, I am big on Mayweather because I think he has some skills I want to follow someday,” Mike Davis said.

To his credit, Mike Davis, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas native, has held his own in such a brief time on the amateur boxing circuit. For starters, this slim, speedy 12-year-old six-grader took part in his first competitive fight in October 2012, winning by unanimous decision. He has since had 31 competitive bouts, having won a majority of them.

“He has a good right hand and slip punches well,” Alicia Davis said. “The sky is the limit because he started at a young age and continues to advance.”

Fortunately for Mike Davis, his skills haven’t gone unnoticed, in large part because the organization for which he fights is sanctioned by USA Boxing.

Mike Davis owns a No. 3 national ranking in the Silver Gloves, 75-pound division in rankings that were released recently by USA Boxing.

BOLD PREDICTION --- As for whom he thinks will emerge victorious Saturday between Mayweather versus Pacquiao in what many boxing experts believe will the highest grossing fight in history, it is no secret that Mike Davis believes Mayweather will walk out of the ring still armed with an unblemished mark.  “Mayweather I think got more heart than Pacquiao,” Mike Davis said. “He got mad speed. He has the right amount of speed over Pacquiao to win. I think he’ll win by unanimous decision, because sometimes you’ve got to have much power to fight Pacquiao. But I think Mayweather will fight his fight.”

BOLD PREDICTION — As for whom he thinks will emerge victorious Saturday between Mayweather versus Pacquiao in what many boxing experts believe will the highest grossing fight in history, it is no secret that Mike Davis believes Mayweather will walk out of the ring still armed with an unblemished mark.
“Mayweather I think got more heart than Pacquiao,” Mike Davis said. “He got mad speed. He has the right amount of speed over Pacquiao to win. I think he’ll win by unanimous decision, because sometimes you’ve got to have much power to fight Pacquiao. But I think Mayweather will fight his fight.”

Having weighed in at just over 78 pounds, he was upgraded last week to the 80-pound division.

Although a recent weeklong illness prompted his mother to pull him from the upcoming regional bouts in Oklahoma in mid-May so he could concentrate on academics — her son is a member of the Junior National Honor Society — Mike Davis said his primary focus over the next few weeks is to condition regularly, keep his weight down, and gear up for preparing to add to his already congested trophy case.

“For all of my (upcoming) fights, I’m going for the win,” Mike Davis said. “And for Jr. Olympics and Silver Gloves (competition), I’m going for the belt.”

As for whom he thinks will emerge victorious Saturday between Mayweather versus Pacquiao in what many boxing experts believe will the highest grossing fight in history, it is no secret that Mike Davis believes Mayweather will walk out of the ring still armed with an unblemished mark.

“Mayweather I think got more heart than Pacquiao,” Mike Davis said. “He got mad speed. He has the right amount of speed over Pacquiao to win. I think he’ll win by unanimous decision, because sometimes you’ve got to have much power to fight Pacquiao. But I think Mayweather will fight his fight.”

Much like “Iron Mike” has done on the amateur circuit in recent years.

DrePicAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.