Relax H2o, Inc. owners Jerry and Winter Bobo drawing rave reviews in downtown Memphis

Relax2Jerry Bobo and his wife, Winter, had plenty of opportunities in recent years to vacate Memphis and start a business establishment elsewhere.

That they ultimately elected to stay put in their native surroundings is starting to benefit them mightily.

“We chose Memphis to start our business, mainly because so much negativity and misconceptions seem to be in and surround our city,” Jerry Bobo told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “My wife and I are fully aware of the huge exodus from our city, especially by young professionals and we are determined to be a catalyst of positive change and hope in our city.”

TOO COOL --- Owners of the newly-erected Relax H2o Incorporated in the heart of downtown of Memphis --- less than two miles east of the mighty Mississippi River --- the Bobo’s business venture is available largely to residents and work associates who need to take customary breaks from their respective job with a relaxing, rejuvenating experience courtesy of their Relax H2O Aqua Massage And Oxygen Bar.

TOO COOL Owners of the newly-erected Relax H2o Incorporated in the heart of downtown of Memphis — less than two miles east of the mighty Mississippi River — the Bobo’s business venture is available largely to residents and work associates who need to take customary breaks from their respective job with a relaxing, rejuvenating experience courtesy of their Relax H2O Aqua Massage And Oxygen Bar.

So far, so good for this young, vibrant couple who, to their credit, is making a favorable case that they could become household names as Mid-South-area entrepreneurs in the foreseeable future.

Owners of the newly-erected Relax H2o Incorporated in the heart of downtown of Memphis — less than two miles east of the mighty Mississippi River — the Bobo’s business venture is available largely to residents and work associates who need to take customary breaks from their respective job with a relaxing, rejuvenating experience courtesy of their Relax H2O Aqua Massage And Oxygen Bar.

Conveniently located at 287 Madison Avenue, Suite B, in downtown Memphis — between Fourth Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard, or one block east of the YMCA — Relax H2o is an ideal setting for a unique date or, perhaps, an impromptu outing on the town.

WALKING IN MEMPHIS --- Relax H2o is in close proximity of Red Bird Stadium and the traditionally historic Beale Street which, fortunately for the Bobos, will provide their new establishment instant credibility.

WALKING IN MEMPHISRelax H2o is in close proximity of Red Bird Stadium and the traditionally historic Beale Street which, fortunately for the Bobos, will provide their new establishment instant credibility.

Also, Relax H2o is in close proximity of Red Bird Stadium and the traditionally historic Beale Street which, fortunately for the Bobos, will provide their new establishment instant credibility.

Not just in the comfortable confines of Memphis, but rather throughout the ever-so-popular Tri-State area.

CHECK OUT RELAX H2o ONLINE: http://relaxh2o.com/

“Our mission here at Relax H2o Inc. is to improve the quality of life for the residents of Memphis, tourists, and the Tri-State area by providing superior customer service, state of the art machines, technology, products and services that provide wellness and relaxation benefits,” Jerry Bobo explained. “Our aim is to lower and reduce stress while improving moral, energy, and productivity.”

'OOOOOOOO, LA, LA' --- Conveniently located at 287 Madison Avenue, Suite B, in downtown Memphis --- between Fourth Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard, or one block east of the YMCA --- Relax H2o is an ideal setting for a unique date or, perhaps, an impromptu outing on the town.

‘OOOOOOOO, LA, LA’Conveniently located at 287 Madison Avenue, Suite B, in downtown Memphis — between Fourth Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard, or one block east of the YMCA — Relax H2o is an ideal setting for a unique date or, perhaps, an impromptu outing on the town.

Not only that, Relax H2o routinely provides the very latest in an assortment of relaxation techniques, all within the four walls of its intimate, relaxing environment.

In addition, Relax H2o offers affordable packages, as well as cost efficient and time-saving services. Moreover, its slew of products are perfect, the Bobos said, most notably for consumers who aspire to relax as often as they can.

How else to explain why Relax H2o has been dubbed “Home of the $20 Massage?”

“We believe that the business of wellness inherently demands excellence of us, and requires a holistic approach to doing business,” Winter Bobo explained. “We believe that our commitment to our customers does not end with the sale. We believe that the wellness of our company depends on the wellness of our customers.”

There is, nonetheless, more proof to such analogies, the Bobos acknowledge.

“You don’t have to feel bad to feel good,” Winter Bobo said. “We have a large eclectic audience. Whether an individual is 6 or 66 (years of age), we have something here at Relax H2o Inc. that will help reduce fatigue and stress along with boosting energy along with increasing an overall sense of well-being.

Relax“From athletes, to the busy executive, to moms who just need a break,” Jerry Bobo added. “We service them all.”

All of this without having to vacate their native home of Memphis and start a business establishment elsewhere.

Surely, this husband and wife team is on the move…right in the heart of the historic Memphis downtown district.

For more information about Relax H2o, call 901-421-8351. Also, following them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/relaxh2o

 

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, author, musician, singer, songwriter, tax preparer, accountant, financial advisor, hair stylist, model, cosmetologist, barber, 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.

Melony Walker’s Creative Di-Zigns drawing rave reviews from ex-NBA star, Memphis

MelonyIf there’s one thing about which anyone can’t question Melony Walker, that is her fond admiration for Memphis.

Among the reasons is that as a native Memphian, Walker not only graduated high school and college in the Bluff City but, above all, she deemed it necessary to make sure she customarily gives back to her community.

To her credit, her reputation is such that she’s destined daily to go above and beyond to ensure she remains a fixture in her beloved city.

“Everyone has their own gift,” Walker told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “And my gift is different and unique.”

MEMPHIS' FINEST --- Located at 7285 Winchester Road, Suite 111, in the heart of Southeast Memphis, Creative Di-Zigns is widely known throughout the Mid-South for its customary screen printings, vinyl cuts, custom paintings, art gallery, and embroidery, among other things.

MEMPHIS’ FINEST — Located at 7285 Winchester Road, Suite 111, in the heart of Southeast Memphis, Creative Di-Zigns is widely known throughout the Mid-South for its customary screen printings, vinyl cuts, custom paintings, art gallery, and embroidery, among other things.

So unique that in many aspects, Walker has literally caught the Mid-South-area youth sports landscape by storm.

An accomplished entrepreneur for five-plus years and counting, Walker, 51, is owner and chief executive officer of Memphis’ Creative Di-Zigns.

Located at 7285 Winchester Road, Suite 111, in the heart of Southeast Memphis, Creative Di-Zigns is widely known throughout the Mid-South for its customary screen printings, vinyl cuts, custom paintings, art gallery, and embroidery, among other things.

“It’s not what you do, but how you make your business a gift from God,” said Walker in assessing the continuous growth and success of her business. “If God is in it you are already successful.”

Mel4Fortunately for Walker, a 1982 Carver High graduate, it’s safe to assume that her gifts as a flourishing business owner has given way to an array of success. That’s because among her grandest, most popular clients is former NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.

A former University of Memphis All-American and four-time NBA All-Star, Hardaway, like Walker, is a product of Memphis and a graduate of Treadwell High.

While Walker and Hardaway’s friendship extends back to Hardaway’s high school playing days, the two established a solid working rapport years ago when Walker became the official designer for “Team Penny,” a slew of Hardaway’s Mid-South-area AAU Teams.

In addition, she produces paraphernalia for SCIAA Championship Sports Gear as well as the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Invitational Basketball Event. Also, she enters her second year a vendor for the Shelby Metro and Awareness Sports for Youths as well as for a variety of other local schools.

“Much of my work is based on family, unity, sports, and Memphis culture through fine arts and wearable art,” Walker explained. “My Mission is to encourage and develop unique and colorful art presence in the nation.”

PARTNERING WITH PENNY --- Fortunately for Walker, a 1982 Carver High graduate, it’s safe to assume that her gifts as a flourishing business owner has given way to array of success. That’s because among her grandest, most popular clients is former NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.

PARTNERING WITH PENNY — Fortunately for Walker, a 1982 Carver High graduate, it’s safe to assume that her gifts as a flourishing business owner has given way to array of success. That’s because among her grandest, most popular clients is former NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.

Long before emerging as a stellar entrepreneur, it seemed Walker had a vision that suggest she’d ultimately become an all things fashion designer, of sorts.

For starters, she majored in Fine Arts at Memphis’ LeMoyne-Owen College, from which she graduated in 1987 — this after an impressive stint as a well-known multisport prep athlete at Carver (basketball, ran track, and volleyball).

Aside from sports, she was a member of Carver’s Art Club.

THE ROLL CALL --- Creative Di-Zigns owner Melony Walker poses with Memphis renowned Memphis radio personality Stan Bell.

THE ROLL CALL — Creative Di-Zigns owner Melony Walker poses with Memphis renowned Memphis radio personality Stan Bell.

Consequently, her athletic accolades eventually gave way to her landing a basketball scholarship to LeMoyne in the early 1980s, during which she also became a member of the Lady Magicians’ track and field program.

A longtime member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Walker was named LOC’s Basketball Homecoming Queen in 1984 and was runner-up in the Miss LeMoyne-Owen pageant the following year.

Despite her assortment of achievement and accolades, one thing about which anyone can’t question is Walker’s fond admiration for her Memphis.

“I’m beginning a new journey in my life to make a difference in the world of art in Memphis through creativity as a woman artist,” Walker said.
Sounding much like the beloved Memphian for which she is widely known.

For more information about Creative Di-Zigns, call 901-949-6146, or visit them online at: http://www.creativedizigns.com/.

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, author, musician, model, athlete, cosmetologist, barber, 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.

Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki applauds Golden State’s record; relishes his latest milestone

NBA SOUTHWEST DIVISION REPORT

MEMPHIS — In the wake of the Golden State Warriors having carved out more history Tuesday night, among the NBA players who congratulated the world champs was Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki.

DYNAMIC DIRK --- Even in the wake of the Mavs’ 110-96 loss at Memphis Tuesday night in FedExForum that resulted in Dallas’ second straight defeat, Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki had no idea he had reached yet another milestone to his Hall of Fame career when he became the 17th player in NBA history to record career 1,600 three-pointers.  (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

DYNAMIC DIRK — Even in the wake of the Mavs’ 110-96 loss at Memphis Tuesday night in FedExForum that resulted in Dallas’ second straight defeat, Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki had no idea he had reached yet another milestone to his Hall of Fame career when he became the 17th player in NBA history to record career 1,600 three-pointers.
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

“They have a heckuva team,” Nowitzki, the 18-year veteran, told MemphiSport.com following the Mavs 110-96 loss at the Memphis Grizzlies. “I mean, they have everything you need. They have length. They have shooters. They have defenders. They’re really, really deep.”

Not to mention a team that erased a record that stood a little more than two decades.

With Tuesday’s 111-77 lopsided win against the Los Angeles Lakers in Oakland, the Warriors became the first team in NBA history to start the regular season by reeling off 16 consecutive wins, a feat that eclipsed 15-0 starts by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols the 1993-94 Houston Rockets.

What’s even more astounding is that the Warriors’ remarkable early-season display was highlighted by a 50-point drubbing of a Grizzlies team that has advanced to the postseason five consecutive seasons.

“You know, they’re a good team,” Nowitzki said. “Steph (Curry) is playing unbelievable basketball. But not only him. Like I said, they have a great, deep team and they defend. They have lineups to switch up everything.”

GOLD RECORD --- In the wake of the Golden State Warriors carving out more history Tuesday night, among the NBA player who congratulated the world champs was Nowitzki.  “They have a heckuva team,” Nowitzki said. “I mean, they have everything you. They have length. They have shooters. They have defenders. They’re really, really deep.” (Photo by Noah Graham/Getty Images)

GOLD RECORD — In the wake of the Golden State Warriors carving out more history Tuesday night, among the NBA player who congratulated the world champs was Nowitzki.
“They have a heckuva team,” Nowitzki said. “I mean, they have everything you. They have length. They have shooters. They have defenders. They’re really, really deep.” (Photo by Noah Graham/Getty Images)

As for which team will pose as a threat and deal the Warriors their first regular season setback since a 103-100 loss April 7 at the New Orleans Pelicans capped a two-game winless streak is anybody’s guess.

That’s because four of Golden State’s next five games are against teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year, meaning the team that could likely end the historic streak is the Toronto Raptors, who host the defending champs Dec. 5.

Still, whichever team manages to disrupt the Warriors’ impressive undefeated streak, it will have to play arguably its best game in some time against a team that plays this Run-N-Gun, high-powered brand of basketball the sports world hasn’t witnessed in some time.

“They can adjust to every stone that’s thrown at them,” Nowitzki said of the Warriors. “And that’s why they are the champs. They’re very deep and very good.”

DIRK REACHES ANOTHER MILESTONE

Even in the wake of the Mavs’ loss at Memphis Tuesday night in FedExForum that resulted in Dallas’ second straight defeat since reeling off a season-best five consecutive wins, Nowitzki had no idea he had added yet another milestone to his illustrious Hall of Fame career.

With 7:53 remaining in the fourth, a running 3-point jumper off an assist from Raymond Felton allowed Nowitzki to become the 17th player in NBA history to record 1,600 career three-pointers.

According to the 37-year-old German, he acknowledges such a feat comes during time in which he feels he’s playing efficient basketball.

Nowitzki, who entered Tuesday’s game leading the NBA in 3-point efficiency at 53.3 percent, connected on 2 of 5 from outside the arc against the Grizzlies.

“You know, it’s been a long ride,” Nowitzki, the Mavs all-time leading scorer, said of his latest accolade. “This is season 18 and, fortunately, I’ve been healthy. You know, there were actually years where I wasn’t shooting the ball as well as I wanted to. And this year, I’ve been having a decent rhythm and hopefully I can keep it up. You know, 1,600 threes, that’s a lot of threes, and hopefully there’s a few more to come.”

 

AndreAndre 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.

 

 

 

Here’s 41 sporting moments as sports journalist Andre Johnson turns 41

AndreDALLAS — For the past three-plus decades, sports have played a majestic role in my life.

In fact, sports, for me, have become a way of life.

MOM AND MJ --- In November 2002, I passed up the chance to watch Hall of Famer Michael Jordan play in his next-to-last NBA season when the Washington Wizards played at the Memphis Grizzlies. I felt compelled to pass the pair of tickets to my mother, who said to me after that game, “I can always say I had a chance to watch (Jordan) play.” (Getty Images Photo)

MOM AND MJ — In November 2002, I passed up the chance to watch Hall of Famer Michael Jordan play in his next-to-last NBA season when the Washington Wizards played at the Memphis Grizzlies. I felt compelled to pass the pair of tickets to my mother, who said to me after that game, “I can always say I had a chance to watch (Jordan) play.” (Getty Images Photo)

A lifestyle, of sorts.

A trend that, in assessing the overall landscape of my life, practically personifies the person I’ve become.

Sports, this inspiriting, galvanizing movement that customarily inspire athletes to become empowered through dedication, accountability, and leadership, are what immeasurably fueled my desire to engage in a rather competitive industry whereby I would be afforded the opportunity to meet and interact with athletes from various walks of life.

Fortunately for me, my dream, thanks in large part to sports, has come full circle, a fantasy that has given way to an assortment of memories, most notably personal ones during which I’ve savored throughout the course of professional sportswriting career.

That said, as I commemorate my 41st birthday on Saturday, I share with you 41 memorable sports moments, according to yours truly.

 

  1. Passing up the chance to watch Hall of Famer Michael Jordan play in his next-to-last NBA season when the Washington Wizards played at the Memphis Grizzlies. I felt compelled to relinquish the pair of tickets to my mother, who said to me after that game, “I can always say I had a chance to watch (Jordan) play.”
  2. Wrapping each wall in my bedroom with magazine photos of NBA players as a junior high schooler in the late 1980s. I knew at the time that someday I’d interview those same players.
  3. Witnessing the San Francisco 49ers thoroughly dispatch the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl 19, 38-16.
  4. Owning my very first authentic NFL football as my mom handed it off to me like a quarterback to running back on my 10th birthday.
  5. Fielding arguably the worst whipping of my life when, on my 15th birthday, I caught the wrath of my mom for throwing a temper tantrum and ripping apart my nightstand. Surely, this isn’t a sports moment in any shape or form. But in a way, it certainly seemed like it, considering I ran around our three-bedroom apartment like an Olympic gold medal sprinter while trying to elude mom’s extension cord.
  6. Watching Michigan edge Seton Hall in overtime in the 1989 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship game as Glen Rice embraced the ball at game’s end and unleashed tears of joy.
  7. Watching Joe Montana’s game-winning touchdown pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining in Super Bowl 23.
  8. Watching the 49ers race to a 27-3 halftime lead and completely dismantle the Denver Broncos, 55-10, in Super Bowl 24.
  9. Witnessing sentimental favorite and the No. 11 seed Loyola Marymount basketball team pulverize Michigan, 149-115, in the second round of the NCAA tournament following the death of Hank Gathers.
  10. The Buffalo Bills losing four consecutive Super Bowls.
  11. The 1984-85 Memphis State men’s basketball team advancing to the school’s second Final Four.
  12. “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison and Louisville upsetting Duke in the 1988 NCAA championship game.
  13. Anfernee “Penny” Hardway and Treadwell High versus Anthony Douglas and cross-town rival East.
  14. The 1986 New York Mets.
  15. Watching the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series with my paw paw, Edward Johnson, Sr.
  16. Watching Dallas’ World Class Championship Wrestling at the break of sunrise every Saturday with grandpa.
  17. Watching Memphis’ Championship Wresting every Saturday morning with my paw paw and uncles.
  18. Witnessing the Memphis State basketball team win the Metro Conference basketball championship in 1987 against Louisville in the always hostile Freedom Hall.
  19. Witnessing pro wrestler Jerry Lawler become world champion for first time in his illustrious career on May 9, 1988 over Kurt Henning.
  20. The Kansas City Royals’ 11-0 shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series.
  21. Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers losing four times to the Cincinnati Bearcats during the 1991-92 season.
  22. Penny Hardaway losing his final college game where his NBA career began (in Orlando).
  23. Steve Young engineering the 49ers to a 49-26 win over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl 29.
  24. The scene of Michael Jordan crying on the locker room floor while blanketing the game ball after winning his first NBA title following the death of his father.
  25. Len Bias’ shocking death two days after the 1986 NBA Draft.
  26. Magic Johnson announcing his retirement from the NBA on November 7, 1991 after learning he had acquired the AIDS virus.
  27. Attending Monday night wrestling virtually every week with my uncle, Darryl Crawford.

    H-TOWN --- How can I forget when I covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in what was my third full season of covering the league?

    How can I forget when I covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in what was my third full season of covering the league?

  28. Covering my very first sporting event as a sports intern for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper in May 1996.
  29. Partaking in my second sports internship for The Commercial Appeal in May 2000.
  30. Assuming a full-time job a sports reporter for The Commercial Appeal in August 2000.
  31. Interviewing Laila Ali during her fight in the Mid-South in June 2002.
  32. At the request of Jerry Lawler, meeting the Hall of Fame wrestler over lunch in March 2010 for an exclusive interview that lasted more than two hours.
  33. Covering Kobe Bryant on the night he became the Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time leading scorer in March 2010.
  34. Covering the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.
  35. The 2007-08 Memphis Tiger basketball team.
  36. John Calipari vacating Memphis for Kentucky or, as he said, “the Notre Dame of college basketball.”
  37. Mario Chalmers breaking the hearts of Tiger fans with a game-tying 3-pointer that forced overtime in the 2008 NCAA final.
  38. The Los Angeles Clipper’s historic comeback from 27 points down to shock the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the 2012 NBA playoffs.
  39. The Grizzlies reaching the Western Conference Finals the following year.
  40. Relocating to Dallas in April 2014 to cover Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.
  41. Thanking God in advance for allowing me to stick around to witness and savor more sporting moments.

 

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.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle described Flip Saunders’ death as a ‘dark day’ in the NBA

REMEMBERING FLIP SAUNDERS (1955-2015)

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasted little time paying homage to Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders following his team’s two-hour practice Monday morning.

“Flip was one of those guys who was a great and intense competitor, always did it the right way,” Carlisle said while addressing reporters. “And as competitive as he was and as great a coach he was, he had no enemies in this league.”

FABULOUS FLIP --- Flip Saunders, who returned to Minnesota for a second stint last summer and compiled more than 1,000 victories during a professional coaching career that spanned more than three decades, died Sunday of cancer at the age of 60. Saunders’ death comes just three days before the Timberwolves’ season-opener at the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP)

FABULOUS FLIPFlip Saunders, who returned to Minnesota for a second stint last summer and compiled more than 1,000 victories during a professional coaching career that spanned more than three decades, died Sunday of cancer at the age of 60. Saunders’ death comes just three days before the Timberwolves’ season-opener at the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Saunders, who returned to Minnesota for a second stint last summer and compiled more than 1,000 victories during a professional coaching career that spanned more than three decades, died Sunday of cancer at the age of 60.

Saunders’ death comes just three days before the Timberwolves’ season-opener at the Los Angeles Lakers and two days after the team announced he would not return this season as he continued to battle his dreaded disease.

Saunders announced in August that he was being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma during which doctors described it as “very treatable and curable.” Saunders, in fact, said at the time he had planned to remain the Timberwolves’ head coach and president of basketball operations.

However, after enduring a setback last month that led to him being hospitalized, the team turned the coaching duties over to interim Sam Mitchell while Milt Newton assumed the general manager responsibilities.

In assessing Saunders’ coaching career that also included stints with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, Carlisle ironically liken Saunders’ style of coaching to the late Chuck Daly, the former Pistons coach who led the franchise to back-to-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.

“He reminded me a lot of Chuck Daly,” Carlisle said. “He was innovative. He was creative. He was a great coach that coached a lot of different kinds of teams, and he was an impact guy as a GM as well.”

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Saunders was also part-owner of the Timberwolves, although he is widely known for his 35-year coaching tenure.

With the emergence of a young Kevin Garnett, Saunders guided Minnesota to its first-ever playoff berth in 1996-97, his first full season as an NBA head coach. The following year, he led the Timberwolves to their first-ever winning campaign, then helped propelled the team to a franchise-record 50 victories in 1999–2000, a feat they repeated two seasons later. (Getty Images Photos)

With the emergence of a young Kevin Garnett, Saunders guided Minnesota to its first-ever playoff berth in 1996-97, his first full season as an NBA head coach. The following year, he led the Timberwolves to their first-ever winning campaign, then helped propelled the team to a franchise-record 50 victories in 1999–2000, a feat they repeated two seasons later. (Getty Images Photos)

Saunders assumed his first NBA job when he joined the Timberwolves in May 1995 as general manager, working alongside former college teammate Kevin McHale. Seven months later, he was named the team’s head coach, replacing Bill Blair after Minnesota had gotten off to a dismal 6-14 start.

Two seasons later (1996-97), with the emergence of a young Kevin Garnett, Saunders guided Minnesota to its first-ever playoff berth in his first full season as an NBA head coach. The following year, he led the Timberwolves to their first-ever winning campaign, then helped steer the team to a franchise-record 50 victories in 1999–2000, a feat they repeated two seasons later.

LASTING IMPRESSION ---When asked how Saunders’ legacy will be remembered, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle paused briefly then said, “He’s one of the most respected coaches in history. Getty Images Photo)

LASTING IMPRESSIONWhen asked how Saunders’ legacy will be remembered, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle paused briefly then said, “He’s one of the most respected coaches in history. Getty Images Photo)

Consequently, Saunders was fired midway through the 2004-05 season during which the Timberwolves had failed to advance to the playoffs for the first time in nine years.

However, following coaching stints in Detroit (2005-2008) and Washington (2009-2012), Saunders rejoined the T-Wolves organization last summer before his health began to decline.

Saunders, whose professional coaching career began in 1988-89 with the CBA’s Rapid City Thrillers, led the Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals during the 2003-04 season.

When asked how Saunders’ legacy will be remembered, Carlisle paused briefly then said, “He’s one of the most respected coaches in NBA history. There’s no doubt about that. He experienced great success. And he helped build that Minnesota franchise, really, from the depths of the lottery to a team that was in the Western Conference Finals.”

With the NBA regular season set to begin on Tuesday, Carlisle described Saunders’ passing as a “dark day” for the NBA.

“But we’ll all look back at all of the great things he did and all of the wonderful things he stood for and we’ll learn from his example,” Carlisle said.

The Mavs will wear lapel pins throughout the season in Saunders’ memory, Carlisle said.

Dallas’ season-opener is Wednesday night at 9 CST at Phoenix, the first of a three-game road trip.

 

AndreAndre 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: Is prep hoops standout Jordan Reed Chicago-area’s best kept secret?

STAR WATCH ---- Jordan Reed, who is rated as a four-start prospect by various recruiting analysts, is a rising senior point guard for Plainfield (Ill.) East High School. (Photos submitted by R. Reed)

STAR WATCH —- Jordan Reed, who is rated as a four-start prospect by various recruiting analysts, is a rising senior point guard for Plainfield (Ill.) East High School. (Photos submitted by R. Reed)

Robert Reed, the father of Chicago-area high school basketball standout Jordan Reed, describes himself as a self-proclaimed “basketball enthusiast.”

Surely, he has valid reasons for doing so.

Amongst the grandest reasons Robert Reed is one who possesses a rather high basketball IQ is that he has worked diligently throughout the years to help steer his son in the right direction — on and off the court.

Nowadays, it seems, the tireless contributions and support of Robert Reed and his wife, Mona, have benefited their son mightily, considering he has flourished immensely on Chicago’s tradition-rich basketball circuit in recent years.

Jordan Reed, who is rated as a four-start prospect by various recruiting analysts, is a rising senior point guard for Plainfield (Ill.) East High School.

BORN TO PLAY --- Robert and Mona Reed first handed their son a basketball when he was in the second grade and, according to the couple, the rest is history.

BORN TO PLAY — Robert and Mona Reed first handed their son a basketball when he was in the second grade and, according to the couple, the rest is history.

A speedy, slim 165-pounder who has the ability to create his own shot, thus emerge as a game-changer, or sorts, Jordan has quickly come under the radar by a slew of mid-major Division 1 schools in recent years as the featured player for Plainfield coach Braden Adkins’ squad.

“I always tell him to keep working hard and don’t let anything get in the way of his success,” Adkins told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. “We’ve seen a maturation process since he’s been around the program a few years now. He knows what the coaches expect of our team. I just expect him to lead those younger guys.”

To get a thorough understanding of how much Jordan Reed has jelled considerably in the recent years, look further than how his parents has steadfastly gone about helping put his dazzling skills on display over the years.

WATCH JORDAN VIA YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkmEfLFkhf8&feature=em-share_video_user

For starters, Robert and Mona Reed first handed their son a basketball when he was in the second grade and, according to the couple, the rest is history.

“Jordan hasn’t looked back since,” Robert Reed said.

Jordan3If nothing else, it seems this vibrant, enthusiastic athlete has made a strong case in recent years that he’s destined to fulfill his lofty dream of playing major college basketball.

And whatever lies beyond that.

Take, for instance, how Jordan, has gone about evolving as a fixture on the AAU circuit in recent years, having played in a number of national tournaments — most notably one run by LeBron James — in several major cities while earning well over 100 medals as a result.

MORE JORDAN IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKxNyXt_a3U&feature=em-share_video_user

Jordan also played AAU ball for Evan Turner’s Buckeyes in which he averages 21 points, five assists, and five steals per game. In addition, he made 89 percent of his free throws and shot an impressive 47 percent from beyond the arc — numbers that ultimately gave way to him being named a member of the “5-Star All Star Game” in 2014.

Add to the fact that Jordan Reed has trained several times a week with former University of Wisconsin All-American and current Charlotte Hornets rookie Frank Kimisky and local trainer Lamont White, and it’s no wonder this kid has become one of the Chicago area high school’s most sought-after recruits for the Class of 2016.

In assessing Jordan’s overall display in recent years, Robert Reed acknowledges that about which he’s intrigued the most is his son’s increase in confidence.

To his credit, he has a tear-jerking story as more valid proof to complement that high basketball IQ.

FOLLOW JORDAN VIA TWITTER: @ItsJReed; @pehsathletics; @PEHSOrangeCrush.

“The memorable story I’d like to share is last year he played in the Pekin Holiday tournament, when our big gun — who is presently playing for the Illinois Fighting Illini, Aaron Jordan — was looking to take the last shot,” Robert Reed explained. “As he drove (to the basket), the entire team collapsed on him and the ball floated over the rim. Jordan caught it and put it up at the buzzer, sending us to the championship and beating top recruit Nojel Eastern of Evanston Township. That did wonders for his confidence.”

Indeed it did.

Jordan Reed with Jabari Parker

Jordan Reed with Jabari Parker

Nowadays, it seems that Jordan, armed with a slew confidence that only he can contain, figures to enjoy what is expected to be a memorable final prep season for a Bengals team that finished 18-12 last season.

“I work hard in all that I do and as the oldest son of five,” Jordan Reed said. “I have a “can-do” attitude and now learning how to persevere. I have been through a lot during my short time here on earth. I’ve lived through a good friend passing away suddenly while he played the game of basketball he loved so well, to watching my mom be deployed twice to Iraq…keeping the faith that she’d come back in one piece and of sound mind.”

Fortunately for Jordan, even in the wake of his off-the-court challenges in recent years, the basketball court has always been his sanctuary, of sorts.

“I’ve been the back bone for our basketball organization and I am always positive and up-beat even in the midst of trials in my life,” Jordan Reed explains. “My friends tease me sometimes about that military brat aspect, but it’s made me who I am and has helped shaped my existence.

Jordan Reed with Penny Hardaway

Jordan Reed with Penny Hardaway

“What I love most about basketball is dunking on someone,” Jordan Reed said with a grin. “But I do love dunking the ball. What I really love is the freedom I have out there when I’m playing.”

A favorable trend college scouts and recruiters will almost certainly come to embrace around this time next year.

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.”

AndreAndre 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 andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

North Carolina prep hoops standout Dakari Johnson having Mid-South, regional impact

STAR WATCH --- Dakari Johnson is the starting point guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Having adopted No. 10 as his jersey number, this 15-year-old rising basketball standout has become a fixture on the amateur hoops circuit in years, most notably on an AAU platform in which he’s had the luxury to competing with a host of players of former NBA All-Stars. (Photos submitted by G. Johnson)

STAR WATCH — Dakari Johnson is the starting point guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Having adopted No. 10 as his jersey number, this 15-year-old rising basketball standout has become a fixture on the amateur hoops circuit in years, most notably on an AAU platform in which he’s had the luxury to competing with a host of players of former NBA All-Stars. (Photos submitted by G. Johnson)

In case you don’t know him, allow Dakari Johnson to introduce himself.

For starters, Johnson is the starting point guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Having adopted No. 10 as his jersey number, this 15-year-old rising basketball standout has become a fixture on the amateur hoops circuit in years, most notably on an AAU platform in which he’s had the luxury to competing with a host of players who are sons of former NBA players.

A speedy, versatile athlete who stands at 6-foot even and weighs 175-pound, Johnson, by many recruiting experts’ standards, would be considered a rather big point man who, in all likelihood, will present mostly a size advantage for the opposition, particularly at the high school ranks.

Most importantly, for an athlete who figures to emerge as one of the nation’s finest point guards for the Class of 2018 by the time his prep career ends, Johnson’s all-around display at the AAU ranks has given way to a wealth of experience for a kid his age, a pivotal attribute that figures to prove beneficial for a Northwood Academy team that will be aiming to rebound from last year’s unsatisfactory 13-16 finish.

In a nutshell, as Johnson goes, the possibility exist that so could the Eagles in 2015-16.

By all accounts, that Johnson is expected to witness his role increase mightily this upcoming season for Northwood Academy essentially brings Eagle coach Chris Lattimer to smiles whenever he is asked to assess the skills and progress of his prized floor general.

“Dakari is the type of point guard college coaches love,” Lattimer told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Tuesday. “He has a very quick first step, extremely high (basketball) IQ, and has a deadly jump shot.”

What’s equally impressive for Johnson who, for the past couple of years, has thoroughly embraced the golden opportunity of putting his immense skills on display in tradition-rich, basketball-crazed North Carolina, is that he has evolved into an efficient ball handler and scorer, something about which will almost certain draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters during the course of what is expected to be a memorable prep hoops stint for the talented floor general.

GOOD AS ADVERTISED --- What’s equally impressive for Johnson who, for the past couple of years, has thoroughly embraced the golden opportunity of putting his immense skills on display in tradition-rich, basketball-crazed North Carolina, is that he has evolved into an efficient ball handler and scorer, something about which will almost certain draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters during the course of what is expected to be a memorable prep hoops stint for the talented floor general.

GOOD AS ADVERTISED — What’s equally impressive for Johnson who, for the past couple of years, has thoroughly embraced the golden opportunity of putting his immense skills on display in tradition-rich, basketball-crazed North Carolina, is that he has evolved into an efficient ball handler and scorer, something about which will almost certain draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters during the course of what is expected to be a memorable prep hoops stint for the talented floor general.

Take, for instance, Johnson’s performance a couple of summers ago in the YBOA National Championship during which he had had gone on a tear offensively — early and often.

A then-eighth grader who assumed a role on a 10-grade squad assembled by his father and retired military vet, Gregory Johnson, Dakari — known widely as “Kari” — essentially enjoyed an amateur hoops coming-out-party, of sorts. That’s when he caught by registering a team-high 28 points in the title game, a dazzling feat that led to him being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Consequently, Kari was the catalyst for East Hoke Middle’s basketball team, having guided the squad to consecutive championships, thus being christened the team’s Most Valuable Player.

Add to the fact that this up-and-coming hoops prodigy, who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels, have competed against a slew of the nation’s finest amateur players, and it’s no wonder many who have followed the hoops prowess of Kari believe he will be as good as advertised this upcoming season.

And beyond.

Once again, in case you don’t know him, remember the name: Dakari Johnson.

“He started playing basketball at the age of five,” said Gregory Johnson, assessing his son’s rise as a young baller. “We felt basketball could be his thing because at that age, he was so much faster than all the other kids his age. The coaches depended on him to bring the ball up the court. I guess you could say he was destined to be a point guard. How I knew he could be special came at a parks and recreation basketball draft. That was my first year coaching parks, and recreation basketball and I was away with the military the previous year, so many of the coaches didn’t know me. So my son was the first name came up in the draft. I would watch these grown men rant and rave over Dakari.”

Fortunately for Kari, many who have followed him on the amateur circuit in recent years have been ranting and raving ever since.

Given his wealth of success in recent years, don’t expect that change anytime soon.

NATIONAL STANDOUT? Add to the fact that this up-and-coming hoops prodigy, who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels, have competed against a slew of the nation’s finest amateur players --- most notably against Kenny Smith, Jr., the son of former NBA player and current TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith --- and it’s no wonder many who have followed the hoops prowess of Kari believe he will be as good as advertised this upcoming season.  And beyond.

NATIONAL STANDOUT? Add to the fact that this up-and-coming hoops prodigy, who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels, have competed against a slew of the nation’s finest amateur players, several of whom are sons of former NBA players, it’s no wonder many who have followed the hoops prowess of Kari believe he will be as good as advertised this upcoming season.
And beyond.

Among the reasons is Kari enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign in which he averaged 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. In addition, he was named to the All-Conference team, while placing third overall in the voting for Conference Player of the Year as a freshman.

Still, his masterful display as a newcomer enabled him to garner All-Tournament honors as well as the County’s Rookie of the Year, team MVP and captain.

A pretty compelling introduction for a floor general who, well, in case you don’t know him.

“He is a leader and a winner, and his game will continue to progress,” Lattimer said of Kari. “Dakari is a motivated student and has outstanding character.”

Let alone a kid whom college scouts and recruiters will come to know pretty well this year.

And beyond.

Once again, in case you don’t know him, remember the name: Dakari Johnson.

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.”

AndreAndre 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.

Golden State’s Andre Iguodala dished out notable assist in shout out to NBA chaplains

COMMENTARY

AndreDALLAS — For a sportswriter who has covered the NBA for the past five years, among the trends that never generate headlines is when players meet with the chaplains as part of their pregame rituals.

Because of the constant traveling and customary back-to-backs that make up an 82-game regular season, players rarely get to partake in worship inside of an actual edifice.

Besides, as NBA veteran Tayshaun Price told me during a 2013 interview regarding this subject, meeting with chaplains on game days provides players with the spiritual guidance and wisdom they need which, as a result, will enable them to keep life in its proper perspective.

So how commendable that in the wake of the Golden State Warriors’ Game 6 NBA Finals win Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers that gave them their first world championship in 40 years, Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala during a live postgame interview deemed it necessary to thank the chaplains across the league for their dedicated pastoral service they rendered generously to him and his teammates.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED --- Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and MVP Andre Iguodala celebrate after their team defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 to win the 2015 NBA Finals on June 16, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Warriors took the best-of-seven series four games to two over the Cavaliers to claim their first title since 1975. (Photo by Timothy Clary/Getty Images)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED — Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and MVP Andre Iguodala celebrate after their team defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 to win the 2015 NBA Finals on June 16, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Warriors took the best-of-seven series four games to two over the Cavaliers to claim their first title since 1975. (Photo by Timothy Clary/Getty Images)

“I want to thank all the chaplains across the NBA for helping us out every single night,” Iguodala said after he became the first non-regular season starter in NBA history to be named the Finals Most Valuable Player.

HEART OF GOLD --- Iguodala during a live postgame interview deemed it necessary to thank the chaplains across the league for their dedicated pastoral service they rendered generously to him and his teammates.  ““I want to thank all the chaplains across the NBA for helping us out every single night,” Iguodala said after he became the first non-regular season starter in NBA history to be named the Finals Most Valuable Player. (Photo by David Liam/Getty Images)

HEART OF GOLD — Iguodala during a live postgame interview deemed it necessary to thank the chaplains across the league for their dedicated pastoral service they rendered generously to him and his teammates.
““I want to thank all the chaplains across the NBA for helping us out every single night,” Iguodala said after he became the first non-regular season starter in NBA history to be named the Finals Most Valuable Player.
(Photo by David Liam/Getty Images)

Consequently, Iguodala’s rare acknowledgement to the NBA’s men of the cloth brought tears to the eyes of longtime Memphis Grizzlies chaplain Donald Johnson.

Johnson, in telephone interview from Memphis on Wednesday, said he befriended Iguodala when he played for the Philadelphia 76ers from 2004-2012. Both, Johnson acknowledged, had often communicated via text messaging during the Warriors’ playoff run and, after their championship-clinching win, Johnson wasted little time reaching to his friend.

“I texted him (Tuesday) night and told him, ‘Congratulations on the championship’ and ‘job well done,’” Johnson, the pastor of Memphis’ historic Oak Grove Missionary Church, said. “I told some people he was going to be the Most Valuable Player not because he is a great player, but because he’s a man of God.”

PLAYERS' PASTOR --- Donald Johnson, the longtime Grizzlies chaplain, spoke with such eloquence in December 2012 on how essential it is that Iguodala and his teammates become dedicated daily to partaking in prayer and reading God's word because, according to Johnson, "they both go hand in hand."  As the brief session was about to culminate, Johnson prayed for Iguodala, asking God to grant him favor and to release supernatural blessings upon the All-Star who, after Tuesday night's game, had wrapped up his 11th NBA season.

PLAYERS’ PASTOR — Donald Johnson, the longtime Grizzlies chaplain, spoke with such eloquence in December 2012 on how essential it is that Iguodala and his teammates become dedicated daily to partaking in prayer and reading God’s word because, according to Johnson, “they both go hand in hand.”
As the brief session was about to culminate, Johnson prayed for Iguodala, asking God to grant him favor and to release supernatural blessings upon the All-Star who, after Tuesday night’s game, had wrapped up his 11th NBA season.

According to www.sportschaplaincy.org, sports chaplains have been fixtures to the sports community, having existed since the early mid-20th century. Also, the presence of sports chaplains have grown considerably over the past two decades, the website states, and the United States, United Kingdom and Australia have well established Christian sports chaplaincy ministries.

Since I began covering the NBA, I’ve witnessed array of players meet with Johnson roughly 90 minutes before tipoff in a designated room adjacent to FedExForum’s media hospitality area. Players from Mike Miller, Jeremy Lin, Dwight Howard, Stephen Curry, to the entire Oklahoma City Thunder team.

Heck, I even recall last season when Houston Rockets point guard James Harden shoved me out of the way in the FedExForum tunnel after a pregame shoot around session so he could meet Johnson in time for to hear a mini-sermon.

Ironically, I actually sat in on Iguodala’s pregame session with Johnson the day after Christmas in 2012, during which Iguodala was in a contract season with 76ers.

I recall like yesterday how Johnson spoke with such eloquence on how essential it is that Iguodala and his teammates become dedicated daily to partaking in prayer and reading God’s word because, according to Johnson, “they both go hand in hand.”

As the brief session was about to culminate, Johnson prayed for Iguodala, asking God to grant him favor and to release supernatural blessings upon the All-Star who, after Tuesday night’s game, had wrapped up his 11th NBA season.

Fortunately for Iguodala, it’s safe to assume that God has modernized his career unlike never before, considering he was thrust atop the basketball world, hoisting the covenant Larry O’Brien hardware while simultaneously bearing an unlikely Finals MVP trophy.

Nevermind that Iguodala wasn’t deposited in the starting lineup until Game 5. But give him credit for being the only player capable of containing LeBron James, the Cavs’ self-proclaimed “best player in the world.”

After the Warriors’ historic season had come to a ceremonious end, after they emphatically had proven that their 67-win regular season wasn’t a fluke, Iguodala, whose primary role — at least for this season — was to fill in nicely whenever Klay Thompson took a breather, paid homage not just to his Creator, but to those who are responsible for dishing out the assists and tip-ins only a few seem to recognize.

Fortunately for Iguodala, it’s safe to assume that God has modernized his career unlike never before, considering he was thrust atop the basketball world, hoisting the covenant Larry O'Brien hardware while simultaneously bearing an unlikely Finals MVP trophy.  Nevermind that Iguodala wasn’t deposited in the starting lineup until Game 5. But give him credit for being the only player capable of containing LeBron James, the Cavs’ self-proclaimed “best player in the world.”  (Photo by Timothy Clay/Getty Images)

Fortunately for Iguodala, it’s safe to assume that God has modernized his career unlike never before, considering he was thrust atop the basketball world, hoisting the covenant Larry O’Brien hardware while simultaneously bearing an unlikely Finals MVP trophy.
Nevermind that Iguodala wasn’t deposited in the starting lineup until Game 5. But give him credit for being the only player capable of containing LeBron James, the Cavs’ self-proclaimed “best player in the world.”
(Photo by Timothy Clay/Getty Images)

Those much-needed spiritual assists and tip-ins that will empower them daily to keep life in its proper perspective.

“That really did touched my heart,” said Johnson, explaining his reaction to Iguodala’s postgame shout out to chaplains. “I was really humbled by that and I texted him and said, ‘Brother, thank you. I can’t lie to you. A tear began to dwell in my eye. It’s great to get the recognition.”

A newsworthy subject that surely had been long overdue for generating headlines.

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 andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Jae Moore fulfilling his lifelong dream through music as a rising gospel artist

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jae Moore doesn’t shy away from the fact that he would love to someday meet the Clark Sisters, Tamela Mann, Kirk Franklin, and Mary Mary, all of whom are renowned gospel music recording artists who have ties in some shape or form to the Church of God In Christ, which is headquartered in Memphis.

JaeMain“I sit and pray and I also try to put myself in the place of other people when I write so that my music can relate to people,” Moore told Reporter Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I have not met any big name gospel artists yet.”

Given the immense strides Moore has made in recent years as rising gospel singer, his crossing paths with famous recording artists could very well come to fruition in the foreseeable future.

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Moore, to his credit, has hit the gospel music recording circuit at full speed, in large part because, as he tells it, he strategically placed his past fears and jitters where they belong: behind him.

Now his steadfast leap of faith coupled with his keen ability to see from beyond where he is has given way to favorable results for this young married father of three.

KING'S CHILD --- A Baltimore Woodlawn High graduate, Jae Moore is just weeks away from releasing his debut single entitled, “You”, a much-anticipated project that will be the featured hit on his an album that has yet to be named. (Photos submitted by J. Moore)

KING’S CHILD — A Baltimore Woodlawn High graduate, Jae Moore is just weeks away from releasing his debut single entitled, “You”, a much-anticipated project that will be the featured hit on his an album that has yet to be named. (Photos submitted by J. Moore)

And, in the coming weeks, those who have witnessed him grow up in the church and putt his musically-inclined skills on display will get to listen to and savor Moore’s angelic voice from the comfortable confines of their homes and vehicles.

A Baltimore Woodlawn High graduate, Moore is just weeks away from releasing his debut single entitled, “You”, a much-anticipated project that will be the featured hit on his an album that has yet to be named.

According to Moore, this emotional, awe-inspiring song will serve as a reminder to those from various walks of life of just how commendable and beneficial it is to assume the mind of Christ.

And not just adopt the mind of Christ, he’s quick to point out, but striving daily to embrace the abundant life Jesus came to give the world.

In a nutshell, Moore acknowledges, when the world develops a mindset to think and convey a lifestyle similar to that of Christ, lives of others will change for the better.

“My debut single comes from within,” said Moore, explain the meaning behind his initial recorded gospel song. “It speaks truth. It’s talking about being like God and walking like He has told us and showing us in His word.”

In other words, Moore said, when we strive daily to talk, walk, and pattern our lives after our Creator, mankind won’t merely think twice about trying to duplicate the lives of others.

“It’s so easy to want to be like this person and that person just because we look up to them,” Moore continued. “But this song just simply says, ‘I want to be like you, God, and follow after the things You have shown.’”

BORN TO SING --- For Moore, while singing had become virtually a massive part of his life growing up, thrusting his talents to the forefront --- or before sizable crowd --- had essentially become a tough act follow.  Conversely, for someone who adores gospel music wholeheartedly, let alone grew up in the church, Moore knows full well that God strategically had a divine calling on his life all along.

BORN TO SING — For Moore, while singing had become virtually a massive part of his life growing up, thrusting his talents to the forefront — or before sizable crowd — had essentially become a tough act follow.
Conversely, for someone who adores gospel music wholeheartedly, let alone grew up in the church, Moore knows full well that God strategically had a divine calling on his life all along.

For Moore, who currently resides in Oklahoma City with his wife, Krystal and their three children, while singing had become virtually a massive part of his life growing up, thrusting his talents to the forefront — or before sizable crowd — had essentially become a tough act follow.

Conversely, for someone who adores gospel music wholeheartedly, let alone grew up in the church, Moore knows full well that God strategically had a divine calling on his life all along.

That calling, it turned out, was centered largely on gospel music.

Nowadays, Moore can finally celebrate the fact that because of his profound affection for gospel music, he’s finally in his element — thanks in large part to him strategically placing his fears and jitters where they belong: behind him.

“I have always been scared to just promote my music and what God had given me,” Moore said. “I have had several people for years trying to encourage me to get my music to the world. I feel like if I don’t do it now then I never will. The passion and the burning are there and, at this time, I chose to trust God and go for it.”

Credit his mother, grandmother, and aunt for also inspiring him to grab a firm hold of his passion for music.

“I grew up watching my mother play the piano and organ at church,” Moore explained. “And when I went to visit my dad, I remember watching my grandmother and aunt play the piano during service. I love my mother because she instilled singing in me, and both of my sisters. She saw the gift in us. She would wake us up in the middle of the night so we can practice singing.  My first time singing in front of a crowd was at school when I had to sing the national anthem. I was nervous because I was kid and didn’t know what to expect.  I afraid of what people would say.”

Today, nonetheless, those who once watched in awe Moore ignite crowds as a child are now celebrating the fact that he has taken his musically-inclined skills to a whole new level.

DREAM FULFILLED --- Nowadays, Moore can finally celebrate the fact that because of his profound affection for gospel music, he’s finally in his element --- thanks in large part to him strategically placing his fears and jitters where they belong: behind him. “I have always been scared to just promote my music and what God had given me,” Moore said. “I have had several people for years trying to encourage me to get my music to the world. I feel like if I don't do it now then I never will. The passion and the burning are there and, at this time, I chose to trust God and go for it.”

DREAM FULFILLED — Nowadays, Moore can finally celebrate the fact that because of his profound affection for gospel music, he’s finally in his element — thanks in large part to him strategically placing his fears and jitters where they belong: behind him.
“I have always been scared to just promote my music and what God had given me,” Moore said. “I have had several people for years trying to encourage me to get my music to the world. I feel like if I don’t do it now then I never will. The passion and the burning are there and, at this time, I chose to trust God and go for it.”

“I love music so much because I feel like it’s a way to express what’s in the inside,” Moore said. “Music is very powerful; it sends a message rather than be good or bad. My love for music has grown into a passion.”

Thanks in large part to him strategically placing his fears and jitters where they belong: behind him.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an author, musician, model, entrepreneur, 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.

AndreAndre 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 andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

LeBron James has earned the right to say he’s ‘the best player in the world’

COMMENTARY

AndreDALLAS — Two days after the NBA All-Star break last year, I walked inside of American Airlines Center, where the Miami Heat had just completed their morning shootaround session.

Then-Heat superstar LeBron James had retreated to the opposite end of the arena away from his teammates.

Consequently, I headed toward the area where James sat and, although he didn’t take questions from reporters, he and I partook in a rather brief exchange.

It had nothing to do with basketball.

WORLD'S FINEST --- Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, an 11-year veteran continues to register consistently remarkable numbers in a series (36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the NBA Finals while playing 45-plus minutes per contest) many didn’t expect to be this competitive, considering the shorthanded Cavs have lost their second and third-best players (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) to season-ending injuries. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

WORLD’S FINEST — Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, an 11-year veteran continues to register consistently remarkable numbers in a series (36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the NBA Finals while playing 45-plus minutes per contest) many didn’t expect to be this competitive, considering the shorthanded Cavs have lost their second and third-best players (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) to season-ending injuries. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Instead, I congratulated James on his recent marriage to the former Savannah Brinson, his longtime girlfriend of 13 years.

Suddenly, I jokingly asked James, “Do you have any marital advice you’d like to pass along to me?”

James, a seemingly ecstatic newlywed, then turned away from his cell phone and, without hesitation, said to me, “Choose your battles, man. Happy wife, happy life.”

It was, in fact, following that intriguing dialogue that I had drawn the conclusion that James isn’t merely the villain many sensed he had become in the aftermath of his infamous “The Decision” prime-time national television special when he unequivocally coined the phrase, “taking my talents to South Beach.”

But rather I had drawn the assessment that James is one who, love him or hate him, doesn’t shy away from the notion of always keeping it real.

In my estimation, he’s kept it real ever since.

Such was the case when after a memorable four-year run in Miami in which James guided the Heat to back-to-back world titles and four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, he revealed in a first-person essay to Sports Illustrated that he intended to rejoin the Cavaliers.

Such was the case when he met last summer behind closed doors with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to mend their well-publicized differences.

Such was the case following Cleveland’s 104-91 loss at the Golden State Warriors in Sunday’s Game 5 of their NBA Finals best-of-7 series.

Even after the Cavs were dealt their second consecutive setback to fall behind in the series three games to two, James, assuming his customary businesslike approach, was forthright and to the point in assessing how his team will devise ways to atone for squandering a 2-1 series lead.

“I feel confident because I’m the best player in the world,” James, after his 40-point, triple-double outburst, said when asked about his team’s chances of rallying to win the series.” It’s that simple.”

While many media pundits sense that Golden State — just like in its previous series against Memphis — has made the necessary adjustments to take control of a series the Warriors are favored to win, James, meanwhile, was only stating the obvious following a loss that now have the Cavs on the brink of witnessing yet another franchise heartbreaker heading into Tuesday night’s Game 6 at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

That is, he uttered with such fearlessness a dauntless declaration many around the sports world had been professing for some time.

Love him or hate him, James, to his credit, surely has earned the right to say he’s the world’s best player, given his masterful, awe-inspiring display on basketball’s grandest stage.

SWEET HOME OHIO --- Such renewed hope and enthusiasm wouldn’t have come to fruition in Cleveland if not for the much-anticipated return of James who, to his credit, was such an integral part of the Heat organization that after he bolted South Beach and returned to his Ohio stomping ground, Miami failed to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in seven years. All of which is why even with a series loss to the Warriors, James ought to be named Finals MVP. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

SWEET HOME OHIO — Such renewed hope and enthusiasm wouldn’t have come to fruition in Cleveland if not for the much-anticipated return of James who, to his credit, was such an integral part of the Heat organization that after he bolted South Beach and returned to his Ohio stomping ground, Miami failed to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in seven years. All of which is why even with a series loss to the Warriors, James ought to be named Finals MVP. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

For starters, the 11-year veteran continues to register consistently remarkable numbers in a series (36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the NBA Finals while playing 45-plus minutes per contest) many didn’t expect to be this competitive, considering the shorthanded Cavs have lost their second and third-best players (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) to season-ending injuries.

Not only that, the 30-year-old James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player who finished third in this year’s league MVP race, has virtually done it all on both ends of the floor, most notably as the Cavs’ facilitator in a series showdown against Golden State’s Stephen Curry, the league’s reigning MVP.

How else to explain why Cavs undrafted shooting guard Matthew Dellavedova has filled in superbly for the injured Irving, thus manufactured his pro basketball coming out party?

How else to explain why Clevelanders who, on several occasions, had become accustomed to witnessing their professional sports teams wound up on the wrong side of arguably the most memorable moments in the history of sports — the Browns’ disheartening loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game known as The Drive and Michael Jordan’s game-winning shot over Craig Ehlo two years later, for instance — were ultimately given some renewed hope and enthusiasm when the Cavs surprisingly stole homecourt advantage with a decisive win in Game 2 against the heavily-favored Warriors?

POSITIVE APPROACH --- Even after the Cavs were dealt their second consecutive setback to fall behind in the series three games to two, James, assuming his customary businesslike approach, was forthright and to the point in assessing how his team will devise ways to atone for squandering a 2-1 series lead. “"I feel confident because I'm the best player in the world," said James, when asked about his team’s chances of rallying to win the series.” It's that simple." (Photo by Tony Dejak/AP)

POSITIVE APPROACH — Even after the Cavs were dealt their second consecutive setback to fall behind in the series three games to two, James, assuming his customary businesslike approach, was forthright and to the point in assessing how his team will devise ways to atone for squandering a 2-1 series lead. “”I feel confident because I’m the best player in the world,” said James, when asked about his team’s chances of rallying to win the series.” It’s that simple.” (Photo by Tony Dejak/AP)

Make no mistake, such renewed energy wouldn’t have come to fruition if not for the much-anticipated return of James who, to his credit, was such an integral part of the Heat organization that after he bolted South Beach and went back to his Ohio stomping ground, Miami failed to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in seven years.

All of which is why even with a series loss to the Warriors, James ought to be named Finals MVP.

All of which is why James, because of his undeniable excellence and astounding body of work in recent years, undoubtedly has earned the right to say he’s the best player in the world.

Love him or hate him.

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 andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.