Grand Prairie ISD educator Khiandra Marsland has reasons to savor Mother’s Day

DALLAS — For Khiandra Marsland, whether times are favorable or unfavorable, her mother will make it a point to be there.

Without question.

MarslandMain“Throughout my life, whenever I needed her she was there,” Marsland said. “The distance from Texas to Louisiana was not an issue. If I called her for anything, she would jump in her van and head on over.”

Fortunately for Marsland, a mother of two (Kendrick and Khiandra), such a life-altering trend had gone on for a little more than 13 years, particularly since this thriving, longtime educator relocated from her native hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana to Dallas last May.

Today, however, it seems the close knit bond between Marsland and her mother, Verandia Roland Marsland, has become tighter than it has ever been, in large part because this big-hearted woman who gave her life deemed it necessary to never become inseparable from each of her five grandchildren.

Without question.

“My mother is also affectionately known as Mimi by her grandchildren,” Khiandra explained. “She has often said that she could train others on how to be a grandmother. It’s a role that she does not take lightly. She showers all five of her grandkids with love and care packages filled with their favorite treats. I can truly say my mom gives love to not only her family and friends, but her community as well.”

MONUMENTAL IMPACT --- “Mimi,” a devoted godly woman who instilled in her children Biblical principles she advised them to apply to their respective lifestyle, is widely viewed as a compassionate individual whose reputation is such that she has a heart for people.  “My mother stands out from others because she has a heart of gold,” Khiandra said. “She is truly one of the most giving people I know. She never meets a stranger and has a godly affection for the elderly. She will see an elderly person in the store and will go up to them and strike up a conversation. Before long, she has them laughing and talking and treating them like they are family.”

MONUMENTAL IMPACT — “Mimi,” a devoted godly woman who instilled in her children Biblical principles she advised them to apply to their respective lifestyle, is widely viewed as a compassionate individual whose reputation is such that she has a heart for people.
“My mother stands out from others because she has a heart of gold,” Khiandra said. “She is truly one of the most giving people I know. She never meets a stranger and has a godly affection for the elderly. She will see an elderly person in the store and will go up to them and strike up a conversation. Before long, she has them laughing and talking and treating them like they are family.”

In commemorating MemphiSport’s Salute To Mother’s Day 2015, Khiandra said among the attributes she labels most intriguing about her mother is how she routinely goes to great lengths to inspire and impact the lives of people from various walks of life.

In a nutshell, “Mimi,” a devoted godly woman who instilled in her children Biblical principles she advised them to apply to their respective lifestyles, is widely viewed as a compassionate individual whose reputation is such that she boasts a heart for people.

Without question.

MOTHERLY LOVE --- It is, after all, because of her Verandia Roland Marsland's unyielding love and guidance, that life in Texas has given way to a renewed sense of solace and comfort and direction, something about which has benefited Khiandra Marsland mightily in recent months.  So much for the past hardships and seemingly insurmountable hurdles she had to clear.  Mama made it a point to be there from the outset. “She is a godly example of how we are to walk and be children of integrity,” Khiandra said. “Now that I am a mother, it is my goal to help my children achieve their greatest dreams and to be their biggest cheerleader along the way.” (Photos submitted by. K. Marsland)

MOTHERLY LOVE — It is, after all, because of her Verandia Roland Marsland’s unyielding love and guidance, that life in Texas has given way to a renewed sense of solace and comfort and direction, something about which has benefited Khiandra Marsland mightily in recent months.
So much for the past hardships and seemingly insurmountable hurdles she had to clear.
Mama made it a point to be there from the outset.
“She is a godly example of how we are to walk and be children of integrity,” Khiandra said. “Now that I am a mother, it is my goal to help my children achieve their greatest dreams and to be their biggest cheerleader along the way.” (Photos submitted by. K. Marsland)

“My mother stands out from others because she has a heart of gold,” Khiandra said. “She is truly one of the most giving people I know. She never meets a stranger and has a godly affection for the elderly. She will see an elderly person in the store and will go up to them and strike up a conversation. Before long, she has them laughing and talking and treating them like they are family.”

That Verandia steadfastly demonstrates love for her family and others has served as a monumental example, of sorts, for Khiandra, who teaches for the Grand Prairie Independent School District. That’s because not only does Khiandra displays compassion and love for her students but, most importantly, she instills those very similar qualities in the lives of her children.

Fortunately for her, her mother routinely travels to and from Dallas to help spread such love to Kendrick and Khiandra, an unlikely development she welcomed wholeheartedly in the aftermath of her move from Louisiana.

“I am humble and in awe of her love and support of me and my kids,” said Khiandra, assessing her mother’s overall impact on her and her children. “I was feeling overwhelmed and a loss for direction and it was her support and through God’s guidance that I landed on my feet.”

Which, to the delight of Khiandra, sums up why this latest Mother’s Day will hold an even greater meaning.

It is, after all, because of her mother’s unyielding love and guidance, that life in Texas nowadays has given way to a renewed sense of solace and comfort and direction, something about which has benefited Khiandra and her children mightily in recent months.

So much for the past hardships and seemingly insurmountable hurdles she had to clear.

That’s because “Mimi” has made it a point to be there from the outset.

No doubt.

“She is a godly example of how we are to walk and be children of integrity,” Khiandra said. “Now that I am a mother, it is my goal to help my children achieve their greatest dreams and to be their biggest cheerleader along the way.”

Whether times for them are favorable or unfavorable.

Without question.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether your mother is living or deceased, if you would like to pay homage to your mom, grandmother, wife, girlfriend, etc., with a unique Mother’s Day tribute that will feature an in-depth story like this one, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

DrePicAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist. 

Memphis BTW graduate Monika Jones celebrates her one year ‘DeltaVersary’

MonikaEDITOR’S NOTE: On behalf of NBA Southwest Division Reporter Andre Johnson, the staff of MemphiSport.com extends a hearty, fabulous, colossal, well-deserved one-year DELTAversary salute to Memphis’ own, Monika Jones. Monika4

Without question, the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated landed a tremendously great acquisition when Monika became a lifetime member of this longstanding African American organization, in large part because this Memphis Booker T. Washington and Lane College alum undoubtedly boasts a heart that is bigger than life. Monika2

Monika3Monika, on this day and beyond, clearly, Delta Sigma Theta is a much better sorority because, well, you are now a lifetime member. We salute you and the crimson and cream clad ladies of Delta, most notably the Jackson, Tennessee chapter

— Andre Johnson

 

DreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like to pay homage to your mom, grandmother, wife, girlfriend, friend, loved one, etc., 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.

Southwind’s Maliq Brewster is No. 3 in Senior Class after overcoming brutal obstacles

Wendy Brewster has been married to her husband, Marcus, for 15 years. They have three sons.

MaliqMainWhen it comes to the couple’s middle child, Maliq DeAndre Brewster, his mother often refers to him as “a chubby little guy” who, according to her, has always been “very friendly and active for his size.”

A senior at Memphis Southwind High, 18-year-old Maliq will be faced with what obviously is a good problem, of sorts.

DEFYING ODDS --- Even after undergoing multiple procedures and additional tests, it’s safe to assume that Maliq essentially had taken his illness in stride. In fact, it seemed he had passed such an obstacle in flying colors just like his array of high school assignments How else to explain why this academically-talent, gifted kid today owns a cumulative grade point average of 4.19.

DEFYING ODDS — Even after undergoing multiple procedures and additional tests, it’s safe to assume that Maliq essentially had taken his illness in stride.
In fact, it seemed he had passed such an obstacle in flying colors just like his array of high school assignments
How else to explain why this academically-talent, gifted kid today owns a cumulative grade point average of 4.19.

For starters, Maliq is one of the most decorated students in Southwind’s forthcoming graduating class, considering he will be the No. 3 overall graduate this year.

Add to the fact that he boasts a laundry list of colleges vying to offer him an academic scholarship this fall, and it’s no wonder why things are holding up favorably for one of Memphis’ top high school students for this year’s class.

“There is nothing he can’t do,” Wendy said in assessing her son’s academic success in recent years. “We are very, very excited for him. (Graduation night) will make me cry. He may be No. 3 at Southwind High, but he is one of our number ones.”

To get a thoroughly indication of why Wendy and her family will likely find themselves armed with Kleenex and handkerchiefs on graduating night, look no further than the tumultuous events that recently surrounded their son.

MIRACLE CHILD --- To get a thoroughly indication of why Wendy and her family will likely find themselves armed with Kleenex and handkerchiefs on graduating night, look no further than the tumultuous events that recently surrounded their son.  Approximately eight years ago, Wendy’s mother noticed that Maliq was losing weight at a seemingly swift pace, a sequence that seemed unfamiliar to his loved ones. Consequently, the Brewsters had taken him to a nearby pediatric center for observation. What they discovered shortly thereafter sent shock waves throughout their household. After a scheduled referral by doctors and a couple of performed colonoscopies, it was discovered that Maliq was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

MIRACLE CHILD — To get a thoroughly indication of why Wendy and her family will likely find themselves armed with Kleenex and handkerchiefs on graduating night, look no further than the tumultuous events that recently surrounded their son.
Approximately eight years ago, Wendy’s mother noticed that Maliq was losing weight at a seemingly swift pace, a sequence that seemed unfamiliar to his loved ones. Consequently, the Brewsters had taken him to a nearby pediatric center for observation. What they discovered shortly thereafter sent shock waves throughout their household.
After a scheduled referral by doctors and a couple of performed colonoscopies, it was discovered that Maliq was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

Approximately eight years ago, Wendy’s mother noticed that Maliq was losing weight at a seemingly swift pace, a sequence that seemed unfamiliar to his loved ones. Consequently, the Brewsters had taken him to a nearby pediatric center for observation. What they discovered shortly thereafter sent shock waves throughout their household.

After a scheduled referral by doctors and a couple of performed colonoscopies, it was discovered that Maliq was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

For the Brewsters, such news was apparently too difficult to stomach, in large part because they had no prior family history surrounding the disease.

Maliq“The doctor said, ‘You’re the sickest well-looking child I know,’” Wendy explained. “So, for the past couple of years, he was medicated but he had extensive swelling of the legs and losing protein. The next option was surgery.”

Even after undergoing multiple procedures and additional tests, it’s safe to assume that Maliq essentially had taken his illness in stride.

In fact, it seemed he had passed such an obstacle in flying colors just like his array of high school assignments

How else to explain why this academically-talent, gifted kid today owns a cumulative grade point average of 4.19?

“All of this and not missing a day of school,” Wendy said in assessing how her son conquered Crohn’s. “Even after appointments, he wanted to go (to school). He didn’t want to miss any school work.”

Exactly one week before Christmas, though, doctors had planned a surgery for Maliq only to discover he had more Crohn’s infection than the human eye could observe during preliminary tests, a development the Brewsters feared would ultimately give way to additional complications.

Maliq has two brothers, his older brother Raheem-Asad Merriweather, 23, and his younger brother Cameron Brewster, who is 14.

Maliq has two brothers, his older brother Raheem-Asad Merriweather, 23, and his younger brother Cameron Brewster, who is 14.

Consequently, Maliq underwent two blood transfusions, but the surgery had to be stopped because of excessive blood loss. After an approximately 24-hour delay, surgery was resumed and, according to Wendy, “It was a success.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Come graduation night, before Maliq’s name is called to receive his diploma, the Brewster’s middle child will likely recall his life-changing story capped by a dramatic comeback for the ages.

Chances are, there likely won’t be a dry eye in the place, at least among those who are familiar with Maliq’s life-changing story.

“He is our walking and talking miracle,” Wendy said of Maliq.

Now with arguably his life’s grandest occurrence all but a distant memory, Maliq now faces a much-anticipated dilemma, or a good problem, of sorts.

So far, he has narrowed his college choices to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Xavier-Louisiana, and Hampton University.

“I will encourage my peers to not give up and they can do anything they want,” Maliq said. “People will talk about you whether you do good or bad. There will always be criticism, so do what makes you happy. I want to be a male nurse, because I’ve come this far and overcome the adversities that have been set before me. So I believe I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Spoken like one of Memphis’ top high school students for this year’s class.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Barton (Ark.) High OL Quentin Watson isn’t ruling out a college football future

 

COLLEGE MATERIAL --- While starting mostly on offense the past two seasons for Barton High in Arkansas, Quentin Watson assumed the left guard position and also enjoyed quality minutes for the Bears at defensive tackle. Although his undersized frame was among the reasons he went unsigned on National Signing Day earlier this month, Bears coach Van Paschal believes the possibility exists that Watson can extend his football career if placed in the right system. (Photos submitted by D. Johnson)

COLLEGE MATERIAL — While starting mostly on offense the past two seasons for Barton High in Arkansas, Quentin Watson assumed the left guard position and also enjoyed quality minutes for the Bears at defensive tackle. Although his undersized frame was among the reasons he went unsigned on National Signing Day earlier this month, Bears coach Van Paschal believes the possibility exists that Watson can extend his football career if placed in the right system. (Photos submitted by D. Johnson)

Barton High football coach Van Paschal on Wednesday went on and on about why he believes Quentin Watson is worthy of a shot at playing football at the collegiate level.

“Quentin is a hard worker,” Paschal told MemphiSport during a telephone interview from Lexa, Arkansas. “He’s an undersized lineman. But that’s not a bad thing. But like I told Quentin, there are places to play if he keeps his nose clean.”

For Watson, who started his final two seasons for Barton, he has gained a keen reputation off the field for being one who is well-disciplined, let alone a kid who is extremely scrupulous of those with whom he affiliates.

Add to the fact that this speedy, 200-pound offensive lineman was an integral part of a Bears squad that advanced to the opening round of the Arkansas Class 3A playoffs this year, and it’s no wonder this 17-year-old, vibrant, scholar athlete hasn’t ruled out continuing his football career when he sets foot on a college campus this fall.

HOLDING IT DOWN --- A 200-pound offensive lineman, Watson (No. 56) was an integral part of a Bears squad that advanced to the opening round of the Arkansas Class 3A playoffs this year.

HOLDING IT DOWN — A 200-pound offensive lineman, Watson (No. 56) was an integral part of a Bears squad that advanced to the opening round of the Arkansas Class 3A playoffs this year.

In fact, as Watson tells it, he’s admittedly clinging to lofty hopes of fulfilling such a dream, one he’s had ever since he began playing competitively at the age of seven.

“I am a hard-working athletic player,” said Watson, when asked what is it he’d like for college coaches to know about him. “I don’t mind doing whatever it takes to help the team move forward. I have played numerous positions.”

While starting mostly on offense the past two seasons, Watson assumed the left guard position and also enjoyed quality minutes for the Bears at defensive tackle. Although his undersized frame was among the reasons he went unsigned on National Signing Day earlier this month, Paschal believes the possibility exists that Watson can extend his football career if placed in the right system.

“It’ll be a great thing to see someone give him a shot,” Paschal said of Watson, whom he coached for the past four seasons. “There are different levels of (college) ball, Division I, Division II, and Division III. I’ve learned a lesson that you should never say never. Where Quentin’s going to play, I don’t know. But he’s pretty coachable. Quentin is one of those kids…he sees (trouble) on the street, he’s going to dodge it.”

In addition, it is because of his well-disciplined, bend-but-don’t-break persona on and off the field that many who watched Watson’s maturation process over the years believes college coaches would be doing themselves a disservice if they pass up luring a kid of this caliber to their program.

Credit Watson’s mother, Demetric Johnson, for steadfastly pushing her son virtually daily to maximize his fullest potential.

THE REAL MVP --- Credit Watson’s mother, Demetric Johnson, for steadfastly pushing her son virtually daily to maximize his fullest potential.  “I realized (when he was 10 years old) he was passionate and dedicated to football,” Johnson explained. “He played the game anytime he could. He took it seriously, getting up early and going to practice, never missing practice, taking leadership (skills), and watching film after a game to see how he could get better. I watched him grow and develop over the years as a player. He is passionate about football and once something becomes a passion, you tend to excel. So, yes I believe he can go far.”

THE REAL MVP — Credit Watson’s mother, Demetric Johnson, for steadfastly pushing her son virtually daily to maximize his fullest potential.
“I realized (when he was 10 years old) he was passionate and dedicated to football,” Johnson explained. “He played the game anytime he could. He took it seriously, getting up early and going to practice, never missing practice, taking leadership (skills), and watching film after a game to see how he could get better. I watched him grow and develop over the years as a player. He is passionate about football and once something becomes a passion, you tend to excel. So, yes I believe he can go far.”

“I realized (when he was 10 years old) he was passionate and dedicated to football,” Johnson explained. “He played the game anytime he could. He took it seriously, getting up early and going to practice, never missing practice, taking leadership (skills), and watching film after a game to see how he could get better. I watched him grow and develop over the years as a player. He is passionate about football and once something becomes a passion, you tend to excel. So, yes I believe he can go far.”

Still, the only reasonable strategy moving forward, Johnson said, is to devise ways to ensure her son lands at a college where he will have the golden opportunity of putting his skills on display.

After all, like his high school coach, she insists all isn’t lost for a kid whom many believed was overlooked by scouts and college coaches long before National Signing Day earlier this month.

“The sky is the limit for my son because he has a passion for the game,” Johnson said. “He is a dedicated player who takes his job on the field seriously but not too much that he loses sight to have fun playing the game as well. I have no doubt if this is what he wants, he can and he will conquer it.”

Just as he’s done for the past four years on and off the field — a trend Watson hopes some college coach recognizes soon.

DreColumnAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

MSL Behind the Scenes: Episode 102

Watch what went on behind the scenes at Flnn Broadcasting during the 11.30.13 episode of MSL with Kevin Cerrito, Marcus Hunter and the crew:

Click here to listen to the full 11.30.13 episode of MSL.

MemphiSport Live

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito & @MHunter_GAMME.

MSL Behind the Scenes: Episode 101

Watch what went on behind the scenes at Flnn Broadcasting during the 11.23.13 episode of MSL with Kevin Cerrito, Marcus Hunter and the crew:

Click here to listen to the full 11.23.13 episode of MSL.

MemphiSport Live

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito & @MHunter_GAMME.

Watch MSL tv HD on YouTube

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