What do you want to do with your life? What are your dreams? If you could write your best life story today, what would it say?
Is your first reaction to hesitate? Perhaps you most often see and describe yourself in terms of past experiences or present limitations. Perhaps you see yourself more in terms of losing or just surviving rather than fulfilling your dreams.
If you’ve packed away your dreams, dare to unpack them today. It’s time to enlarge your vision. Dare to ask God to rekindle those dreams in your heart and mind. He wants to do big things and new things in your life. God wants us to be constantly increasing, to be rising to new heights. He wants to pour out “His far and beyond favor” on you (Ephesians2:7).
Quite your heart and receive God’s Word: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Friend, if you will get in agreement with God, this can be the greatest time of your life. With God on your side you can’t possibly lose. He can make a way when it looks as though there is none. He can open doors that no man can shut. He can cause you to be at the right place, at the right time. He can supernaturally turn your dreams into reality.
NEVER ALLOW YOUR WRONG THINKING TO KEEP YOU FROM GOD’S BEST.
BY JOEL OSTEEN
admin @ December 4, 2013
What was once taboo in America and in some cases could cause black men of risk being killed for looking at white women. Today Black male athletes on a larger scale can be seen dating and marrying White women. Black athletes are now a hot commodity to some white women. Could it be because there is an opportunity to strike it rich, the Mandingo physique, the coolness, since of humor, curiosity, black silky skin, intelligence, love making or love at first sight. For whatever reasons, the black male athlete has become the prey not only to white women but to women of the world.
Who is responsible for this merger? Could it be the Pee Wee Football Coach that took the black athletic talent out of the hood to make his team better? Could it be the black parent who put their son in a white program for structure and perks? Could it be the white team mate who invited his black team mate to spin the night at his home before game day? Could it be the white cheerleader who cheers for the team? Could it be the school Pep Rally that displays the athletes on stage? Could it be the local newspaper that followed their athletic careers? Could it be the college recruiter who visited black athletes at their homes and provided scholarships to Southern Universities? Could it be the University of Alabama Head Football Coach Paul Bear Bryant who organize a football game with USC Head Football Coach John McKay in hope of letting the south see how black talented athletes could help and improve their football program? Could it be Branch Rickey, who signed baseball great, Jackie Robinson to the LA Dodgers? Could it be Jim Brown and Rachael Welch Hollywood love scene? Could it be NFL TOTAL ACCESS who surrounds Host Amber Theoharis with former NFL GREATS Jaimie Dukes, Warren Sapp and Darren Sharper?
Could it be Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream Speech which spoke about little black boys and girls playing with white boys and girls? Or could it be when Dr. King said don’t judge me by the color of my skin but by the content of my character. Black athletes will continue to thrive in sports and be attractive to women of the world. For whatever reason, black athletes have arrived; there is a new sex symbol and commodity out there on the market.
To the brothers that have found love outside of their race, there is nothing wrong with that; love has no color. What I would like to see that you guys don’t forget where you came from. Give back to your childhood neighborhoods, schools, community centers and churches. Because it was this environment that provided you with your first love in sports and accepted you as you are.
Sports Elite Mag
admin @ November 29, 2013
Interview with Travis Thomas (Future Dentist)
Travis what year were you born?
I was born April 30, 1983.
What Schools did you attend starting with elementary, middle and Sr. High School?
I attended F.S. Tucker Elementary School, Ponce De Leon Middle School and Coral Gables Sr High School. I was attending at Gables for two years; however, I got my high school diploma from American Academy.
What year did you graduate from High School?
I graduated in 2001.
Yes, I’ve been married for 4 years, and we have a son named Travis.
Where did you grow up and what was it like in your community?
I grew up in Coconut Grove, Florida – I’ve been here for about 27 years. During the early years, the environment was really rough. There was a strong presence of violence and drugs in the community, but it didn’t seem abnormal; it was just a part of everyday life in Coconut Grove during that time. My aunt did a great job keeping chaos outside of our gates. Our house was always in order and she took me along with her to church every Sunday. I would describe my childhood as fun times. I played football in the streets with my friends; most of us were the age as me. We played together, went to school together and went to the corner store – together! It was fun, looking back at it.
Do you have any siblings? If so how old are they?
Yes, I do have siblings. I have three brothers and one sister from my mother, and two sisters from my father. I’m the oldest of my mother’s children.
Who is Mrs. Evans and what role has she played in your life?
Mrs. Willie Ruth Evans is my great-great aunt – she’s my ROCK, my foundation! She has played a significant role in my life since my birth. She stayed across the street from me while I was living with my grandmother and mother in a one-bedroom shack on Frow Avenue. At that time, I was going to a Head Start program, similar to Princeton Preschool, at the Human Resource Center in Coconut Grove. My mother struggled with a drug addiction and my grandmother worked as a cafeteria server, but they didn’t have much; we lived poor. My grandmother is very kind hearted and her door was always open for family and friends. At any given time, several people would be sleeping over and maybe five kids, including myself, would be running around the house. I moved in with my aunt Ruth because my mom wasn’t taking me to school regularly. My aunt Ruth’s mother told her to take care of me, and that’s just what she did. She played the role of my mother and father, providing me with everything I needed.
Travis, what was the name of your foster big brother? When you were a kid there was this young adult male that used to come by and pick you up on the weekends.
Dan Gelber – he was my mentor from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. A school counselor recommended me to the program after she noticed I had a difficult time behaving in school – but I always excelled academically. I was six years old when I met Dan, and he was in his late twenties. Our relationship grew from our first meeting – it just took off. We are still great friends and he continues to be a person of importance in my life.
What was it like to have a white person show interest in you?
It was different, but it was cool. I was only six years old; I wasn’t old enough to understand the racial differences. The best part for me was I knew an older person who shared similar interests, wanted to hang out and make sure I was doing the best I could in school. I didn’t have a father in my life, and I’m my mother’s oldest child. I didn’t care what color he was, if he was going to pick me up every Saturday in his convertible, take me out and show me things that I’d never seen, I was all for it. I am glad that I had that experience as a child because it exposed me to different people and cultures.
What type of activities would you do with your Big Brother?
Dan would take me to the movies, we’d watch football games and sometimes we would make television appearances. He cofounded a cancer camp for kids, and often he would take me along with him to events. I would meet the kids and hang out with them for an entire day. I was always confused about their sicknesses because we were close age most of the time – I didn’t understand, but that didn’t stop me from being friendly and treating them like any of my other friends. Dan made sure that I was around for those types of things. He also would always buy me books; he never bought me things I really wanted – like JORDANS.
So, Dan made a positive impression in your life?
Yes, a very, very positive impression. When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer because he was a lawyer.
Tell me a little about your past rough neck image and why you did a 180 degree turn around.
Like I said earlier, it’s hard coming up in an impoverished neighborhood. As I grew older, the influence of the streets started to reflect in my actions – it really affected me. My Big Brother would still stop by one day out of the week; however, during the other six days I was in my community with people who weren’t like Dan. So, there were things I saw and people who interacted with that weren’t so positive. As a teenager, I was really into Rap Music; I wanted to become a rap superstar. I wanted a flashy lifestyle, or at least I thought I wanted that lifestyle. At that time, I thought rapping was the only way I could be successful. I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now.
There is a confluence of factors that made me want to change my lifestyle. For one, Dan never failed to ask me what I was doing with my life. “What are you going to do with your life?” he’d ask. Furthermore, while my wife and I were dating, she introduced me to her friends and family, and most of them were young black men and women with college degrees. My wife’s brother, Walfsty, and his friend, Geden, a medical student, were very supportive while I considering attaining my bachelor’s degree and attending dental school. I wanted to show people what I could do. I wanted my son to be proud of me! I’ve been told one of my biggest strengths is my ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. I don’t remember meeting my dad until I was 13, but I didn’t let that bother me. It just made me want to be the best dad I could be for my child. With all of that said, I just wanted to do the right thing.
Going back to the rough image, what was the reason for removing the gold teeth grill and the tattoos you once had?
I think the universe has a strange way of making things happen (laughs). I didn’t take them out. There wasn’t a definite point where I decided that I didn’t want gold teeth anymore – I actually lost them. I lost them right around the time things were starting to change in my life, and I just never wanted to pick them up again. I wanted to be a leader; I was tired of following the “wrong” crowd. I decided to take the lead in my life and my future started to look promising. I also wanted to look presentable. You know, when you put out negative energy, you have to deal with negative consequences and I didn’t want to deal with those. So I said, I am going to live my life the right way, and as soon as I did, things started to change for me, doors opened up and I took advantage of my new opportunities. I like to think about my journey like this. I’m in an uncharted jungle and on the other side of the jungle there is a reward for me. I want that reward, so I have to swing my machete and make my own path. I want to clear the way for my son and the youth in my community. If they choose to go down the path I’ve cleared, they can. If they choose to pick up their own machetes, I’ll support that too!
I can’t talk about my successes without sharing a few failures. I attended Daytona Community College after I graduated in 2001. I didn’t do well. I thought I was cool; besides, I was the kid from “Miami.” That didn’t last long. I returned to Miami where I worked as a telecommunication technician for the next few years. I always thought about going back to school while I was at work. So I went back to school a second time. I missed several classes rushing to school from work. Long story made short – that didn’t work out either. A year later, my wife and I were pregnant and I was laid off of my job due to the recession. Desperate for work, I accepted a job as a pest exterminator. I worked for about a month, resigned and decided I was going back to school. I enrolled in Miami Dade College, but I was dedicated to be the best student. I sat in the front of the classroom, and I did every homework assignment. I ended up doing very well – I graduated with Honors from Miami Dade College.
During that time, I developed an interest in dentistry.
I attended Nova with the intentions of exceeding my academic success at Miami Dade College. I earned A’s in most of my hardcore science classes. I graduated with a BS degree from NOVA in December, 2012. I took the dental admissions test, and I scored above the 93 percentile. The rest is history!
Which dental school will you be attending?
Tuft University College of Dental Medicine, I start in the fall of 2013.
What made you decide to choose dentistry as a profession?
There are many things that brought me to this point. I come from a community where many adults and kids don’t go to the dentist. You don’t have to walk far to see someone with poor oral hygiene. I would like to bring a dental practice to the community. Furthermore, I know what it’s like to be teased as a kid because you have a large space between your teeth. I want to help out. I want to be a leader in my community and country. I want to wake up, put on my white coat and appreciate the privilege I have as a trusted oral health care professional.
What can you say to those young teenagers that are a reflection of your past adolescent life?
I would say, follow and explore that “thing” that makes you unique. Let it lead you. I believe that within any large group of people there is a “ton” of unexplored talents. There is something unique in every person. Find your uniqueness – the sooner you find it, the happier you’ll be. There’s nothing like the comfort of your own skin. I would say education is definitely important. You don’t have to become a dentist, physician, or a lawyer, but you should be educated in the field of work YOU choose.
Who is your role model?
I have a few role models, and Dan is definitely one. Barrack Obama, Jay-Z, my aunt Ruth… I take a little bit from everyone.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
First, I want to be alive. I recently lost a great friend of mine, Ingrid Thelismae. Ingrid was a beautiful person, so full of life, but she’s gone now…With that in mind, ten years from now, I’ll be a practicing dentist delivering high quality oral health care to a diverse patient pool and promoting good oral hygiene in underserved areas like the one I was raised in.
Travis, I have watched you grow up from a kid to a strong, intelligent, family oriented, black male. I am pleased to say that you make me proud. Don’t put yourself inside of a box. Let your light shine. Sports Elite thanks you for sharing your life journey with us. I hope that this story will inspire others to pull out the good in them.
Worrell C. Troup 79
Sports Elite Mag
admin @ September 18, 2013
Interview with Brian Asbury
Brain what name you go by
Around the neighborhood everyone calls me AB. It was a childhood name that I got from one of my coaches. His name was Coach Doctor.
What year were you born?
I was born in 1986
Do you have any siblings?
Yes, I have two older brothers.
How much older?
Well, the youngest maybe 9 years older.
What city did you live in and what was your most favorable time
growing up in this community?
The city I grew up in was South Miami and my most favorable time was when my mother first start letting me go to Lee Park to play sports.
What did you do to stay out of trouble?
I always listened to what my parents told me. When my friends started doing negative things, I always found a way to go back home or go back to what I was doing before trouble arrived.
How old were you when you started playing basketball?
I was 5 years old when I first started playing basketball.
Who was the person that inspired you to play basketball at a young age?
My brother Eric Asbury, basically he gave me a basketball and taught me about the game. He also carried me along with him. He help raised me into the person that I am right now.
What high school did you attend and what year did you graduate.
I attended South Miami Senior High and I graduated in 2005
Who were some of the colleges that showed interest in you?
I was looking into attending the University of Florida. I sat down and talked with my mother. She figured since I was the baby, she wanted me to attend the U of M. So she also played a role in my decision of attending So, the reason you chose the University of Miami was to stay closer to home. Yes, also what help me decide on the “U”, the U of M had just moved into ACC, which is like playing in one of the biggest basketball conferences in the Nation? So being able to be close to home and playing in a good conference I think that it was a good decision.
During your tenor at the “U” who was your head coach.
Frank Haith was my head coach while playing for the U of M.
What was it like competing at a college level?
Everyone was much bigger and faster at the college level compared to high school. In high school you were the most dominate player, now you are playing with college athletes that were dominate at their high school level. So I had to step my game up to compete.
This is a little off the record; the AAU how do you feel about their program?
The way I feel, it’s out of hand. It’s too much under the table deals going on, compared to back when I was playing. It was more like competing and sitting around talking about basketball. Now, coaches are getting money to get certain players to play on their teams. There is just too much illegal stuff going on. But at the end of the day, I think that it’s a good thing for players to participate. It helps them receive recognition and help them receive college scholarships.
Another question, how do you feel about coaches having high school athletes specialize in one sport?
I feel that if a kid can play both sports, the coach should allow him to participate in two sports. Coaches that do not allow the kid to play in two sports seem to be selfish. If the kid makes it he wants to take credit for the kid success. As I said earlier, a lot of the coaches receive a profit for keeping a kid on his team and there are times were the coach’s advance into collegiate coaching positions depends on the athlete success.
So it’s a business?
Yes, at the end of the day.
When did you know that you could compete at this level?
Basically, growing up, my older brother took me around and encouraged me to play with older guys. He would not let me play with kids my age. He said that if I could play against older guys that I could play against anyone. So that’s the attitude that I developed into playing college ball.
Also, the day that I beat my older brother in a one on one basketball game I knew then that I could compete against anyone.
So, what was his response when you beat him in the one on one game?
It probably was not too good of a response. For a while he was treating me a little different. Little brother beats big brother. You know, no one likes losing to their little brother. But we got passed that. We continued to have a great relationship.
Now that your collegiate career is over what are you doing to make it in the NBA?
Basically, just keeping up with other player’s game. I watch other super star basketball players and see what they did to get into the NBA and the path they took to get into the NBA. I am working on my craft every day and staying focus. I am staying out of the lime light and keeping a positive attitude.
What is your strong suit when playing basketball?
I am a 3 point shooter. But I like to do everything. I like to play from the edge.
How is your defense?
My defense is good. There was another thing, growing up and playing with the older guys, I knew that I had to have a defensive game. In order for me to stay on the court I had to be able to defend and rebound. So these skills that I learned competing with older guys I took that mind set with me Over Seas or when I am playing basketball period.
I heard you mention Over Seas, what country are you playing basketball in?
The previous country I just played in was Spain and I played in Israel for 3 years.
How do the people of Israel and Spain treat the Black Americans that come over to their country to play basketball?
They respond to us very well. At the end of the day we are their responsibility. They are responsible for our safety. The way some people may put it as though there is a lot of bombing and terrorist which is not anything like that. It goes on, like in the Deep South of Israel but no one is going there. They are not going to put us in those areas where it would be life threatening. I could truly say that Israel is somewhat like Miami. But it’s very nice in Israel and Spain is the same way. I can truly say that they take good care of us.
Media portrays it as if the entire country is under attack.
In the beginning, I would receive frantic phone calls from my mother saying that she saw on the news that Israel was under terrorist attack.
I would tell her that everything is okay and if there were any problems they would put us on an air plane and send us back to the U S.
How many games do you play in a season?
We average around 30 to 33 games and we play once a week.
Who do you play for?
I just previously played in Spain and the team was Cajasol.
When the season is over do you have to compete again to make the team?
It all depends; you may sign a 1 year contract and you play that year out or 2 year deal and sometimes a 3 year deal. So when the season is over we go back to the States and we let our agent negotiate a new contract for us.
How is the pay compared to the U S.?
It all depends on what level you are playing on. There is first division, second division and third division. Then it depends on what country you’re in and the team financial situation. It’s hard to say because you do not have any players making 20 million. The most that I heard was 3 million. But it’s like 3 million euros. That a lot of money Over Sees. Euros outweigh the U S Dollar which probably amount to 4 million dollars. At the end of the day, it does not outweigh 20 million. However, if you could pocket 4 million a year that’s a pretty good day. They also pay for our house and car.
What cultures play basketball Over Seas?
Americans, Ukrainians, Germans, Spaniards, it’s a mixture of people from different parts of the world.
Jerusalem and Spain would be the hub for players trying to play basketball in the USA.
I think Spain would be the hub that the players would be coming from to inter the NBA. This year in the NBA draft, I saw 3 to 4 players that I played against this year while I was playing in Spain. So that’s a lot to have 3 to 4 players get drafted that played in Spain.
What is it like playing basketball in another country?
Playing basketball in another country it’s a good experience. It is more of a team game. The game is played at a slower pace; you have to be basketball smart.
Where do you live and what do you do for entertainment
When I was in my first year I lived in a small city called Tivon. My second year, I was in the main city called Televe. My third year I was in Natanya and in my fourth year I was in Spain and the city was called Seville. For my spare time I try to work on my craft as much as possible, I am in the gym or I am at home on the internet. Sometimes you and your buddies would step out. But how I was raised with my brother, his saying was you don’t have any time to be going out. I am here to improve my game. But there are some occasions where I go out with my buddies. Pretty much I have a set routine that consist of training, staying home working on the internet and staying focus.
How do the citizens respond to Black Americans being in their country?
I have not seen any problems like racism. So I can’t really say. I think they respond to us pretty well. If something ever happens they will take care of it.
Do you guys sign autographs?
Yes we sign autographs. Sometimes when we are out in the community kids come up to us and ask for our autographs. One of the most common places is the grocery store. The kids do recognize us and it makes us feel good knowing that they know who we are. Some players don’t sign because they are stuck up. However, I always make sure that I sign autographs. I know when I was a kid and if I saw someone famous I would want to go up to them and shake their hand or get an autograph. It makes me feel good when a kid can recognize me. I think we should be able to take some time to talk to the kids or just shake their hand.
What are you doing to prepare yourself to play in the NBA?
I am working out every day of the week, studying the game, trying to add new things to my game, correct my weaknesses and just make myself better.
Who is you role model.
My brother Eric is my role model. Ever since I was little, I use to look up to him. We were always attached; I use to always try to follow him. I always admired what he did and the type of caring person that he was and is. He’s married and he is a family man and I admire how he handles things. He basically helped raised me. I look up to him. Today I still go to him for advice. I can talk to him about anything. I feel that he does not tell me as a brother figure but as a father figure. I have a great respect for him. I just don’t let him know.
Well, Eric will know now.
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
Possibly, with a business or two, I just want to be successful. If not, the NBA then I would like to be playing basketball Over Sees. But at the end of the day, I want things to be working for me off the courts. Well, I am trying to do everything possible on the court and off the court. I want to have things going on that will give me a transition into my career after basketball. I just want to be successful at the end of the day.
What business will you go into?
I have not gotten that far. However, I have people talking to me. You know that when you are in sports there is always someone coming up to you with business deals. My brother Eric tells me that I have to be careful when people approach me. He tells me straight up.
He says you need to do this and you need to do that. It may not be what I want to hear. But I do listen to his advice. He does not sugar coat anything. He is a good brother.
Brian this concludes our interview. Sports Elite would like to thank you for sharing your basketball journey with us. Good luck and I hope to see playing in the NBA.
Sport Elite Mag
admin @ July 15, 2013
Can you measure a man by his age
Can you measure a man by putting him in a cage
Can you measure a man by his rage
Can you measure a man by watching him perform on a stage
Can you measure a man by the way he talk
by the way he walk
Can you measure a man by the love that he has for his family, community, friends
or can you measure a man by the love
he has in his heart for God…
Now that surely is the real measure of a man…
The Love in His Heart for God
By Terrry Fernando Newton
admin @ October 18, 2012