Showing posts with label basketball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label basketball. Show all posts

Friday, April 12, 2024

HBCU Basketball Team Gets White House Visit Decades After Winning Championship

An HBCU basketball team finally got to visit the White House after winning the national championship over 60 years ago.

According to Vice President Kamala Harris, Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University men's basketball made history in 1957 when they became the first HBCU team to win a national championship. The Tennessee A&I Tigers would go on to also become the first college team to win three back-to-back national titles, Harris said.

Surviving members of the team — Dick Barnett, George Finley, Ernest Jones, Henry Carlton, Robert Clark, and Ron Hamilton — were invited to the White House for the first time to commemorate their historic achievement. On Friday (April 5), Harris hosted a private ceremony for the Tigers in the Roosevelt Room where she paid homage to the team's victories. The Tigers also received a tour around the White House and gifted Harris a custom jersey following the ceremony.

Vice President Kamala Harris releasedthe following statement on Threads:

The Tennessee A&I Tigers men’s basketball team broke barriers on the court while fighting injustice off it. In 1957, they became the first HBCU to win a national championship before becoming the first team to win three in a row. It was my honor to welcome them to the White House for the first time.


Sunday, April 16, 2023

New LeBron James Biography: LeBron by Jeff Benedict

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dynasty and Tiger Woods comes the definitive biography of basketball superstar LeBron James, based on three years of exhaustive research and more than 250 interviews.

LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of the twenty-first century, and he’s in the conversation with Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time. The reigning king of the game and the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, LeBron wears the crown like he was born with it. Yet his ascent has been anything but effortless and predetermined— the truth is vastly more interesting than that.

What makes LeBron’s story so compelling is how he won his destiny despite overwhelmingly long odds, in a drama worthy of a Dickens novel. As a child, he was a scared and lonely little boy living a nomadic existence in Akron, Ohio. His mother, who had LeBron when she was sixteen, would sometimes leave him on his own. Destitute and fatherless, he missed close to one hundred days of school in the fourth grade. Desperate, his mother placed him with a family that gave him stability and put a basketball in his hands.

LeBron tells the full, riveting saga of how a child adrift found the will to become a titan. Jeff Benedict, the most celebrated sports biographer of our time, paints a vivid picture of LeBron’s epic origin story, showing the gradual rise of a star who, surrounded by a tight-knit group of teenage friends and adult mentors, accelerated into a speeding comet during high school. Today LeBron produces Hollywood films and television shows, has a social media presence that includes more than one hundred million followers, engages in political activism, takes outspoken stances on racism and social injustice, and transforms lives through his visionary philanthropy. He went from a lost boy in Akron to a beloved hero who uses his fortune to educate underprivileged children and lift up needy families—and brought home Cleveland’s first NBA championship.

But LeBron is more than just the origin story of a GOAT or a recap of his multi-championship, multi-MVP, gold medal–decorated career on the court. Benedict delves into LeBron’s relationship with fame and power: how he has cultivated it, harnessed it, suffered from it, and leveraged it. In these pages, we go behind the scenes of LeBron’s grappling with his seismic celebrity, from appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school junior to The Decision, which briefly turned the nation against him. We also watch his evolution from a player who avoided politics and was widely criticized for not joining his teammates in protesting China’s role in the Darfur genocide to becoming an athlete who partnered with President Obama; campaigned for Hillary Clinton; became an advocate against gun violence, racism, and voter suppression; and openly clashed with President Trump, empowering other athletes to speak out against social injustice.

To capture LeBron’s extraordinary life, Benedict conducted hundreds of interviews with the people who were involved with LeBron at different stages of his life. He also obtained thousands of pages of primary source documents and mined hundreds of hours of video footage. Destined to be the authoritative account of LeBron’s life, LeBron is a gripping, inspiring, and unprecedented portrait of one of the world’s most captivating figures.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

NBA's MVP trophy now named after Michael Jordan

The NBA MVP will now be awarded with The Michael Jordan Trophy, bearing the name of the NBA legend widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. During his illustrious career, Jordan was named MVP five times. The Hall of Famer also earned six NBA championships, six NBA Finals MVP Awards, 11 All-NBA Team selections, 14 NBA All-Star selections, three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards, 10 scoring titles, an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, an NBA Rookie of the Year Award and selections to the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

Mark Smith, retired VP of Innovation Special Projects at Nike, Inc., and Jordan Brand designer, worked in creative partnership with Jordan to design the new trophy, which symbolizes an NBA player’s journey to winning an MVP. Smith has collaborated with Jordan on countless projects over the past two decades. Artist Victor Solomon will manufacture the trophy on a yearly basis.

The bronze trophy features a player breaking out of a rock to reach for the ultimate rock — a crystal basketball. From the bottom to its top, the patina of the trophy grows more burnished — “raw to refined” — signifying the MVP’s hard work and progression from entering the league to achieving the NBA’s greatest individual honor. The trophy’s reach symbolizes an MVP’s endless chase for greatness.

Additionally included throughout are subtle nods that pay tribute to the trophy’s namesake:

• The trophy stands 23.6 inches tall and weighs 23.6 pounds, representing Jordan’s jersey number (23) and number of NBA championships (6).
• Its five-sided base is a nod to Jordan’s five league MVPs.
• The namesake badge is six-sided, a nod to Jordan’s six NBA championships.
• The 15-degree angle of the base is a nod to Jordan’s 15-season career.
• The crystal basketball consists of 23 points, a nod to Jordan’s jersey number.
• The crystal basketball measures 1.23 inches in diameter, in reference to the singularity of the MVP and Jordan’s standout career.

“I’m incredibly honored to have created the NBA’s MVP trophy in partnership with Michael Jordan,” said Smith. “Sculpting Michael’s vision of his own pursuit of athletic achievement into this award has been the opportunity and challenge of a lifetime. As we worked together on this project, it was very important to Michael that the figure not be a likeness of him, but instead that the recipient should be able to see himself in the award. For Michael, naming the award in his honor was recognition enough.”

Thursday, December 08, 2022

WNBA Statement On The Release Of Brittney Griner

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued the following statement on the release of Brittney Griner:

“There has not been a day over the past ten months where we all haven’t had Brittney Griner on our minds and in our hearts and that has now turned into a collective wave of joy and relief knowing that she will soon be reunited with her family, the WNBA player community, and her friends. BG has shown extraordinary courage and dignity in the face of enormous adversity. The WNBA is grateful beyond measure to the Biden Administration, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, and all those who played a role in bringing BG home today. Our hope is that Paul Whelan and every wrongfully detained American will be returned home safely and as soon as possible.”

Tuesday, August 09, 2022



The HBCU Basketball Association; is a United States based, for profit LLC Professional Basketball League that affords professional players, coaches, and executives’ opportunities not often available at the professional level for players that attend HBCU's. The HBCUBA will launch it's inaugural season in 2023 with six teams in six states. The original six franchises will be located in Atlanta, Georgia, Birmingham, Alabama, Daytona Beach, Florida, Houston, Texas, Jackson, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana. 

The 2023 season will begin February 25th, 2023- June 4th, 2023. Each team is allowed to have 12 players maximum per team, with 10 being on the active roster. 

The HBCUBA prepares players for the NBA and NBA G league by playing NBA Rules.

Qualified Members of the HBCUBA Must Have: Attended a HBCU for at least one year or is currently enrolled at an HBCU. Must be 18 years or older.

Benefits of playing in the HBCUBA.

1. Opportunity to play in the first professional basketball league featuring all HBCU players.

2. Full stats of all games played

3. Live stream of all games.

4. Fully paid professional league. All players are compensated.

5. Housing for out of state players covered by team.

6. Insurance provided for all players.

7. International tours 

8. Opportunity to compete at a high level.

9. Individual player profile, uniform package, highlight video included.

10. Eurobasket certified league. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

NBA unveils new trophies for division winners named after African American legends

The NBA unveiled six new trophies for the league’s division winners, each named after an NBA legend and African-American pioneer. The trophies, which will now be awarded to the division winners at the end of every season, celebrate the teams’ season success and honor the pioneers who helped pave the way for the NBA players that have followed.

The trophies are named after African-American pioneers Nat Clifton, Wayne Embry, Earl Lloyd, Willis Reed, Sam Jones and Chuck Cooper.

The trophies, designed by Victor Solomon, each suspend at its center a 200mm crystal ball, comprised of six segments representing each of the NBA’s divisions. One unique segment in each trophy is rendered in gold, representing its respective NBA division. The design of the trophy base is inspired by the division’s conference championship trophy. Each trophy is inscribed with its namesake, along with the name of the team recipient; the division standings are inscribed on the back of the trophy.

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Dawn Staley named Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley has been named the Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year.

“Dawn’s remarkable leadership is evident in how South Carolina has performed throughout the season culminating with a conference championship, top-tier national ranking and a chance to win the national championship still ahead,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Truly a remarkable season for both and wonderful representatives of the Naismith Awards.”

Staley is now a two-time recipient of the coaching award, earning the honor in 2020 when she became the first-ever head coach in either men’s or women’s college basketball to win the Naismith Coach of the Year award after previously winning the Naismith Player of the Year (Virginia, 1991, 1992). She edged out Wes Moore (NC State), Kim Mulkey (LSU) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford). Named SEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career, Staley led South Carolina to an undefeated 12-0 record versus AP-ranked opponents, an SEC regular-season title and a Final Four appearance for the fourth time in the last seven NCAA Tournaments. For the first time in program history, the Gamecocks were ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll for the entire season.

“Werner is proud of its association with the Atlanta Tipoff Club and honoring the most outstanding coaches in college basketball, and we salute all the women’s finalists for leading their teams to exceptional seasons,” said Stacy Gardella, head of Global Marketing Technology & Operations at WernerCo. “It is an honor to recognize Dawn Staley, as her leadership and positive impact on the lives of the student-athletes she coaches make her incredibly deserving of this year’s Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year award.”

“Any time you win an award like this, it goes to one individual, but it really does take a village,” Staley said. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our coaches, staff, administrators and all our players. Their commitment allows us to be recognized this way. I think God gives us an opportunity to play this game we love and to represent it the way that we do. On behalf of our entire team, I want to thank the Naismith Awards and Werner Ladder for this honor.”

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Inaugural HBCU All-Star Basketball Game to air on CBS

The 2022 HBCU All-Star Game, a new event that will showcase college basketball's top talent from Historical Black College and Universities. CBS Television Network is carrying the game live, which will take place at 4 p.m. ET April 3 at the University of New Orleans' Lakefront Arena on Sunday, the day between Final Four and the national title game, also in New Orleans this season.

"The University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena is a perfect location for this inaugural event," HBCU All-Stars co-founder Travis Williams said. "We are truly excited about the opportunity to honor HBCUs contribution to the great game of college basketball and showcase the nation's best HBCU student-athletes and brilliant coaches on a national stage during college basketball's biggest weekend. This historic endeavor with CBS Sports will raise national awareness of our prestigious HBCUs rich legacy of academic and athletic achievement."

Tickets for the game are available at, and a portion of ticket sales will go to the HBCU All-Stars Scholarship Fund. Players from the MEAC, SWAC and other Division I HBCU schools will be featured as well as players from the SIAC and CIAA from Division II.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Atlanta Dream name Tanisha Wright as Head Coach

The Atlanta Dream today announced industry veteran Tanisha Wright will join the team as head coach. As the fifth head coach in franchise history, Wright brings over 14 years of experience in the league as a player and coach to this role, most recently serving as an assistant coach for the Las Vegas Aces.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as head coach for the Atlanta Dream, and I’m excited to play a role in building a successful organization centered around the player experience,” said Wright. “I have been part of championship teams and understand what it takes to win in this league. I look forward to bringing my talents to this franchise and helping the Dream achieve success.”

As head coach, Wright will be responsible for fostering the growth of the Dream’s players and establishing a culture of integrity and accountability. She comes to the Dream during a pivotal year in which the organization welcomed the new ownership group including WNBA All Star Renee Montgomery, the first former player to become both an owner and executive in the WNBA. Wright’s announcement is yet another positive milestone in building the Dream organization, as former NFL executive Morgan Shaw Parker was recently named President and COO. Earlier this year, the Dream was also named the 2020 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year for the players’ remarkable work last year championing social justice efforts that influenced the Georgia Senate election.

“Known for her defensive mindset, emotional intelligence, and grit, we are beyond thrilled that Tanisha Wright is joining the Atlanta Dream,” said Larry Gottesdiener, Owner and Chairman of the Atlanta Dream. “Tanisha demonstrates a rare depth of character that is inspiring, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact she will have on this team.”

“Words cannot express how excited I am for a rising talent like Tanisha to join the Dream,” said Renee Montgomery, Owner and Vice President of the Atlanta Dream. “Tanisha is widely respected across the league, and as with all great leaders, she will set a strong example for our team.”

Wright spent ten seasons as a guard with the Seattle Storm, where she helped lead the team to nine straight playoff appearances, and a WNBA Championship in 2010. During her basketball career, she joined the Charlotte 49ers as an assistant coach, before retiring as a player in 2019. In 2020, the Las Vegas Aces signed her as an assistant coach, where she worked closely with industry leader Bill Laimbeer.

Prior to joining the WNBA, Wright was a three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Penn State and was named a First-Team USBWA All-American.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Former President Barack Obama joins NBA Africa as strategic partner

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that former President Barack Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner.

President Obama will help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent, including programs and partnerships that support greater gender equality and economic inclusion.  In this capacity, President Obama will have a minority equity stake in the new venture, which over time he intends to use to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.

NBA Africa conducts the league’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL), which held its inaugural season in May featuring 12 of the top club teams from 12 African countries.  NBA Africa is focused on expanding the NBA’s presence in priority African markets, deepening the league’s engagement with players and fans across the continent, and continuing to grow Africa’s basketball ecosystem through programs like the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa and NBA Academy Africa.  In addition, NBA Africa has launched several social responsibility initiatives aimed at raising awareness of gender-based violence, supporting girls’ education, and improving the livelihoods of African youth and families.

“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,” said President Barack Obama.  “By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people.  I’ve been impressed by the league’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own countries and communities.  That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”

“We are honored that President Obama has become a strategic partner in NBA Africa and will support our wide-ranging efforts to grow the game of basketball on the continent,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.  “In addition to his well-documented love for basketball, President Obama has a firm belief in Africa’s potential and the enormous growth opportunities that exist through sports.  NBA Africa will benefit tremendously from his engagement.”

“We have ambitious growth plans for NBA Africa and having President Obama join our efforts is a recognition that through sport, Africa can take its rightful place on the world stage,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.  “We look forward to working with President Obama and our strategic investors to use basketball as an economic growth engine across the continent and as a platform to improve the health and wellness of one of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing populations.”

Strategic investors in NBA Africa include a consortium led by Babatunde “Tunde” Folawiyo, Chairman and CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group, and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation (HFP), led by Co-CEO Tope Lawani.  Additional investors in NBA Africa include NBA Legends Junior Bridgeman, Luol Deng (South Sudan), Grant Hill, Ian Mahinmi (France; ties to Benin), Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Joakim Noah (ties to Cameroon).

The NBA has a decades-long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg in 2010.  Since then, the league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, the launch of the BAL, and more.

The inaugural BAL season was broadcast to fans in 215 countries and territories in 15 languages.  On Sunday, May 30, Zamalek (Egypt) defeated US Monastir (Tunisia) 76-63 to win the first BAL Championship.  Fans can follow @NBA_Africa and @theBAL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

NBA 2K22 Reveals Candace Parker Cover for the WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition

Candace Parker will be the first woman to be on the cover of the NBA 2K. She will be on the cover of the WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition, which will be available only in the United States and Canada.

Parker commented on being chosen for the cover of the WNBA 25th Anniversary Special Edition of the game, saying:

"The cover of NBA 2K is such a pivotal platform to inspire young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they can be cover athletes too. Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series. To be part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and rising popularity of the women's game, and I'm proud to be the first female cover athlete to be the face of NBA 2K."

Thursday, May 13, 2021

NBA creates annual Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Award

The NBA has announced the creation of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, a new annual honor that will recognize a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and upholding the league’s decades-long values of equality, respect and inclusion.

The award is named after six-time NBA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The recipient will have advanced Abdul-Jabbar’s mission to drive change and inspired others to reflect on injustice and take collective action in their communities over the previous year.

The winner of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion honor will select an organization to receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf. The other four finalists will each select an organization to receive a $25,000 contribution.

“I’m honored and grateful to be associated with this award that will recognize the dedicated and selfless people fighting to promote social justice for all marginalized people,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “To me, it’s another giant step in the right direction for the country and all people who value equality.”

“In addition to being one of our greatest players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has devoted much of his life to advocating for equality and social justice,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “With this new award, we are proud to recognize and celebrate NBA players who are using their influence to make an impact on their communities and our broader society.”

All 30 NBA teams will nominate one player from their roster to be the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion. The finalists and winner will be selected by a committee composed of NBA legends, league executives and social justice leaders.

Abdul-Jabbar has been a champion of inclusivity dating to his youth. At 17, he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Abdul-Jabbar’s hometown of Harlem, N.Y. Inspired by King’s message, Abdul-Jabbar committed to using his influence as a visible athlete to engage on critically important social issues during the Civil Rights Movement. He attended the 1967 Cleveland Summit where Bill Russell, Jim Brown and other prominent Black athletes gathered to discuss Muhammad Ali’s refusal to serve in the Vietnam War. Abdul-Jabbar has continued to promote equality and combat discrimination in the decades since his retirement from basketball. In 2016, former President Barack Obama awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2009, Abdul-Jabbar created the Skyhook Foundation, aimed at providing educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities.

One of the most accomplished players in NBA history, Abdul-Jabbar holds league records for regular-season MVP awards (six), All-Star Game selections (19) and career points (38,387) captured during his 20 NBA seasons playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. Abdul-Jabbar joined the NBA in the 1969-70 season after leading UCLA to three consecutive national championships.

Additional details regarding the inaugural award, including the finalists and winner, will be announced during the postseason.

Sunday, March 28, 2021


Shaka Smart has been named the 18th head coach of the Marquette University men's basketball program, Vice President & Director of Athletics Bill Scholl announced on Friday.

The university will hold a press conference on Monday, March 29 (time TBA) at the Al McGuire Center, 770 N. 12th St., to formally introduce Smart to the Marquette community. In accordance with the university's COVID-19 protocols, there will be limited attendance and socially distanced seating will be utilized. The press conference will also be streamed live on

In 12 seasons as a head coach at Virginia Commonwealth (2009-15) and Texas (2015-21), Smart guided the two programs to a total of eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Those trips were highlighted by a run from the First Four to the Final Four by VCU in 2011.

"I can't tell you how thrilled I am to welcome Shaka, his wife Maya, and their daughter Zora to the Marquette and Milwaukee communities," Scholl said. "We undertook an exhaustive national search, during which we discussed our opening with a significant number of highly-qualified coaches. The interest in our position was tremendous and the market certainly understands what a wonderful place Marquette is to coach college basketball."

"Throughout the search, one individual continued to rise to the top and that was Shaka," Scholl added. "I am beyond excited for our current and future student-athletes who will have the great fortune of being mentored by Shaka. He is a great teacher of the game, while also being a great molder of young men. And I am proud to say, he is now a Marquette Golden Eagle!"

The 43-year-old Smart owns an overall record of 272-142 (.657) and seven of his first 10 teams played in the NCAA tournament. He posted a record of 163-56 (.744) at VCU and five trips to the NCAA. While at Texas, the Longhorns were 109-86 (.559) and made NCAA appearances in 2016, 2018 and 2021. Texas claimed the National Invitation Tournament title in 2019.

"I am so excited for Shaka to lead our celebrated men's basketball program, and I look forward to supporting him for many successful seasons as a Golden Eagle," said Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell. "Shaka will be the first person of color to lead our program, and is a true role model for our student-athletes. I've had several conversations with Shaka in the past few days and I know he will be a results-focused coach and recruiter, and also a strong advocate for our Catholic, Jesuit mission. What has impressed me most is that he is interested in being a leader beyond basketball. Shaka is a Wisconsin native and both he and his wife Maya want to make a positive impact on our Marquette and Milwaukee communities."

In 2020-21, Texas finished with an overall record of 19-8, including an 11-6 mark in the Big 12 Conference. The Longhorns were ranked as high as fourth in the country and claimed the Big 12 Championship with a win over Oklahoma State. The team claimed the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the victory and was seeded third in the East Region.

"Maya, Zora and I are absolutely thrilled to join the Marquette family," Smart said. "I'm grateful to President Lovell and Bill Scholl for entrusting me with the growth and development of this storied basketball program and the student-athletes who make it so special. I am extremely excited to get to Milwaukee to begin building relationships and getting to work on the court!"

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Seton Hall and Prudential Center to host 2025 NCAA Regional in Newark NJ

Seton Hall University and Prudential Center in Newark NJ have been selected to host an NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament regional in 2025, the NCAA announced Wednesday as part of its unveiling of more than 450 selections of host sites for preliminary rounds and final sites of predetermined championships in Divisions I, II and III, with most to be held from 2022-23 through 2025-26. The regional will take place March 27 and 29 in 2025.

In response to the news, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Tweeted:

Happy to have @NCAA #MarchMaddness return to Newark in 2025!!!

This will be the first NCAA men's basketball tournament site in the state of New Jersey since Prudential Center and Seton Hall hosted the East Regional in 2011. Seton Hall is one of six BIG EAST schools to receive a men's basketball tournament site in this cycle, joining Creighton, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence and St. John's.

The proud home arena for Seton Hall men's basketball, Prudential Center was ranked a top-10 venue in the U.S. earlier this year and annually hosts the biggest names in entertainment and sports.

The NCAA sports committees made the nearly 450 selections of host sites based on criteria that included the ability to create an outstanding experience for student-athletes, along with adherence to NCAA sport-specific bid specifications.

Specifications can include, but are not limited to, providing optimal facilities; ease of travel to the location and ample lodging; and adherence to NCAA principles, which include providing an atmosphere that is safe and respects the dignity of all attendees.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Laura Harper named as new head wbb coach Laura Harper Selected as Coppin State Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Former WNBA player, Laura Harper, has been named as the new Coppin State University women's basketball head coach, it was announced by Director of Athletics Derek Carter on Monday morning.

"It is a dream come true to be named the new head women's basketball coach at Coppin State University," said Harper. "I am very thankful for the special opportunity that President Jenkins, Mr. Carter, Mrs. Person and Mrs. Carrington-Johnson have granted me. Having a platform as a woman of color, while coaching at an HBCU during this racially sensitive time in our country, inspires me, and I am beyond ready to help lead this group of committed, young women into a new era of Eagles basketball."

Since the conclusion of her playing career, Harper worked as an assistant coach at four NCAA Division I institutions as well as a season as head coach at a top collegiate preparatory school.

"We are excited for Laura Harper to be joining the Coppin State family and look forward to her leadership during the next exciting phase of Eagles women's basketball," said Carter. "Laura will bring incredible passion, energy, and a championship mentality to our team. Throughout her career, she has worked hard to establish herself as a winner in all phases of basketball. I feel that she will provide a valuable influence in the lives of the young women in our program."

Harper most recently served as the head coach at Montverde Academy, one of the premier high school programs in the State of Florida. Harper guided the Eagles to an 18-6 mark this past season and helped all five of her seniors earn NCAA Division I scholarships.

Prior to her time at Montverde, Harper assisted the women's basketball team at the University of Florida for two seasons. Under Harpers' tutelage, Paulina Hersler, who is now playing professionally in Sweden, and 1,200-point scorer Haley Lorenzen, had career years as seniors.

Before moving to the Sunshine State, Harper spent the 2016-17 season at George Washington University under Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Jennifer Rizzotti. That season, the Colonials won an Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship and advanced to the WNIT, while Harper helped post players Lexi Martins and Caira Washington receive All-Conference honors.

For two years, Harper also worked as an assistant coach at High Point University. In her first season, senior Stacia Robertson was named the Big South Player of the Year and an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American before going on to play overseas. The Panthers won 20 games during the 2014-15 season and advanced to the Conference Championship Game.

Harper got her start in coaching as an assistant at Loyola University Maryland during the 2013-14 campaign where she was responsible for post player development, scouting, and served as an academic liaison for the Greyhounds.

A four-year standout at the University of Maryland, Harper was named the 2006 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading the Terrapins to a National Championship. Harper was also part of two Maryland teams that advanced to the Elite Eight, a 2007 Naismith Award Finalist and a two-time Naismith Award Preseason Candidate. As a senior, Harper was a Third Team All-ACC honoree and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American. Harper still owns the Maryland record with 198 blocked shots while scoring 1,407 points and ranked seventh in rebounds upon graduation before being named to the 2014 ACC Legends Class.

On February 5, 2009, Harper's No. 15 jersey was raised to the rafters at the Xfinity Center following a game against North Carolina State.

Also, a presence on the international scene, Harper was a starter for the 2004 USA Women's U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship. Harper also played for the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship Team and was a teammate of Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi and other Olympians at the 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament.

Following her collegiate career, Harper was the 10th overall selection of the Sacramento Monarchs in the 2008 WNBA Draft. As a rookie, Harper played in 34 games while making one start and put up 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds before starting in 11 games the following season. Harper also played professionally overseas in Turkey, Italy and Russia.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Kara Lawson Named Duke University Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Former WNBA and Olympic Champion Kara Lawson has been named Duke University's fifth head women's basketball coach, announced on Saturday by Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White.

"I am delighted to welcome Kara Lawson to Duke as our next women's basketball coach," said Duke President Vincent E. Price. "Kara has proven herself as a skilled coach and a committed mentor, whose passion for education is demonstrated by her service on her alma mater's board of trustees. I am thrilled that she will be bringing these talents to Duke, and I know that she will support the continued success of our women's basketball student-athletes both on the court and off."

Lawson, a 2003 Tennessee graduate, brings her decorated basketball career, both on and off the court, to the Blue Devils after spending last season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. She had helped Boston to a 43-21 record and into third place in the Eastern Conference prior to the stoppage of the 2019-20 NBA season due to COVID-19. Lawson was the Celtics first female coach in the franchise's 73-year history.

A highly-seasoned champion at multiple levels within the basketball landscape, Kara Lawson is the ideal fit for Duke University," commented White. "Throughout the process, it became abundantly clear that her authenticity, passion, contemporary vision and unwavering commitment to the student-athlete experience align seamlessly with the values of the institution. With her high degree of emotional intelligence, Kara's astute ability to connect with future, current and former student-athletes, as well as the passionate and dedicated supporters of Duke women's basketball, will have an immediate and profound impact on the entire program."

"Well, it is a dream come true for me," said Lawson. "I have wanted to be a coach since I was a kid. To have an opportunity to lead a group of young women at a prestigious university like Duke – I have run out of words; it is unbelievable and very exciting. I am thankful for the path that led me here and thankful for the belief of President Price, Kevin White, Nina King, Coach Krzyzewski, Coach Cutcliffe and everyone surrounding the program. Everybody I spoke with and had a chance to interact with, I immediately felt a great connection. It wasn't a decision based on emotion, but there was a lot of emotion involved in it because of how excited I am and how ready I am to get started and to work with the players."

Following an exceptional playing career, Lawson spent two years as the primary television analyst for the Washington Wizards while also broadcasting games for ESPN Radio. In addition to her role covering the Wizards for NBC Sports Washington, Lawson served as a game and studio analyst for men's and women's college basketball and the NBA for ESPN. On January 12, 2007, she became the first female analyst for a nationally-televised NBA game.

Recently, Lawson has assisted efforts for USA Basketball's 3x3 teams in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games. She has helped USA Basketball 3x3 teams to six gold medals since 2017. With Lawson on the sideline, the USA U18 women have won three straight titles (2017 & 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cups and 2018 Youth Olympic Games) while the U18 men captured gold at the 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup. Additionally, Lawson helped guide the USA 3x3 men's and women's teams to first place finishes at the 2019 Pan American Games.

In 13 WNBA seasons, Lawson averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 377 career games with the Sacramento Monarchs, Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics from 2003 to 2015. In addition to her WNBA career, which included a championship with the Monarchs in 2005 and an All-Star appearance in 2007, Lawson was a member of the Team USA roster that captured the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

A four-time All-SEC selection and two-time All-America choice at Tennessee, Lawson played for the late Pat Summit and led the Lady Vols to three NCAA Final Four appearances during her collegiate career. Lawson appeared in 143 games, making 137 starts, and helped Tennessee to a 126-17 overall and 54-2 mark in the SEC over her four seasons. Lawson guided the Lady Vols to four straight SEC regular season and tournament crowns, as well as 2000, 2002 and 2003 NCAA Final Four appearances.

Lawson currently ranks third all-time at Tennessee in three-point field goals made (256), second in three-point field goal percentage (.415) and also ranks third in career free throw percentage (.847). Lawson averaged 13.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while closing her career ranking sixth in career points with 1,950. Lawson also was stellar in the classroom and was a 2003 CoSIDA/Verizon First Team Academic All-America selection.

In 2003, Lawson was one of seven recipients of the prestigious Torchbearer Award given by the University of Tennessee.<:p>

Along with her participation with the 2008 USA Basketball gold medal winning squad, Lawson has extensive international experience. She played with the 2007-08 USA Basketball Women's National Team and was a member of the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship Team. Lawson was invited to play with the 2006 USA Basketball Women's National Team during their spring training. She played five games with the 2003 WNBA Select Team that participated in the FIBA Women's World Cup, was the captain of the gold-medal winning U.S. World University Games Team in 2001 and was a member of bronze-medal winning U.S. Women's World Youth Games Team in 1998.

As a senior at West Springfield High School, she was selected the 1999 Naismith High School Player of the Year while earning All-America accolades from USA Today, Parade and the WBCA. Additionally, she was the 1998 and 1999 Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia and led her squad to two state championships.

Lawson, who is married to Damien Barling, graduated from Tennessee in 2003 with a degree in finance.

The fifth Duke women's basketball coach in program history, Lawson joins Emma Jean Howard (1976-77), Debbie Leonard (1978-92), Gail Goestenkors (1993-2007) and Joanne P. McCallie (2008-20) that have led the Blue Devils.

Blue Devil fans can purchase 2020-21 season tickets and submit season ticket deposit for the 2021-22 season here.

The Kara Lawson File

Hometown: Alexandria, Va.

Education: Tennessee, 2003 (Finance)

High School: West Springfield High School

Husband: Damien Barling

Birthday: February 14, 1981

Coaching Experience:

2020-present: Duke University (Head Coach)

2019-20: Boston Celtics (Assistant Coach)

2017-present: USA Basketball 3-on-3 Team (Head Coach)

USA Basketball Highlights:

Preparing USA Basketball 3-on-3 Team for 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Helped lead 3x3 teams to six gold medals since 2017

Led U18 3x3 teams to three straight titles

Led 3x3 men's and women's teams to gold medal at 2019 Pan American Games

2009 National Team Training Camp

2008 National Team (Gold Medal)

2007 FIBA Americas Championship Team (Gold Medal)

2006 National Team Spring Training Team

2001 World University Games (Gold Medal)

1998 World Youth Games Team (Bronze Medal)

WNBA Highlights:

Surpassed 3,000 points, 800 rebounds and 700 assists over her 13-year career

Led nine of her teams to the playoffs out of 13 seasons

2009 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award winner

2007 WNBA All-Star

Led Sacramento Monarchs to WNBA Title in 2005

Drafted in the 2003 Draft, No. 5 overall, by the Detroit Shock

2003 WNBA Select Team that played in FIBA World Cup (2nd)

Tennessee Highlights:

Guided Tennessee to a 126-17 overall and 54-2 SEC record

Led Lady Vols to four straight SEC Tournament and regular season titles

Made 2000, 2002 and 2003 NCAA Final Four appearances

Ranks sixth all-time in scoring (1,950)

Four-time All-SEC First Team (2000-03)

Two-time Naismith Player of the Year finalist (2002-03)

Two-time U.S. Basketball Writers of America All-America honoree (2002-03)

2003 Kodak All-America

2003 Associated Press Second Team All-America

2003 Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Student-Athlete of the Year

2003 CoSIDA/Verizon First Team Academic All-America selection

2002 Associated Press Third Team All-America

2001 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America

2001 CoSIDA/Verizon Academic All-District honoree

2000 Women's Basketball Journal Freshman All-America and SEC All-Freshman Team

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Charles Barkley calls for cancellation of NCAA Basketball Tournament

CBS March Madness analyst and NBA great Charles Barkley appeared on ESPN's "Get Up" and called for the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

...I'm gonna say this and I'm probably going to get in trouble because I work for Turner, March Madness and CBS. I think Turner Sports and CBS need to close down March Madness, man...Because, even if there's no fans in the stands, you can't have these players breathing on each other for two weeks. Even if they had a hotel, they're going to be in different cities around the country. I hate to say I said, I probably shouldn't say it because I work for CBS, I think we’re going to have to shut down March Madness until we know more."

As of right now, the NCAA men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments will be played without spectators. The men's tournament will be played in 14 cities.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Lisa C. Willis: First female assistant coach in NY Knicks team history

The Westchester Knicks, the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, and first-year head coach Derrick Alston, announced the hiring of Lisa C. Willis as an assistant coach. Willis becomes the first female coach in the NY Knicks organization.

“The Westchester Knicks continue to be a vital part of our player development program at the New York Knicks,” said Steve Mills, President, New York Knicks. “Today, we’ve added a talented coach who will improve our players’ skills both on and off the court.”

Willis comes to the Knicks following the completion of the NBA’s Assistant Coaches Program (ACP), a program formed by the NBA G League’s Player Development department, providing an educational conduit for former NBA, WNBA and NBA G League players to coaching and front office opportunities. Current Westchester assistant, Keith Bogans, is also a product of this initiative.

A former fifth overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft, Willis played her first two seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks before spending time with the New York Liberty (2007-08). At UCLA (2002-06), the Long Beach, Calif. native was recognized as the nation’s best defender by ESPN’s Nancy Lieberman. She later graduated as the Bruins’ all-time three-point leader and second all-time in then-PAC-10 history and ranked ninth all-time in scoring.

“I am very excited to welcome Lisa to our Westchester Knicks family,” head coach Derrick Alston began. “Lisa has had the benefit of playing professionally and winning at the highest levels. Given Lisa’s acumen for the game, there is no doubt in my mind that her transition to the sideline will be seamless.”

Friday, November 15, 2019

Bill Russell accepts Hall of Fame ring 44 years after induction

Bill Russell an 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA champ tweeted on Friday that he was presented with his Hall of Fame ring in a private ceremony with friends and family that came four decades after he was first selected for the shrine in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Russell didn't attend his induction ceremony in 1975 because he didn't believe that he deserved to be the first black player inducted. He felt that Chuck Cooper, who in 1950 was the first African American player drafted by should have been in the Hall of Fame before him. Cooper was finally inducted in 2019.

Congrats to both Bill Russell and Chuck Cooper

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers honor Charles Barkley with a statue

76ers alumni flooded the Complex Friday to witness Charles Barkley taking his place as the eighth Sixer to be immortalized with a statue on Legends Walk.

The celebration began with remarks from 76ers Co-Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, General Manager Elton Brand, President Chris Heck, Barkley’s former coach and Hall of Famer Billy Cunningham, Head Coach Brett Brown, Play-by-Play Broadcaster Marc Zumoff, and Sir Charles himself.

“When you grow up in Leeds, Alabama, in the projects, and all these 56 years later, you’re standing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and you’ve had this amazing journey, all you can really say is thank you,” Barkley said.

During his remarks, Barkley recalled the adversity he faced en route to his illustrious career.

“People always said, ‘He’s undersized,’” Barkley said. “To all the small power forwards and short guards out there -- you can still get your thing done.”

That very spirit seems to have rubbed off on another player who was coming up through the ranks during Barkley’s prime.

“[Barkley] showed me -- It’s not the height, it’s the size of your heart, your will, and your passion to go get it and to compete at the highest level,” Brand said, calling Barkley “someone I looked up to and emulated in my game every day.”

Aside from inspiring young players nationwide, Barkley also managed to become an 11-time All Star, an 11-time All-NBA selection, the 1992-93 MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist before getting enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Today, when Barkley’s not busy voicing NBA broadcasts on TNT, he spends his summers back in the city which drafted him in 1984.

“Man, Philadelphia. What an amazing city,” Barkley said. “My heart will always be here in Philadelphia.”

“He was a massive presence on the court,” Heck said. “What you don’t see is what Charles contributed off the court. He is still very much part of the community in a way that is iconic.”

The sculpture, commissioned by sculptor Chad Fisher, now becomes a permanent fixture in the lives of today’s Sixers.

Brown said he nods the club’s rich history every day when entering the facility, hoping his players do the same.

Considering the statues on Legends Walk and the banners hanging above the court, Brown said, “[It’s] truly breathtaking.”