Damian Lillard being the 13th man left off Team USA is only the beginning of endless opportunities

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Before we go any further, as a Blazers fan it would have been great to see Dame play for Team USA, we could compare the statistical differences between Lillard and Irving, we also could make an argument about the dependability of Rose health and his consistency. We can’t help as fans to draw comparisons between players from different positions and Lillard, due to his break out year during the 2013-2014 season. We could argue all day from both viewpoints, but that would not change decision made to leave Portland’s point guard of the future off the Team USA roster.

Rip City fans don’t forget even though Dame was the 13th man left off the 12 man roster which hurts even more, Rudy Gay and Kyle Kover will not sky rocket into stardom since they’re headed to Spain.Let’s be honest the 24 year old point guard will have many more chances to represent this country(2016 Olympics, 2018 FIBA, etc.). Let’s be honest Dame playing in this event and leading the team in scoring hypothetically what would he receive? Patriotic honor? A medal and a boost in his bank account? What Lillard does for his team when the NBA season starts means a lot more than this event in Spain.

Will Damian playing for Team USA help his team get deeper into the Western Conference playoffs, and eventually help them achieve the big goal, an NBA championship? Ask any Oklahoma City fan if they would rather let a fatigue Kevin Durant play overseas or would you rather him rest up and be ready to go for the NBA season?” Real fans will not be able to say “yes” without a smirk or a snicker.

The future is bright for the Webber State alum, don’t rush him into NBA stardom. If anything as a Trail Blazer fan being the 13th man on the 12 man roster will only make Damian more hungry to show Coach K and staff what they missed out on during the NBA season!

-Cameron Carter

Walt Aikens Perseverance speaks volumes as he reaches the NFL

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I asked the talented defensive back and one of the newest member of the Miami Dolphins how he would explain the position he was in currently. He said “God has put me in a great position”. The Liberty Alumni explained to me that he is not only put in this position to become an NFL legend, but he understands with his great communication skills mixed with his talent on the field can help him reach out to children in a way very few can and will.

Walt Aikens graduated from Harding University High School where he was “The Man” on campus. He was never suspended and was a tri-athlete. He won state championships in track, became one of the best dunkers in the state, and of course one of the best football talents out of Charlotte in the last 20 years. Aikens was awarded the Old Spice Player of The Year in North Carolina and also All-Queen City Offensive player of the year. He received offers in all three sports but he explained that he was more passionate about football. As he committed to take his talents to the fighting Illini in Champagne, Illinois over Clemson and Louisville he was ready to live up to the hype. As a true freshman Walt started in five games at safety and also won Freshman All-Big Ten honors. Walt was able to excel as a freshman because of the confidence he acquired throughout his high school career. Walt began to hear the NFL talk throughout his freshman year. The deeper he got into his career the talk became more prevalent.

During the off-season of his freshman year, for the first time in his life Walt was in the middle of trouble over a laptop that he did not own, whom he borrowed from a friend. The situation had become so messy and taken out of context that Walt Aikens was kicked off the football team at Illinois. He knew that his parents had instilled Core Values in him and even though he disappointed them, they were ready to accept him for the mistake he made and help him get back on the right path. Aikens decided to go to Liberty over Tennessee due to him not wanting to sit out a year. He eventually had to sit out a year due to NCAA sanctions, but Walt throughout 2010 practiced with the practice team so he could keep getting better. In 2011 Aikens played for the Liberty Flames and led the Big South in forced fumbles. He felt like “he had something to prove”. Even though Walt had to deal with all the critics, he felt Liberty gave him a clean slate and a fresh start.

Walt Aikens finished at Liberty with an impressive year and had the confidence to finally reach for his dream and become an NFL player. Aikens was not invited to the NFL combine, he said this did not discourage him it only made him hungrier for his success. There were 26 pro teams at Liberty’s pro day, he explained to me during the interview “If I could not go to the combine, I would just bring the combine to me”. He proved to be a great talent for the NFL as the Miami Dolphins selected him 125th overall in the 4th round.

I asked Walt his opinion on critics when he reads scouting reports on himself and they explain that he has trouble with his foot speed or lacks to diagnose run-pass reads, he explains that negativity from critics is motivation. Adaption has been key for Walt, as he has had to adapt multiple times from Illinois to Virginia and now to Miami. Practicing and living in Miami is a plus while living out your all time dream is sweet taste after all the up’s and downs he has been through.

With two Harding alumni in the NFL currently ( W.Aikens and James McCray) this shows the community that if you work hard enough for your dream and you have the drive, you can be successful! Walt would also like to remind high school football players who are deciding on a school to play collegiate football, find a system that fits you. It is not always about going to the biggest and best school. Which brings me to Walt’s next point, go somewhere where you will thrive and succeed!

-Cameron Carter

Bobby Shmurda Signs with Epic Records

Two days ago Sha Money XL, an executive at Epic confirmed via Twitter that Bobby Shmurda had officially signed his deal.

If you have not had wifi for the last three weeks you might not have any idea who Bobby Shmurda is. The New York rapper created the “shy money dance” which went viral via vine. Now do not get me wrong, Bobby Shmurda is no scrub when it comes to his overall delivery as a rapper, but over the last month he has received more attention than rappers that have worked 5 years with Epic( i.e. Big Gipp, Bando Jonez) have in less than a month.

DJ Mustard voluntarily gave him a beat and last week he was a guest of Raekwon’s at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Beyonce and Jay Z concert in New Jersey showed them even doing the dance. Meek Mill and Yo Gotti also reached out to him. Did I mention all this happened in a matter of three and a half weeks., things are looking up for Bobby Shmurda, I guess you can say he is currently a Hot Nigga

 

 

Lebron Gives us the Fairy tale Ending we all were rooting for

Can you imagine the disappointment as a sports fan, to know that your hometown hero, the “Chosen One” left to go to another team, to win a championship. Not 1, Not 2 , Not 3, Not 4, But 8 titles! During this pep rally this did not sound like a man that regretted leaving and did not sound like he had any intentions of coming back!

As a Cavalier’s fan the man you once decided to give your heart too stepped on it in less than 30 second, by saying he would be “taking his talents to South Beach“. Cleveland fans had two decisions, trade their white jerseys that read “James” and the number 23 out for a black jersey that read on the back “James” and the number 6, or you could resent James for the rest of their sports-loving lives. ESPN did not show the bandwagon fans, they only showed these angry fans that showed their hate for Lebron in tweets, facebook post, a strongly worded letter from Cleveland’s owner Dan Gilbert, and the infamous burning of jerseys.

December 2nd,2010 is known as one of the most monumental days in the career of Lebron James. His first game back in Cleveland, the whole day ESPN showed multiple citizens from Cleveland that were recorded that had multiple hurtful words about Lebron; “Coward” and “Traitor” were common words heard among these fans. One man told one of the local news stations, Lebron is “The most hated man in Cleveland”… that probably was the truth. “7 great years” ruined by a “30 second” decision. The heckling began for Lebron James when he stepped onto the court at 7:25 p.m. until the final buzzer sounded. Decmber 5th showed Lebron how much he really hurt these fans, but being the professional he is, he led his team with 38 points and 8 assists. On this night, the healing process for Cleveland and Lebron began, slowly but surely. Reggie Miller said it best when he said “Cleveland Grow up“; Cleveland continued to struggle the 2010-2011 season, so were the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat’s big 3 help them stay afloat though, they were able to clinch a playoff berth. They made it through the Eastern Conference Finals and then they ran into a Mavericks team that was not honestly better, they just played better as a team. Lebron tasted his second dose of defeat in the finals. The fans of Cleveland rejoiced and some would say were happier than Maverick’s fans.

But the next two years, Lebron became a man! Lebron won 2 straight MVP’s, 2 finals MVP’s,and of course 2 championship titles! You saw a different breed of Lebron fans developing, the same fans who heckled Lebron for being a traitor were starting to root for him and asking him to return to Cleveland. March 20th, 2013 Lebron returned to Cleveland for another game, with a little over 8 minutes left in the game, a Cleveland fan ran on the court that read 2014 free agency, telling Lebron to come home. Its ironic how big of a difference two championships can make in the mind of a heckling fan!

2014 comes around and Cleveland fans can’t help but be optimistic, Lebron has one of the best seasons of his career(Not better than Kevin Durant, according to the MVP votes) he played well and advanced to the NBA Finals with the same Big 3 but with a different supporting cast. The Spurs were seeking revenge from a year ago and they achieved their goal, by dismantling the Heat in five games!

Then there was the decision if Lebron would opt into the final 2 years of his contract, or would he opt-out for Free Agency. On June 24,2014 Lebron became a free agent. Then the NBA went into the frenzy. Lebron had matured from 2010 and you could tell by the way he handled his decision process. June 25th Lebron left and took his family on vacation while Lebron’s agent Rich Paul met with all teams interested and would return to tell Lebron what was said. The best part about the process is that Lebron did everything on his own terms. He made Pat Riley travel to Vegas to meet with him. He went to play basketball at his camp with the top high school prospects in the country. Then he traveled back to his Miami home.

On July 11th nobody knew when to expect Lebron’s decision because there was no timetable according to Rich Paul, but early Friday afternoon Sports Illustrated reported that Lebron James would be Going Back Home.

Giving Northeastern Ohio what they wanted all along, for their King to come back to his Kingdom.

-Cameron Carter

 

KEEN VIBES FASHION TIP OF THE WEEK

Women:

Hats can help a woman’s persona at the same time it can also hurt it. Today’s tip from Keen Vibes is simple, as a young lady you make the hat! But there are a few rules as a woman you should know about hats.

Rule #1: Don’t wear matchy-matchy looks. 

How to Wear a Hat

As a woman I know how tempting it is to wear a hat that looks exactly like your shirt. But you have to realize at the age of 11, this style starts to look very immature and takes away from your persona as you progress into becoing a grown woman.

Rule #2: Wear Hats with prints on them.

The printed hat can make a simple outfit POP. Try out a stussy hats for example and see how it goes. It can make solid color clothes seem more so a hot commodity, you will not regret the results.

Rule #3: Don’t try to Save an ugly outfit with a Hat.

How to Wear a Hat

As a young lady when you wear a hat with an outfit it should complete the outfit, not make it. Don’t try to cover up a fashion  mistake with a even worst fashion mistake, by wearing a very fashionable hat.

-Cameron Carter