Sports

Walt Aikens Perseverance speaks volumes as he reaches the NFL

Dolphins_Walt_Aikens_2014

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

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Nike raises the commercial bar to new heights with their “Risk Everything” Campaign in preperation for the World Cup

The World Cup starts Thursday. If you are not as excited as usual for this 4 year event, this commercial should change that! With the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Tim Howard the commercial excites and gives you a short story to follow and appreciate.
-Cameron Carter

NBA Finals Preview

The Rematch: The Heat and The Spurs are meeting up for the second time tonite for the covenant NBA Title. This series is going to be more than just a game. There has to be changes between coaches,players, and even trainers. But we know that the Spurs are hungry for revenge and they have all the intangibles to defeat the Heat. Today I want to touch on some of the players and areas of play that don’t get recognition but were big factors in the finals last year and will be this year as well.

Keys for the Spurs: Setting the Tone- The San Antonio Spurs have won 10 straight game ones in the playoffs dating back to two years ago. The Spurs winning the first two game in San Antonio, and killing the momentum the Heat might come in to San Antonio with would be huge and would give them confidence going down to Miami.

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green playing well- The future of the San Antonio Spurs are the keys to success if the Spurs expect to win this series! Danny Green’s surged into the NBA Finals last year breaking the NBA 3 point record set by Ray Allen. Since leaving North Carolina in 2009 Danny Green’s strength’s(shooting and defense) have not changed. His weaknesses(Creating his own shot and lack of creativity with the ball in his hands) have not either. Danny Green’s not going to be a superstar in this league, but he will be a dependable player for many years to come. Kawhi Leonard on the other hand is a superstar in the making! He was known to be a Gym Rat in college and that is only becoming more apparent in the NBA as he has shown while finishing up his sophomore season. His defensive prowess and his ability to shoot,score,and drive whenever he wants has shown the NBA that he is a special player and a huge key to the Spurs success in the NBA Finals.

Keys for the Heat- Dwayne Wade’s contribution: Is Dwayne Wade going to be a factor or a liability? One thing is for sure, Dwayne looks better and is playing better than he was when the NBA Finals were played last year. One thing is for sure he wants that fourth ring this year. He has improved statistically in every area of his play in comparison to last year’s playoff. But let’s ask ourselves; What if D. Wade begins to hurt more than help the Heat in the finals? What is going to happen to them? Are they going to use Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole, or Shane Battier more often? As impressive as Wade was against the Bobcats(Hornets), Nets, and Pacers the real question is will he be able to keep up with the same efficiency?

How will the Heat defend the Pick-and-Roll?: Per synergy sports there was not another team better at defending the pick-and-roll statistically than the Miami Heat. Of course the health of Tony Parker’s ankle is a big factor in the pick-and-roll game. The Heat’s Shane Battier and Mike Miller either showed or hedged throughout the series last year when a pick was set on their side. When this happen Chris Anderson was able to flash and be able to defend at the rim. But this year it will be interesting to see how the Miami Heat react to the pick-and-roll during the small ball stints the Spurs will play with.

Prediction: Spurs win in 7

I think redemption is the only thing on the Spurs mind after the heartbreaking defeat they were handed in the Finals last year. Tim Duncan will outplay Chris Bosh and the Spurs are just to deep for the Heat to contain and they will succeed with the architect they have and also known as coach of the year Gregg Popovich.

-Cameron Carter

Who Had the best NBA Draft Class?

NBA draft

There was 1985; Sam Perkins, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, and John Stockton. Those are 5 Hall of Famers in one draft class.

There was 1996; Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Derek Fisher. Those are 5 arguable hall of famers as well, if I am not jumping the gun here, I would like to say theyre all first ballot Hall of Famer’s as well!

Then the infamous 2003 Draft Class; Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Is this draft class the best… will it get better.

Let me know your thoughts in the poll above,

-Cameron Carter

Mac Miller’s “Faces” Mixtape was a great gift to everybody on Mother’s Day

Sunday May 11th was the best gift a Mac Miller fan could have received. May 11th Mac dropped his 24 track mixtape “Faces”, Mac’s mom recently had an interview with Complex magazine, where she explained how she was proud to be the mother of a successful rapper. Mac has multiple guest on the mixtape( Rick Ross, Vince Staples,Mike Jones, Earl Sweathsirt, and more).
Download the mixtape at: http://www.datpiff.com/Mac-Miller-Faces-mixtape.610770.html

-Cameron Carter

Damian Lillard is Exceeding expectations in the Playoffs and Rip City Loves it!

 

31 Points, 9 rebounds, and on 9-19 shooting in a rowdy Toyota Center in Houston! 

Yeah it sound like Damian Lillard had a pretty good NBA playoff debut. The reigning NBA rookie of the year is playing at an elite level! Though he has been overshadowed by the dominance of Lamarcus Aldridge, Damian’s playoff performances reflect his impressive regular season as well. 

Damian Lillard has played his first two years in the league as a veteran. In the regular season he averaged 28.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 7.5 assists. Lillard is also still up-holding his impressive shooting percentage from the field( a little over 45%). 

Even though Lillard made the all star team, it is still rather surprising in Lillard’s playoff series he seems to play with so much composure. This is only the first round! Let’s see what he is able to do as the Blazers look to close out the series in Houston tonite at 9:30 on TNT.

RED Pyramid Stylistic Tip of the Day

Cameron Carter’s Fashion tip of the day. Read and learn.

^Red Pyramid

Women:

Hats can help a woman’s persona at the same time it can also hurt it. Today’s tip from Red Pyramid Company 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 yopu 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…

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