I coach Filipino girls’ offensive/defensive line at school.

This is something that just sort of happened.  I’ve always seen myself as somewhat different for as long as I could remember.  As a youngster I really got into skateboarding, listened to scream-o rock music (still do), and wore 100% polyester dragon shirts to school… everyday. I wanted to be myself, and even though it’s not the average or stereotypical way of life for a young black boy growing up near Chicago, I liked it and that’s all that mattered.

I joined the Philippine Student Association at my university in hopes of broadening my horizon, and I became attached to the organization after a couple weeks of playing basketball with the guys and meeting some pretty cool people.  I joined their football team that plays UIC, Loyola, DePaul and NIU in a one day, tackle tournament in Chicago. The event is called Rice Bowl. I played defensive end for the men’s team and we went undefeated, taking home an awesome trophy in the process.

Long story short, I became Athletic Chair of the organization the next year and was  head coordinator for the annual tournament. There is also a women’s team which plays two-hand-touch.  When I became chair, I coached the girls offensive/defensive line  and set up all our practices.  It was hard work that year, but it paid off, as they  too went undefeated!  I was so proud of them, and was exhausted from the long year. The girls really heeded my advice and direction, and I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated bunch.  They deserved to win.

We’ll try to bring home two trophies next year…

(Photo credits: hover over each photo to view photographers– check out their photos at http://www.brenansalgado.com/blog and http://www.flickr.com/photos/jondayrit/)


How’s That Taste?

Posted: May 19, 2010 in Photos
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And you dare to wear the number 23!?
I’m from Chicago, and anyone that wears that number is held up to some stringent judgment around here (cough cough, Michael Jordan).  If you want to wear the number that represents the the greatest player of all time, you have to at least give an effort. Ok, so you had a triple-double, big deal. Where’s your heart? We should be remembering this series for your  hustle in diving for the ball, how ferociously you dunk and your aggressiveness. Instead, you moonwalk your way out of Cleveland, easing out of a couple more hard years with your team.  Grow a pair why don’t ya?! Tough if out.  Did Michael Jordan walk out on the Bulls when they repeatedly lost to Detroit? What about when he lead the league in scoring, but came up short in the playoffs every time? NO, he stayed, worked with his coach and developed the team with dedication.  You should change your number to “0” to represent the amount of urgency and enthusiasm you showed in the last two games. Was he scared? Did the 17 championship banners in the rafters intimidate him? Or maybe he had a chest cold? I know, he must have “I don’t care about my reputation” syndrome- most common in players like gun-slingin’ Gilbert Arenas or janky Jamarcus Russell of the Raiders.
Here are my top 5 “smh” moments.
1. Fist bumping with the Celtic fans.
Are you seriously slapping hands with their crowd? You tossed your head band to the stands like you won the game. You showed no humility.
2. Stepping back to the half court after inbound passes
You did this more than once. I understand that plays may require you to hang around a bit, but in the last moments of the game, you should be demanding that ball. You are the team’s best scorer, right?
3. Not trying to block shots.
You had plenty of opportunities to make those plays. You know, the ones where you smash the ball off the backboard. You took it easy and saved your legs. That’s definitely not the right time… it’s win or go home.
4. Your indifference in the post-game interview
We know there’s a short time from the game to the interview; we don’t expect your answers to be put on 60 Minutes or anything. Boston Business Journal quoted you saying “I’m not going to start making excuses. I had opportunities to do thing I wanted to do, and it just didn’t fall for me. I’m not using the elbow as an excuse.” Well, even if you’re hurt, PLAY HARD. The great players of the past have done it before. Also, he was quoted saying “We left it all on the court”… I beg to differ. Anyone with eyes can tell that you left your passion at home, not on the court.
5. Lack of Swagger
This is more of a team issue. It seemed as if they lost all hope once they started losing games. Even though the situation is much more serious in the playoffs, you guys made teams fear your confidence.  If you play confident basketball, and stop playing so timidly, teams won’t roll over you. Turn your swag on.
Don’t get me wrong, I like LeBron. But I also like those who play hard until the whistle is blown. Give it your all, no matter what.

Nothing To Do Tonight

Posted: May 8, 2010 in Photos
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I’ve been on an old school rap music kick lately;  nothing past 1995, and yes that’s old for me. My iTunes “oldies” list consists of The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, Pete Rock, Lords of the Underground and a wealth of others. Early 90’s rap had a unique sound, with lyrics wrapped in soulful, jazz and blues melodies.  They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Check out a few samples of what’s been blasting in my headphones this month.

Spoken Word Artist

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Photos

Telling the Untold Story

CBS News Chief Correspondent and Contributing Correspondent for 60 Minutes delivered a vibrant speech at the University of Illinois about overcoming trial, and the importance of going through struggle before achieving success. He stressed that planning what you’ll be doing 20 years from now is crucial to gaining that success.

Event Flier

In one story, Pitts talks about a pretty interesting interview that fellow journalist Bryant Gumbel had with Mikhail Gorbachev. Check out the video link below!