Too Blessed To Be Stressed

As lay here poolside viewing North Miami’s beach, I can’t help but to feel blessed. I know its been a LONG while since my last post, but God has opened so many new doors for me and pray you all would understand.

Since my last post, I was fired from Long Days, Late Nights blog site. Shocker, I know. Like who in their right mind would fire me, I’m a freaking rock star. LOL I don’t even believe that. But No hard feelings to my serious Editor, I learned so much from him in the short amount of time I worked with him. Only wish hi the best. God is awesome, I tell ya! As one door closed, He opened up a FEW others. I started my radio career. This s huge for me, many don’t know this but since I was a small child, I’ve LOVED radio and have ALWAYS wanted to work in radio. Well God has allowed me to finally open up, move out of my own way and pursue a life long dream. As of right now, I’m on air three times a week. Sunday 2-5 Tuesday and Wednesday 5-8 on New Jersey Web Radio. I am grateful.

See because i am not in school, all the internship programs attached to “Big  Time” stations will not allow me to intern. So instead of giving up, I found a platform in which i could get all the experience I can get right now. I am blessed. At first I was terrified. I spent HOURS in the station learning how to run the board. I created my show from scratch by literally studying audio, from Wendy Williams radio show, Angie Martinez, Miss Jones, Deja Vu, Egypt, and The Breakfast Club just to name a few. I came up with different segments, I book different people to interview with me. The only think I have not bee able to master is the DJ part. I’m finding it had to find DJ’s that will come in for free to do a 30-45 min set.  But I don’t fret, the show MUST go on. The show has been teaching me A LOT, and I thank God for the opportunity.

I haven’t been writing/blogging as much. But different opportunities have been forcing me to get to work. Recently, I was afforded a media pass to do the RED CARPET of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Now for me, this is HUGE. I was out there conducting interviews along the side of media power houses such as MTV, BET, Hello Beautiful, Huffington Post, NEWARK MAG, Sway In The Morning, TV ONE, the list goes on and on. And here I am this grown ass, tall ass women on my very FIRST red carpet event!!! To say excited and nervous in an UNDERSTATEMENT!!! I was nervous as F**K. I don’t talk things like this lightly. I know there are people who studied this craft and I would never disrespect them or myself in any way. I had a blast that night. Even got to watch a “Bucket list” concert. I got to sit in the actual tapping for BRG!!!! I witnessed Brandy, Monica, Jazmine, Gladys, and Lauren perform for FREE!!!  Man I didn’t even get into the after party yet! My SNAP was LIT! Queen Moths Erykah Badu DJ’ed free food and drinks, and amazing room of people. Again I am blessed.

Now fast forward to my current situation. I am in Miami on vacation visiting two of my Fordham teammates Lisa and Jade. It’s been a while since I’ve seen these two amazing women. For me these women are family (RAMily as I like to call my FU sisters/friends). Originally I came down to only vacation, but I had the bright Idea to interview these two. See for some of you that may not know, Jade and Lisa are pretty amazing women. Jade is just returning from India where she worked with the Jr. NBA for the past six months. And Lisa, who graciously allowed me to stay in her BEAUTIFUL home while here in MIA, is like a freaking Wonder Woman. Beside the fact that her children’s clothing line LIVLY is taking the fashion world by storm and can now be found in Barneys New York. She is a loving wife, mother of four adorable children (Liv, Lily, Marley, and Miles), successful business woman, and bad ass! Later on tonight I will be interviewing these two, to share their stories with the world.

I thank God for his grace and mercy every day of my life. Although I am not exactly where I want to be, I am moving closer to all of my dreams. Stay tuned for the interview on my social media sites, but major publications as well! I’m about to hop in the pool to cool off a bit. I will talk to you guys soon.

Continue to keep being the change you wish to see in the world! TTYL 🙌🏾✌🏾😜

 

Come Through Cam With Your IDGAF Pants 🙌🏾

Initially as I witness Cam stepping off the plane in San Fran for Super Bowl 50 earlier today, I thought “WTF! WHY CAM?!” Initially as I sit down to write this blog I was prepared to go ALL THE WAY IN on Cam Newton’s choice of almost $900 zebra-print Versace pants. In my mind I thought, why would he do this. I began to list the reason this was in my opinion a bad move for Cam. One he is a 6’5 black man in America with perfect teeth 😁. Two, it seems as if the world (or at least the sports world) has a huge target on this man’s back. Three, why does he need to draw more attention to himself?!  But as I’m on the phone with my cuzzo, she puts so much in prospective for me.  Side note, gotta take a quick moment to thank God for family, friends and am amazing support system that honestly care. Will call me on my foolishness, and pray my strength through the storm. Ok back to Cam.

As my wise cousin so eloquently put it, “Cam has his head on straight. He knows who he is and is walking in his light”.  As I start to ponder her words, she continues. “Cam understands, ‘They are going to talk anyway, why not give them a reason'”. As I did my research on Cam, I noticed he has been the same guy since day one. I feel that he is now more comfortable in his own skin! Cam has been unapologetic about EVERYTHING CAM NEWTON this season. From his “blackness”, to his now legendary ‘Dab’ in-zone celebration sessions, to the birth of his new child, Cam has been himself. This includes his fashion style. I seriously respect a man with as much IDGAFness Cam displays earlier today! Check out some of Cam’s styles below. ✌🏾

 

 

cam-newton-main

Dear Lord those dimples/arms/smile 😍

Keshia Knight Pulliam Announces Engagement

Clearly I am not the only one who did a little happy dance for fellow Brick City native and Jersey Girl Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable), upon her engagement announcement New Years Day. Ms. Pulliam took to her Instagram page to make the announcement, and has since been trending on all social media sites for the past few days. I, for one was happy for the former Cosby Show star, but completely shocked at who put the ring on her finger.

Ms. Pulliam done bagged herself a former NFL player Ed Hartwell. My true sports fans out there may remember the name Hartwell from his time playing linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons back in the 2000’s. But for the majority of the women out there, we know Ed from Real Housewives of Atlanta. Yes Mr. Hartwell is Lisa Wu’s ex husband and they have three children together.

Now no shade to Mr. Hartwell. I sincerely wish both he and Keshia relationship much love, success, and happiness, BUT I was a little disappointed that Keshia and ex boyfriend Big Tigger couldn’t work things out (they were cute together). However, I am not laying with either Tigger or Ed and the show must go on. It looks like Lil’ Rudy is happy. What a great way to start the new year. No wedding date reported yet, but much love, prayers, and respect to the newly engaged couple.

But wait thou, Keshia girl if Ed still keeps it tight, hunnie you did a GREAT job! No disrespect and I am not lusting after your fiancé but his body is pretty nice. I’m guessing his heart, spirit and, mind matches his physique.

 

Why EspnW’s “Be Honest w/ Cari Champion” featuring Sage Steel Interview Was Needed

“I would watch Sports center specifically for you. I would root for you silently.” Cari Champion told Sage Steele this week during her podcast ‘Be Honest with Cari Champion’. Steele and Champion were able to finally sit down during the 6th annual espnW Summit. Champion welcomed fellow ESPN journalist Sage Steel for one of the most powerfully honest, and empowering interviews between two African-American women to date. Can I quickly state how FAB both women are and look. Clearly, looking a both women, BLACK DON’T CRACK, and if this is what I can look forward to at 40, I can NOT wait.

For those who don’t know who these dynamic women are, here is some background. Cari Champion was hired by ESPN back in 2012 as a co-host on ESPN2’s ‘First Take’ along side Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. In June of 2015, Champion was promoted as an anchor for Sports Center. Stage Steele began her ESPN career in 2007 as an anchor for Sports Center. In 2013 Steele became the first female full time host of NBA Countdown. Steele has been the MC of the espnW Summit for the past 5 years.

During this amazing interview, both women let their hair down and got real about a few issues within the “business”. To begin, Steele explains the significance of espnW and the espnW Summit. “It isn’t this feminist movement. It’s hey little more- ok a LOT MORE recognition deserved in front of the camera, behind the camera, corporate boardrooms”.  Champion chimes in “espnW has been able to give women who don’t necessarily have a voice, a voice”. She goes on to say, “We all had something to say. And it wasn’t like we never had anything to say, we had something to say, No One Asked Us.” Both women took the time to give props to ESPN and the men who have helped supply a platform for espnW.

Later during the interview, Steele got extremely personal and honest. Following a question as to why she thinks her and Champion’s relationship didn’t take off from the first meeting, Steele responds “I actually have always had a fear that other black women didn’t think I was black enough”. For Steele who’s mother Mona is white and father Gary Steele, who was the first African-American to play varsity football at West Point during the mid 1960s, it hasn’t always been easy. Steele explains that her insecurity which lead to her reservations, began in college. Steele’s husband is a white man, and has been told that she is a “sell out” by both black men and women alike.

In a move which ignited my inner Emmy Taraji P. Henson, Champion apologized for all the hurt and pain Steele had endured from other black people. Champion goes on to state,”…I’m very much aware of the fact of who I am. I wear my brown with so much pride.  I am so happy to be an African-American woman. Standing in front of you today on Sports Center, I love everything it represents”.

Through out the rest of the podcast, Champion and Steele discuss their bond and respect for each other as two African-American women doing their thing in an industry which still in a way shun women. Side note, I love how the women explain their relationship with fellow ESPN journalist Jamele Hill. I could totally see Ms. Hill rolling up on both women like “you are going to be my friend”. This interview was so necessary, for not only African-American women, but women in general. The respect and encouragement displayed not only through this podcast but via Periscope as well, demonstrates that the women of SPN are some pretty classy women. We need to stick together and uplift one another through life. Weather on ESPN, in the White House, in Cororporate America, or simply in our own local communities, WE ARE OUR SISTER’S KEEPER!

Check out full interview here. 

Why I Turned Down 2.5 Coaching Jobs in the City of Newark NJ In the Past Two Years

From the title alone, I’m sure I’m being judged. Either your reading this trying to figure out why I’m such an idiot to turn down money. Some of you may be the same persons who have been running your mouths and kicking my back in, making accusations as to why I didn’t take these jobs. And others may have a genuine interest as to how could I turn down 2.5 jobs. So for the first time ever on a public platform I will share my reasons.

Last year, my high school basketball coach the legendary Vanessa Watson stepped down as head girls coach of Malcolm X Shabazz high school. Being a former Shabazz All-State and County athlete (Basketball and Volleyball) I’ve been blessed to be able to be a part of the Shabazz family. So when Coach dropped the news, I already knew. Coach had been saying for years she was ready to step down, but each year she thought she was going to, God kept her in place. Coach had more lives she had to read, she had a few more extraordinary female athletes she had to mode, and a few more milestone wins and championships she had to rack up before stepping down. However, time finally came last year. Coach announced that she was handed over her title of Shabazz head girls basketball coach to her former player (my Lil Bulldog Sis) and University of Pittsburg’s standout Point Guard Jania Sims. I was happy for Jay! Coach and I’s originally conversation, was she wanted me to be Jania’s assistant coach, I was cool with this. Jay had been coaching under Coach Watson for the past few years, so she already knew the ends and out of the system Coach put in place. Besides, I understood that Jay would be filling huge shoes, and she needed all the love, support, and backup she could get in an assistant coach. I had no problem being Jay’s assistant coach, however approaching the basketball season I learned through a friend of mine (not Coach nor Jay) that they decided to hire another one of my Lil Bulldog Sisters Iasia Hemingway. (Side bar: For those who don’t know, Iasia Hemingway is another Shabazz standout who also cracked heads in the Big East at Syracuse University. Real talk, the Big East should definitely cut Coach Watson a reimbursement check for every ALL-AMERICAN beast she produced from Shabazz who went on to dominate in the Big East…. only if this were legal).

I digress back to story, so again I heard this news from a friend of mine, not Coach Watson or Jay, and to be completely honest, I was hurt. Let me be clear, I was hurt because the lack of communication and the way I found out. I have, never was, nor will I ever be jealous of my little sisters. Let me say that again, when it comes to my little sisters that followed behind me at Shabazz, I HAVE AND WILL NEVER BE JEALOUS OF THEM. I am a proud Big Sister and am filled with nothing but joy for all my little sister’s success. I can, however admit that I was hurt in the break down of communication. Prior to being offered the freshmen job at Shabazz, for years I’d given away my services and knowledge away for free. I volunteered with different AAU teams throughout NJ/NY, I helped with different camps and clinics and even volunteered with Coach Watson here and there. During the Spring and Summer I would gather a group of athletes (collegiate, professional, and retired) in West Side and Weequahic park for conditioning three times a week. I was an assistant coach at Rutgers Newark for three years, before taking a head coaching job at Newark Vocational high school for a year. So when offered the freshman job at Shabazz, I had no interest. I had over 5 years into coaching and I had no interest in going backwards in my coaching career. Wait as I think about it, I was never “officially” offered any coaching job with Shabazz. Hence my .5 jobs Some called it being too prideful, I called it simply knowing my worth. Whatever you call it, at the time I simply had no interest in going backwards in my coaching career. Besides that, September 1, 2014 I was involved in a really bad car accident which left me without a vehicle for over 8 months, and sometimes unable to leave my bed, in excruciating pain, I was also in the process of trying to get custody of my niece. With all that on my plate, I know I would not have been able to give Jay the undivided support she need in her first year.

Hindsight is 20/20, I had a lot going on, God understood this, and still everything is working out according to His plan. This where the story gets juicy. I had a few mentors, friends, and older sister’s reach out to me asking me why I wasn’t coaching with Jay and Iasia. I gave them the same answer I am giving now. Somehow, I’m guessing some BS got back to Jay because for months I felt a strain on your relationship. I have a strong idea as to who this person was who possibly ran back giving false information, but I never addressed the BS and simply prayed to God. I can’t change other people’s pettiness, and I had so much other crap going on in my life at the time, I didn’t have the energy to do so. I can simply say I am glad my God works everything out, and my sisterhood between Jay and Iasisa is soild. I didn’t have a car last year so I couldn’t support my little sisters but better believe I’m going to be in the stands and at as many practices as possible supporting My Bulldog Family this year!!!!

This year, I was offered a head coaching job at Weequahic high school, and an assisting coaching job at University high school, both in Newark. Yes I turned both them down not saying this to be arrogant, nor to boast. I feel that my reasoning is God’s purpose for my life. While in attendance at Coach Watson’s retirement party this past weekend, I felt some shade from a few people. I really wish they understood but at this point, I honestly feel like the vision I have is God’s purpose on my life.

So many people don’t understand the plight of the 98% of College Athletes who don’t go pro. Although I was blessed to be a part of the 2% who did experience playing professionally overseas (Ireland, Spain and Greece), when I was forced to retire because of a broke finger and not having some place to peacefully lay my head a night, I was emotionally confronted with all the same issues.

This is why I choose to turn down 2.5 coaching jobs. I’ve been blessed to be a coach on every platform except professionally. I have no doubt in my mind that if I choose to at some point return to coaching, I would still be a pretty good coach. However, I feel like every trail and tribulation I’ve encountered trying to transition into life after retiring from the game, wasn’t for me to simply figure it out. But instead to reach back and help other female athletes have a smoother transition. The name of my company will be ANCHorD21.

As a kid I used to have a dream of being a famous author. I used to wright novels as a child, I never released any because it was just a hobby/dream. Some where down the line, I picked up a ball, and quickly realized I was a pretty good athlete. It is very easy for me to drift away from a dream/passion I had prior to becoming an athlete. I knew that if I worked hard, I could get a full ride to a college, and them become more rich and famous playing in the WNBA and for the Olympics. It was easier for me to put all my eggs into one basket and become an athlete, I understood the time, and effort I had to put in to make this dream come true. As far as writing, I had no idea how to make that dream come true.

For many of us, it’s easy to get completely wrapped up in trying to be the best in our field, over look and not prepare for the next chapter in life, after our career ends. It is my plan to team up with the Mayor of Newark, Fordham University’s Women’s Basketball program, and other organizations to help give female athletes options, opportunities, and internships with a career and company they may find hard to normally get into because of their CRAZY training time, lack of knowledge or connections in the career they want after sports. Under the same umbrella of ANCHorD21, I want to be able to offer support groups, and possible therapy for athletes. This will be a safe place for athletes to vent and gain emotional support and advise to over coming the “Post Jock Blues”.

For many athletes, we put all our time and energy into perfecting our craft to be the best. Many of us from the inner cities have been taught how to struggle through life, instead of maneuvering. For many of us, we are born into very dysfunctional situations so its easy for us to throw ourselves into a sport for the hopes and dreams of one day going pro and be coming rich and famous, and being able to buy our family a house. For some of us we simply chase the dream and don’t think about life after the game. For many former college athletes, the void of sports, and trying to adjust to life after sports can take a serious psychological toll. For some athletes, the emotional toll is realizing that you put all your eggs in one basket, and never thought to maintain a successful internship while in school. The reality that after the game stops and you realize that you have basically no work experience other than working a few camps here and there, can cause stress. For some athletes returning home to the cold side eyes from friends and family may be too much to handle.

For all these reason, I feel that ANCHorD21 is essential. These are my plans, I am not afraid to share them publicly to the world. In some ways, my blog is my public vision board. I am dreaming, planning and writing again. Some how my blog will land me a career at Essence, ESPNW, Monarch, The Player’s Tribune, show how this blog will open a lane for me for not only publish my work but to gain wealth. I will be the cycle breaker in my family. I understand that what is for me is for me, and God gave me a vision. It is my responsibility to make His vision come to life. I am not worried about someone stealing my ideas, if someone has some advise or wish to help me make this dream come to pass, I welcome it! But I am only depending on my God given gifts and my God. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to become wealthy from ANCHorD21, however I know and understand the amount of time I am going to have to put in to make this vision come to pass, and I know God will make a way. He already has.