Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, 2013
Welcome to week eighty-three of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s first 10 stories include:
- Kyrie Irving introduces us to Uncle Drew’s new teammates, ‘Lights’ and ‘Betty Lou’ (Video)
- Darrell Wallace Jr. becomes first black winner since 1963 on NASCAR’s national level
- Rice University’s 4-foot-9 running back Jayson Carter has first collegiate carry
- 76 Years Later, Maryland Tries To Right A College Football Wrong
- Set for Marathon, Ex-Addicts Find Their Way
- Marathon as Melting Pot; Striving Immigrants Find Long Distance Running Far From Lonely in New York City
- Magic Make One Local Boy’s Wish Come True as Team’s First “Magic Maker”
- Bob Marley’s grandson Nico is making his music on the field for upstart Tulane
- Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer
- Jets, Mets Lend A Hand On Anniversary Of Superstorm Sandy
Much of the beauty of sport comes in the winning, if we are being totally honest. And there is no problem taking joy in such victory. Just this past week the Boston Red Sox, who seem to have gotten very comfortable with winning the World Series after decades of disappointment, brought great joy to their fans in Boston and around the country as they captured another title. This year’s championship seemed to be extra special in light of the sadness that gripped the city just a year before with the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Throughout the year Bostonians and FOBs (friends of Bostonians) rallied to show support for those who were direct and indirect victims of that barbaric act.
And as I am sure these Boston fans would admit, no matter the outcome in the Series, the journey taken with the team over the past 7 months filled them with a tremendous sense of purpose and community, again, two things associated with the beauty of sport. So congratulations to Boston, its fans, and the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans for a terrific season. We surely will see all of them back next year.
This week from our stories a theme of “firsts” emerged, with Darrell Wallace being the first black winner in NASCAR in 50 years; Rice University football player Jayson Carter getting his first college carry; the Orlando Magic anointing their first “Magic Maker”; and Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer. In each of these stories we see individuals who have had to overcome personal and institutional obstacles to achieve their goals. And for each, the road does not end with this latest accomplishment. With the support of many, they strive to encourage others similarly situated to find their way to success.
In addition to those wonderful stories, we are happy to offer those including: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving as “Uncle Drew;” the legendary Wilmeth Sidat-Singh; groups of runners readying themselves for today’s New York Marathon; Bob Marley’s grandson Nico; and the New York Mets and Jets chipping in to help those areas still in need one year after Superstorm Sandy; amongst other stories.
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So enjoy. And have a good week.
Kyrie Irving introduces us to Uncle Drew’s new teammates, ‘Lights’ and ‘Betty Lou’ (Video)
This might make me sound like an advertising-susceptible nincompoop, but I was actually pretty excited to find out who the third member of Uncle Drew’s team was after the second commercial in the ongoing Pepsi Max saga introduced us to Wes and the very fun vision of the Kyrie Irving-Kevin Love pick-and-roll…Well, here it is — the latest 6 1/2-minute soda spot written and directed by the Cleveland Cavaliers’ burgeoning auteur.
Darrell Wallace Jr. becomes first black winner since 1963 on NASCAR’s national level
“This means everything,” the 20-year-old Wallace said. “This is an emotional win for me, especially doing it in Wendell Scott’s backyard. I love coming here to Martinsville, it’s always good to me. It finally paid off. I think it’s my third trip here. I love coming here. The fans are great here.”
Rice University’s 4-foot-9 running back Jayson Carter has first collegiate carry
Carter was born with a genetic disorder that hinders his growth, but that didn’t quell his love of football. He played in high school and his dream was to play on the collegiate level. After a long wait, that dream finally came true.
76 Years Later, Maryland Tries To Right A College Football Wrong
Turns out that Sidat-Singh wasn’t a Hindu, and had not a drop of Indian blood in him. The Tribune piece let out that Syracuse’s gridiron phenom was a straight-up American Negro, born Wilmeth Webb in Washington D.C. in 1918. Readers learned that his biological father, Elias Webb, was a local pharmacist who’d died of a stroke in November 1925. His mother, Pauline Miner, then married Samuel Sidat-Singh, a West Indian physician who adopted young Wilmeth, gave him a new last name, and moved the family to New York.
Set for Marathon, Ex-Addicts Find Their Way
Tucked in the northern hills of Italy, San Patrignano is not a typical training ground for marathoners. It has 1,300 residents at its main facility, which doubles as a small farming community. The addicts submit to a four-year rehabilitation program in which they must cultivate their food, clean their rooms and undertake tasks like making cheese, raising pigs and cows, and producing wine. And some have become runners.
Since February, the center’s group of elite runners has been training with a top marathon coach in a program designed to help recovering drug addicts improve their self-confidence through sports. Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
Marathon as Melting Pot; Striving Immigrants Find Long Distance Running Far From Lonely in New York City
Sauce belongs to West Side Runners, one of New York City’s oldest and fastest running teams. It is also the city’s most diverse: nearly all of its 300 members were born outside the United States. Converging here from five continents, runners from places as far away as Colombia and Gambia, Japan and Brazil, all regularly toe the starting line at weekend road races in matching red-and-white WSX singlets.
Fast, Diverse, and Striving: The West Side Runners Club comprises a diverse group of immigrants who train rigorously despite working long hours. Christopher Gregory for The New York Times
Magic Make One Local Boy’s Wish Come True as Team’s First “Magic Maker”
It was then that Caleb told his father, Marco, and his mother, Angela, that he could relate to the highly skilled NBA players because he too has to go through similar stretching exercises. Born with cerebral palsy and in a wheelchair most of his life, Caleb goes to therapy twice a day in the hopes that he can someday soon walk with the assistance of a walker.
Bob Marley’s grandson Nico is making his music on the field for upstart Tulane
The Missile isn’t sure where the football gene came from; his grandfather loved soccer, but there wasn’t much gridiron talk in Jamaica. The music gene didn’t get passed down; Nico doesn’t play an instrument. “Wish I knew how,” he says.
Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer
Malaviya and a friend started giving surf lessons to girls. She says that it’s scary when you start surfing, but that it can teach you to overcome your fears and try things which seem intimidating in other areas of life. She hopes that attitudes towards women surfers will change, because women should be able to experience the relationship which surfing offers you with the ocean.
Jets, Mets Lend A Hand On Anniversary Of Superstorm Sandy
The Jets announced they would be hosting families affected by Superstorm Sandy on Sunday. Fifty people from heavily hit areas on Long Island will be on hand when Gang Green faces the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium…The Mets were pitching in on Sandy Service Day, too. (they were in Garfield, NJ fixing up a Boys & Girls Club damaged by Sandy, including retouching a mural, painting interior walls, creating a hopscotch court from scratch, and cleaning out old/damaged furniture and assembling new furniture.
THE NEXT 10 STORIES
Carlos Beltran wins the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award
The Clemente Award goes to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. Beltran was selected from a list of 30 Club nominees by a panel of dignitaries that included Commissioner Bud Selig, past award winners and the Clemente family. Additionally, fans were able to cast a vote for the award.
Turkmenistan Tennis Champ, “Skategirl” from Peru Advance Women’s Influence
(Global Sports Mentoring Program) The projects spring from a month-long stint in the U.S. that ended this month for 17 young female athletic leaders who belie the narrow, often-violent images of their home countries in America’s conventional wisdom. The women were paired with counterpart mentors in the American sports and corporate world to develop plans for extending the benefits of athletics to more girls in their own countries. To see a video please follow the following link – http://youtu.be/_67DUuVT6kw.
U.S. Olympian Michelle Kwan (far left) and other panelists listen to Luz Amuchastegui, a sports entrepreneur from Argentina.
The Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. Honors Four NFL Community Champions at 21st Anniversary Luncheon
The CDC of Tampa’s “Be Inspired to Inspire” program also honored Derrick Brooks of Derrick Brooks Charities, Tyrone Keys of All Sports Community Services (ASCS), Teran Bell on behalf of the late Theo Bell and Warrick Dunn of Warrick Dunn Charities with the Nehemiah Community Builders Award. This award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, commitment and generosity in Hillsborough County throughout the year.
Hockey player Lyndsey Fry carries dream of late friend
“Liz was such a huge part of Lyndsey’s hockey experience, but Lyndsey was the ultimate part of her hockey experience, and it was a matter of getting her back to why she played hockey in the first place and what she loved about it. And playing, and honoring Liz, has been a great strength for her.” Still, when Lyndsey did not get invited back to the USA camp that next summer, she wondered whether she could continue.
Lyndsey Fry, middle, has stayed in touch with the Turgeon family — including sisters Valerie, left, and Alex, right — as she chases her Olympic dream, and she’s held Liz Turgeon’s jersey every step of the way.
Ground-Breaking Caddy Competition Gets Off To A Flying Start
The first of its kind in Kenya, the unique competition is being held at Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort once a month, and is designed to boost morale for caddies whilst also increasing their understanding of the game. The resort is already well-known for its charity involvement and many of the caddies taking part are young people who have left a life on the streets with the help of local NGO, Glad’s House.
Ryan Dempster celebrates World Series win by throwing batting practice at 3 a.m.
After the Boston Red Sox won the World Series Wednesday night, where did Ryan Dempster celebrate? Why at Fenway Park, of course … on the field … throwing batting practice … at 3 in the morning. That’s him on the mound there, throwing to actor Mike O’Malley, who learned something in the wee hours of the morning: #takeoffweddingringwhilehittingwithwoodenbatandnoglovesouch
Paul George buys every ticket for Fresno State’s opener, gives away all for free
Indiana Pacer and former Fresno State Bulldog Paul George didn’t take long to put his recently-inked contract to good use, as the NBA All-Star purchased every ticket to the Bulldogs’ season opener on Nov. 16. George purchased the tickets for the Save Mart Center’s full 15,596-seat configuration.
NBA provides an escape for Bucks rookie Antetokounmpo
Immediately likeable, Antetokounmpo has been equally cheery, introspective and honest since arriving in Milwaukee in late July. He’s maintained some innocence, despite a life of poverty and uncertainty. He comes to the United States with a desire for greatness on the basketball court, but carries the burden of being a political lightning rod in his home country – a country that until this summer wouldn’t claim him as its own.
From security guard to security blanket, the journey of Koji Uehara
Long before he became one of the most beloved players on this Red Sox team, Koji Uehara was a teenager with no baseball future. Most of Japan’s best baseball players were famous by the time they reached college; the national high school baseball tournament, Koshien, which enjoys as much hype as March Madness is in the U.S., turns high schoolers into national stars. Uehara never even played in Koshien, and when he was eventually admitted to university, he joined the baseball team at Osaka University of Health and Sports Sciences.
Koji Uehara’s talent and emotions make up for his language barrier with teammates like David Ross. Elsa/Getty Images
Where One Of Baseball’s Top Prospects, Luis Ortiz, Finds His Inner Strength
His talent, while special, is aided by a commitment to honoring his late great-grandfather Santiago, who died three years ago. “He was the one who raised me,” Ortiz told The Huffington Post. “When he passed, it took a lot from me. He came to me in my dream and he told me, ‘A lot of people are gonna try to bring you down, and don’t let that negativity bring you down.’ From that day on, it woke me up.”
Top high school pitching prospect Luis Ortiz honors his late great-grandfather by carrying around his old handkerchief in his pocket whenever he is on the mound. | Courtesy of Ortiz Family