Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #101

March 2 – March 8, 2014

Welcome to week one hundred one of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s first 10 stories include:

  1. Brooklyn to the Big Time, but First a Stop in Mississippi
  2. A match made in hockey heaven
  3. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Expands Let’s Play Initiative with New Commitments to KaBOOM! And Good Sports
  4. For Runner with M.S., No Pain While Racing, No Feeling at the Finish
  5. Let’s Pledge to Respect People Like My Sister (by Elena Delle Donne)
  6. In Giannis We Trust
  7. Orlando Magic Host “Everyone Wins” Basketball Clinic
  8. Higher Education: How Basketball Coach Tommy Amaker Has Transformed Harvard
  9. Dr. Frank Jobe, Doctor Who Pioneered Tommy John Surgery Dies at Age 88
  10. The 50 All-Time Greatest Sports Movie Quotes (from Bleacher Report)

We regularly feature individuals, teams, and organizations that do a variety of things that we believe are “good,” that change people’s lives for the better. Sometimes it is their own life, but more often than not they are positively impacting others in their community and around the world. A group we have highlighted a bit less often is companies.

There are certainly sports-related and non-sports related companies in the U.S. and around the world that are doing great work in the areas of sport and development, social responsibility, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. Two companies that we feature this week – Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Kellogg’s – are amongst that collection of “companies doing good.” Whether it is a financial contribution, the donation of marketing and promotional power, or the sharing of operational expertise, these companies are essential partners when it comes to creating a more inclusive, fairer sports marketplace.

In addition to our two corporate stars, we again are fortunate to highlight the brighter side of the world of sports. This includes: three aspiring hoops players from Brooklyn who find themselves in the Deep South; a pro hockey playing husband and wife; a high school runner who competes until she literally collapses after each race; a superstar from the WNBA who speaks out on the behalf of a sister who cannot speak for herself; a dynamic young NBAer from Greece who has everyone excited about his future; and a pioneering sports doctor whose ingenuity and skill helped change the game of baseball for the better.

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Our Twitter handle is @sportsdoinggood, and you can find us at

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Brooklyn to the Big Time, but First a Stop in Mississippi
Far from fostering resentment, the spotlight on the Brooklyn players seems to have helped build team camaraderie. Johnny Zuppardo, a forward from Kiln, Miss., and the team’s second-leading scorer behind Hall, said they had given the team more personality. Zuppardo, who refers to them as his “brothers,” said he planned to visit them in New York this summer. He wants to play at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park. “They bring a whole different flavor to everything,” Zuppardo said.

From left, Nick Vazquez, a recent enrollee; Leroy Fludd, a 6-foot-5 freshman; and Sai’Quon Stone, an assistant coach, shot around before a Jones County Junior College basketball game in Ellisville, Miss. All have Brooklyn roots. Credit William Widmer for The New York Times

A match made in hockey heaven
The passion Bridges played with then is still evident every time he takes to the ice. And it’s what Small loves most about watching her husband play. “You can tell he loves it out there and it’s something he was always meant to do, to play sports and be part of a team,” she says. “I can just see that big smile he gets after he or one of his teammates has scored a big goal.”

Their mutual love of the game brought them together; now Billy Bridges and Sami Jo Small strive to make each other better, on and off the ice

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Expands Let’s Play Initiative with New Commitments to KaBOOM! And Good Sports
Three years after launching its Let’s Play initiative, Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is saying, “Let’s Play some more.” The company has committed another $11 million to expand its efforts to provide tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority in the lives of kids, families and communities across North America. More than 1 million kids will benefit as DPS extends its partnership with KaBOOM! through 2016 with a $10 million commitment to build new playgrounds and improve existing ones. In addition, DPS has entered a one-year, $1 million partnership with Good Sports to provide athletic gear, footwear and equipment to community organizations coast to coast, benefiting 1.6 million youngsters.

For Runner with M.S., No Pain While Racing, No Feeling at the Finish
Because Montgomery has played down her condition, few people understand her unusual racing finishes. In the national indoor 5,000-meter championship last year, officials forgot to catch her and she fell on her face, lying prostrate on the track until someone carried her away. Announcers speculated that she had a seizure. Some assume she is fainting. Others, she said, have simply called her a wimp. She dismisses the attention.

Kayla Montgomery (4) has become a top runner for Mount Tabor High School. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

Let’s Pledge to Respect People Like My Sister (by Elena Delle Donne)
Lizzie’s gift to me was opening my heart to embrace our differences and inspiring me to make the world a more inclusive and respectful place. It is because of Lizzie that I am so devoted to ending the use of the “r-word,” a word that engenders divisiveness amongst individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. Whether the “r-word” is used casually or with intent to degrade people with intellectual disabilities, is hurtful and derogatory.

In Giannis We Trust
He’s 19 years old and famously “still growing,” but Milwaukee Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo is already seen as a savior — in different ways — by the Bucks, by his Greek countrymen, and by the Internet

Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Magic Host “Everyone Wins” Basketball Clinic
Tom Heines and his team drove 14 hours from Cleveland to Orlando to make a difference in children’s lives and it was undeniable that the exhausting travel was well worth it. On Sunday at a local Orlando Magic recreation center, Heines and three other volunteers from Basketball Assist, a nonprofit organization based in Ohio that helps make the game accessible for youth with socioeconomic, physical or cognitive challenges, partnered with the Magic to conduct an “Everyone Wins” clinic for kids with special needs.

Higher Education: How Basketball Coach Tommy Amaker Has Transformed Harvard
“I’ve been blown away,” Amaker says to have so many “different people … under the same roof. Under this roof,” he repeats, gesturing upwards for emphasis, adding that he has been told that Harvard President Drew Faust described men’s basketball games as “the most diverse event on Harvard’s campus.” Asked why, in a business measured so strictly by wins and losses, connecting matters, Amaker pauses.

Dr. Frank Jobe, Doctor Who Pioneered Tommy John Surgery Dies at Age 88
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig saluted Jobe for revolutionizing sports medicine.”His wisdom elevated not only the Dodgers, the franchise he served proudly for a half-century, but all of our clubs,” Selig said in a statement. “Dr. Jobe’s expertise, as well as his enthusiasm to mentor his peers, made the national pastime stronger.”

(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

The 50 All-Time Greatest Sports Movie Quotes (from Bleacher Report)
Everyone has their personal favorites, but it’s time to get down to brass bugles: some quotes stand head and shoulders above the rest. They are the bluebloods, and for whatever reason—be it humor, depth of meaning or pure whimsy—they’ve burrowed into our hearts and minds forever. The following are the 50 all-time greatest sports movie quotes.


Announcing – Peace and Sport, created by Peace and Sport, is a platform for expression and promotion aimed at highlighting the initiatives being led for april6 – International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. This day is a unique opportunity to mobilize, unite, encourage and bring to light projects for peace and development through sport.

Former IOC President Jacques Rogge, President of the United Nations General Assembly Vuk Jeremi and Serbian professional tennis player and Peace and Sport Champion for Peace Novak Djokovic, following the UN’s decision to declare 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

Jeff Gordon Fulfills 87-Year-Old NASCAR Fan’s Ultimate Dream
When Yocum’s husband was alive, their favorite driver was Jeff Gordon. The California resident calls him “Jeffie.” He’s still her favorite. Her story caught the attention of Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to senior citizens, and Brookdale Senior Living. Can you guess what hers was? On Wednesday at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, Yocum got a chance to meet and talk with Gordon. “I’m fine today, yesterday I wasn’t so good, I was very nervous! I’m still nervous,” she said. “I didn’t just get 10 seconds. I got to see him for 10 minutes. I was proud that he took time out to make my wish come true.”–abc-news-celebrities.html

Good Morning America – Jeff Gordon Fulfills 87-Year-Old NASCAR Fan’s Ultimate Dream (ABC News)

Mark Minicozzi is getting a second chance at his MLB dream after getting picked from the stands by Giants
In a previous life, Minicozzi was drafted as a shortstop by the Giants in the 17th round. That was back in 2005. At one point, he was the MVP of the California League championship for the Giants’ Single-A team in San Jose. Minicozzi showed some promise until his career was derailed by injuries and cut by the Giants. There were elbow, labrum and wrist injuries, then a back injury that required surgery. The back surgery, though, helped him finally play pain free and reboot his career.

Mark Minicozzi smiles after a spring training home run. (Getty Images)

‘Hockey Day on the Hill’ set for March 5
The National Hockey League (NHL), USA Hockey, USA Warriors and the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club will join members of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 5 for Hockey Day on the Hill to discuss the state of hockey in the U.S., with a focus on how ice hockey can assist in the rehabilitation of injured veterans. The day will begin with a Congressional Hockey Caucus Briefing on Capitol Hill and conclude with a friendly, but competitive hockey game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.

Skatepark and classrooms for 1,000 children in Mazar-e-Sharif
When major skateboard brands saw what was happening in a war torn capital half the world away, they started regular shipments of free skateboarding kit. Afghan skaters are not making do with what they can find, as one might expect. Rather, students ride top quality gear – meaning the toughest boards, the fastest wheels and the safest protection.

Skate instructor, Noorzai Ibrahimi, ollies over ramp designer Andreas Schutzenberger in Mazar-e-Sharif. Photograph: Skateistan

London set to host new Invictus Games
The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will contribute a significant grant to staging the Invictus Games.  The event in September will mark the beginning of a legacy programme to support accessibility of adaptive sport and further employment opportunities for transitioning servicemen and women leaving the armed forces.

“I’m a Footballer Who Happens to Wear Hijab — I Didn’t Need FIFA to Tell Me That”
How can I laud FIFA for striking down a law that should have never been implemented in the first place? How can I be grateful for someone allowing me to do what I should have always been allowed do? Why was I made to choose? How can you choose between your heart and soul? Thank God my daughter won’t have to face that choice.

Woman thankful of NY Jets trainers who saved her life
The two Jets trainers were on their way to the NFL’s annual scouting combine, and they reboarded their plane after Enker’s situation became stable enough to move her. Word of their actions didn’t come out for a week. “First of all and most importantly, we’re thankful that she survived and is receiving the medical attention that she needs,” Jets president Neil Glat said in a statement. “When it comes to Dave and Josh, their response doesn’t surprise me at all. They are dedicated, selfless employees, who are ready and willing to help someone. We’re always proud of our own, and glad they were able to provide some assistance.”

John Wall helping five-year-old cancer patient meet Nicki Minaj (video/photo)
Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is utilizing his celebrity and reach on social media to help out a very special young fan suffering through a horribly unfair ordeal realize her dream of meeting pop star Nicki Minaj. Wall posted the below video to his Instagram account in which he reaches out to Minaj on behalf of Miyah, a five-year-old battling cancer, whose dream is to meet the superstar and wear one of her trademark pink wigs.

U.S. Olympic Athletes Team Up With Kellogg’s To Help Give Great Starts Back Home
Families can help make a difference by going to to view the “Great Starts” video featuring Team Kellogg’s, as well as a series of Start Story videos, which follow the athletes’ inspirational journeys to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. When fans view, like, re-tweet, pin or share any of the “Great Starts” online content using #greatstarts, Kellogg’s will help provide breakfast to children in need.

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Our goal is to have Sports Doing Good be a portal housing original content and excerpts from and links to the increasing number of articles, websites, video, and other media that showcase the good in sports and society. We aim to celebrate those concepts, activities, events, and individuals by highlighting them for a wider audience. Much of the news today, whether sports- related or not, is incredibly negative and increasingly polarizing, biased, and quite annoying. We are trying to refocus some of the discussion on the good, with a focus on sports.Our mission is to have Sport Doing Good be a consistent, and significant, contributor to the areas of sports, social responsibility and development. We look forwarding to partnering with other stakeholders in producing content, in creating and/or sponsoring athletic and service events, knowledge sharing, and conferences/seminars, and even having a commercial arm that could be the source of innovative social businesses.We invite you to send in news, press releases, and guest pieces for possible publication, and email us with suggestions about the content and format of the newsletter and Sports Doing Good website.
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