Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #104

March 23 – March 29, 2014

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

  1. The Story of Michigan State Star Adreian Payne and ‘Princess Lacey’ Is Bigger Than Basketball
  2. Shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton wins professional surf contest at Pipeline
  3. Iowa’s Theairra Taylor is a survivor and a great example of what makes March special.
  4. Rugby star Nia Toliver in a Rio state if mind
  5. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Secretary-General’s Message for 2014
  6. NASL’s New York Cosmos to Host Camp to Support Local Make-A-Wish Chapter
  7. Weinstein Carnegie Exclusive Interview: Kate Doyle, Community Manager, Uber, “Ride for a Cause”
  8. MLS’ Dean, Stanford hoops’ Huestis: Separated brothers, but always connected
  9. School e-library, with help from LeBron James, among largest in nation
  10. Terry Francona Tells Blake Wood He Made Indians with Awesome Trip to the Mound

Two years, aka 104 weeks. At 20 stories a week, that is a lot of “good” going on in the world. We are happy to contribute to the increasing presence of stories that involve people, organizations, and companies working alone and sometimes together to make a difference in the world. Whether it is changing one’s own situation or working to advance the cause of people near and afar, the power of the human spirit and innate desire to see others do better is regularly on display in the stories we feature.

And we do 20 stories a week not because that is all that we can find. Rather, we want to give you a manageable number so that you can take whatever time you want to read the stories and possibly do some further research into these great folks making the world a better place. We thank you for being a great audience and a great source of stories.

This week we are happy to present stories involving: Michigan State student-athlete Adreian Payne; surfer Bethany Hamilton; Iowa student-athlete Theairra Taylor; emerging rugby star Nia Toliver; the New York Cosmos soccer team; separated but connected brothers Christian Dean and Josh Huestis; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and player Blake Wood; the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Sounders; the Washington Nationals; and Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg; amongst others.

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

Finally, if you think others would like to receive the newsletter, please feel free to forward it on or have them contact us directly at (If you do not want to receive the newsletter anymore you can use the Unsubscribe button at the end of the email)

So enjoy. And have a good week.

The Story of Michigan State Star Adreian Payne and ‘Princess Lacey’ Is Bigger Than Basketball

Adreian Payne and 8-year old Lacey Holsworth met each other two years ago in a hospital where she was being treated for Neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve Cancer. The cliché of a star athlete visiting sick kids ended as soon as they met, and now Payne and “Princess Lacey” have become like brother and sister. On the court Payne is a beast, I mean just look at his record setting performance in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.  Off the court, Payne has shown his heart is bigger than anyone could guess.

Shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton wins professional surf contest at Pipeline
Surfing with one arm is challenging; surfing Pipeline with one arm is simply amazing. Her strong, powerful surfing in the 3- to 4-foot waves at the famous Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii gave her a commanding win over her competitors. While the waves weren’t huge, Hamilton noted they were “better than most waves I surf all over the world in contests.” Later, on her Facebook page, she added, “It feels good to surf and compete well and take the win!”

Shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton on her way to a first-place finish at the Surf-n-Sea Pipe Pro; photo by Betty Depolito

Iowa’s Theairra Taylor is a survivor and a great example of what makes March special.
“We know the physical anguish players go through with injuries, but there are also the mental demons,” Bluder said. “For her first year back when she was healthy, those demons flared up. She was vomiting before games and practice … but she took care of it. She went to our sports psychologist here at Iowa, and she got it under control. And now, look at her. She plays fearlessly.”

Theairra Taylor, center, had 22 points and hit a career-best five 3-pointers as Iowa beat Marist. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Rugby star Nia Toliver in a Rio state if mind
This weekend Toliver will be accompanying her ICEF rugby teammates to London where they will compete in the world’s largest school rugby tournament. They will also visit the UK and France before returning home in early April. Toliver has the desirable mix of speed and strength. “She’ll run by you or she’ll run through you,” her father said. Her head coach, Stuart Krohn, has called her a “rugby prodigy.” Only a sophomore, she’s already considered one of the top players in her age group. She has her sights set on making the US rugby sevens Olympic team in 2016.

Nia Toliver: ‘I’m hoping, somehow, one of the Olympic coaches will hear about me and I’ll get that chance.’ Paul Rudman Photography

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Secretary-General’s Message for 2014
This year we celebrate the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.We at the United Nations know that sport is a universal language, uniting groups and nations across divides. Sport empowers youth, promotes good health and deepens UN values such as equality, mutual respect and fair play. Sport helps us in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

NASL’s New York Cosmos to Host Camp to Support Local Make-A-Wish Chapter
“We thank the New York Cosmos and Mercy College for their spirit of generosity and commitment to our mission,” said Tom Conklin President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley. “Money raised from this extraordinary community event will be instrumental in continuing to insure that an eligible child will have the opportunity to have their one true most heartfelt wish granted.” 100 percent of the registration fees will go to the local chapter of Make-A-Wish.

Weinstein Carnegie Exclusive Interview: Kate Doyle, Community Manager, Uber, “Ride for a Cause”
Uber NYC launched a month long campaign this March to allow their users to support their favorite NYC charity with “Ride for a Cause,” a month-long partnership with 6 local charities. For each ride taken in NYC during the month of March, Uber will donate $1 to the user’s charity of choice. We caught up with Kate Doyle, a community manager for Uber NYC, to talk about the company’s jump into cause marketing and how it will continue to play a role in Uber’s future marketing strategy.

MLS’ Dean, Stanford hoops’ Huestis: Separated brothers, but always connected
Through their mother, and thanks to their flexible and gracious new families, Dean and Huestis forged a relationship that bridged the distance between Great Falls and East Palo Alto, Calif. They saw each other relatively frequently and, in the spring of 2010, lived together for the first time. Those six months proved crucial for Dean’s athletic future and helped lead to a magical March 16. On that day less than two weeks ago, Huestis learned he’d finally play in the NCAA tournament. At around the same time out in Los Angeles, Dean made his professional debut with his adoptive parents in attendance.

Brothers Christian Dean (left) and Josh Huestis took different sporting paths after being separately adopted. (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI & Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

School e-library, with help from LeBron James, among largest in nation
Through the Wheels for Education program, James adopts a new third-grade class each year. So far, classes graduating between 2021 and 2024 have been taken under the hometown hero’s wing. Within these classes, more than 600 students have been identified as needing additional intervention to improve their reading skills. To foster that literacy, the LeBron James Family Foundation has donated 1,000 Hewlett-Packard laptops and 300 desktops, and 700 Samsung tablets.

Third graders Shyann Yost, 9 (left) and Jessica Johnson, 9, use technology provided by the LeBron James Foundation and e-books donated to the school to support literacy requirements under the state’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The girls at McEbright Community Learning Center are learning about jaguars. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

Terry Francona Tells Blake Wood He Made Indians with Awesome Trip to the Mound
“When I went to take him out, (catcher Luke) Carlin was coming and I told him to stay back there a little bit…I went out there and asked (Wood) if he ever made the team on the mound? He was like no. I go ‘well, you just did.’ After that we came and talked to him the dugout but you could tell he was pretty excited.”


Austin startups leverage mobile technology for sports fans
Although SecondMic Inc. and Cheggin Inc. are taking different approaches to tap into that market, both companies are part of the DreamIt Ventures accelerator operating in downtown Austin, after relocating from the East Coast…Both startups plan to present their products and business plans during DreamIt Ventures’ demo day on April 2 at the AT&T Conference Center.

Cheggin Inc. co-founders, from left, André Gregori, Mark Davidson and Mark Garro

Nascar partners with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in health awareness drive
Janssen Pharmaceuticals is the pharmaceutical arm of healthcare products company Johnson & Johnson and the partnership will focus on raising awareness among Nascar fans who are at risk of, or are living with, blood clots. The company’s Xarelto medicine is used to treat and prevent blood clots. It was the medicine of choice for Nascar driver Brian Vickers when he overcame a second bout of the condition last year before returning to competition.

Seattle Mariners and Denmat® Leading the Fight Against Oral Cancer
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every year, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed, resulting in over 8,000 deaths. The Seattle Mariners and DenMat in partnership with LED Medical Diagnostics – manufacturers of the VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System – are well aware of these statistics and the importance of advanced technological oral cancer screening tools. With a strong commitment to education, prevention and annual oral cancer screenings during spring training, the Mariners have set the bar for Major League Baseball® (MLB®) teams as the leader in the fight against oral cancer.

Screening the King: Mariners Pitcher, Felix Hernandez prepares for his screening at the club’s oral cancer screening day during spring training in Peoria, AZ. (PRNewsFoto/DenMat)

Editorial: Playing College Football Is a Job
The N.C.A.A. and athletic directors have fiercely resisted calls for change and argued that professionalization would ruin college sports. Naturally they are attached to the way things are because they benefit financially from capping compensation at the value of a scholarship. Northwestern football reported $235 million revenue from 2003 to 2012. USA Today revealed in September that the team coach, Pat Fitzgerald, made at least $2.2 million in 2011, making him the university’s highest paid employee.

MLS’ Seattle Sounders partner with Red Cross to collect donations for Oso mudslide relief
The Sounders will partner with the American Red Cross to collect donations at Saturday’s game for disaster relief, particularly the devastating Oso mudslide. Volunteers will accept donations at various gates, along Occidental Avenue and throughout CenturyLink Field before Seattle’s 7 p.m. home game against the Columbus Crew. Team ownership, through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Hanauer Family Foundation, will match donations up to $15,000.

With Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop and others, Curacao becoming baseball hotbed
Yet Orioles international scout Calvin Maduro said the percentage of amateur Curacaoan signees who eventually make the majors is higher than any other country. The players are often highly coachable, and because education is the country’s primary focus and not sports, those who advance to the professional level seem determined to become major leaguers. “We have the talent in Curacao,” Simmons said. “But we also have the discipline and the will to work.”

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop works out prior to a game against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. (Kim Klement / USA Today Sports)

The NFL: Preparing for Sam, and Beyond
“People in the LGBT sports world are saying we’re going to change everyone’s hearts and minds, which is problematic, because you’re assuming you’re talking to someone who is homophobic,” Davis says. “That’s called working from a deficit model. I approach the work from a strength-based model, which says that athletes have always been able to embrace people who are different from them, whether it’s race, class or religion.”

Washington Nationals to unveil Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast D.C.
“The kids today are now children of people that didn’t grow up with baseball in Washington,” said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, a principal owner of the Nationals and chair of the team’s charitable wing, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, who led the construction of the academy. “The culture of baseball in Washington needs to be revived. The culture of inner city baseball, especially in African American communities, needs a jolt.”

Javon Roach, left, a third-grader at Kimball Elementary, cocks back to throw during an after school practice at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast. Bill O’Leary/Washington Post

A New Jersey Doctor’s Quest to Build a Better Basketball Sneaker
Barry Katz, a professional radiologist and part-time inventor, may see a future customer. Since 2010 his Bridgewater (N.J.)-based company, Ektio, has been marketing what it says is a better basketball shoe. The sneaker, called the Breakaway, has a system of straps and outriggers designed to prevent ankle rolls, and retails for $130. The company has raised about $2 million in seed funding and inked deals with former NBA stars Rick Barry and John Starks, who talk up Ektio during media appearances. That leaves one big problem left to solve: finding customers.

Fred Hoiberg dances after Iowa State win and later apologizes to daughter for it
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg did a little dancing after the Cyclones defeated North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday. Ordinarily this would be nothing to worry about for most coaches who just watched their team advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time on their watch. But Hoiberg has a daughter at home who is Internet and social media savvy with friends who are, too, and he worried she might be all like, ‘OMG dad, you’re embarrassing me.’

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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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