Friday, August 14, 2009

Baller quits HS to play overseas

Well, it's official.

San Diego High's Jeremy Tyler (rising senior) shocked the world after becoming the first American born student athlete to leave high school to play professional ball overseas. That definitely surprised me to hear that. I originally read a story and saw a report of Tyler thinking about the move earlier this year.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound baller announced in the spring that he was going to forgo his senior season at his prep school because it had become boring.

The whole time I was shaking my head, saying to myself, "This kid better not quit high school with only one year left." But news spread quickly when the 18-year-old kid from Cali signed a $140,000 contract to play pro ball with Maccabi Haifa weeks before the school year began. That's a team in the Israeli League. Tyler averaged 28.7 points per game as a junior.

"I think I made the right decision," Tyler told The Associated Press on Wednesday evening. "I think this team is a good fit for me and it's the right country. I feel good. I feel blessed. I got past the easy part. Now the hard part is to perform and show the world I got a contract for a reason. Now I can play against grown men."

That transition isn't as easy as some ballers may think. Former Oak Hill Academy baller Brandon Jennings found out last year when he signed with an overseas team after not academically qualifying to play for Arizona. His stats dropped tremendously overseas, compared the numbers he put up in high school. And, Jennings was considered to be the number one senior in his class.

So, it's simply hard for me to believe that some kid I hadn't really heard about until a couple months ago is ready to play pro ball after his 11th grade year in high school. I personally thought he should've just put up crazy numbers and perfected some things this year before jumping to the next level.

Plus, he's going to have to miss out on games like the McDonald's All-American game, the Jordan Classic and several of the other prestigious all-star games due to the fact that he's going to be a pro baller already.

It's completely his decision. And, his family seems to be with it. I only hope he didn't rush things by trying to get the MONEY too early.

"It's a huge step for him and his family and the things he's about to get into," Tyler's agent, former NBA player B.J. Armstrong told the Associated Press. "The basketball will be the easiest part in this equation. Now he's got to get things adjusted off the court to what a professional does, how he lives. It'll be a challenge. The rest will take care of itself."

Maccabi Haifa opens its season on Oct. 25.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Some of us are guilty of being the cause of the end of a relationship. I'd be telling less than the truth if I didn't admit to messing up a few times during my younger days. Some of us have had to leave a relationship prematurely for one reason or the other too.

Sometimes we feel that the grass may be greener on the other side. Sometimes we take our significant others for granted. And, other times we simply want to move on. There's countless reasons to feeling the need to move on.

My question is: When is it cool to give it another try? Or, should a sequel to a relationship even be visited? Sometimes people actually learn from their mistakes after a period of time. Sometimes people even realize that things weren't what they thought when they left a good relationship.

With sites like myspace, twitter and facebook -- there's countless ways to reconnect with someone from your past. Sometimes you see how well things turned out for people in your past. You also get a glimpse of what your life could've been like. That's when you have to keep smiling and giving compliments on their life... knowing you'd love to switch places with their husband or wife ... to prove that you were the man or woman they once thought you were.

People even have a chance to run into ex-lovers that happen to be single or divorced. They may begin conversing again... and realize that they miss one another, or what they had once upon a time. Should that even be re-visited?

I don't know. I feel like a lot of relationships end for a reason. Maybe that reason won't be the cause for an doomed part two of a relationship. But something usually is. Like I said earlier, though. Sometimes people learn from their mistakes... and sometimes it's a mistake to end certain relationships in the first place.

P.S.: I am obviously not talking about EVERY failed relationship. We all know that EVERY relationship doesn't need to be re-visited. I'm talking about the one or two special relationships that ended before they probably should've. You know what I mean?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Former NFL receiver Oronde Gadsden chats

Former Miami Dolphin and Winston-Salem State receiver Oronde Gadsden used to be one of my favorite wide outs years ago simply because I liked the Dolphins. I was a huge Dolphin fan until Dan Marino retired.

I actually didn’t know that Gadsden played his college ball at Winston-Salem State University (an HBCU in North Carolina) until I moved to Winston in 2002. I met Gadsden for the first time after he was inducted into the WSSU athletic hall of fame in 2006.

I was interested in finding out what has been going on with Gadsden since he retired. Oronde was busy in ’06. He was the partial owner of the Florida Frenzy, a National Indoor League Football (Arena) team in central Florida. He was also dealing with the launch of his own clothing line, and dabbling with a new meat product.

Check out some of the other things Oronde and I talked about during a recent interview.

Anthony: Oronde, what’s going on?
Oronde: What’s happening with you?
Anthony: Nothing much. It’s good to see you. I used to be a big fan.
Oronde: (Smiles.) ‘Preciate it.
Anthony: I’ve asked you this before. But for the fake of this interview I need to ask you again.
Oronde: It’s cool.

Anthony: It’s not even that serious. I’ve built it up as if it’s some question about drug use or something. (Both laugh.)
Oronde: We both know better than that.
Anthony: (Laughs.) OK. Kind of tell me how special it was to be inducted into the Winston-Salem State University Hall of Fame a few years back?
Oronde: You know it was real special. It’s definitely good when your peers recognize you for what you have done. It’s like family. I came to Winston as a young man that was trying to get a degree. I just feel fortunate that they felt like I was worthy of going to the hall of fame.
Anthony: You weren’t even a football player at first, right?

Oronde: Right. I played basketball coming into Winston-Salem State. Playing football was a big change. But they (football program) made a difference in who I am today.
Anthony: I bet. You still look like you can play today. Do you have thoughts of getting back on the field today?
Oronde: Uh, people ask me that from time to time. At 36, it’s tough. I don’t think you’ll get a good contract. But if the situation was right I’d take it. If I could just come in on third down, and not have to do training camp and all of that other stuff – I’d do it. (Both laugh.) I couldn’t make it happen if those things weren’t in place.

Anthony: I hear you. How much football do you watch nowadays?
Oronde: I watch it all the time. I’ve even in three fantasy football leagues and everything. So I pay close attention to what’s going on.
Anthony: I can’t believe you’re on the fantasy football thing.
Oronde: Yeah, I’m big into that. This is my second year. Each year I grow into more leagues.
Anthony: I simply do the PlaySation. But I’m honestly thinking about finally doing some fantasy football.
Oronde: I used to be heavy into that when I was playing. But I haven’t picked up a joystick for the last two years.
Anthony: You played with Dan Marino, so you’ve got to give me a Top 3 of players you’ve played with in your NFL career.

Oronde: I went to Dallas and won a Super Bowl my first year in the league. There were a lot of great players on that ’96 team. I played with Prime Time (Deion Sanders), Michael Irvin. He’s probably my top choice because he taught me everything I know about the position. He’s my mentor.

Anthony: OK. What’s your favorite television show?
Oronde: “Sanford and Son.”
Anthony: What about music? What’s your favorite CD to pop in nowadays?
Oronde: I have quite a few that I like to pop in. I have to go old school and say, “Zhane.” Do you remember them?
Anthony: (Smiles.) Yeah.

Oronde: Yeah. They give me everything. They give me fast, slow and old R&B. If I’m just riding I know I’ve got to ride to “Reasonable Doubt.” (Jay-Z’s first album)
Anthony: Cool. What do you think about T.O.? (NFL receiver Terrell Owens)
Oronde: Good show. (Both laugh.) He is who he is. He’s a great athlete. Obviously he does some questionable things, but hey… think that’s just who he is.

Anthony: True. Let’s finish with free association.
Oronde: OK.
Anthony: Winston-Salem State.
Oronde: The Rams, baby.

Anthony: Miami Dolphins.
Oronde: Football team that gave me a chance.
Anthony: Dallas Cowboys.
Oronde: Super Bowl.

Anthony: Deion Sanders.
Oronde: The best corner to ever play the game.
Anthony: Oronde Gadsden.
Oronde: I got it done. Like Larry the Cable guy says, “Get ‘Ur Done.” My dad always told me there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I wasn’t the fastest, but I got the cat’s skin.

Anthony: No doubt. Best WSSU receive of all time.
Oronde: Probably Yancy (Thigpen). But I am going to have to go with myself. I think I have more touchdowns than him. (Both laugh.)

What's the REAL key to sustaining a relationship?

I hear select friends talk about the secret to staying together all the time. Some of those same friends are single now. I'm not throwing a shot at them. I'm just sayin.'

How do you really sustain a good relationship, whether that be a marriage or a serious dating situation? I was recently communicating with the mother of an ex-girlfriend of mine. I consider her to be like a mother to me. Anyway. I was going to ask her what the secret was, being that she's been married to the same man for many, many years. Then I thought about it. That would be unfair to ask her that because she's truly married to a very great man. He's got many sides to him too. So, I'm sure there is never a dull moment in their marriage. I know there was never a dull moment when I was around. Plus, a lot of older couples were able to stay together because times were different back in the day.

That was before facebook, twitter, email, myspace and so many other things that tend to play as a distraction in certain relationships these days.

But I'm really talking about the countless relationships that don't make it after a seemingly long run. Everyone isn't a great communicator. Everyone doesn't like to party or go out a lot. Bascially, everyone isn't into the same type of things. Most people act as if they can deal with select differences when meeting someone interesting at first. Actually, most relationships start out relatively well...mostly because a lot of people ACT the part of the significant other well.

Then, time goes by and the real THEM comes out. Sometimes that means that they have a bad temper. Sometimes one realizes that their significant other isn't the smartest or most romantic person around. That doesn't mean those men or women don't have other great qualities.

So, what keeps people from seeking what's missing in their relationship? I don't mean cheating either. I mean, what keeps a people from thinking they need to be with someone else after being with the same person for a seemingly long stint?

How do you look at the same person for years and still want to see them for another 20 or so years? A lot of people have a hard time keeping an old relationship new. I guess the real key is making sure you know a person before you begin to think about marriage or the years to follow.

All right, I'm through rambling for now. What do you think?