Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lakers Reach Out To Fans Regarding Cancellation of Preseason

One team who certainly does not want the NBA season to start any later is the Lakers. Not only is LA eager to atone for its early playoff bounce last season, but Jerry Buss has one of the most profitable teams in the league. The last thing he wants to do is miss games.

But as I would hope you have realized by now, this lockout is now about the teams such as the Lakers, Knicks, Mavericks or Heat. This labor dispute centers mostly around small-market teams--more specifically, small-market teams with relatively new owners. 

Regardless of who is spearheading this work stoppages, let's just hope a deal can be reached in the very near future. Too much money and too many jobs are on the line for some type of agreement not to be reached.

In the interim, teams are doing whatever they can to stay in the good graces of their season ticket holders. One way the Lakers are trying to do it is by updating their fan base on the latest developments of the lockout.  Below, you will find the latest correspondence between the Lakers and their fans, courtesy of an e-mail from team senior VP Tim Harris:

We appreciate your patience as the NBA and the NBA Players Association negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Since an agreement has not been reached at this time, the league has canceled all preseason games.
The league will continue to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement so that we can get back to enjoying the excitement of NBA basketball.

Lakers fans are the passion that drives the team and we appreciate your support and your continued loyalty to the Lakers.


Tim Harris

Senior Vice President, Operations/CMO

Friday, August 19, 2011

100 Black Men Future Leaders Scholarships Available

On behalf of Chairman Albert E. Dotson, Jr. and your Executive Leadership, we are proud to announce the next round of 100 Black Men of America Future Leaders Scholarships.

In 2011, the 100 Black Men of America and University of Phoenix launched a partnership that in part, provides $750,000 in scholarships to members of the 100 Black Men of America.
Presently, this partnership has yielded $200,000 in scholarships that were awarded to four members of the 100 Black Men of America at our 25th Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Detaila of the scholarship are listed above. The submission deadline is October 10, 2011. 
If you have any questions regarding the Future Leaders Scholarship, please contact Dwayne Crawford at dwayne.crawford@100bmoa.org or scholarships@phoenix.edu.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki Channels Larry Bird Against Heat

MIAMI-- It’s not wrong, cliche or lazy to compare Dirk Nowitzki to Larry Legend.

Sorry, it’s the only comparison that’s remotely accurate.

Thursday night inside American Airlines Arena, the Germanator impersonated The Hick from French Lick, stunning the Heat with a rope-a-dope-like finishing barrage.

Yes, Thursday night’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals calls for Larry Bird and Muhammad Ali-type hyperbole. The Mavericks’ rally and Nowitzki’s brilliance are worthy of references to a “Legend” and “The Greatest.”

Trailing by 15 points with a little more than six minutes to play, Dallas closed the game and evened this best-of-seven series with a breathtaking, where-did-that-come-from 22-5 run.

Dallas 95, Miami 93.

foxsports.com:  The stuff of legends from Nowitzki


--The Highest Percentage of Top-Ranked High School Players Ever Assembled at a Single Camp; 18 of the Nation’s Top 20 Ranked Players Confirmed To Attend, 48 of the Top 50-- 
New York, NY (June 2, 2011)—The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that the 18th Annual NBPA Top 100 High School Camp, which exists to prepare up-and-coming players for life on and off the basketball court, will take place at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville from Wednesday, June 15 through Saturday, June 18. Showcasing the country’s elite high school basketball talent, the roster – which includes an unprecedented 18 of the top 20 players – features the Class of 2012’s Andre Drummond, Shabazz Muhammad, Kaleb Tarczewski, Cameron Ridley, Ricardo Ledo and several others. The Class of 2013 standouts include Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel, to name a few.
The Camp offers a unique and valuable curriculum designed to prepare players for competition and life at the next level. The training includes a sophisticated Skills Development Program, highlighted by its Mentoring, Personal Development and Education component. In addition, every camper participates in a series of group discussions and classes on topics ranging from stress management to sex education, handling recruiting pressures, dressing for success, and other life-lesson subjects offered by expert trainers and counselors, as well as NBA players.     
On the court, players face off against each other daily in top-quality competition during practices and games. As part of the NBPA’s Coaching Development Program, current and retired NBA players work intensively with campers, coaching teams, teaching basketball fundamentals and leading skill development stations in one-on-one and group settings. The Coaching Development Program is an advanced opportunity for players who desire to explore the coaching profession as their next career to learn coaching skills such as studying game film, scouting players and creating a coaching game plan. Players scheduled to participate include Tony Allen, Raja Bell, Steve Blake, Caron Butler, Brian Cook, Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, Stephen Graham, Royal Ivey, Eduardo Najera, Gary Neal, Ime Udoka, Reggie Williams, Tim James, Awvee Storey, Chucky Atkins and Luke Walton.
The Camp, started in 1994, added the Parents Coaching Parents Program in 2003, a diverse educational program available to parents or guardians who attend the camp. This interactive program creates a “team approach” between parents and players, and informs parents about the recruiting process and beyond. This rapidly growing program has dramatically increased in parent attendance in each of its seven years. 
Billy Hunter, NBPA Executive Director says, “The NBPA Top 100 Camp offers a personalized game plan for every camper that attends. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to proactively educate these talented student-athletes about the keys to success in all walks of life, from the basketball court to the classroom and beyond.”
“As the Top 100 Camp continues to grow, so does our talent pool. This year, the competition on the court will be more competitive than ever as we work with the country’s greatest high school athletes. In addition to the tremendous group of basketball stars, our expert educators, coaches and mentors will certainly enhance the learning experience for the young men, says Tim McCormick, Camp Director. “Campers will learn from the pros and compete against the best, while receiving invaluable guidance about developing into successful players and people.” 

Friday, May 13, 2011

NASCAR Announces College Scholarship Program

--UPS Supports Return Of Diversity Initiative--

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 12, 2011) – NASCAR today announced the return of the NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program and the University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management Scholarship.

For a second consecutive year, the NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program is funded in part by long-time NASCAR partner UPS. The program was established to provide financial support to deserving African-American and Hispanic students currently enrolled in college who are pursuing degrees in areas of study related to motorsports, including marketing, engineering and public relations.

The scholarship program is part of NASCAR Diversity Affairs’ integrated initiative that includes a scholarship program, mentorship program and summer internship program.

“We are continually seeking ways to further engage students as fans and as future employees of the sport,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president, public affairs and multicultural development. “The goal is to create permanent employment prospects for diverse college students entering the work force through viable, real-world opportunities.”

The NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program provides annual scholarships administered by the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In addition, NASCAR and UPS support a scholarship program for students attending the University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management which offers a master’s program in sports management.

“UPS’s commitment to diversity extends beyond our workforce, and we’re excited to continue our support with NASCAR in this important initiative,” said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, global sponsorships & events.

The scholarships are based on the following award criteria:

* 3.0 GPA requirement
* Documented financial need
* College juniors, seniors and graduate students with majors in: business, communications, engineering, mass media, public relations or technology
* Participation in the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) is encouraged but not required

Facts about Wendell Scott
Wendell Scott was the first African American driver to win a NASCAR Cup race. He won in NASCAR's premier series on Dec. 1, 1963, on a 1-mile dirt track in Jacksonville, Fla. Wendell Scott made 495 starts during his career and posted 147 top-10 finishes before retiring in 1973. Scott died in 1990. As part of an ongoing effort to recognize trailblazers in the sport, Wendell Scott was recognized during the Las Vegas Race the weekend of March 4-6, 2011, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of his first start – March 4, 1961 in Spartanburg, SC.

For additional information, contact:
Leslie Maxie, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications, (212) 326-1840 or (347) 254-8638 lmaxie@nascar.com


Friday, May 6, 2011


In Tribute to Friend and Former Teammate Wilson Holloway
Auction Begins on Thursday, May 5 at 6 PM PST/ 9 PM EST at www.autotrader.com/BlakeDunk
Additional Donations Can Be Made at

LOS ANGELES – May 5, 2011 – Shortly after being named the NBA’s 2010-11 Rookie of the Year, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin donated the autographed 2011 Kia Optima midsize sedan used in his jaw-dropping dunk in the Sprite Slam Dunk at NBA All-Star 2011 for an upcoming public charity auction on AutoTrader.com to benefit Stand Up To Cancer.

Proceeds from the auction of the automobile will go directly to cancer research funded by Stand Up To Cancer in tribute to Griffin’s friend and former high school teammate, Wilson Holloway. A Tulsa native, Wilson passed away on February 16 after a three-year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Griffin will work with Stand Up to Cancer to identify the best way to utilize the funds to target research done specifically for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The 10-day charity auction will run on AutoTrader.com, beginning at 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST on Thursday, May 5, and will run through 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST on Sunday, May 15. To find out more information and to bid on the auction package, go to www.autotrader.com/BlakeDunk

“I am honored to memorialize Wilson’s legacy by helping to raise funds for cancer research,” said Blake Griffin. “Wilson was an inspiration to everybody who knew him, and a very dear friend and teammate. I dedicated my All-Star weekend to him.”

To further support Griffin’s commitment to raise funds for cancer research in honor of Holloway, Stand Up To Cancer has created a fundraising team called Team Blake: In Honor of My Friend, Wilson Holloway, through which the public can donate any amount of money at www.su2c.org/BlakeDunk.

“Wilson Holloway’s memory lives on through the generosity of his friend Blake Griffin,” said Laura Ziskin, a cancer survivor and co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer. “Basketball fans and all of us who have loved or lost someone in the fight against cancer can be a part of Blake’s tribute to Wilson, to help fund critical cancer research that can make a difference.”

AutoTrader.com doesn’t normally offer vehicle auctions, but was pleased to support an auction solution on this occasion to help raise the most money possible. “As the Ultimate Automotive Marketplace, what better place to showcase this unique car, help generate excitement behind this vehicle and raise the most money possible in the fight against cancer,” said AutoTrader.com Chief Marketing Officer Clark Wood.

Griffin dedicated his NBA All-Star 2011 debut to Holloway, and said he plans to give Holloway's family the Sprite Slam Dunk championship trophy he earned with his spectacular dunk over the hood of the Kia Optima.

About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer  -a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the 501 (c) 3 charitable organization of the film and television businesses - raises funds to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. SU2C brings together the best and brightest in the cancer research community, encouraging collaboration instead of competition, and draws on the assets of the entertainment industry in unique ways to create awareness and build broad public support for this effort. For more information, go to www.standup2cancer.org.

Thursday, April 21, 2011



ANAHEIM, CA -- The Angels announced today that the club will feature a series of post-game concerts as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration beginning Saturday, June 11th. The five-date “Summer Concert Series” presented by SRS Labs, sponsored by Budweiser will take place at Angel Stadium following Saturday night home games and feature top recording artists from a wide genre of music.

Following the June 11th Angels vs. Royals game, International pop sensation Taio Cruz will take the stage to kickoff the concert series. Cruz’s hit song “Dynamite” has been on the charts for 45 consecutive weeks and his song “Break Your Heart” peaked at #1 on the charts in both the US and UK.  He has performed on many current pop-culture prime time TV shows and is currently writing songs for Justin Bieber. Cruz is scheduled to perform during this seasons’ American Idol ® finale and his third album “Black and Leather” will be released in the coming months.

The second post-game concert will take place following the Saturday, July 9th Angels game against the Seattle Mariners. Taking the stage will be multi-platinum country star Dierks Bentley. Bentley recently released his new rowdy sing-a-long party single “Am I The Only One” to radio, as the lead single off his upcoming sixth Capitol Nashville studio project. Bentley’s new album follows in the footsteps of his critically acclaimed UP ON THE RIDGE, which earned Album of the Year nominations at the ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Awards® this year. His previous five albums have sold over five million copies, earned 10 GRAMMY nominations and spawned seven No. 1 hits. Bentley is currently headlining the 30-city 2011 Jägermeister Country Tour through mid-May.

For post-game concert number three, major Hip-Hop mogul Ludacris will perform following the Saturday, August 6th game as the Angels host the Mariners. Ludacris’ current album debuted at #1 on the charts in 2010, had the #1 single in 2006 with “Money Maker” and has won multiple Grammy Awards ® for his music. Ludacris has also played roles in numerous blockbuster movies as well as the 2004 Academy Award® winning film for Best Picture “Crash”. Additionally, he started the Ludacris Foundation to motivate middle and high school students in the field of creative arts.

As the summer winds down, the contemporary Christian band MercyMe will perform post-game on Saturday, August 20th against the Baltimore Orioles. MercyMe has sold over 6 million albums, garnered 23 multi-format #1 Christian radio singles, won awards on all major award shows and appeared on some of the biggest network television programs. The band made recent history as “I Can Only Imagine” surpassed 1 million digital downloads, making it the first song in Christian music to go platinum in the digital domain. MercyMe has had all of their recordings certified as Gold or Platinum.

Concluding the concert series on Saturday, September 3rd (Angels vs. Twins) will be smash-hit maker NE-YO. He has delivered such singles as “Miss Independent,” “Closer” and “Because of You.” He also had two albums top the charts as well as five top 10 singles. Additionally, NE-YO has written songs for music’s biggest names (Beyonce & Rihanna to name a few) as well as appearing in featuring films and prime time television.

Tickets and more information on all five concerts dates are now available on angels.com/concerts

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CVS Offering Free Health Services In LA Area


ANAHEIM, CA – The Angels announced today an online contest to “Gname the Gnome.” The contest gives fans an opportunity to name the much anticipated gnome bobblehead that will be given to all fans when the Angels face the Texas Rangers on Thursday, August 18th at 7:05 p.m.  The online contest is open to all fans with a creative interest. 

The winner with the most unique and Angels related name will receive four field box game tickets to the August 18th game, a parking pass, online and in-game recognition, and four autographed baseballs.  All entries must be under 12 characters in length and submitted by April 26, 2011.
To participate, fans can enter at angels.com/gnome.  The winner will be announced online the week of May 2nd.
For more information, log-on to angels.com/gnome.

2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List Announced

NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. – The 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, honoring the top collegiate defensive player in the country, was announced today at a luncheon hosted by Ronnie Lott and the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.  
          This is the eighth year that the IMPACT Foundation has recognized the student-athletes throughout the nation who have had the biggest IMPACT on their teams both on and off the field.  IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity, characteristics that Ronnie Lott exhibited throughout his brilliant Hall of Fame career at both USC and in the National Football League.  
          The 2011 list of 42 (Lott’s uniform number) includes 19 defensive backs, 14 linebackers and nine defensive linemen.  There are 11 players from the ACC, eight from the SEC, seven from the Big Ten, six from the Pac-10, six from the Big 12, one from the Big East, one from the Mountain West, one from the Western Athletic Conference and one from Notre Dame.
          Eleven of the nominees received All-American honors a year ago and 10 were accorded academic honors in their respective conferences.  
          The Lott Trophy has now donated nearly $850,000 to charities since its inception in 2004, including $275,000 to 23 different universities.  The winners’ school receives $25,000 annually, each of the three runner-ups $5,000 and the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week $1,000.   
          A national voter panel, made up of more than 200 former collegiate stars, former college coaches, members of the media and both the Lott IMPACT Board of Directors and Board of Advisors, will select the four finalists who will be honored at the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy banquet Dec. 11 in Newport Beach. 
The 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List
Emmanuel Acho, Texas, LB,
Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami, DB
Mark Barron, Alabama, S
Jake Bequette, Arkansas, DL
Omar Bolden, Arizona State, CB
Nigel Bradham, Florida State, LB
Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State, CB
Tank Carder, TCU, LB
Quinton Coples, North Carolina, DE
Jared Crick, Nebraska, DL
Lavonte David, Nebraska, LB
Matt Daniels, Duke, S
Tony Dye, UCLA, S
Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina, CB
Cliff Harris, Oregon, CB
Aaron Henry, Wisconsin, DB
Dont’a Hightower, Alabama, LB
Joe Holland, Purdue, LB
Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech, CB
Delano Howell, Stanford, DB
Brandon Jenkins, Florida State, DE
Janois Jenkins, Florida, CB
Mychal Kendricks, Cal, LB
Jordan Kovacs, Michigan, S
Luke Kuechly, Boston College, LB
Travis Lewis, Oklahoma, LB
Chris Marve, Vanderbilt, LB
T.J. McDonald, USC, S
Matt Merletti, North Carolina, S
Chase Minnifield, Virginia, CB
Tyler Nielsen, Iowa, LB
Kendall Reyes, Connecticut, DT
John Simon, Ohio State, DT
Shayne Skov, Stanford, LB
Jacquies Smith, Missouri, DE
Sean Spence, Miami, LB
Kenny Tate, Maryland, S
Brandon Taylor, LSU, S
Manti Te’o, Notre Dame, LB
Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee, S
Billy Winn, Boise State, DE
Jerel Worthy, Michigan State, DT
Past winners of The Lott Trophy:
          2004 – David Pollack, Georgia
          2005 – DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
          2006 – Dante Hughes, California
          2007 – Glenn Dorsey, LSU
          2008 – James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
          2009 – Jerry Hughes, TCU
          2010 – J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and the Legends Coaches which is a distinguished group of former college football head coaches. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $850,000 to various charities throughout the country.  The eighth annual Lott Trophy dinner will be held December 11th at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California. For more information on The Lott Trophy visit: www.LottTrophy.com.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wilkes Snubbed By Hall of Fame.. Again!

Dennis Rodman is a Hall of Famer, but Jamaal Wilkes is not? 

The Worm is in, but Silk is not?  Seriously? 

It may be hard to believe, but it’s true.

Rodman let it slip Friday night during his Pistons jersey retirement ceremony that he had been asked to fly to Houston for Monday’s announcement of the latest class to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Wilkes, unfortunately, found out recently that he is, once again, not invited to attend.

This is not a knock on Rodman, who was a tremendous player during his NBA career, but his overall basketball resume falls well short of Wilkes’.

Some might argue that Rodman earned his place in the Hall by being one of the best rebounders of all-time and one of the best defenders of his generation. I have no argument with that rationale. 

However, Wilkes was also one of the best of his generation at every level of competition.

As a prep All-American at Santa Barbara High School, Wilkes led the Dons to a championship.

At UCLA, Wilkes became a two-time All-American en route to winning two national titles under legendary coach John Wooden, averaging 15.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg while shooting 51.4 percent from the field.  He was named to the 1972 NCAA Tournament All-Tournament team, and helped the Bruins win a NCAA record 88 games in a row.

During his 12-year NBA career, Wilkes won Rookie of the Year honors in 1975 (from a draft class that included Bill Walton, Bobby Jones, Maurice Lucas, and George Gervin), earned three trips to the All-Star game, and played on four championship teams.

Wilkes wasn’t just a winner at every level; he was a star at every level. 

Plus, the last time I checked, it’s the “Basketball” Hall of Fame, not the Defense, Rebounding, or NBA Hall of Fame.

Just because Rodman earns praise for being one of the best specialists the game has ever seen, it doesn’t mean Wilkes should be overlooked because he was a better well-rounded basketball player.

And if you want to talk about defense, you might want to go back and review the film, stats and quotes regarding Wilkes ability to shut down opposing players.  Marques Johnson likes to tell the story that after his first day of practice at UCLA, after being the top-rated recruit in the country, he called home crying to his father because Wilkes wouldn’t let him get a shot off during practice.

Johnson’s father responded by saying, “Boy, stop crying. Wilkes is the best defensive player in the country!”

After Johnson dried his tears and rose to the challenge of facing Wilkes in practice every day, he went on to become the first-ever recipient of the John Wooden Award signifying the best player in college basketball.

And speaking of Wooden, who won 10 national titles and coached tens of All-Americans at UCLA, he was once asked to describe his ideal player. This was his response: “I would have the player be a good student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive player and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter. Why not just take Jamaal Wilkes and let it go at that?"

Could there be higher praise for a player?  Don’t forget, John Wooden is in the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. I believe the man knew a little something about talent.  Or as the kids like to say, game recognizes game. Especially Hall of Fame game!


--Field is the second Dodgers Dreamfield dedicated in 2011--
LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks, unveiled a new Dodgers Dreamfield this morning at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center. Those on hand for the dedication ceremony included Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt, LA84 Foundation Vice President of Grants and Programs Patrick Escobar, Councilmember 8th District, Bernard C. Parks, Councilmember, 9th District Jan Perry, State Senator, 22nd District Kevin de León, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation Jon Kirk Mukri and President, University Little League Raul Claros. 

Former Dodgers in attendance included Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, Bobby Castillo and Kenny Landreaux. Valenzuela and Wills are depicted in murals recently painted overlooking the field, as is former Dodger manager Joe Torre. Former Dodger outfielder and current broadcaster Rick Monday emceed the event.

“Baseball teaches the value of teamwork, dedication and many other important life skills, and we hope this field at Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center will provide those opportunities for thousands of kids for years to come,” said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. “We are grateful for this partnership with LA84 and the Department of Recreation and Parks that is making a difference in the lives of the youth of Los Angeles.” 
Renovations to the new Dodgers Dreamfield at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center include a new batting cage, a new outfield windscreen, a new LED scoreboard and new field signage. The field fencing and dugout covers were also refurbished. 

“I am very pleased that even in this difficult financial time, through the efforts of the Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, we will be able to install a total of eight new Dodgers Dreamfields in parks throughout the City of Los Angeles,” said Mukri. “Through this partnership we will rebuild and renovate these fields to give them a myriad of upgrades, as well as a whole new look and better playability. The rebuilding of these eight fields is a big step forward in achieving our collective goal of providing youth a safe and clean place to play. We are sincerely thankful to both the Dodgers Dream Foundation and LA84 for their generous donations." 

All 17 University Little League teams were on hand for the dedication ceremony, which was followed by a clinic led by the Dodger alumni in attendance. 

"Youngsters who love to play baseball deserve quality facilities where they can play the game to the best of their abilities,” said Escobar. “This is why the LA84 Foundation has teamed up with the Dodgers Dream Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department to improve the field at MLK Park and others throughout the area.  MLK Park has a long tradition of instilling the love for the game and developing excellent players.  We are pleased to be a small part in helping this tradition continue." 

"On behalf of the families and volunteers of University Little League, Life Skills Sports Academy and the MLK Park community, I'd like to thank the great people at LA84 Foundation, the Department of Recreation and Parks and the greatest organization in professional sports, the L.A. Dodgers, for partnering with us in structuring the lives of tomorrow's leaders,” said Claros.

This past summer, the Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks committed to creating eight new Dodgers Dreamfields in the Los Angeles area, with a ninth field in partnership with LA County. The commitment will double the current number of Dreamfields to a total of 18. The Dodgers Dreamfield at Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center marks the second of those nine and the second completed Dreamfield in 2011.

Seven of the next planned fields are within Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks properties in the San Fernando Valley, Eastside, South Los Angeles and Central and Harbor areas. An additional field is located in Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas' district. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Isaiah Thomas To Enter His Name Into NBA Draft

SEATTLE – Washington junior guard Isaiah Thomas has decided to enter his name into the upcoming NBA Draft. The two-time first team All-Pac-10 member issued the following statement:
Although it was a tough decision, I have decided to forego my senior season and enter my name into this year’s NBA draft.  At this time I will not hire an agent.  Over the past 3 years I've enjoyed every single minute of my Washington Husky career.  I am very thankful to have played for a great coach like Coach Romar and our entire coaching staff. I have just over two quarter left to earn my degree, and I fully plan on finishing school. Also, I would like to take the time to thank all of my teammates and Husky fans for their support and the unforgettable memories.  Go Dawgs!”
Coach Lorenzo Romar, who is in Houston for the NCAA Final Four, issued the following statement:
“Isaiah Thomas has had an unbelievable impact on our program during his time with us. We will definitely miss him, but we are behind him in his quest to fulfill a lifelong dream to play in the NBA.”
Thomas (Tacoma, Wash./Curtis HS/South Kent Prep [Conn.]), an honorable mention Associated Press All-American after averaging 16.8 points and 6.1 assists per game for the Huskies during their 2010-11 campaign, led the Pac-10 in assists, ranked fourth in scoring, 8th in steals (1.3 spg) and 8th in three-point makes per game (1.7). His 213 assists are the second most in UW single-season history.
Thomas helped the Huskies to their second-consecutive Pac-10 tournament championship and a 24-11 overall record. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the conference tournament for a second time, joining Arizona's Sean Elliott as the only two-time winner.
Thomas also led Washington with 15.5 points and 7.5 assists in the Huskies two NCAA tournament games.
Thomas ended his junior season ranked among the Huskies all-time leader in points (1,721/6th), assists (415/3rd), 3-point makes (164/3rd) and steals (122/8th). 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clayton Kershaw To Donate $100 Per Strikeout To Arise Africa

“Kershaw’s Challenge” created to help build orphanage in Zambia
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day starter, Clayton Kershaw, announced today that he and his wife, Ellen, will donate $100 for each of his strikeouts during the 2011 season to Arise Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping end poverty on the continent through health care, education, business and discipleship.
The Dodgers Dream Foundation will also make a financial commitment to Arise Africa on behalf of Kershaw. As part of “Kershaw’s Challenge,” the 23-year-old left-hander is encouraging fans to join the cause by visiting www.kershawschallenge.com.  
A native of Dallas, TX, Kershaw took his first trip to Zambia during the offseason, where he and Ellen helped to build a school and spent time with numerous orphans. Their goal is to raise $70,000 to start an orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia that will be called Hope’s Home, named for an 11-year-old orphan who is HIV positive and whom Clayton and Ellen befriended on their recent trip.
“It’s one thing traveling around the United States playing in different cities, even going to different parts of the world,” Kershaw told Dodgers Magazine in an April cover story. “But when you go to a third-world country and see how other cultures live, it’s very different. You think it’s something that happened way back in the day, but plenty of people are living in houses that would be considered shacks here without running water or electricity. It makes you thankful for what you have.”
Kershaw ranked fifth in the National League with 212 strikeouts last season and has fanned 497 batters in 483 big league innings. He struck out 276 batters in 220.1 minor league innings from 2006-08.
The trip to Zambia was Ellen Kershaw’s fifth.
I always say the first time you’ve hugged a Zam­bian orphan it’ll change your life,” she told Dodgers Magazine. “It’s because that whole blanket of poverty becomes very personal, and you see the one life that you can impact and what a difference you can make… Going to Zambia really broadened both of our perspectives. I think we’re just trying to leave a legacy, leave a mark.”

Dodgers To Celebrate Life of Hall of Famer Duke Snider

--Team to wear a memorial patch in 2011 and host a celebration on Aug. 9,which will include a bobblehead of the late Dodger outfielder--
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that the team will wear a patch in memory of Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider throughout the 2011 season and will host a celebration of his life on Aug. 9 at Dodger Stadium.
The memorial patch, will feature Snider’s uniform No. 4 and will be worn on the Dodgers’ home, road and alternate Brooklyn uniforms at every 2011 game beginning tomorrow night when the team opens the season against the San Francisco Giants. Snider’s uniform number was retired on July 6, 1980 and is one of just 10 retired numbers in franchise history.
The club also announced it would celebrate the life of the legendary Dodger outfielder at the Aug. 9 game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The first 50,000 fans in attendance will receive a bobblehead featuring the likeness of Snider, whose family will participate in a special pregame ceremony honoring the franchise’s all-time leading home run hitter. The sixth bobblehead of the season is presented by Kaiser Permanente.
Snider passed away on Feb. 27 at the age of 84. He was born Edwin Donald Snider in Los Angeles, CA on Sept. 19, 1926 and became one of the game’s most feared hitters during his 16 seasons with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-1962), playing on a pair of World Championship teams (1955 and 1959) and in six World Series overall.
The eight-time All-Star center fielder ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in home runs (389) and runs batted in (1,271) and during the 1950s, he topped all Major Leaguers with 326 homers and 1,031 RBI. He slugged four home runs in both the 1952 and 1955 World Series.
The last time the Dodgers wore a memorial patch on the team’s uniforms was in 2000 in memory of Snider’s teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese. Other memorial patches worn by the Dodgers were done so in tribute to Jim Gilliam (1978), coach Don McMahon (1987), Tim Crews (1993) and a combination patch for Hall of Famers Don Drysdale and Roy Campanella, who passed away within a week of one another in 1993.
Snider is survived by his wife, Bev, children Kevin, Kurt, Pam and Dawna and 10 grandchildren.