Dawn Staley Is A True Trailblazer In Basketball And Coaching

Dawn Staley Is A True Trailblazer In Basketball And Coaching

Dawn Staley’s journey from the courts of her childhood to the pinnacle of basketball is one defined by perseverance, talent, and an unyielding dedication to the game. She’s been a trailblazer both on and off the court, blazing an incredible path as a WNBA basketball star and as a coach with the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Born on May 4, 1970, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Staley’s passion for basketball was evident from an early age. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she rose to become one of the most influential figures in women’s basketball history.

Staley’s basketball career began to take shape during her time at Dobbins Technical High School, where she quickly established herself as a standout player. 

According to the Pennsylvania Center of The Book, Staley led her team to three consecutive public league championships, and by her senior year, she had earned the prestigious title of USA Today’s National High School Player of the Year. Staley’s exceptional passing skills and athletic prowess caught the attention of college recruiters across the nation, with many vying to secure her talents. Ultimately, she made the pivotal decision to join the ranks of the Cavaliers at the University of Virginia (UVA).

During her collegiate career, Staley’s talent and leadership were undeniable. She led the Virginia Cavaliers to three Final Four appearances and was named the ACC Player of the Year three times. Staley’s impact went beyond statistics; her fierce competitiveness and ability to elevate the play of those around her set her apart as a true leader.

After college, Staley continued to excel in the sport, both as a player and a coach. She enjoyed a successful career in the WNBA, where she played for the Charlotte Sting and Houston Comets, and earned numerous accolades, including six All-Star selections and an Olympic gold medal. 

In March 2017, Dawn Staley, a revered coach with an illustrious career, was appointed to helm the USA Basketball Women’s National Team for the Tokyo Olympics. Under her leadership, the team soared to new heights, clinching a remarkable seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal, the USAB noted. Staley’s tenure with USA Basketball also saw triumphs in the 2021 and 2019 editions of the AmeriCup, where her teams secured gold with flawless 6-0 records in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Following her stellar achievements in guiding the USA to gold at both the Olympics and the FIBA AmeriCup in 2021, Staley’s remarkable coaching prowess was duly recognized. She was honored as a co-recipient of the prestigious 2021 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award, sharing this esteemed accolade with none other than U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball head coach, Gregg Popovich.

Since her hiring in May 2008, Dawn Staley has propelled South Carolina into the national limelight, establishing the Gamecocks as a formidable force in the quest for SEC and national titles. Her tenure has been marked by a series of groundbreaking achievements, including the team’s first-ever National Championships, NCAA Final Four appearances, No. 1 rankings, SEC regular-season and tournament victories, SEC and National Players of the Year, top WNBA Draft selections, an undefeated regular season, and top-tier recruiting classes. Staley’s impact on the program is undeniable, elevating South Carolina to unprecedented heights in collegiate basketball.

The post Dawn Staley Is A True Trailblazer In Basketball And Coaching appeared first on NewsOne.

This Consulting Firm Is  Making Sure Black Athletes Don’t Fall Prey To The ‘Broke Curse’

This Consulting Firm Is Making Sure Black Athletes Don’t Fall Prey To The ‘Broke Curse’

 American football player in a haze and rain on black background. Portrait. Athlete dissecting white smoke and water drops. Sportsman shines in the rays of light By Jasmine Browley ·Updated February 16, 2024

In 2015, Sports Illustrated reported that around 80% of retired NFL players go broke in their first three years out of the League. Back then, the income in the NFL was about $750,000, yet many footballers found themselves in dire financial straights, and often seeking refuge in bankruptcy protection filings.

Michael Ledo doesn’t want the current generation of players to face the same fate.

He was inspired to launch his business consulting firm Rise Advisors, after watching his high-powered NFL agent uncle, Eugene Parker, shape the careers of seven Hall of Famers including Deion Sanders, Emmett Smith and Rod Woodson among others.

“I got to see Black excellence in close proximity that me know a career doing what I love the most, helping people build wealth, is possible,” Ledo tells ESSENCE.

Although he didn’t think he’d be doing what he’s doing right now, his uncle gave me an entrepreneurial identity. Now, his firm is managing a client portfolio worth $100M+ that includes the likes of Jessie Bates III, Matt Judon, Jaylon Smith, and Blake Fisher, who is expected to be the 2nd overall pick in the NFL.

Rise Advisors plays the role of a fairy godparent, so to speak, for its clients. Not only does the team identify fitting business opportunities, it brokers, oversees, and manages them alongside its clients. It also provides agents, managers, publicists and a myriad of other pros that the player may need in their quest for financial viability.

“Our success depends on the success of our clients,” Ledo says. He explains that as opposed to his firm taking a commission from every successful project they broker, the firm is paid bottom line of its clients’ net worth, “not off of their pay.”

He gives the example of an agent getting paid 3% of a $100 million contract they helped broker on behalf of a client.

“We get paid on the bottom line of what they’re worth in investments,” he says. “So, how much do you have in real estate? How much do you have in equities and stock and bonds? How much do you have in venture? How much do you have sitting in the bank? We aim to grow that worth because if it grows, our pay grows.”

Ledo says he created this compensation structure for the company because many athletes, particularly Black athletes, aren’t given guidance to properly allocate a new influx of cash. But most importantly, he provides mentorship when it’s needed the most, When asked if he feels like he also takes on a paternal role in addition to consultant he responds in the affirmative.

“I do,” he says. “I take a strong responsibility in protecting them and educating them. I don’t ever desire to control them because I don’t want to be controlled, but that’s very much true. That’s very much true. And it feels good to know I have a part in helping their futures remain bright.”

The post This Consulting Firm Is Making Sure Black Athletes Don’t Fall Prey To The ‘Broke Curse’ appeared first on Essence.

 

First The Swag Surf, Now This: X Users Collectively Roll Their Eyes At The Fade Being Called The “Travis Kelce Haircut”

First The Swag Surf, Now This: X Users Collectively Roll Their Eyes At The Fade Being Called The “Travis Kelce Haircut”

Source: Patrick Smith / Getty / Travis Kelce

Damn, we can’t have nothing. First, the Swag Surf, and now the fade haircut.

Barbershop enthusiasts are stark raving mad, and understandably so, after witnessing the colonization of the fade haircut. The hairstyle that Queensbridge MC NaS and other rappers have famously donned has become the go-to hair choice for white men trying to be like Kansas City Chiefs tight end and Taylor Swift’s boo, Travis Kelce.

Like with the Taylor Swift Swag Surf incident, Kelce is not directly responsible for what’s going on; instead, a news article from the New York Times is getting folks riled up.

In the article, Jeffrey Dugas, a barber at Obsidian Barbers in New Brunswick, Canada, says his white clientele are rushing to his shop to get the “Travis Kelce cut” because they know he made the hairstyle popping, according to them.

@jeffcutshairsTravis Kelce Haircut! My brother in law walked into the shop today wanting me to perform a miracle. @taylorswift who’s hotter? Mike or Travis?♬ original sound – Jeff Dugas | Saint John Barber

Black folks on X collectively rolled their eyes, pointing out that Kelce’s haircut ain’t nothing but a damn fade.

“Isn’t the Travis Kelce haircut a regular fade?? Isn’t this more Caucasian people throwing sum blonde hair on things POC been doing and saying it’s new and exciting/trendsetting?” another post on X, formally Twitter, read.

There were white folks just as perplexed. “That’s called a buzz cut and it has been an extremely popular hairstyle for men for like… a century,” a post read.

Another noted, “Isn’t the Travis Kelce haircut a regular fade?? Isn’t this more Caucasian people throwing sum blonde hair on things POC been doing and saying it’s new and exciting/trendsetting,” Bossip reports.

We’re sure even Travis Kelce rolled his eyes at any posts suggesting he made the fade popular or invented the haircut.

You can see more reactions in the gallery below.

Great 2023 moments of Black athletes captured in photos

Great 2023 moments of Black athletes captured in photos

Shooing flies, executing near back-breaking plays and just being magical, the work of some of the finest Black athletes produced entertaining images.

Associated Press photographers memorialized snippets in time during some at some of the most jaw-dropping and visually arresting seconds of athletic competitions in 2023. A number of the year-end photos featured Black athletes at their finest or funniest. In case you missed them, here’s a recap:

Streeetch!

Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss (21) reaches for a one-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Magic and joy

Sha’Carri Richardson, of the United States, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the final of the Women’s 100-meters during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Legend to legend

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, left, hands the ball to Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James after passing Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

AP Female Athlete of the Year

Read about the honor Simone Biles received.

Simone Biles, a seven-time Olympic medalist and the 2016 Olympic champion, practices on the uneven bars at the U.S. Classic gymnastics competition Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, in Hoffman Estates, Ill. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Putting his back into it

Peru’s Jose Sanchez, left, and Colombia’s Jorge Cabezas, battle for the ball during a South America U-20 soccer match in Cali, Colombia, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Fly, Coco, fly!

Coco Gauff of the U.S. plays a forehand return to compatriot Bernarda Pera during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

All wet and winning

Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodríguez laughs as teammate Teoscar Hernández douses him as they celebrate a 9-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in a baseball game Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Boink!

Cleveland Guardians catcher Bo Naylor is hit on the mask by a ball fouled off by Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki during the fourth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Shoo, fly, shoo

Josh Awotunde blows away a bug as he competes in the men’s shot put during the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Sunday, July 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Over the top

Inter Milan’s Edin Dzeko is challenged by AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, top, during the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between Inter Milan and AC Milan at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Headshot

Terence Crawford, right, hits Errol Spence Jr. during their undisputed welterweight championship boxing match, Saturday, July 29, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Team U.S.A-lexis

Alexis Holmes, of the United States anchors her team to the gold medal as Femke Bol, of the Netherlands fell near the finish in the final of the 4×400-meters mixed relay during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

All the way home

Cincinnati Reds’ Elly De La Cruz steals home with Milwaukee Brewers catcher William Contreras covering during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 8, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

An artsy shot

Coco Gauff of the U.S. plays a shot against Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, June 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)

Warming up for the win

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts warms up before an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants on Christmas Day in Philly. (Photo: Matt Slocum/AP)