Thursday, May 30, 2013


Jahlil Okafor has trimmed his college selection down. Okafor is one of the top recruits in the class of 2014. Okafor is also a friend of Tyus Jones who is from Minnesota.  

According to Nick Jones of, “Scout’s No. 1 overall player for 2014, Jahlil Okafor, took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce he has trimmed his list of prospective schools to eight.

“In no particular order: My final 8 Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio St.,” The 6-foot-10, 270-pound center announced via his Twitter account @Jahprobound on Wednesday.

The Chicago native removed several schools from a previously-lengthy list. Some of the programs that did not make the final cut included Arkansas, DePaul, Louisville, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Okafor has openly expressed his desire to team with close friend and No. 1 point guard Tyus Jones at the college level.

The package deal is in the works, but only a handful of schools are actively recruiting both prospects: UK, Baylor, Kansas, Duke, Michigan State and Ohio State. The duo will likely remain firm on their pledge to accompany each other at the next level as the take official visits together beginning in August.”


Wednesday, May 29, 2013


WHO: Jacob Landis is traveling more than 10,000 miles on his bicycle to visit all 30 major league baseball stadiums across the country.  Deaf by age 10, Jacob received a cochlear implant allowing him to be fully functional in a hearing world.  Now, at age 24, he hopes to raise $1 million for children who could benefit from a cochlear implant but cannot afford one.

WHAT:  Jacob’s Ride
 kicked off on April 3rd when he left his home in Annapolis, Md., and he will finish at Marlins Park in Miami, Fl. on September 24. Along with supporters from Johns Hopkins’ Listening Center, where Jacob had his surgery, and volunteers throughout the country, Jacob is combining his love of cycling and baseball with a desire to help others.

On Wednesday, May 29th Jacob will attend the Minnesota Twins game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field, 7:10pm. The Twins have reserved a block of 100 seats for Jacob’s Ride supporters and Jacob will attend batting practice with the team.  Joining Jacob will be students from Northern Voices, a Roseville, MN school for children with hearing loss.  There will be an opportunity for game attendees to donate to the Ride at the game.

MORE: Hearing impairment is the #2 birth defect among children born in America. With over 500,000 Americans living in the U.S. with severe to profound hearing loss, cochlear implants are the most successful medical intervention for those profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing.  Jacob’s Ride is a donor-directed fund created under The Annapolis Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Proceeds from Jacob’s Ride will be distributed to foundations who help CI candidates including The Gift of Hearing Foundation in Narragansett, R.I.; The Listening Center in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.; and the J.W. Pickle Foundation in Nashville, TN.

:   Through the website: or Text JACOB to 50555 to give $10 to the Hearing Loss Association of America benefiting Jacob’s Ride Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Terms:

MEDIA:  Images and more information are available at

Follow @JacobsRide2013 on Twitter and check out Jacob’s Ride  on Facebook.  

Jacob Landis and doctors from the Johns Hopkins Listening Center, are available for interviews upon request. 


According to Evan Daniles of FOX Sports,  Robbinsdale Cooper basketball player Rashad Vaughn is meeting with University of Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and Brent “Buzz” Williams of Marquette University. 

Vaughn is one of the top 2014 boys' basketball recruits along with Apple Valley's Tyus Jones and Minneapolis DeLaSalle's Reid Travis.


Tipton Woodward plays football for St. Thomas Academy. I met Woodward while watching a football game at the school.

I was able to do a email interview and here are the responses I received from.  
What is your full name? Tipton Glenn Woodard.
When and where were you born? March 4, 1996 in Denton, TX.
Do you have any brothers and sisters? One sister (14) and three brothers (12, 9, 1 1/2).
What high school do you go to and when will you graduate? Saint Thomas Academy, class of 2014.
When did you start playing football? Since I was about eight or nine.
Do you play any other sports? Lacrosse.
Do you play Football in High School? Yes.
What do you want to do after you get out of school? I hope to attend a service academy.
Do you plan on playing football there? I would love to.
What is your best football memory? Running out into the Dome with my teammates has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about what it means to truly be a team after this season.
What do you like to do in your free time? I always enjoy spending time with my family, whatever we're doing, I also love to play with and teach my brothers about football.
What type of music do you listen to? I listen to pretty much anything.
Can you tell me one unusual thing about yourself that others might not know?  I love politics. I am very politically active and have volunteered for campaigns across the state.
What is the best part of playing football and why?  The best part of playing football is definitely the camaraderie that you experience with your teammates. There is no better feeling than playing the best game on earth with the people you work hard with all season, leaving everything you have on the field with them.
Describe your game? I play nasty. Not cheap, but intimidating and mean. Every play I want to beat my opponent and before the next play be able to look him in the eye and know that I will dominate him all night.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you? I love football. It is my life. I love my teammates and would do anything for them.


Devin Buckley was born March 16, 1995 in Melrose Park. Illinois. He has one brother and three sisters. Buckley will graduate from Park Center high school in 2013.

Buckley used to play football but he gave that up to concentrate on basketball. He has played basketball his whole life.

Buckley plans on going to Jacksonville University in the fall and playing basketball in college while majoring in accounting.     
One of his biggest memories from high school was going to state his junior and senior years.

In his free time he likes to hang out with his friends and teammates. He also likes to listen to R&B music and gospel.

One unusual thing about his family is that they have a pet pig.

Buckley has a love for the game of basketball and he can't see himself playing any other sports.  

I asked him to explain his game and he said, "I'm physical on the defensive end. Also I am athletic and can stretch the floor.”

He also excels in the classroom as he said, “I have a 3.8 GPA and I strongly believe in being a STUDENT athlete.


Jerry Shaquille Butler Jr. was born on Sept. 22, 1994 in Chicago, Illinois. Butler is an African American male who has been involved in sports since he was five years old.

He has four sisters, all of whom he loves dearly.

Butler has played both football and basketball while growing up.  At Hill-Murray high school  -- where he will graduate in 2013 -- he played on both the football and basketball teams. He played basketball for all four years in high school.

He plans on attending Anoka Ramsey Community and Technical College. He also plans on playing basketball while taking his generals and studying law.
One of his best high school memories was playing with his teammates from Hill-Murray high school.

In his free time Butler likes to listen to music, usually some Rhythm and Blues or Hip-Hop. He also likes to listen to country singer Hunter Easton Hayes.

You will also find him in a gym working on his game. He believes that the only way to get better is to work harder then anyone else, so frequently Butler is in the gym working on all of the aspects of his game.

I asked him, “What is the best part of playing basketball and why?” Butler responded by saying, “It was the only thing there for me when no one else was, and it helps me get away from all the stress going on in life.”

I also was able to ask him to describe his game, he said, “I'm not a selfish player. I look to get other guys going first, cause I feel like I can get myself involved anytime, I’d say I'm a floor general.”

If there is one thing you said know about Butler he said, “I never take a day off. If you want success you really have to take it nothing in life is handed to you on a silver platter.”

I have seen and met Butler many times he is a good ball player who has a nice head on his shoulders and has a bright basketball future in front of him.


St. Louis Park high school graduate Kashif Hayes has committed to the University of Minnesota-Crookston to play basketball.

UMN-Crookston is a Division II program which is part of the Northern Sun Conference.


Ray Goines was born in Chicago, Ill. He has two older sisters.

Goines has been involved in basketball his whole life, as he has been playing basketball basically since birth. He also played football and ran track and basketball for St. Agnes, from where he graduated in 2008.

After high school he attended Western Technical College, where he played basketball. His coach at Western Tech was Eric Wuensch. I was able to ask his coach describe the play of Ray Goines. Wuensch said, “Ray just completed his 2nd year playing at Western Tech. He has signed a letter of intent to go on and play at Mount Mercy College in Iowa. Ray was a freakish athlete, playing above the rim with great jumping ability. Ray was recently named All-District first team. He led our team in rebounding, was second in scoring, and more often than not drew the assignment of guarding the other team’s best player. Ray has a bright future at Mount Mercy and I expect him to do very well there. He will be hard to replace at Western.”

As his coach said he plans on attending Mount Mercy College in the fall of 2013, which is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In his free time Goines likes to listen to music. His favorite music to listen to is Rap and R&B. In his free time he likes to chill with his friends and family.  

Goines said his his favorite basketball memory was, “Dunking on 6’9” guy that played for UW-Baron”.

Goines is a fun guy to be around as he lights up a room when ever he is around. He dose have a soft spot for his mom as he claims that he is a mama's boy.

After he graduates from college he would like to get involved in basketball coaching some time.


Richard Pitino has been named the head men's basketball coach of the University of Minnesota. Pitino replaces Tubby Smith, who was fired March 25.  

According to Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Pitino has a six-year contract worth $1.2 million annually. That's split into $500,000 base salary and $700,000 in guaranteed supplemental compensation. Pitino will owe Minnesota $1.5 million to get out of his contract before May 1, 2016. For Minnesota to buy out his contract, it would owe one half of his base plus supplemental pay.”

Pitino coached at Florida International University for one season and had a record of 18-14. Minnesota is his second head coaching job.


Trent Tucker has been hired as the new head Athletic Director of the Minneapolis city conference. Tucker replaces John Washington, who retired.

Tucker a shooting guard for the University of Minnesota from 1978-’82.  After college, Tucker was drafted No. 6 in the 1982 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. His pro basketball career spanned from 1982-’93, and in that time he played for three different teams: the Knicks (1982-’91), the San Antonio Spurs (1991-’92), and the Chicago Bulls (1992-’93).

During his career, Tucker scored 6,236 points (8.2 per game). He brought down a total of 1,520 rebounds (2.0 per game) and he dished out 1,532 assists a game (2.0 per game).

After his basketball retirement Tucker turned to the media world as he was a broadcast analyst for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He now works for KFAN radio and has his own sports radio talk show.
Tucker also works with KSTC 45 in the Twin Cities covering the boys' and girls' Minnesota State High School League basketball tournaments.


According to Alex Conover of the North Star Hoops Report, “Deshawn Jones, the 6-foot-4-inch wing for Richfield, has recently decided to attend Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Arizona.

CAC, a two-year, junior college program, attracted Jones because of its track record. Coach Chuck Schnoor has sent players to Division I teams like Arizona, Idaho, Irvine and most recently Minnesota, as the Gophers have signed guard
Dre Mattheiu.”


Saturday, May 25, 2013


I was able to do a q and q email with Ariel Deloney
What is your full name? Ariel Deloney

When and where were you born? Jan. 28, 1992 in Harvey, Illinois.

Do you have any brothers and sisters? Yes, 3 brothers and 1 sister.

What high School did you go to and when did you graduate? Minneapolis North, 2010.

When did you start playing basketball? I’ve been playing basketball all my life; I started playing team ball at about age seven.

Do you play any other sports? Yes, football and I have interest in baseball.

Did you play basketball in High School? Yes I did.

What do you want to do after you get out of school? I want to play professionally, if that doesn’t work out I want a career job for a major corporation. And maybe some coaching somewhere down the line.

Where are you planning on going to school in the Fall? Concordia University.

Do you plan on playing basketball there? Yes, I have talked to coach Kelly Bo, I’m all set.

What is your best basketball memory? I have a lot of good memories, I would say beating Hopkins in high school though, that was awesome.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to play basketball, chill with friends, travel, play my ps3.

What type of music do you listen to? Hip-hop mainly but whatever catches my ear.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you? Well they should know that I come from the bottom, nothing has ever been giving to me, everything I have I’ve worked for and last but not least I’m a fun, friendly, outgoing person and I put God first in my life.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Melvin Ralph Martin was born on August 14, 1994 in Minneapolis, Minn. Martin has one brother, Demetrius. He is Korean and African American.

Melvin has always been involved in sports. He started playing basketball in the fourth grade.  

He will graduate from Hopkins high school in June of 2013. He is undecided on where he wants to go to college but he does want to play basketball in college.

Martin wants to own his own business, or become a coach or a sports broadcaster.

His best sports memory is playing with his brother Demetrius, who also played at Hopkins high school.

In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends and family and collecting shoes. He also likes to listen to a bunch of different types of music. Martin also has a funny side to him as he makes people laugh while he hangs out with his friends.

Martin’s favorite part of basketball is, “Coming together as a team through the ups and downs, and because it takes five to succeed”.  

Martin described his game as, “Pass first, shoot second. I’d rather do the little things like taking charges, setting picks and dive for loose balls than to score or get a dunk.”

I have seen Martin play basketball and he does know the game. He is fun to be around on and off the court. Martin is a fierce competitor on and off the floor. Overall he is a good person. 


Robert Blair Ndondo-Lay, who is an African American, was born Friday, Aug. 13, 1993 in Minneapolis. I asked him if he had any brothers and sisters and he said, “Yeah, my 19 year-old sister Chantal and my 14 year-old twin brother and sister Brandy and Sterling.”

Ndondo-Lay went to Minneapolis DeLaSalle high school, graduating in 2011. He started playing football in the fourth grade. In high school Ndondo-Lay played both basketball and football.

After college he wants to continue to play football as long as he can. He is currently enrolled at Winona State, where he plays Defensive End.  

Ndondo-Lay said that one of his best football memories was “When I ran back a 95-yard fumble recovery TD in high school during the conference championship or my first collegiate sack.”
I asked him, “What do you like to do in your free time?” He said, “If I already worked out probably play basketball, study other football players, and maybe watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother if I have the time.”

Ndondo-Lay was asked to describe the type of music he likes to list to. He said, “Basically everything but predominately Hip Hop & R&B. I’m a big fan of smooth jazz too.”

I asked if he, “Can you tell me one unusual thing about yourself that others might not know?” His response was, “When I came in as a freshman I was the youngest player on the team and I’m only 19 right now.”

I asked him, “What is the best part of playing football and why? He said, “Dominance. That and the pure rush from working towards or already being the best at what you do.”

I asked him to, “ Describe your game? “  “Not sure if I could do that entirely in a few sentences but if I had to pick my favorite part of my game it would definitely be my pass rush “ .

I asked him, “Is there was anything else you want people to know about you? “ “ I can’t stand losing at anything or to anyone. If I could that would mean I’m okay with mediocrity or even failure and I’m not and never will be.


Jayson Anderson Edwards is a student athlete who attends Benilde St.Margaret's High School  in St. Louis Park where he will graduate in 2015.

This summer Edwards is playing for Get Shook Elite. I was able to do a Q&A with Edwards over the internet.

Do you have a top 5-10 list of schools you like?

Jayson: Kansas, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

How strong are your academics? Can you share with us your GPA?

Jayson: Coming to a college prep school my sophomore year is helping me out a lot for my future. My GPA is 3.0

Describe your game for coaches and fans that have not seen you up close?

Jayson: I like to push the tempo. If we don’t have anything, I bring it out. I am a shifty player and I know how to look for my teammates. I believe I am a great floor general.

Do you have any siblings?

Jayson: I have a older sister named Bryana. She was a very fast track runner in her high school days. She is now a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness.

How is your season going? Can you share with us your averages?

Jayson: It’s been a rough season but we continue to work and get better each day. Right now I’m averaging 16 points per game and 5 assists.

What schools have offered you?

Jayson: No one has offered, but some have expressed interest.

What schools have shown strong interest?

Jayson: Northern Iowa & Nebraska

What schools have you visited? Do you have any visits planned in the near future?

Jayson: I have plans that I will visit in the summer.

Do you care about the location of your school?

Jayson: No

What part of your game do you feel you need to improve on the most?

Jayson: My mental part of the game

Who are some of the mentors that got you to where you are at right now?

Jayson: My mom

What are your strengths on the floor?

 I am a true floor general and I know how to create. I love pushing the tempo on defense and making my defender uncomfortable.

How hard do you work on your game? How much time do you put in? When did you first pick up a ball?

Jayson: I work on my game as much as I can. I put in a lot of hard hours. I wake up at 5:00am to start out the day.

What are your short term goals as a basketball player? What are some of the long term goals as a player?

Jayson: My short term goals are to win state for my high school of Benilde. Long term goals is to play college ball.

Give me the most memorable moment of your basketball career?

Jayson: My first dunk.

Do you have a facebook or a twitter that you would like to share with us?

Jayson: Yes, Jayson Edwards on Facebook and JaysonEdwards_1 on Twitter

Are you Nike or Adidas, what’s your favorite?

Jayson: I love Adidas but I would say Nike right now.


I had the chance to cover the 2013 Red Bull Crashed Ice Championships in St. Paul Minnesota. Let me start from the beginning: I was told that the 2013 Red Bull downhill championships were coming to St. Paul Minnesota at the end of January.

As a relatively new media member I wanted to go about looking on how to get passes for the event. So I looked online and I came about the Red Bull website. I was able to find the media page on the Red Bull Internet site. I sent Red Bull a message saying who I was with -- Steven's Sports Report, of course -- and I asked how I could come over and cover the event. Then I waited (and waited and waited) some more to hear back from Red Bull to see if and how I can come over and cover the event. So about two weeks before the event was supposed to start I got an email saying I was approved to come and cover the event.

On Sunday of the week that the Red Bull Crashed Ice started I started receiving emails from Red Bull giving me the details of what each day was going to be like. On Wednesday I went over to the St. Paul Hotel where Red Bull was hosting the media. I checked in on Wednesday and picked up my press pass for the weekend. I was excited and I was set.

I felt that I was ready to cover the big event.

On Friday I came over in the late afternoon. They were running a team challenge. The team challenge was where teams of skaters sake down the track and get timed. The breakdown on the competition was the top 100 USA athletes went up against each other and then the top 100 international athletes went up against each other and then the top 64 advanced to the Saturday finals.  

On Friday night there was a media gathering for the media that covered the event. During the event I was able to get to spots where the general public was not able to get to. The crowd swelled and music was provided by DJ Mad Mardigan a local DJ who works with the Minnesota Timberwolves. 
The finals on Saturday according to Sandra Klages of Marketing & Communications Smaragd Medien GmbH (Steven, that name can’t be spelled right. Is it?), “American Cameron Naasz was just a few meters away from giving the United States its first-ever victory in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship before Canadian brothers Kyle and Scott Croxall bolted past the exhausted Minnesotan at the finish line.

Canada’s Kyle Croxall came from behind to beat his brother Scott and Naasz in a breathtaking photo-finish in the final of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship race on Saturday in front of 115,000 frenzied spectators. Naasz had jumped into the early lead on the twisting, obstacle-filled 400-meter track just after the start on Saint Paul’s Cathedral hill but ran out of energy just a stride or two before the finish line as the two Croxalls sprinted past the fatigued local hero near the banks of the frozen Mississippi River.

It was the closest final in the 13-year history of Red Bull Crashed Ice and it took several moments for judges to analyze the photo finish to determine the finishing order. “I just wish I could have got a few more strides in going up that last hill,” said Naasz, who injured his back in a heavy crash in the quarter-finals. “I just didn’t have anything left in the tanks and was just trying to hang on. I just have to try to figure out how to stay in front of this guy.”

Kyle Croxall, the 2012 champion and Saint Paul winner last year who now has a total of six career victories, said he had a difficult start from an outside gate but stayed on Naasz’s heels all the way down. “You just look for your opportunity when you get it,” said the Canadian firefighter, the hottest racer on the circuit at the moment with four wins in the last six races going back to the start of the 2012 season.

The improbable success of the 23-year-old Naasz, a college student who joined the sport as a rookie just a year ago at the Saint Paul race, kept the American crowd fired up all evening long despite the arctic temperatures that plunged far below freezing and ice-cold winds on what is traditionally the coldest weekend of the year in Minnesota. Naasz, who finished second in the season opener in December in Niagara Falls, is second overall in the world championship standings with 1400 points behind only defending champion Kyle Croxall (2000 points) with three races left in the five-race 2012-’13 season. The next stop is in Landgraaf, Netherlands on Feb. 9

In Friday’s Team Challenge, Scott Croxall and teammates Adam Horst and Travis Nagata powered their way to a victory over another Canadian squad, “Team Ottawa”, in a nail-biting final. More than 200 of the world’s best Downhill Cross athletes took part in the three days of racing in Saint Paul, which has fast become the hotspot for the sport in the United States.

Results: 1. Kyle Croxall (CAN), 2. Scott Croxall (CAN) 3. Cameron Naasz (USA), 4. Kim Muller (SUI), 5. John Fisher (CAN), 6. Jim De Paoli (SUI), 7. Derek Wedge (SUI), 8 Paavo Klintrup (FIN), 9. Miikka Jouhkinmainen (FIN), 10. Marco Dallago (AUT). ,                 

According to Leigha Kristoff Communications Specialist-MWBU, “One hundred and fifteen thousand people descended upon the Cathedral of Saint Paul as Canadian brothers Kyle and Scott Croxall took the top two spots in an intense, action-packed final day at the Red Bull Crashed Ice - Ice Cross Downhill World Championship. Yet in many ways, the night belonged to hometown hero Cameron Naasz, who continued to cement his position as one of the elite Ice Cross Downhill athletes in the world with a third place finish.

The crowd chanted “USA!”USA! USA!” as the Lakeview resident dominated the first three rounds, finishing first in each heat as the excitement around his performance grew. Naasz qualified for the finals in dramatic fashion, as he slid blades first across the finish line to edge out Canadian competitor John Fisher by a skate. The final run came down to the wire, with Naasz jumping out to the front of the pack and narrowly holding his lead through the first half of the course. But the Croxall brothers managed to surpass Naasz on the final quarter of the track, leaving him and the United States just short of a first-ever victory in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.

“Tonight was unbelievable – I wish I had taken a few more strides on the final run,” said Naasz. “But feeling the energy of the crowd was amazing, and now I’m more focused than ever on doing whatever I can to take the next step and win a race.”

Two other Americans made deep runs into the quarterfinals. Veteran Tigh Isaac was one of them, putting in a strong performance and keeping himself in contention for the top spot all night. A collision during the quarterfinals squashed his hopes to reach the podium, but he’s established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the circuit.

The comeback story of the night was Adam Green, who took Saint Paul by storm as he powered his way through the first two rounds and into the quarterfinals. The Ohio native was the fastest qualifier in Saint Paul last time around, but has been in and out of competition the past few years. With a dominant run on Saturday, he reminded fans of Ice Cross Downhill of his potential to be one of the top athletes in the sport.

“I was really proud of our guys overall,” said Charlie Wasley, coach of Team USA. “Cam was even better than most people know – he was pretty banged up by the last race and still had a real shot to take it all. It was great to see him on the podium, but he has the potential to win races, if not the series. This night is going to elevate the confidence of our athletes, and I really feel we’re closer than ever to a win.”

Fans can relive all the edge-of-your-seat action on February 16 when the Saint Paul race airs as part of the Red Bull Signature Series on NBC. The Red Bull Signature Series is the most progressive and innovative action sports property in the world, featuring events such as snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing, and BMX. For more information, visit“

I had a fun time covering this event. I was able to networking with other media members not only from the USA but from others from around the world.