Ball Is Life: Circle Of Men Athletics


If you ever lived in Northwest Indiana and have been involved in sports, you will know that this area is called “The Region”. The Region has produced many pro and collegiate athletes in different sports over the past few decades like former MLB center fielder Kenny Lofton (East Chicago, IN). He was a 6x all-star and a 4x gold glove winner. Another is current Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kawaan Short (East Chicago, IN). In 2015, he was named to the Pro Bowl and was second-team All-Pro.

However, Indiana is known as the Hoosier State. There’s been plenty of successful basketball outcomes from The Region like Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson (Gary, IN), who happens to be an alum from my high school, Roosevelt, in Gary. Robinson was the number 1 overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft (to the Milwaukee Bucks). He averaged over 20 ppg for his career, was a 2x all-star, and won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005. Over the past 10 years, more players have been exposed to the NBA like Glenn Robinson III (Gary, IN, and currently with the Indiana Pacers), E’Twaun Moore (East Chicago, IN, and currently with the New Orleans Pelicans), Robbie Hummel (Valparaiso, IN), Branden Dawson (Gary, IN), and Mitch McGary (Chesterton, IN).

We even have athletes now that are already in division 1 or division 1-bound. Charles Cooper, a senior guard at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, helped the Phoenix during the 2015-16 season reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. Dana Evans, senior guard at Gary West Side High School, is currently ranked #3 at the point guard, and #7 overall for the 2017 class by ESPN. She has committed to Louisville.

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Dana Evans

My friend Leroy Cooper, who is also a part of our basketball network and former intramural basketball teammate, is the co-founder (along with Mr. Daniel Baker) of Circle of Men Athletics (COMA; @Circle_of_Men) . Every since I met Leroy, he has always been the type to lead and show support for others.

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COMA is an organization in Gary Indiana focused on the development of inner city athletes on and off the court…1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

Leroy, who played his last two years of college basketball and spend the following year as assistant head coach at formerly Purdue University Calumet (now Purdue University Northwest), wants help student-athletes on and off the court.

The purpose is to instill life beyond talent for inner city athletes…provide mentorship, training, life skills and exposure to guys with athletic abilities.

In this day and age where violence seems to be at an all-time high (especially the way the city of Chicago is right now), it’s wonderful to know something like COMA is taking place within The Region. However, this organization has plans on spreading the helping hand.

Our vision is to take our not for profit worldwide and change the world through God’s anointing. Changing lives and giving people opportunities to advance through life is God’s kingdom on earth. Our staff is really passionate about our organization, and we have a great success rate so far. We started the organization in 2014 and have placed 78 guys in college on athletic scholarships. Our next showcase is April 22nd, 2017.

The more I looked into COMA, the more impressed I’ve become. This organization has the chance to become something iconic. Sending 78 young men to college in that short amount of time is the one thing that’s sticking out to me. I support anyone that’s trying to do something positive with the youth and the community. Leroy, continue striving for excellence with this program and don’t let any obstacle prevent you from your vision.

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JGOOD

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Ball Is Life: Alex Richman


When you’re in college, you tend to meet a lot of people. At Purdue University Northwest (formally Purdue University Calumet), we built a network for basketball players for open gym sessions. I’ve seen plenty of talent come and go over the years, but Alex Richman is one of a kind. He’s very instinctive, has a high basketball IQ, underrated ball handling and court vision, and has one the best jump shots I’ve ever witnessed with my own eyes. Richman is a true competitor that doesn’t take kindly to losing and demands the best out of his teammates.

Before coming to Purdue, Alex went to Praire View A & M, a mid-major Division I school. Here’s some footage of Richman against other D1 schools, such as Hawaii and Baylor below:

Richman played for Praire View A & M for two years before ending up at Abilene Christain University and ultimately Purdue University Calumet for his senior season. The Melbourne, Florida native also played soccer (team captain) for the Peregrines during his last year of his college eligibility.

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Alex Richman with former Purdue Calumet Men’s Soccer Coach James Drzewiecki

Basketball after college didn’t stop for Richman, as he played semi-professionally with the Arizona Scorpions of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the Florida Flight of the Florida Basketball Association (FBA). Here are some highlights below from each team.

As you can see from the highlights, the 6 foot 2 guard has the ability not only to make shots and score the ball, but he has the vision to consistently find his teammates. After his stellar performance in the FBA in 2015 (29.2 ppg, 4.6 apg, six 35+ point games, 2nd consecutive all-star appearance), Richman was able to get a tryout and eventually signed with the Harlem Globetrotters for their international 90th-anniversary world tour.

Yes I’m still with the globetrotters. I’m what they call a “taxi” player. If they need a man for a tour then they would call me. I am still working with an agency as well and would pursue an overseas opportunity if it did end up happening. As of now I’m happily content with the globetrotters because they are one of the best in the business world at what they do and take care of their players with great respect.

Everything that Richman has achieved cannot be matched by many, and that’s a testament to his hard work ethic and love for the game. What makes the Florida native the ultimate teammate is that he started “F.A.I.T.H.” (Faith Allows Innovative Training Here). F.A.I.T.H. is an elite basketball training program in Brevard County, Florida.

My vision is to impact as many lives as I can in the community I grew up in. Brevard county isn’t known for basketball but there is so much hidden talent with no one searching. Not only do I train them to reach their full potential but I’m also a mentor to them and help them get to the next level of basketball they want to pursue. I have a great little circle of college, prep, and aau coaches who keep in contact with me and keep an eye on kids I post.

Alex Richman has worked with several high school athletes to prep them for the next level of their athletic careers. Some of the drills are very unique, but all of them are strenuous.

Richman also doesn’t allow his trainees to establish bad habits such as disrespect, a bad temper, lack of promptness, laziness, and selfishness. These 5 attributes are something that college coaches don’t want to see and will not tolerate from their players.  If you have Instagram, follow his page @faith.basketball and check out the videos of the intense workouts.

When you able to share your talents and gifts to help others become better, you are truly achieving greatness. Personally, it takes a humble person to display such acts. I hope Alex continues to use his resources for the greater good, shows humility, and stays a role model for the younger generation. I wish F.A.I.T.H. and your basketball career nothing but that best. Keep up the good work!

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JGOOD

FireFan App


FireFan is a new app that will allow you to play along with live sports on your mobile device. The app will be dropping this week, just in time for Thanksgiving when you’re stuck on the couch watching football because you’re too full to get up (We’ve all been there).

The app is FREE to download. You will need tokens to play. You can either watch a quick Ad to receive a token or spend money if you want to bypass the advertisement. However, if you CLICK HERE to preregister before the app releases, you’ll be awarded 12 Bonus Tokens using the promo code: JGOOD. This app is not considered gambling and is simple enough to where the average sports fan can play and be intrigued by it. You can play amongst others or by yourself. Also, you will be given points, where can redeem for prizes! (Everybody likes prizes).

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If you’re a fan of basketball, football, hockey, baseball,  and soccer, this app is for you! Here’s the intro video so you can get an idea of what it’s about.

Personally, I’m excited to play it this week. I love sports and I play games on a daily basis so this is like an early Christmas present to me. Hopefully, some of you all will sign up so we can play against each other. If so, let me know what you’re user name is after the app is released and we can play!

JGOOD

Hardest Job In Sports


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You would think being a coach, manager, general manager, or owner would be the hardest job in sports because of the responsibility and impact they can have in an organization. Even with the tough criticism those positions endure in times of underachieving, those positions also receives accolades for their success.

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Being a referee (umpire in baseball) takes thick skin with no pride or ego. The title also requires integrity, humility, and confidence. You have to be able to call the game equally, be humble enough to admit your mistakes, but also be confident to make a call that you felt that was needed to be enforced. Unlike other positions, referees are usually in a lose-lose situation because someone somewhere is always going to be upset at a call OR lack of a call that was against their associated team. Reality is that every call is not going to be made and there are going to be bad calls made because of human error.

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At times, I am officiating flag football and organized basketball games at my second job. It can become difficult at times when you have both teams in your ear telling you what you are suppose to call or watch out for a certain illegal action. A lot of times it is a “lose-lose” situation because one team isn’t going to be happy either way.

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Refs are going to be highly criticized in the public eye, especially if the public and media feel that a game was decided by the officiating instead of the players. However, if everyone feels that game’s outcome was decided by the players, then you would hear little to nothing about the referees. It’s very rare to hear someone say that “the refs did a job officiating tonight” or “the weren’t any calls missed tonight”.

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At the end of the day, referees are the people that you will notice right away if a mistake is made, but you wouldn’t even think of mentioning if they are doing their job “correctly”.

JGOOD

Post March Madness


Congratulations to Marcello for winning
the JGoodWithSports March Madness contest. His prizes are on his way.

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That game was one of the best that you will ever see in any sport so don’t take it for granted. I have the same emptiness when the Superbowl ended and football season was over (luckily we’re getting closer to the NFL draft).

In other sports:

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NBA – My Bulls are about to be officially eliminated from playoff contention. This has been one of the most disappointing seasons that I can remember. It’s basically the same team as last year (adding Bobby Portis). The only thing changed is the coach and culture. We lost our defensive, gritty, and resilient identity. I’m not sure what will happen in the offseason but I wish we’ll get our defensive, gritty, resilient identity back.

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NFL – The season is still some months from here but the NFL Draft is only a couple a weeks away. “Draft Town” will be in Chicago for a second consecutive year (a 3 day event for fans to meet former players, participate in activities, food, prizes, and have a chance to win tickets to the actual draft blocks away) and guess who’s going?? (Wait for it… You guess it.. It’s me!) I’m very excited. I wanted to go last year but didn’t have the courage to skip work for it. I will let you know how it goes.

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MLB – My Chicago White Sox has started the season off on a positive note by winning 3 of 4 in Oakland against the A’s. Even though the Chicago Cubs are the talk if the town as the World Series favorite, we’re are projected to make a run for the AL Central. We added some much need bullpen help in the winter. Hopefully that’s enough to get some extra wins.

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NHL – The Blackhawks are set to defend the Stanley Cup. The Dallas Stars and the St Louis Blues have been consistent all year. The Washington Capitals are looking like the favorites to meet of those 3 teams in the Stanley Cup. Personally, I want to see Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews against Alex Ovechkin.

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The Masters are underway this weekend. Honestly I’m not sure who will come out on top. I just hope it’s a close finish on Sunday (preferably down to the last hole).

JGOOD

Road To Houston: Final Four


What a tournament so far! My bracket was sabotaged when Michigan State went down (I’m sure I’m not the only one who went down with me). There were quite a few upsets that left us in awe and disbelief.

CLICK HERE FOR HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIRST WEEKEND

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North Carolina has played to their potential and are the clear favorites to win it all. Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson is making it look easy.

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Villanova has surprised me this year even though they were a 2 seed. This is their second final four appearance since 1985. In their recent history, Villanova usually chokes and disappoints (similar to Georgetown). Beating Kansas was the definite eye-opener.

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Syracuse is the ultimate shocker right now. They went from a team that didn’t even belong in the tournament to pulling off improbable wins to reach the final four (like being down 16 to Virginia). That 2-3 zone has bent but hasn’t broken.

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Buddy Hield is a monster and has taken the tournament by storm. I originally picked Oklahoma to get to the NCAA Championship game and they are poised to do so.

At this point I’m hoping for a stunning finish to cap off this amazing March Madness season.

JGOOD

March Madness: Sleepers and Bust


It’s that time of year again! Selection Sunday is 2 weeks away and then the bracket mayhem will begin! There’s no true dominant team this year so it’s really hard to predict a perfect bracket, yet alone a winner. My friend Quad helped me again determine which teams could be the next Cinderella and such teams could be one and done like half of the NBA prospects. Just a reminder, I am hosting a bracket pool and there will be prizes (stay tuned for details in the near future). Here’s what you need to know:

Sleepers:

  1. Xavier 25-4 (13-4), RPI 6

    They have a lot of great talent on this team and can compete with the best of them. Don’t be surprised if they make a run.
  2. Miami (The U) 23-5 (12-4), RPI 7

    The Hurricanes are very dangerous and in the midst of competing for the ACC Championship. They can beat a lot of great teams and are posed to make a run.
  3. San Diego State 19-8 (14-2), RPI 59

    This team has been in the tourney the past few years. They’ve shown to have plenty of talent (Kawhi Leonard) over the years to make a run. Expect them do follow suit.
  4. Chattanooga 26-5 (15-3), RPI 62

    They have beaten Georgia, Dayton, and Illinois. This team can hang with any team because of their tenacious defense. If they are in sync, they will turn a few heads.
  5. University of Arkansas-Little Rock (UALR) 24-3 (16-2), RPI 36

    The Trojans can play with anybody as long as they play at their pace (average 19 seconds per possession) and their defense ranks in the upper echelon.
  6. Valparaiso 24-5 (16-2), RPI 42

    Alec Peters is a mismatch for anybody. He is shooting 45.4 percent from the arc. Watch out for them.
  7. Monmouth 25-6 (17-3), RPI 53

    This team has the best bench in college basketball. They have beaten UCLA, Notre Dame and Georgetown. They won’t be an easy out.

Bust:

  1. Duke 21-8 (10-6), RPI 12

    The Blue Devils will most likely be upset because of lack of depth, injuries, and foul trouble.
  2. Maryland 22-6 (11-5), RPI 10

    The play of Melo Trimble has been terrible in the past month or so. If his play continues, they will be joining a couch right next to you.
  3. Texas A&M 22-7 (11-5), RPI 21

    The lack of competition that they played on their schedule may come back to haunt them.
  4. Oregon 22-6 (12-4), RPI 4

    I don’t think they have enough fire power to compete, plain and simple.
  5. North Carolina 24-6 (13-4), RPI 9

    At the beggining of the season, the Tar Heels looked like the team to beat. However, Marcus Paige hasn’t been playing up to expectations. Brice Johnson has been winning the games for the Tar Heels but can he keep it up?
  6. Iowa 20-8 (11-5), RPI 22

    The Hawkeyes have a great team but since the Big Ten conference games have started, they have started to become inconsistent. This team has suffered some bad losses to some unimpressive opponents.
  7. Oklahoma 22-6 (10-6), RPI 6

    Buddy Hield will be a lottery pick in this upcoming NBA draft. He has lead the Sooners to some impressive wins but a one-man show usually doesn’t equal a National Championship Title.

 

JGOOD