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Candace Parker, Maya Moore and their legacy in women’s basketball

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This weekend was like a touching closing of a monumental chapter in women’s basketball.

Maya Moore-Irons was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. On Sunday, Candace Parker announced she was leaving the WNBA. Parker, who signed a one-year contract with the Las Vegas Aces in February, is leaving the sport a yr after Moore announced she would officially retire from basketball in 2023 after a four-year hiatus from the WNBA.

When you ask modern players, whether college or WNBA, who they emulated and idolized as kids, they almost all the time answer: Parker or Moore. Both are probably your current favorite player’s favorite (if it wasn’t still Parker as of Sunday).

With the departure of Moore and Parker, the WNBA is without two of its most influential and impactful superstars. It’s a reality that is hard for a lot of women’s basketball fans to swallow, especially since excitement for a game that Parker and Moore helped create has never been higher.

With Parker’s departure comes a pervasive void, very like Moore’s, of not with the ability to properly rejoice the tip of two transformative talents. And while we’ll never see Moore or Parker dazzle on the basketball court again, their mark on the sport and the present generation able to catapult women’s basketball into the following chapter are all over the place.

Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker celebrates together with her teammates after winning Game 4 of the 2021 WNBA Finals against the Phoenix Mercury on October 17, 2021, at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Kena Krutsinger/NBAE via Getty Images

On the sphere, Parker was unlike any player we had ever seen.

After a legendary profession at Tennessee, where she won two national championships and was named national player of the yr twice, Parker began her WNBA profession in 2008 as the primary player to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the identical season. Parker’s momentous rookie season heralded a legendary profession that included three championships, two MVP awards, seven All-Star nominations, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. After becoming the primary woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game, Parker was also the primary to dunk multiple times in a WNBA season.

In Parker style, she ended her 16-year profession just because it began – in a historic moment. Her third championship, won with the Aces last season, made her the primary player in league history to win championships with three different franchises.

Parker, who also won two Olympic gold medals and countless championships overseas, is the one player in WNBA history to rank in the highest 10 in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. Her versatility and dominance at 6’1″ helped usher in a brand new era in women’s basketball and not using a game-changing position.

At age 29, Moore has already won 4 WNBA championships with the Minnesota Lynx, was Finals MVP, league MVP and was a six-time All-Star. This was preceded by a dominant collegiate profession in which she won two national titles and was named national player of the yr twice.

Moore, who also won two Olympic gold medals, two FIBA ​​World Championship gold medals and two EuroLeague titles, was a unprecedented talent on the court. Her playing was graceful and dominant, creative and fierce. Her jump shot was clean and her ability to get a bucket was unmatched. Moore was the primary women’s basketball player to sign a contract with Jordan Brand. When the brand launched a billboard campaign in 2018 in which Moore recreated Jordan’s 1989 “Wings” poster, it appeared like a fitting stamp for the face of women’s basketball. The following season, Moore announced that she wouldn’t play in the 2019 season. Even though Moore’s profession had been decorated as much as that time, it still felt prefer it was just getting began.

The play of each Parker and Moore has energized women’s basketball fans and attracted latest fans. However, their influence begins only on the pitch.

Minnesota Lynx defender Maya Moore (right) brings the ball up the court while Connecticut Sun defender Alyssa Thomas (left) defends during a game at Mohegan Sun Arena on August 17, 2018 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Parker’s influence is wide-ranging. Parker, who had her daughter Lailaa after her rookie season, has all the time advocated for moms who’re skilled athletes, demonstrating the power to thrive in each.

In 2010, Parker became the ninth WNBA player to have her own signature shoes. Since then, she has grow to be the one Black woman to wear the signature shoe in the WNBA.

As an analyst and commentator at TNT, where she has been working since 2018, she became the primary woman to function a game analyst in the course of the NBA All-Star Game in 2023. In 2021, she was the primary woman on the duvet of NBA 2K, and she also co-owns the NWSL team Angel City FC together with her daughter.

Moore’s off-court influence centers on her social activism. In 2016, she took part in an illustration organized by the captains of the Minnesota Lynx team, who wore T-shirts with the words “Change starts with us” in the course of the pre-game press conference after the police shooting of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Justice and Accountability” and “Black Lives Matter” on the back together with the names Sterling and Castile.

“If we take this time to see that this is a human issue and speak up together, we can significantly reduce fear and create change,” Moore said in 2016.

In 2019, two years after winning her fourth WNBA championship, Moore left the WNBA to advocate for the discharge of Jonathan Irons, who was sentenced to 50 years in the Missouri State Penitentiary after being convicted of burglary and assault on the age of 16. His conviction was overturned in July 2020. Moore’s sacrifice to assist ultimately free Irons, made at a time when she was widely considered the face of women’s basketball, made her a pioneer in athlete activism and drew significant attention to the failings of the U.S. criminal justice system criminal system and the necessity for reforms.


Parker and Moore left a mark on the game that may likely not be fully realized for years. It’s a shame they will not give you the option to be a part of the momentous wave the game is currently experiencing. However, much of their legacy is reflected directly in the sport’s latest generation of stars, lots of whom have been inspired by Moore and Parker.

Ace forward A’ja Wilson, the reigning WNBA Finals MVP, and Indiana Fever center Aliyah Boston, the league’s 2023 Rookie of the Year, called Parker their GOAT. Caitlin Clark, who’s entering her highly anticipated debut season in the WNBA after retiring from her college profession because the all-time leading scorer in NCAA basketball history, reiterates that Moore was her childhood basketball hero.

This is the life cycle of the sports avant-garde. While we may never give you the option to observe them ceaselessly or resolve when their on-court careers will end, we will still enjoy watching their legacy live.

Sean Hurd is a author for Andscape, primarily covering women’s basketball. The pinnacle of his athletic development got here on the age of 10, when he was voted camper of the week at Josh Childress’ basketball camp.

This article was originally published on : andscape.com
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Charles Barkley plans to hang up the mic after the next NBA season

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Charles Barkley, TNT, Inside the NBA


With all the discuss TNT losing the NBA broadcast rights, people have been speculating what is going to occur to the “Inside the NBA” team of Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. Well, Barkley has publicly stated that no matter whether TNT retains the rights or it goes to one other network, he is looking it quits after this season.

According to Barkley got here in went on the air following the final NBA Championship Game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics on June 14 and announced to his co-hosts and the world that the upcoming season could be his last as a broadcaster.

After telling the guys that he had been talking to other networks and that the NBA partnership was nearing its end, no matter the consequence, he hung up the mic after his twenty fifth 12 months as a commentator.

This puts every thing on hold, and the NBA Hall of Famer decides to put it on hold. It is speculated that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will announce the results of various conversations and negotiations between several platforms regarding who will receive what packages the NBA offers.

announced that the league is negotiating further agreements regarding media rights under the contract with TNT ending after the 2024-25 season. Platforms which can be in talks with the NBA include Disney/ABC/ESPN, Amazon, NBC and Warner Bros. Discovery (parent company of TNT).


This article was originally published on : www.blackenterprise.com
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‘Lock That Girl Up!’: Fans Demand Justice for Former Illini Star Terrence Shannon Jr. after an alleged rape victim joked “I have…” using a money emoji

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Terrence Shannon Jr. #0 of the Illinois Fighting Illini found not guilty.

On June 13, after a week-long trial, former University of Illinois college basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. was acquitted on charges of rape and sexual battery. Now fans want Shannon’s accuser to face consequences.

Shannon, 23, was charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman in September on the Martini Room, a bar near the University of Kansas campus.

Shannon attended the Kansas-Illinois football game on September 8. An unidentified woman told police that within the early morning hours of September 9, a man at a bar pulled her towards him and groped her. She accused the suspect of grabbing her buttocks and reaching under her skirt and penetrating her together with his fingers shortly after they met.

A couple of months later, Shannon learned that he would face criminal charges. He was arrested in December after a woman identified him in a photo of the Illinois basketball team that was available online. Shannon was charged with “unlawfully, criminally and knowingly (engaging) in sexual intercourse with a person … who did not consent to sexual intercourse under circumstances where he was overcome by force or fear, which constitutes a first-degree personal offense.”

Terrence Shannon Jr.  No. 0 of the Illinois Fighting Illini found not guilty.
Terrence Shannon Jr. of the Illinois Fighting Illini reacts after the Connecticut Huskies were defeated within the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at TD Garden on March 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“I definitely felt uncomfortable (…) I do not know why I didn’t (leave). But I would love to do it,” the prosecutor said in the course of the trial.

The basketball star consistently denied the allegations against him. “I never touched, grabbed, pulled. (…) That didn’t happen,” Shannon told the jury after the trial began, per published reports.

Shortly after the arrest, the Illinois basketball team decided to suspend Shannon indefinitely and launched its own independent investigation. The university ultimately dropped the investigation attributable to what the college described as insufficient evidence. Shannon was allowed back onto the court after the temporary restraining order was upheld. He’s already missed six games, but he still made it lead Illinois to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Elite Eight before losing to national champion Connecticut.

Multiple witnesses, including a current Kansas Jayhawks basketball player, corroborated Shannon’s account and said they didn’t see the Illinois player act inappropriately towards the girl that night.

The attorneys also said Shannon’s DNA was not taken from the accuser’s body in the course of the hospital examination, and so they turned over text messages from the alleged victim in the course of the trial. group chat with your mates where she shared a link to the basketball player’s arrest with ESPN and her friends joked that “She’s got his…” together with a money emoji.

After the not guilty verdict, Mark Sutter, one in all Shannon’s lawyers, said: “We are pleased with the final result. Terrence Shannon Jr. he finally got his day in court. In September we denied the allegations and that day we promised that at some point we’d stand trial and we did. And we’re completely happy with the result. And I believe society at large is guilty for Shannon Jr. apology”.

Shannon released a statement saying that he’s now able to move on from this case and give attention to his future.

“Thank you to everyone who has been by my side over the past nine months,” the statement read. “I knew I used to be innocent of those terrible crimes and I had faith in God that at some point everyone else would comprehend it too. I’m very grateful to everyone for believing in me, especially my family, friends and legal team, whose support helped me survive. I’m able to put this chapter of my life behind me and focus fully on my path forward.

The verdict sparked strong reactions on social media from many individuals who believed there ought to be a “punishment” for the false allegations.

“Shannon shouldn’t have left it like that. I would sue her for defamation, and the prosecutor and policemen for malicious prosecution” – one person he suggested.

This was expressed by other social media users similar feelings. “Anyone who falsely accuses someone of rape should be publicly shamed and imprisoned.”

“Now it’s time to lock this girl up and throw away the key.” he tweeted fan.

“People who bring false accusations against innocent people have to be held accountable and serve their very own prison sentences. I’m glad he won, however the accuser must be punished indirectly for what he did,” one other person he tweeted.

NBA star LeBron James also called and offered Shannon’s support.

“To my young (King) Terrance Shannon Jr! I really like you and best regards! Proud of you!!,” James wrote. “God is sweet! The apology ought to be 30 times louder than the hatred he felt, but we know the way it’s. Anyway, back to the regular program. Great days ahead!”

Illinois coach Brad Underwood said he was “excited for Terrence” and praised him for showing “exceptional poise, maturity and focus” within the months following the accusations.

Before the allegations surfaced, Shannon was projected to be a first-round draft pick. However, Shannon’s lawyer confirmed that he shall be working with multiple teams within the lead-up to the draft.

In May, Shannon traveled to Chicago for the NBA draft, where he expressed his desire to clear his name in court. “I can’t wait for (my) day in court,” Shannon told reporters.

The NBA draft will happen on June 26. The Atlanta Hawks have the No. 1 pick.


This article was originally published on : atlantablackstar.com
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NFL expands Africa programs to Nigeria with three-day talent identification camp

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The NFL announced Friday that it’ll further expand its efforts in Africa by hosting a talent identification camp in Nigeria, the fourth country on the continent to host league programs.

The three-day camp, which will likely be held this month in Lagos, will likely be attended by 21 potential players from 10 African countries, whose task will likely be to select future participants of two international NFL training programs: the NFL Academy in England and the International Player Pathway (IPP) program.

This camp follows on from initiatives held over the past two years in Ghana and Kenya (2022) and Cape Town, South Africa (2023) because the NFL looks to construct a fan base on the continent.

Although Ghana (34.7 million), Kenya (54 million) and South Africa (59 million) have significant populations, they’re dwarfed by Nigeria (229 million), probably the most populous country on the continent.

This begs the query as to why Nigeria was not the primary African country chosen.

Seattle Seahawks receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba celebrates after a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lumen Field on December 18, 2023 in Seattle.

Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl champion and the NFL’s chief ambassador for Africa, said that while Nigeria, his parents’ birthplace, would ideally be their first stop on the continent, the league wanted to get its African programs so as first.

“Nigeria will largely focus on what the NFL is doing,” Umenyiora said. “So we wanted to make sure that when we got there, everything would be OK and we would do it the right way.”

On the one hand, expansion is about finding a way to give people outside the United States a possibility that did not exist before: playing within the NFL. But it is also about market expansion. As the NFL moves into more television markets, Umenyiora says it may’t ignore Africa, whose historic economic problems are rooted in colonization.

Nigeria and other African countries have seen economic growth over the past few years, and with the continent having the world’s youngest population, there is a growing fan base right under the league’s nose. Give Nigerians and other Africans opportunities now and they’ll turn out to be consumers later, just as Hollywood and music spread internationally.

“As countries start to get more and more revenue, as they start to get younger, as they start to get more and more technology, they start to consume more and more NFL content,” Umenyiora said.

NFL games were played in England, Germany and Mexico. The Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers will play their first league game on September 6 in São Paulo.

Umenyiora hopes the continent will host its own international match soon.

“The moment we have the infrastructure there that can accommodate an NFL game, wherever that is, the moment we have it, they’re going to have to do it,” he said. “You can’t be a global sport and you can’t go around… the whole world and say no to Africa.”

David Njoku celebrates his first turnover in the primary half against the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland.

Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

After the camp in Nigeria, Umenyiora hopes to expand into Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt and Angola. For now, nonetheless, the league’s efforts on the continent are starting to bear fruit.

According to the NFL, there are currently greater than 135 players of African descent within the NFL, including Seattle Seahawks receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Cleveland Browns quarterback David Njoku, who will attend the camp in Lagos.

While the IPP program, which provides skilled soccer training to world-class athletes, a lot of whom have never played soccer, is a world initiative, 4 of the 11 participants who took part in 2024 were of African descent. Six Nigerian players from the 2023 IPP class have made NFL rosters this season.

The NFL can also be working with its 32 clubs in countries including Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom as a part of its Global Markets program, which goals to increase the league’s visibility world wide. The Philadelphia Eagles (Ghana) and Cleveland Browns (Nigeria) are the one teams collaborating with African countries.

As a part of Nigeria’s program this month, the NFL can even host a flag football tournament for local under-14 school teams and the primary women’s football training session.

Martenzie Johnson is a senior author at Andscape. His favorite moment within the cinema is when Django asks, “Do you want to see something?”

This article was originally published on : andscape.com
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