facebook-icotwitter-icogoogle-icorss-ico
connectsubscribearchives
Log in

How Marfan syndrome took center stage on NBA draft night, and in an infant’s life

Marfan Syndrome
It was like a bad dream. Four days before Baylor University basketball star Isaiah Austin would hear his name called in the NBA draft in June, a routine physical revealed that he had a genetic disorder called Marfan syndrome. His NBA career was over, but as he noted, his life was not.
Victoria Everett knows Austin’s nightmare firsthand.
 
When the 27-year-old Philadelphian heard her baby boy diagnosed with Marfan syndrome earlier this year, she was not sure what to think. Neither she nor her family had any idea what the condition was.
 
When Josiah was only 33 weeks in the womb, he had already been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, but it wasn’t until after he was born on Jan. 10 that the true extent of his condition came into the grim light.

THIS WEEKEND IN MEMPHIS!

memphis
Your source of information for where to go and what to do each weekend in the Greater Memphis area.
 
FRIDAY
 
* Street Warz
8:30pm | Memphis International Raceway
 
* Chuckles Comedy House Presents: DL Hughley
10pm | Chuckles Comedy House

The decision: Lebron chooses to go ‘home’

LeBron 450
In a letter dictated to Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins and made public Friday morning, NBA Super Star LeBron James let the world know what so many have been waiting for – where he is going to play next season. It’s Cleveland – not Miami – and his hometown is going wild.
 
Here is the context he set for understanding his decision:
 
“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
 
“Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
 
“I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. …”
 

Keyon Dooling’s life lessons

sports 450
One tall young man had the courage to admit that he never learned or, more accurately, was never taught. So Keyon Dooling, formerly with the Memphis Grizzlies and a 13-year NBA veteran, began to teach him step by step. The line grew longer, as more and more young men acknowledged they didn’t know how to tie a necktie either and wanted to learn. This was not a scene at a community center or a middle school mentoring session.  These were millionaires, NBA players who had never been taught the proper way to knot a tie.
 
That is extraordinarily surprising to most anybody else, but not Keyon. He is well familiar with the reality of young African-American men abundantly gifted with skills for the game of basketball with too few skills instilled in them for the game of life.  Plus, there is baggage, much of it secret baggage, that comes along from the complex, challenging, dysfunctional environments and backgrounds they escaped. Money and fame can exacerbate their issues. Global media exposure can point out the  problems and baggage like those optic yellow highlighters we use to illuminate parts of document or a book.

The SugaShack – ‘make-shift funky’ & ‘soulfoul good’

suga shack
 
The nightlife in Memphis is diverse, even though some think it is not on par with other metropolitan cities. Amid that backdrop one local group of club owners is laboring to place Memphis back on the map for juke joints.
 
Located in the basement of Bon Ton Restaurant on Monroe, the SugaShack is every bit of a flashback in time to when music was “real” – and so were the singers.  During my visit I was treated to an amazing tribute to Stevie Wonder. 
 
The conductor for our journey to the SugaShack is Larry Springfield.