Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HARRIET TUBMAN -- AN AMAZING WOMAN!!!

As Black History Month comes to a close, I thought I'd take one more look at an amazing person -- a woman -- who made an incredible difference in the lives of African-Americans and help forged a change in our nation.  It is hard for me to imagine what amazing courage she had to possess to do what she did -- escaping from slavery herself, and then returning more than a dozen times to rescue more than 70 slaves through the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry in West Virginia, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage -- AMAZING.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GETTING READY FOR A BIG PLAY-OFF GAME

Hello there!
I have taken these past few days to focus on this big game that I have coming up. On tomorrow we will have our 2nd game against Vologda. The deciding game of our clubs history. The first game was a 9 point deficit. So we can't lose by more than that, but I say why not just win so we won't have to worry about that. This team will come out fighting, I don't expect anything else. I am excited about the challenge and truly look forward to it. I believe we are know how important this game is and how much is weighing on it. We have a very good group but as you all know no one person can beat anyone. It will have to be a total team effort. We have to have the mind set of winning and not worrying about who gets the credit. A win is a win. And we can not do it with out all 11 of us. I will be back with you all soon to let you know how things turn out.
Wish us luck!
Thanks,
Meek

Friday, February 24, 2012

ONE STEP CLOSER TO HISTORY!

GRRREEEAAATTTTTTT News, we are one game away from making history. On yesterday we won our game against Vologda. It was a nine point deficit with some minor breakdowns that we definitely need to correct for next game. I am so proud of each and every one of my teammates, was surely a group effort to push through as well as forward.  We have just gotten back from yet another 16 hour trip, but with some days off to rest up before our next Match on Wednesday night. I have to hand it to Vologda they definitely came out a lot more aggressive and physical and played a pretty good game. Loree Moore and Jessica Davenport did all that they could to lead their team to victory and yes it was a hard fought battle.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!!

You better believe I'm missing home today!!!  Wishing all my family and friends back home a great Fat Tuesday -- Happy Mardi Gras!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A PLAYOFF UPDATE

I want to share with you that we came up a little short against Ekateringburg. It was a 6 point deficit. Our team showed alot of poise and played well together. It was the turnovers that got us in the end. Deanna Nolan, Sue Bird, Candace Parker, and many more really talented players on that team knew to take advantage of that.

We are now sitting in Third place for the Russian league and will be finishing up the regular season very soon. Until then we still have to concentrate on the Euro-cup league as well. We will be playing another Russian Talented team in Vologda. They have both Loree Moore and Jessica Davenport on their team along with alot of other hungry talented Russians. It will definitely be a fight to move on to the championship round.  We have today off as I will use this to get some off the court business done but back to work we go on tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone.

Talk to you soon!
Meek

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LEARNING ABOUT IDA WELLS

I have been doing some reading and studying this month with it being Black History Month and came across an amazing women -- Ida Well.  I did some research and found this amazing biography at History.com.

(Born July 16, 1862, Holly Springs, Miss., U.S.—died March 25, 1931, Chicago, Ill.) African American journalist who led an antilynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s.

Ida Wells was the daughter of slaves. She was educated at Rust University, a freedmen's school in her native Holly Springs, MS, and at age 14 began teaching in a country school. She continued to teach after moving to Memphis,TN, in 1884 and attended Fisk University in Nashville during several summer sessions. In 1887 the Tennessee Supreme Court, reversing a Circuit Court decision, ruled against Wells in a suit she had brought against the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad for having been forcibly removed from her seat after she had refused to give it up for one in a “colored only” car. Using the pen name Iola, Wells in 1891 also wrote some newspaper articles critical of the education available to African American children. Her teaching contract was not renewed. She thereupon turned to journalism, buying an interest in the Memphis Free Speech.

In 1892, after three friends of hers had been lynched by a mob, Wells began an editorial campaign against lynching that quickly led to the sacking of her newspaper's office. She continued her antilynching crusade, first as a staff writer for the New York Age and then as a lecturer and organizer of antilynching societies. She traveled to speak in a number of major U.S. cities and twice visited Great Britain for the cause. In 1895 she married Ferdinand L. Barnett, a Chicago lawyer, editor, and public official, and adopted the name Wells-Barnett. From that time she restricted her travels, but she was very active in Chicago affairs. Wells-Barnett contributed to the Chicago Conservator, her husband's newspaper, and to other local journals; published a detailed look at lynching in A Red Record (1895); and was active in organizing local African American women in various causes, from the antilynching campaign to the suffrage movement. She founded what may have been the first black woman suffrage group, Chicago's Alpha Suffrage Club.

From 1898 to 1902 Wells-Barnett served as secretary of the National Afro-American Council, and in 1910 she founded and became first president of the Negro Fellowship League, which aided newly arrived migrants from the South. From 1913 to 1916 she served as a probation officer of the Chicago municipal court. She was militant in her demand for justice for African Americans and in her insistence that it was to be won by their own efforts. While she took part in the 1909 meeting of the Niagara Movement, she would have nothing to do with the less radical National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that sprang from it. Her autobiography, Crusade for Justice, was published posthumously in 1970.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TAKING IN THE CULTURE OF ST. PETERSBURG

Hello Everyone!

I want to share you about our game that we played the other day. It was against St. Peterburg. They are a very fast and good shooting team. It was very close in the first half. I don't know why but for some reason we like to start the game off very slowly. And as usual we find ourselves fighting harder than we really need to for the game. Anyways we came away with the victory, but what was fun for me was after the game. I got a chance to tour St. Petersburg a little. This is a very popular place and it has some of the greatest things in Russia there. I had the chance to visit The Hermitage Museum. A very Beautiful place!

The museum was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great purchased a collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings (225) from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernest Gotzkowski. "internet" . It reminded me some what of the Louve in France. I promise I probably only got to see about 1/10th of the entire place. Ok a little bit more of the Louve but still. That's how big this place was. I looked on the internet just to see how many items was actually in this place and here's what I found.

About the collection

The collection contains 2,970,214 items, including:

Paintings - 16,851
Works of Geographic Art - 622,172
Sculptures - 12,623
Works of Applied Art - 301,512
Archaeological Objects - 739,389
Numismatics - 1, 132,627
Other Exhibits - 146,040


This is a very beautiful place. In the picture that I am in is just the stair way of the entrance. The parts that I did see as lovely. The painting were astonishing and so detailed I loved it all. If you wan to see more of this place check out http://www.hermitagemuseum.org. I'm sure you would love it .

I also went to this Ice Sculpture building that was not only cold of course but very detailed and unique. I did enjoy walking through it and seeing the actual time that people had taking to carve all of that together.  Believe me though when I tell you that I was freezing LOL

I am now in Ekaterinburg as we have a game in 2 days -- I will keep you all posted on that later. Meek

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A GREAT TEAM -- THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN!

I'm absolutely loving History.com and their coverage of Black History Month.  Today I was reading about the Tuskegee airmen -- what an amazing story:

1. The Tuskegee airmen once shot down three German jets in a single day.
On March 24, 1944, a fleet of P-51 Mustangs led by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, commander of the Tuskegee airmen, set out on the longest escort mission their crews would fly during World War II. The 43 fighters were there to help B-17 bombers run a gauntlet of over 1,600 miles into the heart of Hitler’s Germany and back. The bombers’ target, a massive Daimler-Benz tank factory in Berlin, was heavily defended by whatever forces the Luftwaffe could muster at that point in the war. The 25 aircraft protecting the plant included the battle-tested Fw 190 radial propeller fighters, the Me 163 “Komet” rocket-powered plane and the much more formidable Me 262, history’s first jetfighter and the forerunner of today’s modern fighters. While the American P-51s typically lagged behind the Me 163s and 262s, they could outmaneuver them at low speeds. The German planes also tended to run out of fuel more quickly than the Tuskegee airmen’s Mustangs. Making the most of their limited advantages, pilots Charles Brantley, Earl Lane and Roscoe Brown all shot down German jets over Berlin that day, earning the all-black 332nd Fighter Group a Distinguished Unit Citation.

2. Thurgood Marshall, the future Supreme Court justice, got his start defending Tuskegee bomber trainees.
The 477th Bombardment Group was formed in 1944 to extend the so-called “Tuskegee experiment” by allowing black aviators to serve on bomber crews. The aim was to send pilots—many of them veterans of the original Tuskegee fighter group—back to the States for training on B-25 bombers. While in Indiana, some of the African-American officers were arrested and charged with mutiny after entering an all-white officers’ club. Thurgood Marshall, then a young lawyer, represented the 100 black officers who had landed in jail as a result of the confrontation. The men were soon released (although one was later convicted of violent conduct and fined).

3. The Airmen might have never gotten off the ground without Eleanor Roosevelt’s help.
In April 1941, months before the United States entered World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt visited Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, where the Tuskegee airmen had begun training. Charles “Chief” Anderson, Tuskegee’s chief flight instructor at the time, offered to take the first lady around the field. Anderson had taught himself to fly years earlier in a used plane he bought with his own savings. Roosevelt agreed, and the photos and film that came out of the 40-minute flight helped convince people in power to support the creation of a black fighter group.

4. A former Tuskegee airman almost shot the late Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi in a showdown outside of Tripoli in 1970.
Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. started his career in the early 1940s at Tuskegee, joining the Army Air Corps in July 1943. After the war ended, James stayed in what became the Air Force and flew missions in both Korea and Vietnam. In 1969 James was put in command of Wheelus Air Force Base outside of Tripoli. A year earlier, a coup led by Colonel Qaddafi had overthrown the country’s ruling monarch, King Idris. Qaddafi then ordered the closing of the large American base in the country he now controlled. But before a formal handover to the Libyan authorities could take place, Qaddafi pushed his forces onto the base. James later recalled the standoff that followed: “One day [Qaddafi] ran a column of half tracks through my base—right through the housing area at full speed. I shut the barrier down at the gate and met [Qaddafi] a few yards outside it. He had a fancy gun and a holster and kept his hand on it. I had my .45 in my belt. I told him to move his hand away. If he had pulled that gun, he never would have cleared his holster. They never sent any more half tracks.”

5. Three Tuskegee airmen went on to become generals.
For keeping his cool in the face of Qaddafi’s troops, Daniel James was appointed a brigadier general by President Nixon. He wasn’t the only graduate of the “Tuskegee experiment” to make flag rank, however. James followed in the footsteps of Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the original commander of the 332nd Fighter Group and the first black general in the U.S. Air Force. Another Tuskegee aviator, Lucius Theus, retired a major general after dedicating most of his 36-year career in the Air Force to improving the military’s bureaucracy, helping to implement a direct deposit system for service members.

Here is some more stuff I learned about the Tuskegee airmen:
http://bit.ly/xXv5qr

ADVANCING IN THE PLAYOFFS!

Hello all!

I am here to share with you the great accomplishments that we have just experienced with one another. As you all know, we were in the Quarter finals of Euro-Cup and we were undefeated. I am happy to share with you that we are still undefeated, but we have a hard battle against a very good Slovakian team. Ruzomberok was very talented and they fought very hard. They were a team that deserved to be where they were. If you look below you will see that I have shared different articles from different website about our 2 games against each other. You will read how both truly came down to the wire. I know that those are the games that you all love to see.

I also want to share how great of an accomplishment this is for our Club. I think there were only two other teams that may have advanced to the semi-finals making this the third time in history that this has happened. I am happy to be apart of that.

We move on now to play against Vologda. LOL -- yes again, but this time it is for Euro-cup not Russian league. They have done their work in knocking off Arras one of the top French teams, so we face off with them again.

Before that we have St. Petersburg in the Russain League as well as Ekateringburg coming up so we have to focus on them first. Ok, talk to you all soon.

Meek

This is the article off of Eurobasket.com from the first match.

Dynamo Kursk did a good job against MBK Ruzomberok in Game One of the EuroCup Quarterfinals. The Russian squad grabbed 80-81 road victory and the next game will be played in Kursk. It will be a nice chance for Dynamo to book a spot for the Semis. Temeka Johnson (160-PG-82, agency: Josep and Nicolas, college: LSU) paced Dynamo to victory on Wednesday scoring 22 points. Anna Petrakova (189-PF-84) followed her with 19 and Michelle Snow (196-C-80, agency: LBM Management, college: Tennessee) shined with double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. At the other side, Ruza got 22 points and 7 boards from Katarina Tetemondova (188-F/C-88). Carmen Guzman (172-SG-85, agency: Merit Sports, college: UAB) also scored 22 pts and Kadidja Andersson (185-F-80, college: Minnesota) stopped to 10. Dynamo celebrated in this meeting thanks to great played last ten minutes of the game. Quarters: 20-20, 22-20, 26-17, 12-24. Two teams will meet again next week in decisive Game Two.

MBK Ruzomberok: Katarina Tetemondova 22+7 boards, Carmen Guzman 22, Kadidja Andersson 10
Dynamo Kursk: Temeka Johnson 22, Anna Petrakova 19, Michelle Snow 16+11 boards 


Article from FibaEurope.com on  Dynamo Kursk.

Dynamo Kursk became the first side to clinch a spot in the EuroCup Women Semi-Finals by winning a nail-biter at home against MBK Ruzomberok.

Ahead by a point after last week's first leg triumph, the Russian team trailed by as many as four points in the game but prevailed, 64-59.

Michelle Snow finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals for Kursk.

Lithuania international Ausra Bimbaite also came up big with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a game-high six steals.

Ruzomberok were in it until the end, due in large part to their three-point shooting.

Veteran point guard Slavka Bucakova hit five of six three-pointers and Ruzomberok were nine of 18 as a team.

Twice Ruzomberok went in front by two in the fourth quarter on Wednesday, including 57-55 with 6:48 to play after Katarina Tetemondov√°'s jump shot.

That gave them a one-point lead on aggregate.

Snow hit a pair of free-throws to trigger a decisive run.

Bimbaite followed with a jump shot before Anna Petrakova buried a three-ball for a 61-57 advantage.

Dynamo extended the advantage to six after a two more free-throws, and the closest Ruzomberok got in the end was two.

They walked off the floor with a six-point defeat on aggregate.

Swedish forward Kadidja Andersson had 17 points in defeat.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

THE ORIGIN OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Today I thought I'd share another video from History.com on the origin of Black History Month. Did you know that what we now call Black History Month originated in 1926, amd was founded by Carter G Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln who were both born in that month.

Food for thought :-)
Meek

Monday, February 6, 2012

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: REMEMBERING JACKIE ROBINSON

With it being Black History Month, I will occasionally share some thoughts, photos and videos.  The following comes from History.com and shares a brief look at Jackie Robinson.  It is nearly impossibly to imagine what it had to be like on a daily basis for him to play in a major sport as the first African-American amid hatred, death threats and so much more.  But I know as an African-American athlete, I am incredibly thankful he did -- he open doors for so many -- including me!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: REMEMBERING DR. KING FROM AFAR

I have to say that I am a little late in writing about Black History Month. I do apologize for this. Here is my shirt that I am wearing today and I think it is so fitting for our nation as a whole even today. Dr. King, yes we just celebrated his birthday, but his words to me are so profound these days as they were when he was speaking them. I am thankful that he fought for US as a while to be where we are today. Sad that he lost his life in doing so but know that he would be happy to see the progress that has been made thus far from his efforts. Let's stay together -- Everyone.

Meek

Friday, February 3, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Hey everyone! Join me in wishing my lovely mom a Happy Birthday! I am so thankful for her being in my life. I love my mom very much and I thank God everyday for keeping her here with me. I am so proud of her and her growth and love how much our relationship has gotten tighter and tighter. Happy Birthday Mom I truly hope you enjoyed your day!

A GAME VIDEO REPORT FROM MEEK

Hey everyone, I want to share with you the game that just finished playing. It was definitely and nail biter. Ruzomberok is a very good team that fights very hard for each other. I wont really mention the refs and how they let so much stuff go and just swallowed their whistle, but hey. The good thing about it, is that we came away with the victory even if it was by only one point. Our team gritted it out and fought for and with one another and that is what it is all about. I am very proud of each and everyone of my teammates. This was definitely a long trip, but I will say with that outcome and that game it was well worth it.

Meek