VP Records, top reggae distributor, expands presence in Africa

Sizzla, one of the top reggae artists on the VP Records label.

Sizzla, one of the top reggae artists on the VP Records label.

VP Records, the Queens, New York, based distributor of reggae music, is set to expand its presence in the African market. The world’s largest reggae label has hired Territory Manager Jay Jules to lead the Pan-African marketing efforts.

Jules will be responsible for establishing strategic partnerships in order to expand VP product sales and visibility and to capitalize on flourishing opportunities across the continent. The British-Jamaican music executive currently resides in South Africa and has a strong handle on the marketplace.

“I’m eager to open new doors with this role. I not only want to make reggae more accessible in Africa, but also shine light on the vibrant African reggae scene and culture that already exists here,” says Jules.

VP Records President Randy Chin states: ” Africa has a legion of dedicated reggae fans and now with increasing global connectivity in today’s tech and online world we are able to fulfill that demand. We are excited about this expansion and confident that we can effectively reach reggae fans in Africa.”

For more information email tiffanym@vprecords.com .-OnPointPress.net.

Tracy Morgan, assistant, improve but Ardie Fuqua still critical

Tracy Morgan is reportedly doing much better after car crash.

Tracy Morgan is reportedly doing much better after car crash.

By Carmen Glover

Nearly two weeks after he was seriously injured in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, “30 Rock” and Saturday Night Live star Tracy Morgan has improved, with his condition, and that of his assistant upgraded to “fair.” However, comedian Ardie Fuqua, who was riding in the vehicle with them, remains in critical condition. Morgan’s mentor, and co-writer James McNair was killed  immediately at the site of the crash. He was buried last week and fellow comedians collected money for his daughter’s graduation, which was reportedly given to the heartbroken girl at the funeral.

Comedian Ardie Fuqua remains in critical condition in NJ hospital.

Comedian Ardie Fuqua remains in critical condition in NJ hospital.

Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper, whose truck rear-ended the tour bus carrying the comedians, had not slept for 24 hours, prior to the accident. He was arrested and released on $50,000 bond.

According to Morgan’s publicist, his condition was upgraded to fair and Morgan is beginning to show a little bit of his “personality.” His fiancé, ex-wife and other family members have been by his side, providing the comedian with support and encouragement during his recovery. Morgan suffered a broken leg, nose and ribs. He underwent surgery and the hospital’s spokesman said that his injuries will take “many weeks” to heal.

Specific details have not been given about the nature of Fuqua’s injuries. OnPointPress.net will continue to update this story and bring new details to our readers.-OnPointPress.net.

Tim Duncan’s impressive resume is tops in current team sports

Tim Duncan (c) celebrates his 5th NBA championship  with his Spurs teammates.

Tim Duncan (c) celebrates his 5th NBA championship with his Spurs teammates.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The San Antonio Spurs are again NBA champions, the franchise’s 5th title, all with Tim Duncan on the court and coach Gregg Popovich at the helm. However, as the Spurs continue to be celebrated for their teamwork, Duncan’s individual greatness seems to be a bit undersold. Simply put, Duncan has the best resume of all current players in any American team sport today.

Duncan, pictured with Tony Parker (l) and Bruce Bowen (r), won Finals MVP honors on 3 different occasions.

Duncan, pictured with Tony Parker (l) and Bruce Bowen (r), won Finals MVP honors on 3 different occasions.

Duncan’s resume includes 14 All-Star appearances (in 17 years played), 14 All-NBA selections (10 1st team selections), Rookie of the Year honors, 14 All-Defensive selections (8 1st team and 6 2nd team), 2 NBA MVP awards (2002-2003), 3 NBA Finals MVP awards (!999, 2003, 2005), and 5 NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014).

LeBron James is a 2-time NBA champion with 2 Finals MVP awards but has lost to Tim Duncan and the Spurs on 2 different occasions.

LeBron James is a 2-time NBA champion with 2 Finals MVP awards but has lost to Tim Duncan and the Spurs on 2 different occasions.

The list of comparable players would include huge names in his sport like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. It would also include baseball players Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols or David Ortiz. Football stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady would also be included in the list of whose resume’s fall short of Duncan’s.

The case for Duncan stems from the length of time he and his team have been elite, his indiviual excellence in his prime, and the nuumber of championships he has helped lead his team to win. In basketball, the only current star with as many rings as Duncan is Bryant. Bryant was a major part of a Los Angeles Lakers team that won 3 consecutive championships (2000 – 2002) but he has only won NBA MVP once, was given one less Finals MVP award than Duncan, and spent the beginnng half of his career no better than the second best player on his team.

Kobe Bryant is one of the most decorated NBA players of all time. He was awarded Finals MVP twice (2009,2010).

Kobe Bryant is one of the most celebrated NBA players of all time. He was awarded Finals MVP twice (2009,2010).

Though Duncan played his first 6 seasons along side Hall of Fame Center David Robinson, Duncan established himself as the team’s best player by his second season. As Bryant has spent the last two seasons recovering from injuries, Duncan has helped lead his team to consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Duncan’s top notch performances in the last two seasons also illustrate how vital he is to his team’s success.

Derek Jeter is one of the most celebrated baseball players in history and is hoping that his final year playing with the Yankees  ends with a championship.

Derek Jeter is one of the most celebrated baseball players in history and is hoping that his final year playing with the Yankees ends with a championship.

Derek Jeter, the captain of the New York Yankees, is also known for being a classy, productive leader for a winning franchise. Jeter also has 5 championships and was a key part of a team that won 3 consecutive World Series (1998 – 2000) and 4 in 5 years. Jeter was World Series MVP in 2000 and was helped the team win another title in 2009. Yet, Jeter has never won league MVP, and played most of his career surrounded with a plethora of All-Star calliber players, which lessened the reliability of the Yankees on Jeter’s performance.

Peyton Manning is one of the NFL's biggest stars and one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He won Super Bowl MVP in 2006.

Peyton Manning is one of the NFL’s biggest stars and one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He won Super Bowl MVP in 2006.

Brady and Manning seem to be constantly linked as the two quarterbacks that are viewed as the best the NFL has seen in the past 20 years. Manning has had a stellar career to date, amassing 5 NFL MVP awards (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013), and 2 Offensive Player of the Year awards (2004, 2013). He won Super Bowl MVP in the one Super Bowl his team won in 2006. Manning has been the Super Bowl on two other occasions (2008, 2013) and was unsuccessful in those attempts.

Tom Brady is one of the most famous athletes in the world. Winning 3 Super Bowls and being married to one of the most famous super models in the world (Gisele Bundchen) can boost a person's popularity.

Tom Brady is one of the most famous athletes in the world. Winning 3 Super Bowls and being married to one of the most famous super models in the world (Gisele Bundchen) can boost a person’s popularity.

Brady has been the starting quarterback for the Patriots since 2001 when he helped the team win the first of 3 Super Bowls (2001, 2003, 2004). Brady was named Super Bowl MVP twice (2001, 2003), NFL MVP twice (2007, 2010), and Offensive Player of the year twice (2007, 2010). The Patriots also made it to the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011 but came up short on both occasions. Brady has played his entire career with the same head coach, Bill Belichek, the same as Duncan and Popovich. While Brady has helped lead his team to the playoffs in many consecutive years, the fact that the Patriots haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2004 shows how difficult winning a championship really is.

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich will be forever linked as they have helped lead the Spurs to 5 NBA titles.

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich will be forever linked as they have helped lead the Spurs to 5 NBA titles.

Duncan is also known for his humility and stoic demeanor. Duncan is not in many commercials, isn’t married to a super model or a global icon. He is, however, a great basketball player whose career accomplishments stand above his contemporaries, even as he continues his career with no signs of slowing down. He may not want the extra attention that comes with his success, but he certainly deserves it.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Spurs win fifth NBA title, epitomizing teamwork, poise and humility

The Spurs captured the franchise's 5th championship and 4th with their big 3, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili.

The Spurs captured the franchise’s 5th championship and 4th with their big 3, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Sunday night, June 15, as Father’s Day was winding down, the San Antonio Spurs wrestled the NBA Championship title away from the Miami Heat by demonstrating the power of teamwork. The Spurs put on another dazzling shooting expedition while cruising to a 104 – 87 victory over the Heat to capture the franchise’s 5th NBA Championship. The win avenges a crushing seven-game series loss in last year’s NBA Finals to the Heat. Small forward Kahwi Leonard was named Finals MVP. The core players of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Leonard all made it clear that the bitter loss remained on their minds all season-long.

Kawhi Leonard earned Finals MVP honors by taking it to last year's Finals MVP, LeBron James.

Kawhi Leonard earned Finals MVP honors by taking it to last year’s Finals MVP, LeBron James.

“I had a great group of guys behind me pushing me. They told me I had talent and they pushed me. Coach Pop pushed me and my mom pushed me,” Leonard said.

For his part, Spurs forward Duncan, speaking after the game, said the defeat last year motivated the team to succeed this year and that  “It’s unbelievable to be back here.”

“We were so close last year. This year was a great rematch and we wanted to redeem ourselves. I’ve been blessed to play with Timmy and Manu,” said Parker.

Congratulations to the 2014 NBA champs. Pictured (l-r) Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

Congratulations to the 2014 NBA champs. Pictured (l-r) Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

Meanwhile Ginobli said this year was about redemption. “I felt better mentally, physically. What happened last year made us stronger and we were not going to let this opportunity get away. We played at a high level.”

The Spurs overcame a rough start to game 5 to seal the series in front of the home crowd. The Spurs seemed to be on fire from the second quarter of the game, demonstrating superb ball movement and excellent shot-making. The Spurs were also diligent on defense, holding the Heat to under 100 points, a task they completed in all five games of the series. The 2014 NBA Championship games showed a stark difference from the tightly contested series a year ago. While LeBron James showed periods of excellence throughout the series, the rest of the Heat seemed vastly overmatched, especially Dwyane Wade, who seemed bored and uninterested.

Coach Gregg Popovich showed why he's the best in the business with a masterful coaching display en route to his 5th championship.

Coach Gregg Popovich showed why he’s the best in the business with a masterful coaching display en route to his 5th championship.

The Spurs showed great teamwork in all five championship games, winning the last three games by at least 17 points. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili got the bulk of the attention during the series but other players like Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills played significant roles in the Spurs victory.

NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and his teammates were the clearly superior team this time around in the Finals.

NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and his teammates were the clearly superior team this time around in the Finals.

However, it was play of Finals MVP Leonard that set the Spurs apart from the Heat. His defensive intensity sparked his offense and caused chaos in the Heat’s game plan all series long. Having the steady hands of Coach Gregg Popovich, who was named Coach of the Year, also had a strong role in leading by example. The Spurs dynasty appears to be intact and their method of winning championships will no doubt be studied by other teams who desire the same results. Congratulations to the Spurs who demonstrated poise, teamwork, humility and a burning passion to win at the highest level of the game. They deserve the championship trophy this year. Well done Spurs!-OnPointPress.net.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, you inspire me to be my best

This will be the 33rd time so far that Charles Glover, Sr. will celebrate Father's Day.

Charles Glover, Sr. (c) will celebrate Father’s Day today, knowing that he has been exemplary with the lessons he has taught his children over the years.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

During the past week, OnPointPress has emphasized stories that recognize and appreciate fathers, leading up to this Sunday’s Father’s Day. During his weekly address yesterday,  President Barack Obama shared a sentiment that many who have had their fathers in their lives believe:

“What we give our fathers can never match what our fathers can give us.”

Dads across the country will receive an array of gifts and recognition, all of which are just small tokens of appreciation for what they do in their complex role as fathers.

My dad and I in the backyard of my parents' house.

My dad and I in the backyard of my parents’ house.

On this special day, Father’s Day, I am taking this opportunity to give a special thanks to my father, Charles Glover, Sr. I was fortunate enough to grow up with two loving parents (and two wonderful siblings). I experienced the joys of having two parents show me compassion and affection as well as tough love when necessary. As I’ve matured, I have a greater appreciation for everything my parents do. I’m especially grateful for the many lessons about manhood that I have learned from my dad.

One thing my dad repeatedly says, “If you’re casual about life you’ll become a casualty,” resonates with me constantly. That saying is my dad’s way of reminding me that I must be vigilant in pursuing my goals.

My dad is known for his sense of style as well as his work ethic.

My dad is known for his sense of style, humor and work ethic.

My dad has demonstrated the balance between working hard and being available to his family, for as long as I can remember. My dad worked long hours on the job while finding a way to be present for some of my extra-curricular activities and school events. Whether on the basketball court, golf course, pool table, or on the backyard grill, my father finds fun ways to bond with my siblings and I. I can also proudly say that my parents were present for my elementary school, high school, and college graduations.

Throughout my life, my dad has been there for me and has instilled traits and virtues in me that I can easily identify. His insistence on me pursuing my dreams has resulted in a myriad of positive experiences. I’m still pursing my dreams with the support of my family, while my dad gives extra advice and guidance. My dad has always been strong, energetic, and firm in showing his love to his children, wife, family and friends.

So this Sunday, my siblings and I want to say: Thank you Charles Glover, Sr. and Happy Father’s Day.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a husband, stepfather, sports writer and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Maxi Priest dazzles at BB King’s, Eddie Levert joins in for a duet

 

maxi

Maxi Priest had concertgoers on their feet during his performance, dancing and singing along to his songs.

By Carmen Glover

Reggae superstar Maxi Priest delivered a spellbinding performance at BB King’s Jazz and Blues Club in Manhattan on Wednesday, June 11, starting at 8:00 p.m. Priest took to the stage like a fireball of energy belting out Dennis Brown’s crowd pleaser “Should I,” as a strong statement that the night would feature a blend love songs that brought back memories and new songs that illustrated Priest’s versatility and longevity.

maxi

Maxi Priest is well-known for his spectacular performances which have attracted a loyal fan base.

“Are you here to party?” Priest asked from the stage, as rapturous fans screamed in unison “Yes!” He promptly followed Brown’s hit with his own songs, crooning out “I Want To Be Free,” “Should I Give My Trust To You,” “Just a Little Bit Longer,” “Temptress,” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck.”  Midway between his dazzling performance, Priest halted the show as one of the concert’s organizers emerged onstage with a birthday cake bearing Priest’s handsome face. The individual announced that it was Priest’s birthday and immediately led the guests in singing “Happy Birthday,” to Priest, while the singer beamed, eliciting laughter and cheers.

eddie levert

Eddie Levert of the O’Jays was in the crowd and was invited onstage for a Temptations duet with Priest.

Priest resumed the show with the title song to his new album “Easy To Love,” which created a pantomime of energetic dancing on the floor due to its pulsating, exciting beat. Slowing the tempo somewhat, Priest then treated the crowd to perennial fan favorite “Wild World” which caused the crowd to respond as if they were participating in a church service, dancing freely, singing easily and waving hands while snapping fingers in time to the music.

maxi

He then acknowledged Eddie Levert, the lead singer for the O’Jays and invited him onstage for a duet of the Temptations hit “My Girl,” which highlighted a fusion of Priest’s soft, seductive tone and Levert’s powerful, soaring baritone that had the crowd pleading for more.

Paul Kastick doing what he loves most, playing the drums.

Paul Kastick doing what he loves most, playing the drums, with the expertise that is hard to emulate.

Priest brought a local Jamaican dance hall singer onstage to sing “House Call,” which Priest recorded decades ago with rough and tumble reggae demigod Shabba Ranks. The duo performed a medley of reggae tunes before Priest closed the show with “Crazy Love,’ “Your Body Can’t Lie To Me,’ and “Close To You.” The crowd was reluctant to see the show come to an end and concertgoers milled around afterwards, dancing to intoxicating music being played by a disc jockey. Priest’s guitarists were great in their string dexterity but drummer Paul Kastick, who has produced hits for other singers such as Tessanne Chin’s “Hideaway,” was outstanding on the drums.

Maxi Priest

Maxi Priest’s new album , “Easy To Love” will be available in stores July 8.

Priest’s concert, was excellent and enjoyable as his shows usually are. He will continue his world tour with dates in his native England before returning to New York on July 20 for the Jerk Festival where he will join Etana to entertain the patrons. If you missed him at BB King’s treat yourself to his performance on June 20, and see for yourself why Priest will always be “Easy To Love.”  Purchasing tickets to the Jerk Festival to see Priest perform will be money well spent.–OnPointPress.net.

Father-in-chief promotes values, fathers, sons, in “My Brother’s Keeper”

President Obama signs  the My Brother's Keeper initiative  in front of  a group of young men in Chicago.

President Obama signs the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in front of a group of young men from Chicago.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative introduced by President Barack Obama to address opportunity and achievement gaps facing minority boys and young men in this country. The President proposed at the beginning of the year, an idea in which he sought the input of successful businesses and foundations that have already established themselves in addressing these issues. The administration asked for a 90-day task force to be convened by some of these professional participants to gather a list of recommendations for tactics that have been useful so far.

President Obama shares a light-hearted moment with the youth in attendance.

President Obama shares a light-hearted moment with the youth in attendance.

While speaking to a group of Chicago-based youth in the White House on February 27, 2014, President Obama explained why this initiative is so important to him.

“I didn’t have a dad in the house, and I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time,” the President shared. He continued, “I made bad choices, I got high without thinking about the harm it would do, I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have.” The President then explained what made a difference in his life. “I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving. When I made a mistake, the consequences were not as severe. I had people who encouraged me, not just my mom and grandparents, but teachers and community leaders who pushed me to work hard to make the most of myself.”

President embraces a young man and provides him with words of encouragement while others look on.

President embraces a young man and provides him with words of encouragement while others look on.

On May 30, 2014 the White House received a 60-page report from the commissioned task force which presented numerous recommendations to make a difference in the lives of boys and young men. The 90-day report made many recommendations but had three major points of emphasis:
1) Launch a public-private campaign to actively recruit mentors for youth and improve the quality of mentoring programs.
2) Make the status and progress of boys and young men of color and other populations more visible by improving data collection and transparency.
3) Support locally driven efforts that are more comprehensive – addressing the educational, physical, social and emotional needs of young people – and that span multiple life stages from the cradle to college.

President Obama speaks about the personal experiences that link him to this initiative.

President Obama speaks about the personal experiences that link him to this initiative.

The multi-pronged approach which the task force presented is essential to make significant changes in what is a troubling cycle of unfulfilled potential for boys and young men of color. The importance of the educational and career aspects of the efforts to help improve the lives of these youngsters is constantly recognized. However, the social development of these youngsters is equally important and it appears that this initiative is making noticeable strides to highlight the important role the social aspect plays as well. One local organization, Bronx Fathers Taking Action, created by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr, is actively involved in mentoring and other projects.

The most advanced proponent of the initiative towards the social development of the youth is the extensive search for quality mentors. Those who are interested in becoming a mentor can submit their information through the White House website.

My Brother's Keeper initiative by the President is in its early stages but is already making headlines.,

My Brother’s Keeper initiative by the President is in its early stages but is already making headlines.,

It is extremely important to emphasize the social development in conjunction with educational and career improvement. The proper moral compass, decision making process, and self-confidence that emerge as part of the essence of successful men of color is developed over years of reassurance from parents, caregivers, and mentors.

My Brother’s Keeper is in its early stages, and the participants in the program are on their way to helping the President effect sustainable, positive change in the lives of our boys and young men of color. Visit the website listed and get involved now. –OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management training consultant, foster care advocate and sports writer. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

World Cup begins as controversy swirls around Brazil, Qatar, FIFA

FIFA World Cup Trophy, Team, Players Wallpaper.

FIFA World Cup Trophy and players who will be participating in the tournament.

By Carmen Glover

Soccer fans around the world can finally borrow a line from rapper Fabolous or country singer Faith Hill and “Breathe!” Yes, the beautiful game of soccer, known around the world as football, will be on full display today, as the tournament opens on June 12 in Brazil. The World Cup is expecting to attract significant attention since it is being hosted in the country which has won the most titles, five in all, making Brazil soccer’s home.

Brazil's players line up for a team photo before their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match against Japan at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia June 15, 2013. (Front row L to R) Oscar, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Paulinho, Neymar, Luis Gustavo, (back row L to R) Julio Cesar, David Luiz, Fred, Hulk and Thiago Silva. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (BRAZIL  - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Brazil’s players line up for a team photo before their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match against Japan at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia June 15, 2013. (Front row L to R) Oscar, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Paulinho, Neymar, Luis Gustavo, (back row L to R) Julio Cesar, David Luiz, Fred, Hulk and Thiago Silva. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (BRAZIL – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

The Brazilian team, which is hoping to lead its country to its sixth World Cup, will play its opening game against Croatia at 4:00 p.m. in an unfinished stadium. The fame will be played amid protests from the Brazilian locals and controversy about corruption in FIFA and Qatar, the site for the 2018 World Cup. Despite the tumultuous period leading up to the World Cup opening day, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was re-elected to the top position this week, again proving that FIFA is its own fiefdom.

Sepp Blatter holds the FiFA Code of Ethics aloft after being re-elected as President this week.

Sepp Blatter holds the FiFA Code of Ethics aloft after being re-elected as President this week.

While discussions rage about the necessity for a revote in light of the corruption allegations about Qatar, Brazilian locals have been vocal and spirited in expressing their disgust with FIFA, the World Cup’s governing body, and the organizing committee in Brazil. Brazilians protested again on Tuesday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 11, even as teams were arriving for the World Cup, in a sign that protests will frame the backdrop of the games this year. Some teams, including the US national team, cancelled their practice matches due to concerns about congestion and safety.

Protestors in Brazil are pepper sprayed by police officers on Monday, as World Cup teams arrive for the game.

Protestors in Brazil are pepper sprayed by police officers on Tuesday, as World Cup teams arrive for the game.

The protestors have argued that instead of investing the more than $10 billion in preparing to host the World Cup, the focus should have been placed on crumbling infrastructure, poorly funded education, transportation and social sectors. Also, they have suggested that rampant improprieties took place with the World Cup funding, because the results suggest that massive theft of World Cups funds occurred, resulting in incomplete stadiums and tournament facilities while the funds promised to local Brazilian projects failed to materialize.

Brazilians continue to protest against misuse of funds for stadiums at the expense of basic programs such as education, healthcare and transportation.

Brazilians continue to protest against misuse of funds for stadiums at the expense of basic programs such as education, healthcare and transportation.

To say the protests and controversy is an inconvenience for FIFA and Brazil is an understatement. After all, Brazil possesses the most World Cup victories of any other nation, and is universally regarded as the country which pioneered the style of play that is often described as exuding finesse and beauty. For the residents of Brazil to organize years long protests is the last thing that FIFA, its president Sepp Blatter, the Brazilian organizing committee and soccer fans would expect.

pele

Soccer legend Pele, regarded by many as the best soccer star to ever play the game, has been a member of the organizing committee in Brazil but has been just as vocal in expressing his disgust with the incomplete World Cup infrastructure, the protests and alleged theft of funds.

Brazilian soccer icon Pele incurred the protestors’ wrath recently when he stated that the protests should have been staged in 2007 when the announcement was made that Brazil would host the World Cup, rather than in the months and days leading up to the tournament. Still, despite the protests and anger that now add to the World Cup flavor, the Brazilian team is expected to lead their country to the World Cup trophy so the players have danced a fine line between supporting the protestors’ right to protest, while seeking their support as the games get underway.

Aftermath of flood in Brazil which caused the deaths of more than 9 people on the eve of the World Cup games.

Aftermath of flood in Brazil which caused the deaths of more than 9 people on the eve of the World Cup games.

This is by no means an easy feat, as the eyes of the world are trained firmly on Brazil, now privy to all the problems that were not as publicized in the past.On Wednesday, one day before the World Cup, severe flooding left more than nine Brazilians dead, according to Good Morning America, further complicating the feverish attempts to salvage the pre-game preparations.

Anti-government protesters demonstrate at the security perimeter two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Castelao stadium in Fortaleza where Spain and Italy are to clash in their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 semifinal football match, on June 27, 2013. Riot and mounted police set up roadblocks on access roads leading to the stadium as several thousand young demonstrators peacefully rallied outside Ceara State University in Fortaleza Thursday, hours before the match. Nationwide anti-government protests in Brazil initially focused on a hike in transport fares before mushrooming to encompass a variety of gripes including corruption and the lack of investment in health and education as well as to denounce the high costs of hosting the Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup.   AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA        (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Anti-government protesters demonstrate at the security perimeter two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Castelao stadium in Fortaleza on June 27, 2013. Riot and mounted police set up roadblocks on access roads leading to the stadium as several thousand young demonstrators peacefully rallied outside Ceara State University in Fortaleza. Nationwide anti-government protests in Brazil initially focused on a hike in transport fares before mushrooming to encompass a variety of gripes including corruption and the lack of investment in health and education as well as to denounce the high costs of hosting the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, there has been no shortage of intrigue from some of the other participating teams. Striker Landon Donovan was dropped from the US team by its coach, former German soccer star Jurgen Klinsmann, Rossi was dropped by Italy while Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, still recovering from a leg injury, has voiced his certainty that his team will prevail to win it all. Stay tuned to OnPointPress.net for coverage of the World Cup and the  beautiful game of soccer.-OnPointPress.net.

2014 Federal funding given for fatherhood initiatives, outreach

Unidentified father shows his daughter some love.

Unidentified father shows his daughter some love, while she clings to him with pride.

A variety of funding initiatives and activities designed to strengthen fatherhood bonds in under-served communities are listed below, in honor of Father’s Day and in an effort to provide fathers with useful resources throughout the year.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is seeking applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Coordinated Assistance for States. This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency.

father child
An African-American father shares a special moment with his child.

The OJJDP announced Support for States’ Juvenile Justice Systems Improvement Projects for the fiscal year 2014 Coordinated Assistance for States. Details are at http://www.ojjdp.gov/grants/solicitations/FY2014/StateAssistance.pdf funding opportunity. OJJDP’s Coordinated Assistance for States project will provide states and communities with coordinated resources and training and technical assistance to assist in planning, establishing, operating, coordinating, and assessing delinquency prevention, intervention, and juvenile justice systems improvement projects.

Applications are due by July 3, 2014. Resources for the programs are available at FAQs, http://www.ojjdp.gov/grants/solicitations/FY2014/StateAssistanceFAQs.pdf, for the funding opportunity and funding,http://www.ojjdp.gov/funding/funding.html page for more information about these solicitations and other current funding opportunities.

Unidentified father poses with his children.
Unidentified father poses with his children, who do not hide their joy at being with him.

This year’s Fatherhood Buzz: Celebrating Fathers will be held on June 14, 2014. Get involved and find out ways to bring the Buzz to your community by contacting the NRFC Fatherhood Buzz team by emailing info@fatherhood.gov, mailto:info@fatherhood.gov.

On June 11, 2014 a webcast entitled Changing the Conversation Beyond “Who Won” will feature a panel discussion on the topic: Examining New Strategies for the War on Poverty ICF International will host a live stream policy discussion that includes leading researchers, evaluators, and practitioners from key social and human service sectors examining the legacy and future of the Great Society “War on Poverty” programs. Speakers will include:

father child
A father enjoys an outdoor activity with his child, who happily, lovingly, interacts with him.

* Dr. Harry Holzer, Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University
* Joseph Jones, President and CEO, Center for Urban Families, Inc.
* Dr. Yvette Lamb, Research Director, ICF International
* Robert Doar, Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute
* Brent Orrell, Family and Economic Stability Expert, ICF International

View details and information on attending in person or via the webcast on the NRFC Events Calendar,https://www.fatherhood.gov/about-us/events/webcast-changing-conversation-beyond-who-won-panel-examining-new-strategies-war.

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A father shares an interactive play date with his son, demonstrating that love takes varied forms.

Take part in a free SSRC Webinar: Paternal Incarceration and Child Wellbeing. On
June 12, 2014 from 2:00-3:00 PM EDT, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) will host Paternal Incarceration and Child Wellbeing, a Webinar featuring our current Emerging Scholar, Dr. Kristin Turney. More than 2.6 million children have an incarcerated parent, most of them for nonviolent offenses.

Dr. Turney will discuss collateral consequences of paternal incarceration, including findings from two ongoing research projects that examine the relationship between paternal incarceration and harm to children’s well-being. Dr. Turney will explain why paternal incarceration is an important dimension when exploring inequality among children. Dr. Joyce Arditti, professor of Human Development at Virginia Tech, will join

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A father shares a tender moment with his son, who relishes his one-on-one time with dad.

the discussion. Find more details, including how to register, http://1.usa.gov/1jkmcAL, on the NRFC Events Calendar,http://1.usa.gov/1jkmcAL. For more information email info@fatherhood.gov,mailto:info@fatherhood.gov or call 1-877-4DAD411 Tel:1-877-4323411, [1-877-432-2411,Tel:1-877-4323411].  Share your suggestions to help other dads take time to spend with their children.

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. –OnPointPress.net. 

NBA Finals feature great players, role model fathers

Miami Heat players (l - r) Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade stand during the Pledge of Allegiance with their children prior to a home game.

Miami Heat players (l – r) Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade stand during the Pledge of Allegiance with their children prior to a home game.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The NBA Finals are tied 1 – 1 as the series heads to Miami for the pivotal game 3. The star players in this series have garnered a great deal of praise for their play en route to the championship. As Father’s Day approaches, this writer wants to acknowledge the excellence these players have also displayed in raising their children.

LeBron James has been public with his affection for his sons, LeBron Jr. (r) and Bryce (l) , including them in commercials and featuring them in social media consistently.

LeBron James has been public with his affection for his sons, LeBron Jr. (r) and Bryce (l) , including them in commercials and featuring them in social media consistently.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are not only known for their excellence on the court, but for how frequently they share, show, and discuss their children. James has had his sons LeBron, Jr. and Bryce, featured prominently on his social media accounts as well as featured in commercials with him. James has made it clear that his father’s absence in his life motivates him. James, sharing on Instagram, said: “Like, Wow, Dad, you know what, I don’t know you, I have no idea who you are, but because of you is part of the reason I am [the person I am] today.”

Tim Duncan sits on the bench before game 1 of this year's NBA Finals with daughter Sydney and son

Tim Duncan sits on the bench before game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals with daughter Sydney and son Draven.

The Spurs are not lead by a public star who is featured in many commercials, rather, Tim Duncan is known for his stoic demeanor and exceptional basketball skills. Though Duncan keeps much more of his life private than James does, he also exhibits a tight bond with his children Sydney and Draven. Duncan has not made many public statements about his personal life, but he makes it clear that he wants to have his children around him whenever possible.

Dwyane Wade with his two oldest sons, Zaire (l) and Zion (r).

Dwyane Wade with his two oldest sons, Zaire (l) and Zion (r).

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade can echo Duncan’s sentiments for privacy after a marriage ends as Wade went through a very publicized custody battle with his ex-wife and mother of his two sons Zaire and Zion. Wade was awarded full custody of his sons in 2011 and stated after hearing the news: “For me, it shows a lot of people that you need to fight to be in your kids’ lives sometimes.” Wade recently had a third son, Xavier, in 2013, and maintains that fatherhood is the most important part of his life.

A photograph of Ginobili holding his younger twins Dante and Nicola.

A photograph of Ginobili holding his younger twins Dante and Nicola.

Meanwhile in San Antonio, Manu Ginobili has had a recent addition to his family. Shortly after the first game in this year’s playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, Ginobili’s wife gave birth to the couple’s third son, Luca. Ginobili did not have much time to rest after the birth, heading directly to practice from the hospital. He seemed moved by the experience, sharing with reporters: “I think the baby thing is very unique…When I saw the head for the first time, it’s hard to contain tears and stuff. It’s an incredible moment.” Ginobili is now a father of three sons, with Luca joining twins Dante and Nicola.

The San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich (l) is viewed in a patriarchal role for the organization. The same can be said for the Heat organization and Pat Riley (r).

The San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich (l) is viewed in a patriarchal role by the organization. The same can be said for the Heat organization and Pat Riley (r).

These are just a few of the great fathers in the NBA and in professional sports. It seems as if the NBA organizations that made it to the Finals have gone to great lengths to create a family-like atmosphere that encompasses some wonderful role models. The patriarchal figures for each organization, Pat Riley for the Heat and Gregg Popovich for the Spurs, appear to emphasize strength of character as much as they preach about strength of body. As Father’s Day nears, let us recognize the positive examples of fatherhood being put forth during the NBA Finals this year.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.