Former Knick, NBA star, Anthony Mason, remembered fondly in death

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Saturday morning February 28, word spread about the passing of former NBA player Anthony Mason, weeks after he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent several surgeries. During his NBA career, Mason, 48, connected with fans, teammates, and competitors alike using a blend of power and agility in a stout 6’7 ‘ frame.

The versatile and rugged forward made his name as part of the New York Knicks in a career that spanned 13 years, starting in 1993. During his five seasons with the Knicks, Mason played alongside Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley and Derek Harper, making it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing, who is an assistant head coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, shared a statement on Saturday, reflecting on the feeling of sadness he feels as he mourns the death of his former teammate. Ewing said:
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Mason attended high school in Queens, New York so it was fitting that the Knicks would provide him with the opportunity to become a star. Pat Riley was the head coach of the Knicks at the time and would later sign Mason with the Miami Heat where Mason made his only All-Star appearance in 2001. Riley’s statement on Mason’s death was profound:

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

“News like this is not only sad, but it’s tragic. Anthony Mason was a very young man with a great family and friends. To lose him so quickly during his journey, especially to those of us that knew him, hurts. We had a great season in Miami experiencing Anthony as an All-Star with the HEAT, and I also had the privilege of coaching him for four years in New York, where he helped take us to the brink of a championship. There were so many great moments that we shared that I will never forget. Our prayers and sympathies are with his family. May God bless his soul,” Riley said.

The NBA honored Mason’s death and the Knicks held a moment of silence at Madison Square Garden before their game against the Raptors. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement outlining Mason’s character and passion for the game:

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

“Anthony Mason exemplified perseverance for all players fighting for their chance in the NBA. With a gritty style of play and a distinctive skill set, he blossomed from a third round draft pick into a Sixth Man Award winner, All-NBA selection and, at age 34, an All-Star. NBA fans and players around the league admired the tenacity on defense and playmaking on offense. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Mason family during this difficult time,” Silver’s statement read.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as the Mason family mourns. Mason’s sons, Antoine and Anthony Mason, Jr., both played basketball in college. Mason, Jr. played at St. John’s University in 2010 while Antoine is currently enrolled at Auburn University. Mason, Jr. released a statement on behalf of the family which read:
“First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciated it.

Mason's sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father's footsteps as basketball players in their  own rights.

Mason’s sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father’s footsteps as basketball players in their own rights.

“Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother..but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father — Big Mase — put up an incredible fight dealing with a severe heart issues. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll always be with us.

“I ask at this time that you respect our family’s privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn.”

Peace and blessings go out to the Mason family, friends and legion of fans who remember Mason’s hard work and fierce style of play that made him a joy to watch on the court..–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

African Diaspora Int’l Film Festival celebrates Black History Month

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New York, February 27, 2015:– The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is pleased to announce the Celebrating Black History Month film series at Teachers College, Columbia University from February 27 to March 1. The film series has an international spin that puts the notion of Black History month in the perspective of a quest to critically understand what the Black human experience has been and is in different parts of the world.

A selection of ten films from eight countries will be part of the ADIFF Celebrating Black History Month film series. The program will feature several documentaries about the Black experience in the United States. Stubborn as a Mule by Miller Bargerton, Jr. and Arcelious J. Daniels, an internationally award winning film that presents an eye opening depiction of lesser known historical facts and contemporary commentary regarding the call for reparations for African-Americans. In the process, the film disseminates USA black history that is not taught in most educational systems. Spies of Mississippi by Dawn Porter is an explosive documentary based on a book by the same name that tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy during the Civil Rights Movement.

Linking the US and Africa is the very popular documentary Bound: Africans vs African-Americans by Peres Owino, about the tensions between these two groups and winner of ADIFF 2014’s Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color. The screening of this hard-hitting documentary – that walks us through the corridors of African colonialism and African American enslavement – will be followed by a conversation with Director Peres Owino.

Three historic epic dramas that explore the fight for liberation by colonized and enslaved Africans are in the program: Ninga Queen of Angola by Sergio Graciano about a 17th century Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism, Tula, The Revolt by Jeroen Leinders, a film set in Curaçao in the Caribbean during slavery times and Sergio Giral’s classic Cuban drama Maluala, about the Maroons – the communities of escaped enslaved Africans in the 19th century.

Four documentaries complete the series: The program African Leaders is comprised of two documentaries that offer a portrait of two leaders of the Pan-African Liberation Movement: Thomas Sankara from Burkina Faso and Amilcar Cabral from Cape Verde directed by Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Ana Ramos Lisboa respectively. The Story of Lovers Rock by Menelik Shabbaz is a musical documentary about Lovers Rock, often dubbed ‘romantic reggae,’ a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Denying Brazil by Joel Zito Araujo is a documentary that explores the history of the stereotypical representation of Black characters on Brazilian TV and the negative impact of these stereotypes on the Afro-Brazilian identity formation.

For more information about the Celebrating Black History Month film series, to receive screeners and high resolution images please contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at (212) 864-1760/ fax (212) 316-6020 or e-mail pr@nyadiff.org. Festival web site: www.nyadiff.org. The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.–OnPointPress.net.

 

 

Veteran Journalist Dori J. Maynard, NABJ icon of diversity, inclusion, has died

Dori Maynard, icon, pioneer and champion of diversity and inclusion, died at the age of 56.

Dori Maynard, icon, pioneer and champion of diversity and inclusion, has died at the age of 56.

(February 26, 2015) –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Dori J. Maynard, late president of The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Maynard died at her home in Oakland, California on Tuesday, February 24. She was 56 years old.

Earlier in her career Ms. Maynard was a reporter at the The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger, and the Detroit Free Press. She had led the institute since 2001. The institute originally named the Institute for Journalism Education was later renamed to honor Maynard’s late father Robert in 1993. Maynard’s stepmother the late Nancy Hicks Maynard was the institute’s first president.

Diversity icon Dori Maynard has died.

Diversity icon Dori Maynard has died.

The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education has continued over the years to fulfill its mission of training journalists and news managers who work to provide thoughtful and inclusive coverage of the communities they serve, create content which embraces the diversity of American society, and serve as a watchdog agency holding the media accountable for the accuracy and fairness of its reporting. It has excelled at doing so with Dori Maynard as the institute’s guiding force.

“Dori fought to ensure that the journalists and newsroom managers responsible for coverage looked like the communities they are responsible for covering,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “Dori knew that if newsrooms represented the society then journalists would tell stories which are truthful, authentic, and compassionate.”

Maynard’s journalistic acumen and body of work earned her the opportunity to be a part of Harvard University’s prestigious Nieman Fellowship program, a highly selective program allowing journalists to spend a year at Harvard undertaking intensive individualized training and to receive leadership development training. Her selection for the program in 1993 was noteworthy, because it made Maynard and her father, the first father-daughter duo to complete the fellowship.

“Dori was an incredible journalist, and an incredible leader. She was a fierce advocate who was committed to the cause of promoting exceptional journalism at the hands of exceptional talent. Her fierce determination, her focus, her vision, her candor will surely be missed. The journalism community is all the better thanks to Dori’s tremendous contributions. She will be missed,” Butler added.

NABJ offers its sincere condolences to Dori’s family and friends, and to the staff of the Maynard Institute.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.–OnPointPress.net.

Brooklyn honors set for professionals who make a difference

Councilman Robert Cornegy of Brooklyn's District 36.

City Councilman Robert Cornegy of Brooklyn’s District 36 will co-host the event.

Brooklyn, NY, February 23, 2015 – On Tuesday, February 24, City Councilman Robert E. Cornegy and BRIC TV Producer Fred Brown will host “Brooklyn’s Best Honors.” Sponsored by the office of Brooklyn Borough President, Our Time Press and Urban ID Media, the festive affair will take place at Amarachi Prime, 189 Bridge Street Brooklyn, NY.

The event will include a live performance showcase from singer/songwriter Darryl Copeland and friends. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Safe Horizon’s Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center, which provides an essential community response to New York City’s most vulnerable victims of violence and abuse by giving child victims the foundation they need to move from crisis to confidence.

Principal Celese Douglas-Wheeler is one of the honorees.

School Principal Celeste Douglas-Wheeler is one of the honorees.

The quarterly event, which salutes Brooklyn residents while highlighting local business establishments that add richly to the fabric and well-being of Brooklyn, salutes exceptional individuals in the areas of business, civic service, arts & entertainment. These are everyday leaders whose selfless efforts continue to shape and redefine the communities they live and work in. The 2015 honorees are art curator Richard Beavers; educator Celeste Douglas-Wheeler and entrepreneur Morgan Munsey.

Richard Beavers is a seasoned entrepreneur, art curator and owner of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s House of Art Gallery.

“I’ve always had confidence that I could be anything/accomplish whatever I set my mind to do,” Beavers reflects. Those accomplishments include a successful career as a financial analyst and human resources representative for MTV; art publisher; small business owner and respected father, husband and community leader.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office is a co-sponsor of the event.

As a child, Morgan Munsey enjoyed visiting his family in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. A preservation architect by trade, Morgan fell in love with the neighborhood’s housing stock and beauty.

“I love history and classic architecture. I also love all things Victorian and since Bedford-Stuyvesant has the biggest collection in New York State of Victorian architecture, I would say my neighborhood inspires me,” he said.

An active participant in the preservation of New York’s historic neighborhoods, Morgan is one of Halstead Realty’s leading agents and one of the founders of its Bedford-Stuyvesant office. “I was always looking for houses to restore for friends,” Munsey recounts. “For years I was a free broker and then I had the bright idea to get paid for connecting people with houses.”

Principal Celeste Douglas-Wheeler was born and raised in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn Technical High School, did her undergrad studies at Howard University and graduate work at New York University. Her first teaching assignment took place at I.S. 111 in Bushwick. She later taught seventh and eighth grade at M.S. 442, where she excelled as a teacher, leader, staff developer and team liaison and was later recruited into the Leadership Academy.

Upon completion of her training, she was assigned as Principal of M.S. 57 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, where she successfully turned the failing school into an art-focused academy. Under her leadership, the school has received over $620,000 in grant funds and has successfully mounted five student musicals.

“Bed-Stuy deserves and needs educators who go above and beyond to ensure that all students learn,” stated Principal Douglas-Wheeler.

Amarachi Prime captures the diversity of the flourishing African and Caribbean cultures in the United States and delivers an indelible dining experience. Brooklyn’s Best Honors is an Urban ID Media production. For additional information, call (718) 399-7016 or (917) 714-8998–OnPointPress.net.

Panel discussion will tackle diversity in STEM careers, guide for parents

STEM

New York, February 19, 2015: On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, during a 9:00 a.m. reception and 10:00 a.m. panel  discussion, STEM careers will be the topic on the lips of guests at the Elebash Recital Hall at The Graduate Center, located at 365 Fifth Avenue, 34th Street and 5th Ave.

The panel discussion is being hosted by the New York Urban League to commemorate the release of the Parent’s Guide to STEM. The discussion with expert panelists will feature opportunities for the audience to join the conversation to discuss how the corporate and public sector can prepare students for careers in a new economy.

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The panel will be moderated by Ben Chapman, education reporter of the  New York Daily News. Panelists and speakers include Bill Holiber, president and CEO of the  Daily News and NYUL Board Chairman; Commissioner Bill Chong of the Department of Youth and Community Development’ Arva Rice, president and CEO of the New York Urban League; Jay Hershenson, senior vice president of CUNY; Jim Gordon, group VP of corporate brand and reputation for Time Warner Cable; Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO for Partnership for NYC and Kimberley Downer who is a parent of NYUL’s NEXT Academy students.

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The goal of the Parent’s Guide to STEM is to help dispel common myths, connects STEM to everyday life, and provide a pathway for exploration of these fields. The target audience for this guide is caregivers with middle or high school students, who are not yet familiar with the growing career fields influenced by STEM.

The guide was published by the New York Urban League in partnership with The Daily News, US News & World Report, The City University of New York, the NYC Department of Education, the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development. It was made possible with the support of Time Warner Cable, Henry Luce Foundation, Google/Tide Foundation, News Corp, L’Oreal USA and NYC Council Member Inez E. Dickens.

To confirm your attendance to the event, rsvp@nyul.org or call 212-926-8000.-OnPointPress.net.

 

 

Fatherhood group highlights mental illness in timely webinar

Father interacts with his son.

An African-American father interacts lovingly with his son.

Washington DC., February 17, 2015: On Wednesday, February 18, from 12:30-2:00 p.m., the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) will host a webinar  to address mental illness.

This NRFC webinar will focus on ways in which fatherhood programs can talk with fathers about mental health issues. Specifically, we will provide tips on helping fathers identify and address mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) issues, talk about ways to address misperceptions about “mental illness,” and look at strategies to encourage prevention, resilience, and recovery.

We all know stress. Anxiety over a test in school. Worrying about paying a bill on time. Concern that something isn’t going right. Learning healthy ways to manage stress, for adults and for children, is key in maintaining a healthy physical and mental balance.

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) shows ways to work with children to manage every day stress, recognize signs and find resources for adults with more serious mental health issues, and understand the distinctions of toxic stress and its impact on children and communities.

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.

For details, including registration information, visit the NRFC Events Calendar, email info@fatherhood.gov or call 1-877-4DAD411 [1-877-432-2411].–OnPointPress.net.

NBA All-Star Weekend set to torture long-suffering New York basketball fans

New York will be center stage as the best NBA players participate in several events for All-Star Weekend 2015.

New York will be center stage as the best NBA players participate in several events for All-Star Weekend 2015.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

1976 was the year of the bicentennial celebration of America’s independence, Sugar Ray Leonard and Bruce Jenner were celebrated for winning their gold medals in the 1976 Olympics, and the NBA and ABA merged, uniting the best basketball players in one league. 1976 also happens to be the last year a professional basketball team won a championship in New York.

"Dr. J" Julius Erving led the NY Nets past the Denver Nuggets for the last ABA championship in 1976.

“Dr. J” Julius Erving led the NY Nets past the Denver Nuggets for the last ABA championship in 1976.

Julius Erving led the New York Nets, based in Long Island, to an upset victory over David Thompson and the Denver Nuggets. 29 years later, the NBA’s best players will take center stage in New York, with events taking place at both Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden.

Erving (l) and David Thompson (r) not only went head-to-head in the 1976 ABA Finals but also the inaugural slam dunk competition as well. Dr, J was victorious on both occasions.

Erving (l) and David Thompson (r) not only went head-to-head in the 1976 ABA Finals but also the inaugural slam dunk competition as well. Dr, J was victorious on both occasions.

Friday and Saturday will be highlighted by the Celebrity Basketball game and a newly formatted Rising Stars challenge that will pit first and second year players from the US against international players. 1976 was also the year of the inaugural slam dunk competition, won by “Dr. J” Julius Erving. Saturday, will also feature the Slam Dunk competition, as well as the Skills Challenge, and a star-studded 3-point shootout.

The Eastern Conference starters that were voted for Sunday's game. (l - r) Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, John Wall, and Kyle Lowry.

The Eastern Conference starters that were voted for Sunday’s game. (l – r) Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, John Wall, and Kyle Lowry.

The Friday and Saturday events scheduled for the Barclays Center will surely be entertaining, Sunday’s All-Star game at MSG should be intriguing. LeBron James will headline an Eastern squad that will feature four Atlanta Hawks and the lone New York representative in Carmelo Anthony.

Steph Curry (l) and James Harden (r) are top MVP candidates this season and will compete in the 3-point shootout while starting together in the backcourt  for Sunday's All-Star game.

Steph Curry (l) and James Harden (r) are top MVP candidates this season and will compete in the 3-point shootout while starting together in the backcourt for Sunday’s All-Star game.

The Western squad will be headlined by this season’s MVP candidates Steph Curry and James Harden. The West will be the favorite in the matchup as their team also includes the best duo in the NBA in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant as well as talented big men in LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, and DeMarcus Cousins.

The last time the Knicks went to the NBA Finals was the year after New York hosted the 1998 All-Star game. Larry Johnson's 4-point play against the Indiana Pacers was perhaps the most memorable  shot on that Finals run.

The last time the Knicks went to the NBA Finals was the year after New York hosted the 1998 All-Star game. Larry Johnson’s 4-point play against the Indiana Pacers was perhaps the most memorable shot on that Finals run.

While NBA fans will have the opportunity to enjoy the splendor of New York, weather permitting, and marvel at the best players the league has to offer, Knicks and Nets fans will have to return to a season where both teams have been disappointments. But who knows? The last time New York hosted the NBA All-Star game was 1998 then the Knicks went to the Finals the following year. So there’s a little hope for New York basketball fans.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twiiter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.