Shaquille O’Neal Earns Doctorate Degree, Shares Views on Education

This spring Shaquille O’Neal earned his doctorate degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership from Barry University the old fashioned way: by spending his days in a library instead of on a basketball court. No honorary degree for this guy!

“I’m as proud of this as anything I have accomplished in my life,” O’Neal wrote in an article for USA Today.

Wait, wait, wait. Is he really saying that earning a little piece of paper is as important to him as his career in the NBA? What would make someone think that way?

“I was fortunate to have a mother who understood the value of education, even as she saw me join the NBA,” he continued. “…My mom knew that education not only would help me down the road, it also would make me a better person.”

O’Neal was studying for his bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University when he was drafted into the NBA. He was in his junior year and only had a few more classes to take before he would have his bachelor’s degree. Instead of giving up on his education and focusing only on his career in the NBA, he took correspondence classes in order to earn his degree. Read the rest of this entry »

High School Chant Gets Blown Out of Proportion

Since when does a group of high school students chanting “USA! USA!” during a school sporting event earn national media coverage? The answer seems to be “since now.”

During a recent high school basketball state playoff game in San Antonio, TX, a group of high school students who attend Alamo Heights High School began chanting the symbolic letters after their school’s team beat their rival, Edison High.

The seemingly-innocent chant has gained a lot of attention from news sources such as MSNBC, USA Today, and The Huffington Post, because it supposedly intersects race, sports, and politics. You see, the students at Alamo Heights are mostly white, but the students who attend Edison High are mostly Hispanic. Does it make a little more sense now?

When the students started chanting, Andrew Brewer, the head coach of the basketball team, quickly silenced them; the chanting only lasted about five seconds. The school superintendent, Kevin Brown, apologized for the students’ behavior and said that they would not be allowed to attend the state semifinal games as a punishment. However, these actions were not enough to please Gil Garza. Garza made a complaint to the governing body of Texas public schools three days after the event.

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Should Home-Schooled Students Be Allowed to Play Sports at Public Schools?

two boys playing soccerPatrick Foss is a typical high school student. He plays soccer, has friends, and hopes to attend the University of Virginia after he graduates from high school. However, there is one difference between Foss and his neighbor, another young athlete who plays for his high school’s basketball team: Foss can’t play for a high school team because he is home-schooled.

“My parents pay the same exact taxes as my next-door neighbor who plays varsity sports,” Foss said. “I just want to be part of the community. You shouldn’t have to pick between athletics and academics.”

Foss says he would like to try out for the kicker position on Freedom High School’s football team. Sadly for Foss, that has not been an option in the past. However, a new bill is sitting before the House of Delegates in Virginia’s General Assembly that could change this fact. If it passes, this bill would be a victory for home-schooling advocates who want to allow their students more access to extracurricular activities at local public schools.

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Kobe Bryant’s Education Background

basketball player Kobe Bean BryantKobe Bean Bryant was born August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. Joe Bryant is a former Philadelphia 76ers player and Los Angeles Sparks head coach. Bryant is the youngest of three children and his parents only son. Bryant spent much of his childhood in Italy. The family moved there for his father’s basketball career. Bryant attended high in the United States. He completed High School at Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia Suburb of Lower Merion.

Bryant’s SAT score of 1080 would have enabled him to receive a basketball scholarship to multiple colleges. However, at the age of seventeen, Bryant went directly to the NBA. He was only the sixth player in NBA history to go directly from high school to the pros. He would have chosen Duke University had he decided to go to college first.

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Shaquille O’Neal’s Education Background

Shaquille Rashaun O’NealShaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972. O’Neal’s home town is Newark, New Jersey. While growing up in New Jersey, O’Neal spent much of his time at the Boys and Girls Club of America. He later reported that the Boys and Girls Club gave him a safe place to play and it kept him off the street.

The family moved often and ended up in Texas. O’Neal attended Fulda American High School in San Antonio, Texas for two years. O’Neal finished his junior and senior year at Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio. There, O’Neal led his basketball team to a 68-1 record in his two years. O’Neal also helped the high school team win a state championship during his senior year.

After high school, O’Neal studied business at Louisiana State University. O’Neal also played basketball for LSU. As a college basketball player, O’Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time Southeastern Conference player of the year, and he received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men’s basketball player of the year in 1991. O’Neal did not complete his degree at LSU as he left early to pursue his NBA career. O’Neal did return to LSU in 2000 to complete his Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. O’Neal was eventually inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame.

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Nick Lachey Writes Song For College Basketball

Nick Lachey doesn’t just like basketball, he loves basketball. In fact, he loves it so much that he showed his endearment by writing a song.

“This is pretty much the dream scenario for me,” Lachey said. “Those are kind of my two passions, sports and music. So to be able to be able to combine them in one project is pretty cool.”

The former 98 Degrees member and reality-show star wrote and performed “Last One Standing.” The song is to be played at the Big East Conference on Saturday night during ESPN’s broadcast of the 2011 men’s basketball championship. The conference anthem is to be played during select conference programming.

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LeBron James’ Educational History and Basketball Future

LeBron James, Number 23 for the Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James, Number 23 for the Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James announced tonight that he is joining the Miami Heat. This is a huge issue for sports fans, and some are even calling the event “The Decision.”

We at would like to provide a little background information of this basketball superstar.

James was born December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio. He attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Ohio. James became a starter during his freshman year and averaged 21 points and 6.3 rebounds that year. He was named “Mr. Basketball” of Ohio as a sophomore, the youngest player to receive this honor. During his junior year, James petitioned the NBA to be drafted, but he was denied.

However, this did not stop NBA stars such as Shaquille O’Neal from attending James’ high school basketball games, which were televised nationally on ESPN2. It was at this point that most people started referring to him as “King James.”

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Basketball Players Leaving High School Early

high schoolI stumbled across a story on ESPN about an emerging trend in basketball: High school players enrolling in college early.

Now, before we go bemoaning the priorities of the youth of today, it’s worth noting that the young men profiled in ESPN’s story seem to be strongly focused on academics.

But every time I hear about athletes leaving college early to go to the pros – or now, high school to go to college – I think about an antecdote I heard about Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs.

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The NCAA Final Four

ncaa logoWell, the NCAA tournament has seen many upsets as it dwindled from 64 teams to the Final Four. The Final Four teams are Michigan State, Butler, West Virginia, and Duke.

Michigan State, while a very good team, is still a surprising member of the Final Four. The team’s best player, point guard Kalin Lucas, tore his Achilles tendon earlier this season, seemingly ending their chances for a tournament run. However, the Spartans have pulled it together and are now in the Final Four.

Butler is the most “Cinderella” team left standing. Butler started as a five seed, and comes from a mid-major conference, but has been a consistently good basketball team over the last few tournaments.

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“Sweet Sixteen” Teams Move on in NCAA Tournament

ncaa logoWell, the first round of the NCAA tournament is over. Now it’s time for the Sweet Sixteen.

Here are the teams who made it into the second round:

1.    Syracuse
2.    Ohio State
3.    Kansas State
4.    Northern Iowa
5.    Michigan State

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