*Magic Johnson will again be part of professional basketball in Los Angeles.
The former Lakers great is part of a group buying the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, reports the Associated Press.
“We’re totally thrilled,” WNBA President Laurel Richie told The AP. “When Magic chooses to enter into a partnership with a WNBA team, that’s a great thing. He’s a legend within basketball. He’s very knowledgeable about the game. He’s a larger-than-life personality. He’s an extremely successful businessman. He cares about the community the way that the WNBA does.”
*Iyanla Vanzant will try to work her magic on troubled former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw in the next episode of her OWN series, “Iyanla: Fix My Life.”
Despite enormous talent and professional success, the retired pro basketball player continues to struggle with personal inner demons that in the past have caused her to snap, including a November 2012 arrest for shooting her girlfriend’s car and attacking it with a baseball bat.
In the episode, airing Saturday, August 17 at 9 p.m., Iyanla works with Chamique to confront her past, her anger and depression issues, her fear of abandonment and most importantly to heal her relationship with her mother, before an incident like the one in 2012 can occur again.
Chamique has decided to share her personal story with OWN viewers as part of her ongoing effort to raise awareness of mental health issues and the stigmas often attached.
Watch a sneak peek below:
Chamique Holdsclaw on Mourning Her Grandmother: “Everything Seemed Off Balance”
Iyanla travels to Atlanta to help retired WNBA superstar Chamique Holdsclaw confront the inner demons at the source of some troubling behavior, including a November 2012 incident in which she fired a gun at her girlfriend’s car, leading to her arrest. During their discussion, Chamique opens up to Iyanla about losing the most important person in her life, her grandmother. Find out why she says that loss threw her entire world off balance.
*Former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw pleaded guilty to assaulting her ex-girlfriend on Friday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The Olympic gold medalist was charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage in the first degree, two counts of criminal damage in the second degree and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Holdsclaw was arrested in November after smashing the windows of a Range Rover belonging to her ex-girlfriend, fellow WNBA player Jennifer Lacy. Holdsclaw reportedly smashed the driver’s side window, rear passenger’s window and the rear window before firing one shot into the vehicle.
No one was injured and Holdsclaw surrendered. She spent two days in jail before being released on a $100,000 bond. She had previously pleaded guilty in March, but entered her plea Friday as part of a plea deal.
Holdsclaw won’t serve any time in jail, but she was sentenced to three years’ probation and a $3,000 fine.
Holdsclaw played twelve seasons in the WNBA. In 2009, she and Lacy were teammates together on the Atlanta Dream.
(L-R) Chamique Holdsclaw #1 and Jennifer Lacy #21 of the Atlanta Dream pose during Media Day at Suwanee Sports Academy on May 18, 2009 in Suwanee, Georgia.
*New WNBA star Brittney Griner sat down with ESPN The Magazine for an in-depth interview – both in print and on video (click here to watch) – about her sexuality, being teased throughout her childhood, and her current hate tweets.
The Baylor University grad used to keep her Twitter and Instagram accounts private, approving each individual request. But eventually she realized there was no point in policing her own digital space when so many people could say whatever they wanted about her on social media. Now, if someone wants to insult her, so be it. “My followers are the best,” she says. “Usually they’re on somebody right away, and I’m like, ‘No, no, guys, stop — that’s exactly what the troll wants you to do.’”
As for coming out fully earlier this year, ”I am 100-percent happy,” she told the magazine’s Kate Fagan. “When I was at Baylor, I wasn’t fully happy because I couldn’t be all the way out. It feels so good saying it: I am a strong, black lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.”
She picks up her phone, scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, as she does routinely, to see what people are saying about her.
The hits come quickly: “You’re disgusting.” [Scroll.] “Ur a man.” [Scroll.] “What are you? #man? #ape?”
“Here’s one,” she says, rolling her eyes. “‘You have a penis.’” Satisfied that her troll chorus still cares, Griner puts away the phone. “Reading what people say makes me want to be me even more.”
The cyber-bullying is just an extension of the face-to-face taunts she dealt with growing up in Houston, the youngest of four kids raised by Ray and Sandra Griner. At home, Brittney was into everything: riding her go-kart; watching military shows with her dad, a Vietnam vet; sewing with her mom; chasing squirrels in the woods surrounding her home. But at school, nothing felt right. By sixth grade, she was gangly and long and feisty, and although she was too big to be backed into a corner or stuffed into a locker, her classmates found other ways to torment her. Every incident was a variation on a theme. A girl would come up and grope at her flat chest, calling to the other kids: “See? Nothing!” Then the instigator would turn to Brittney and say those familiar words: “What are you?” Humiliation would morph into anger, and Griner would push the girl.
When her teachers and parents asked what had happened, she mumbled answers that meant nothing. How could she verbalize what they were calling her? A lesbian, a dude, a freak, a thing? It was easier to accept the blame and the reputation for fighting that came with it. She was trying desperately to fit in, dressing like the other girls, dating boys, but she was a collage of mismatched pieces, built from images she thought others wanted to see.
Her parents, brother and two sisters had no idea of her pain. Her father worked in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and over the years he had brought home stuffed animals he won while patrolling carnivals; Brittney’s room was filled with fluffy bunnies and bears that absorbed her tears. What is wrong with me? Why am I here? Her mind wandered to dark places where she didn’t exist at all. She would hold the thought just long enough to consider the consequences: What point is suicide if I hurt my family, too?
She decided instead to find her place in the world. One day in middle school, she sat at the family computer, her fingers hovering over the keyboard as she glanced around to make sure she was alone. Then she typed the words “gay and lesbian” and watched as thousands of links flooded the screen. She clicked through the pages. “This is me,” she realized. “This is who I am.”
*Baylor University’s senior Brittney Griner is amazing. The newly selected WNBA number one draft pick has landed an endorsement deal with Nike, reports USA Today. Although details of the deal are being kept under wraps, Griner said, “It’s big-time, let’s just say that.” The new Phoenix Mercury star also made headlines last week when she came out of the closet with Sports Illustrated. “It wasn’t too difficult,” said Griner. “I wouldn’t say I was hiding or anything like that. I’ve always been open about who I am and my sexuality…If I can show that I’m out and I’m fine and everything’s OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way.”
*Wyclef Jean says he wants to convert weapons into music. So he’s taken the figure of speech quite literally and made himself a guitar shaped like an AK-47 ASSAULT RIFLE … and whipped it out on the streets of NYC. Dumb or Smart? Check out the video below. The musician not only explains the idea behind the musical weaponry … but actually lets the TMZ guy play, well actually, HOLD the assault guitar, while he and the founding Fugee sing along. It’s all good, y’all. Watch:
*Brittney Griner is basketball’s most talked about female athlete right now.
After leaving her college team with an impact so great, professional NBA coaches have considered recruiting her.
But she’s got a team now in the WNBA.
The Phoenix Mercury scooped up the Baylor center during the draft Monday night.
“It’s a dream come true. I’m like a little kid in Disney World the first time meeting all the characters,” she told the Associated Press. “Sitting at the table they said 15 seconds and my heart started beating so fast. I was grabbing the tablecloth underneath.”
Towering at an incredible 6-foot-8, the top scoring athlete has been named the top shot-blocker ever, stomping out male and female records with a total 748. She also had a record 18 dunks and 3,283 points.
It almost seems unfair.
After WNBA president Laurel Richie opened the draft with a few words of respect for those affected by the Boston bombing, she announced Brittney as the draft’s first pick.
“I’m ready to get there and ready to learn from (Diana Taurasi),” the new Mercury player said. “I got to play with her a little bit at USA Basketball. I’m ready to feed off her and give all I can to the Phoenix Mercury.”