Blogs: Hoophead

NBPA in South Africa: Sharing the Court with NBA Stars

  • Hoophead
  • Jason Murphy
  • August 26, 2015, 4:38 PM

nbpa south africa jason murphy

Basketball is more than a game.

That was the focus of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation’s weeklong journey through South Africa in July. Three student-athletes joined NBA stars like Chris Paul and the Gasol brothers for a community service trip to positively change the lives of kids on and off the court. In a three-part series for SIKIDS.com, the lucky student-athletes share their experiences as part of the trip. They detail how they used the game they love to connect with the children of South Africa, how touring the country inspired them, and why bringing the NBA to Africa is a game-changing move.

The final entry comes from 14-year-old Marriotsville, Maryland, native Jason Murphy, who plays center and spearheads an annual backpack drive for his local Boys and Girls Club. Jason looks back at the All-Star game that concluded this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

When the email arrived selecting me as a winner of the National Basketball Players Association’s contest inviting student-athletes to South Africa, I was very excited. I would be going to the first NBA basketball game on the continent of Africa. I was also going to meet All-Star Chris Paul — who is the Players Association president and one of my favorite players — along with numerous other players. That was enough to make the trip awesome. But there was so much more, that I didn’t even consider. Ultimately, the trip exceeded my expectations in every manner.
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NBPA in South Africa: Giving Kids Opportunities to Play and Learn

  • Hoophead
  • Sophie L. Bernstein
  • August 25, 2015, 4:00 PM

nbpa south africa sophie bernstein

Basketball is more than a game.

That was the focus of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation’s weeklong journey through South Africa in July. Three student-athletes joined NBA stars like Chris Paul and the Gasol brothers for a community service trip to positively change the lives of kids on and off the court. In a three-part series for SIKIDS.com, the lucky student-athletes share their experiences as part of the trip. They detail how they used the game they love to connect with the children of South Africa, how touring the country inspired them, and why bringing the NBA to Africa is a game-changing move.

The second entry comes 15-year-old Sophie Bernstein of St. Louis, Missouri. The forward (and varsity swimmer) who contributes her time to VolunTEENnation, a resource tool that helps students can find service opportunities in their communities, recaps her participation in two court dedication ceremonies during the trip. Each event showed her just how big of an impact basketball can make across the world.

A hoop and a basketball can transcend borders and cultures. This summer, I had an experience that taught me that first hand. I had the incredible opportunity to travel across the globe to South Africa with NBA players and coaches to promote community service and basketball. The trip showed me the power of a basketball — it can be used to promote education, teamwork, and sportsmanship.  
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NBPA in South Africa: Experience of a Lifetime

  • Hoophead
  • Zaniya Lewis
  • August 24, 2015, 5:01 PM

nbpa south africa zaniya lewis

Basketball is more than a game.

That was the focus of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation’s weeklong journey through South Africa in July. Three student-athletes joined NBA stars like Chris Paul and the Gasol brothers for a community service trip to positively change the lives of kids on and off the court. In a three-part series for SIKIDS.com, the lucky student-athletes share their experiences as part of the trip. They detail how they used the game they love to connect with the children of South Africa, how touring the country inspired them, and why bringing the NBA to Africa is a game-changing move.

The first entry comes Zaniya Lewis of Edgewater Park, New Jersey. The 17-year-old is a point guard and co-founder of The Kindness Project (a community service club that facilitates school-wide service activities). She gives us the rundown of all the exciting sights that she and her fellow student-athletes experienced.

nbpa south africa cradle of humankind

July 28 — Our first sightseeing trip was to the Cradle of Humankind. It’s a sprawling site in Johannesburg where one of the earliest human-like fossils was discovered.  We learned about the development of humans and our ancestors during our time there. We also went into the Sterkfontein Caves, in the Cradle of Humankind, which are made of limestone. We saw crystals in the caves as well. Exploring the caves was really long, but fun. We had to get low to the ground to reach different parts, but I had a blast.  
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Becky Hammon Coaches Spurs to Summer League Championship

  • Hoophead
  • Shehan Jeyarajah
  • July 21, 2015, 4:32 PM

becky hammon spurs lvsl championship

Last August, former WNBA star Becky Hammon made history as the first woman to become a full-time assistant coach in the NBA.

Earlier this month, she was named the first woman to ever coach an NBA summer league team.

And on Monday, Hammon led the summer league San Antonio Spurs to a 93-90 win over Phoenix to capture to the third ever Las Vegas Summer League title.

The win was the first for the Spurs and the first time a women’s coach had led an NBA team to a championship at any level.

“You never know what your journey has in store,” Hammon told Sports Illustrated. “You just work hard and keep your nose to the grind. You do things the right way, you treat people the right way and good things happen.”
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2015 NBA Off-Season: Old Faces in New Places

  • Hoophead
  • Shehan Jeyarajah
  • July 15, 2015, 12:30 PM

2015 nba free agency

After a wild free agency period, players were officially allowed to sign with new teams last week. As usual, many clubs were able to re-sign their free agents. Most notably, the Clippers retained big man DeAndre Jordan and Chicago held onto shooting guard Jimmy Butler. 

But there were a few of moves that could change the entire NBA landscape. Here’s a look at the familiar faces who are now in new places. 
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2015 NBA Draft: Winners of the Draft

  • Hoophead
  • Shehan Jeyarajah
  • June 26, 2015, 1:39 PM

2015 nba draft winners

The 2015 NBA Draft took place on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In all, 60 different players heard their name called and two dozen walked across the stage to shake hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. 

Now the anticipation is over and the real work begins. Each team hopes the new addition to its roster will be the missing piece to a championship puzzle. 

Here’s a look at the biggest winners of the draft. 
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2015 NBA Draft: Karl-Anthony Towns Goes First Overall

  • Hoophead
  • Associated Press
  • June 26, 2015, 7:19 AM

karl-anthony towns timberwolves nba draft

NEW YORK (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns with the first pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.

The Timberwolves went for the freshman center in their first time owning the No. 1 pick. They can add him to a young roster featuring Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, who was picked first last year by Cleveland and later dealt to Minnesota in the Kevin Love trade.

"I'm going to go in right away and be as versatile as I can be," Towns said. "That's the one thing I want Timberwolves fans to know, is I'm coming with a winning attitude, and I want to win, I don't want individual success."
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