Uncategorized

Catching up with former NHLer, Justin Papineau

papineau 3

Where were you when you got drafted?

I was in Buffalo, NY when I was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings

Did you think of yourself as a top prospect when you first entered the NHL?Papineau 4

I definitely thought of myself as a top prospect and paid my dues and eventually got a shot, but due to injuries was unfortunately hurt most of my career.

Did you prefer to play on power play or penalty kill?

I definitely loved playing on the power play as it was one of my strong points.

Biggest difference/similarity between German and Canadian hockey leagues you played in?

-The biggest difference is the speed and skill of the game as its mostly semi professional players.

-One of the similarities is the commitment and hard work.

Toughest teammate you’ve had?

Eric Cairns

Cairns

How much time did you put into face offs during practice?

I probably put 5-10 minutes depending on the practice, but definitely before every game.

Papineau 5Preferred jersey number to wear?

17

What was your go-to restaurant (that you can remember) while you were in Bridgeport, CT playing for the Sound Tigers?

It was a sports bar called Johnny Rockets I think.

Post hockey career, what have you spent most of your time doing?

After breaking my back and being forced to retire, I am a stay at home dad!

Anything in your professional career that you would have done differently?Papineau 1

As for my career, I wouldn’t change anything. I am where I am today because of it and despite all the injuries, the experiences I was able to live and the opportunities it gave me are priceless. Can truly say I have no regrets.

Prediction for 2017 Stanley Cup Championship?

Pittsburgh will win the cup

Two NHL organizations you played for (Devils, Islanders), both have a top 15 pick in the 1st round of the draft in 2017. What would be your advice for young talent first entering the league?

I would advise young players in today’s game to embrace the moment and take each game one at a time. It’s essential to watch, listen, and learn from experienced players. You can never have enough knowledge if the game and through your peers, you will learn and prosper as a player.

papineau 2

No Wyld

no-wyld-3

EA Sports Gaming Sound track includes-

NHL 15“Odyssey”
Madden 16“Odyssey”
FIFA 16“Let Me Know”
ea-sports
-How did the connection/collaborating with KAMAU start? Do you guys plan to work together on future projects as well?
We first met Kamau through our good friend Amir (rapper/producer Oddisee).  He and Kamau originally were working together on a few songs.  Kamau dug our style and we felt the same way about his music.  We co-produced ‘Jusfayu’ with him, and that had such a good reception we decided to do his whole EP together.  We’re working on more songs with him right now.
-Describe your social media platform? Which outlets do you use, and which one has the most success as far as music feedback and fan interaction?
We’re a bit shit at social media, but our two most used platforms would be Instagram and Snapchat.  Snapchat is amazing because it has an informal feel and you can very easily connect directly with fans.  We receive messages/videos from people every day and try to reply to as many as we can.
no-wyld-2-Tell us what it was like to get that original call from EA Sports to be featured on a soundtrack for one of their games, and now the ongoing relationship being featured on multiple games?
We had already had a song featured on Madden’15 by the time we were approached about the FIFA’16 sync.  While we were working on ‘Let Me Know’ one of our label A&Rs played an early demo for the music licensing people over at EA Sports and they loved it.  Pretty soon after that we were getting regular emails asking if the song was finished yet, as they wanted to use it for one of the leading FIFA’16 trailers. That was awesome – being fans of the series ourselves, and knowing how many people would play the game and hear our music.
-At what point was it, where you guys really needed to just focus on the music and turn to the help and expertise of bringing in a manager?
We’ve had a couple of managers in New Zealand but our manager Nigil who we work with now is amazing.  He’s from the US and has been in the industry for years as both a label and artist rep.  We aren’t from here, so it was important from the beginning (moving to the US) that we had someone representing us who knows how everything works.  
redbull-Approximate total number of Red Bulls consumed during the groups studio session for the Abstract EP?
Hahaha – tried to stick to 1 per day each but that often went out the window.  Over two weeks we probably drank a couple of pallets for sure. Let’s say 60?
no-wyld-5

What is No Wylds dream concert gig set up

1)Concert venue
A large stadium packed full.
2)Band/Bands performing during same show
Well opening for somebody like Kanye (or better yet having him as a surprise guest during our set) would be sick
3)Pre-show meal
Joe – No food for me before going onstage.  I just feel full and sluggish.
Brandon – Salad
Mo – I don’t really have one; I should probably start eating more
4)Car that you pull up to the venue in
Can’t go wrong with a big cushy black SUV
5)Introduction song choice
‘Power’ – Kanye West
no-wyld-4
-Name two things, that if you looked up and saw in the crowd, would be a distraction?
Joe – My parents or girlfriend, boobs
Mo – Beautiful girls distract me and seeing people lip syncing to lyrics- because when I see that they know the lyrics I feel pressure not to get it wrong
BrandonAbraham Lincoln’s ghost & Rick Sanchez
-The meaning behind the logo?
The logo represents the 3 of us in the group and is also a stylised ‘W’ for ‘Wyld’
-Greatest moment for the band so far..
Moving to the US and being able to work full time on our music.
no-wyld-1-When is the next stock of merchandise coming in?
We aren’t currently sure – check out our socials for any updates
-Have you spoken with any other bands from Columbia Records about a feature?
We have actually.  Nothing set in concrete but we tend to run into other acts at events and shows, and there’s always that discussion of “oh, we should do something together sometime”.
-Obviously the album, Ascension is the biggest piece to the puzzle right now, whats in store for the near future?
New music coming very soon.  We’re working on a full length project right now that is nearly finished.
-Was the band rewarded McDonald’s for life after the McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets Olympic Gold Medal Commercial aired “Odyssey” in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics?
Haha no unfortunately.  That would have been dope.
NO WYLD
http://www.nowyld.com

Jacksonville’s Finest- Savanna Venier

“There’s more to fitness than the perfect body; it’s about health, it’s about self-love, it’s about getting your life together.” ❤

savanna-3

Photographer- Tori Ray

College– Graduated from University of North Florida in Dec ’15
Major– Psychology

Step by Step with Savanna…

Fresh Jax– Instruct early morning Tabata (HIIT) Classes
TitanUp Fitness– Guide participants through the TUF workout of the day
Johnson and Johnson– Personal train and instruct a strength class
University of North Florida– Instruct Tabata and Indoor Cycling classes

savanna-5

Photographer- Tori Ray

Favorite type of setting for modeling background?

Indoors, cozy bedroom with white walls and a ton of natural light streaming in

Best compliment you’ve received from a client?

All I ever want to do is to inspire my clients to be the best they can be and prioritize their health, so when I get comments like “you’re such a huge inspiration for me” it is just the absolute best.

savanna-4

Photographer- Tori Ray

How did you get started with Denise Carol Models? What growth do you see in the agency?

A few years ago I began looking into modeling just as an extra side hustle, and I diligently researched every local agency I could find. Denise Carol Models seriously jumped out at me as the one I belonged to, and I have had nothing but great experiences with them. Ashley Luxenberg, the owner, is an angel. She is always looking out for her models first and foremost, and puts her heart and soul into that company. I hope to stick with them as long as I live in Jacksonville!

What is your goal as far as what you want your clients to get out of your sessions?

I go into every session with the mindset and intention to uplift, motivate, and improve the client’s wellbeing, and hopefully bring them one step closer to their personal fitness goals.

instagram-logoWhich social media outlet has the biggest impact on your career from a marketing perspective?

Oh my gosh, Instagram for sure. I tell people all the time how thankful I am to live during a time that Instagram is around. I don’t know what I’d do without it (besides maybe spend less time scrolling through my feed unproductively haha). But seriously, I have totally switched mindsets from just posting random pictures with no real purpose to using my Instagram as a marketing tool to help brand myself, be an inspiration for others, and hopefully gain more and more opportunities from it. I get a lot of crap from friends for not wanting to post pictures of them and I out at the bars anymore and for only putting up pictures of myself, and I confidently respond with, “Instagram is for my business, sorry, I’ll post you on Facebook if you want, though.” Oops, do I earn the bad friend award?

Favorite vacation spot?Italian flag.jpg

I’m going to California for the first time in two weeks (!!!) and I’m assuming that will become my new favorite spot ever. But Italy was pretty phenomenal, too.

Anyone or anything in particular that influenced you to become a personal trainer and a model?

My mother is the reason I am in the health and wellness industry (and I guess you could say the modeling industry, too, thanks to her good genes lol). But in all seriousness, she struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember due to Binge Eating Disorder, and once I was old enough to understand the psychological aspect of it all, I became fascinated with holistic wellness, where you treat the entire person, (mind, body, spirit), not just a symptom like “they’re fat because they just have an issue with self control or because they’re lazy.” Although I am already an NSCA-CPT, I’m really interested in helping women who struggle with eating disorders and body image issues and am currently being certified to be an Eating Psychology Coach so that I can do just that!

savanna-6

Photographer- Tori Ray

As far as modeling goes, I was the biggest performer as a kid. And when I wasn’t doing some sort of performance, my dad was snapping away pictures of me and having me pose. In high school I went through that phase where I thought being into the arts wasn’t “cool” so I dropped piano, dance, singing and acting for Cross Country instead. I think just as I continued to grow up I knew there was a part of me that was missing, and since I’m a little rusty with the musical instruments now-a-days, modeling sounded like the next best thing.

savanna-1

Photographer- Blake Cortes

One of your getaway spots to do yoga? 

LOL Alright so being honest, I work at a yoga studio (FreshJax) but hardly ever make time for yoga. Maybe once every week or two, but it’s just hard to get yourself to spend another hour doing yoga when you just spent two hours at the gym. I’m working on it though!

 

Any upcoming competitions?

Not anytime this year, but I’m hoping next year to do another! I’ve only done one so far, but it was a blast and I loved seeing what I could get my body to do with just a little motivation and discipline.

Sports background?

Benchwarmer for every sport you could possibly think of (except Cross Country because there’s no bench). hahaha I’m pretty killer at badminton though for whatever reason. I remember crushing everyone at it in PE and no one could believe I was good at something!

savanna-2

Photographer-Marc Mangra

Would you ever get into acting?

Part of me loves acting, and I took acting classes as a young teenager. I totally would if the opportunity arose, but I definitely prefer still pictures over videos of myself.

 

 

 

 SAVANNA SIDE NOTE:

When I’m not running around like a sweaty, wild animal teaching a bunch of classes, I train private clients at their homes or on the beach. I’m currently accepting private clients within the Jacksonville Beaches area and always am accepting online clients. My schedule is pretty packed so I love online training to provide clients with detailed, customized at-home or in-the-gym workouts tailored to meet their specific goals.

An Inside Look at iDevices and the newest product, Switch

An Inside Look at iDevices and the newest product, Switch
Shawn Monteith
CTO and VP of Engineering, iDevices

iDevices

iDevices

Accomplishments

iLounge.com named Switch as one of the CES 2015 Best of Show Award winners.

Switch- The iDevices Switch is the world’s first HomeKit-enabled plug.

Awarded Hartford Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in Connecticut” for 2015.

 

iDevices Switch

If iDevices Switch were on Shark Tank, how much do you think Mr. Wonderful would say your company/product is worth?

Switch retails for $50 which is very reasonable for consumers who are considering buying Home Automation products.

iDevices Switch

iDevices Switch

How long was your company working on the Switch for?

The iDevices Switch is the world’s first Apple HomeKit-enabled smart plug. You can use your smartphone to control things you plug into the Switch. In the most basic sense that usually means turning lamps, TVs, small appliances and other devices and gadgets on and off locally or remotely (over the internet).

In Jan of 2014 iDevices became one of the original Apple HomeKit (HK) partners. HK is a framework/standard that simplifies the current state of home automation. It’s a common language that smart devices from any manufacturer can understand and support. HomeKit also leverages Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice assistance, letting you control smart devices with just your voice. We’ve been developing and perfecting switch over the last 13 months.

How were you able to integrate Wifi and Bluetooth into this one device?

To date home automation has been fragmented and confusing to the consumer. Set-up is difficult, proprietary based systems, lack of standards, and cost of entry was expensive. Most home automation solutions are Hub ($100 to $200) and spoke based. The Hub acts as the interface between the device (i.e. thermostat) and the homeowners wireless access point (WAP).

Apple HomeKit (HK) eliminates the Hub, simplifies set-up, and is a de-facto standard. Eliminating the Hub reduced cost of entry significantly and set-up was simplified dramatically by automatically connecting and transferring WAP credentials (SSID/Network Key).

Switch supports both WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) RF technologies for two reasons; Local/Remote connectivity (WiFi) over the homeowners WAP and communication with low power BLE based devices.

Your personal favorite part of the Switch?

I love the fact that Switch can be controlled by Siri. “Turn off my switch”, turns off the power to whatever is plugged into Switch. It’s really exciting to see people’s reactions the first time they see this feature.

Who was the initial target market when creating this product?

Switch is a consumer-based product. I think the real value of home automation is what lies ahead. Switch will learn over time and gently make suggestions based on our habits. For instance if you read in bed every night at 10, Switch could automatically turn on the light just before you settle in to read.

Kitchen Thermometer- iDevices

Kitchen Thermometer- iDevices

iDevices Products

iGrill- iDevices

iGrill- iDevices

How much heat can the iGrill resist?

The iGrill temperature probes can withstand temperatures as high as 620°F for extreme grilling and smoking.  The iGrill measures temperatures between -22 and 572 degrees Fahrenheit.

Biggest competitor for iDevices?

Switch competition – Belkin WeMo

iShower- iDevices

iShower- iDevices

What is the key piece to making the iShower water resistant?

iShower is water resistant because of the industrial design which integrates gaskets around all openings. In addition the PC boards are conformal coated

Where are some of the places that you can find iDevices?

Switch will be in stores shortly. iGrill is in Lowes. You can also order products directly from our website.

http://store.idevicesinc.com

Repko Racing to Jump Start Career

Ryan Repko 

Ryan Repko

Ryan Repko

Career Highlights

-Driver of the #14 Late Model for Reynolds Racing Chassis

-3rd place finish in the 2012 USAC .25 Midgets Mid Atlantic Series – Senior Honda

-2014 NCQMA Lt. World Formula Champion

-Finished 10th in his first NASCAR Late Model Limited Sportsman series race – Motor Mile Speedway

 Ryan Repko

Repko’s Response

What division are you currently racing in?

Limited Late Model

Who are your sponsors?

None

Favorite driver to look up to?

Tony Stewart

Where is your next major race?

Hickory Speedway

Favorite race to watch?

All of them!

Favorite track to race on?

Anything oval

If you’re not racing, what’s another hobby/passion of yours?

RC Cars

Repko

What’s special about the number 14?

I look up to Tony Stewart

Goals for the future?

Sprint Cup

Luke Witherspoon lll

Music Producer-Songwriter-Creative Man

witherspoon 3

List some recording artists that you’ve worked with?

Ive worked with artists: Common, PJ Morton, B.Slade, Layne Harper, ESPN, Je’kob Washington.

luke witherspoonWhat is the process like trying to send your beats out?

The process of me sending out beats is very tricky. Either I’m sending out emails or shopping records in the studio. I do think of it as a hustle.

How much time does music take up during your days?

Music consumes probably 99.9 percent of my day. If I’m not working on any records I’m always thinking of ideas that can lead to beats. Sometimes I feel like I can spend an hour on a track then spend 6 hours on another one.

If you’re not making music, you’re…?

If I’m not making music…. Honestly I’m in church playing music. All jokes aside church is a big part of me. Or I’m at the mall. I’m always eating, with my boys!

Your best beat to this day?

My best beat today? Man, I did this record with B.Slade called “Blue French kiss” I love it, but I’m torn because this record I did with Layne Harper “Broken Promises ” is one of the best.

b.salde    layneharper-brokenpromises

When writing a song how do you prevent writer’s block?luke witherspoon 2

I don’t know if I can prevent writers block, but I look at writers block as vacations. Because when I come back I’m super refreshed.

Typical outfit to an event?

I don’t have a typical outfit .. I love to dress .. So it can change.. My fashion is like music it’s forever evolving. I love it.

 Luke Witherspoon lll

Witherspoon’s World

Influences: My biggest influences in music are No I.D, Kanye West, and Timbaland. I feel they all have played a huge role in my music compositions.

Favorite Artists: Kanye West, B.Slade, and Frank Sinatra

Upcoming Artists: Working on records with PJ Morton, Wale, B.Slade, and Layne Harper at the time.

 

The Indiana Experience

first arrival

I’ve traveled all over the country, and can finally cross Indiana off the bucket list. A week of being in Indiana/Louisville and I barely saw any corn fields. Cows, horses, goats, but barely any corn. That’s the only reason I went their in the first place! All joking aside, my lady put together an awesome week filled with plenty of activities that could have kept me longer just to finish our adventures!

 yum center

-University of Louisville

The main campus was not at all my interest. Driving by the sports complexes was all I cared about. Gorgeous fields, including the KFC YUM! Center in downtown Louisville, where Pitino holds the reins for the men’s basketball squad.

 

italian bottling-Wine Tasting

Huber’s Orchard and Winery 

Started off with the legendary Pinot Grigio and worked my way down the list from their. Katie stayed with the sweet and fruity wines, but I’ll give her credit for trying some of my “bitter” ones! Our wine bartender, Scott, gave us some insightful information on the wine industry and a background of every wine we tasted. We went through 14 samples each and almost completed the whole list!

big wine bottle

 in front of 4st street-4th Street in Louisville

After being indecisive on where to have dinner, it was too cold you keep standing outside so we chose the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, and absolutely made the right choice. I had the Shrimp and Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, a.k.a “heaven.” We sampled seven beers, including the seasonal beer which was the pale ale that we weren’t quite fans of.

flight of six

 

art-Art Museum

I haven’t been to an art museum and thoroughly enjoyed it since my grandfather used to take me growing up. This museum was awesome though, and we read all the backgrounds of the different designs and sculptures throughout the building. 2 levels of artists pieces from all over the world!

 katie-art

 

Louisville Slugger Factory-Louisville Slugger Museum

As an avid sports fan, especially baseball, this museum was like heaven. We were able to hold bats used for Buster Posey (Giants), Joey Votto (Reds), Josh Hamilton (Angels), David Wright (Mets), Adam Jones (Orioles), and of course my personal favorite, Derek Jeter (Yankees).

Katie-Jeter jeter mantle Ruth

I was called upon early and quickly became a target as I was wearing a Yankee jacket. I think it’s safe to say I was the only Yankee fan in the group. When talking about the Derek Jeter customized “Last Season” bat, another gentlemen in our group turned to me and said, “I hate the Yankees with a passion, but boy did I cry when it was his final game.” Thanks sir, now go back to Washington and root for your Nationals. Our tour guide, Anthony, was from Syracuse so I figured I had some back up. Nope, the dude is a Red Sox fan.

big bat

She may have been faking it just so I can enjoy myself more, but Katie seemed interested in some of the facts being thrown our way and the different parts of the factory on how the baseball bats are made.

During the tour we were also able to hold Andre Either (Dodgers) personalized pink bat strictly used for Breast Cancer Awareness on Mother’s Day. Ken Griffey Jr. also had a unique story requesting to put his mothers name engraved into his bat for Mother’s Day. Due to secretive behind the scenes action, the factory did not allow for photography, but once we were in the museum we snapped over 30 pictures. We “attempted” to hit in the batting cages and luckily were able to laugh off our struggles while swinging.

ice skating-Ice Skating

Now this was an experience. Haven’t ice skated in years and I never was well balanced as it was. We held on tight to each other, but we needed a spark in the day so I pushed her down. I looked like a hero when I helped her back up though without falling on my own, so it was a win-win for me. I changed skates a solid four times, and was laughed at by the worker and Katie for being “high maintenance.” Overall it was a wintery feeling and we were one of a few couples out on the ice!

downtown louisville

Merry Christmas Katie, Thank You for an amazing week in Indiana!

I love you

-Corey

tractor

NCAA Football Playoff Matchup Predictions & Preview

Allstate Sugar Bowl                                                          Rose Bowl 

alabama 1Alabama – 4Ohio St   ohio state                                 Oregon2Oregon3FSUFSU

Recap and Previews

Adding more teams to the playoff system is simple, but the real challenge is how would you make it work?

D-Lane-Dominic Lane, Former Pro Defensive Back / Performance Trainer

“Following the Division II playoff (tournament) format which is a full proof plan that’s been working for years.”

Who would have deserved it more, TCU or Baylor?

Eagle-Eddie Kenny, Director of Alumni Relations/Sports Media Professor, Saint Leo University

“TCU led Baylor 58-37 with 11:38 remaining in the teams Big 12 showdown at Baylor’s McClane Stadium on October 11. I sent a text to a friend that simply read, “TCU is for real.” Then all hell broke loose in Waco. Baylor ripped off 24 unanswered points in that final 11-plus minutes, including the game-winning 20-yard field goal as time expired to remain undefeated and stake its claim to the Big 12 title as well as a spot in the College Football Playoff.

But that was early October, and in college football a lot changes from minute to minute let alone week to week, and certainly month to month. Baylor slipped up one week later in Morgantown, West Virginia and the script was flipped in its head again. TCU ran the table from there on out and both teams finished with identical 11-1 records overall and 8-1 marks in conference play. So who really deserved a shot at the playoff? The committee decided neither, but in reality you have to say that what was decided in that final 11:38 on October 11 gave that edge to the Baylor Bears. If you win head-to-head and there is nothing else to separate you, then that victory on the field is the determining and deciding factor. End of story.”

 Did the committee get it right with the four teams that were picked?

dan boyd-Dan Boyd, Senior Member Relations Associate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

“I think conference champions should get a more favorable outlook compared to those other teams who just have the regular season. No matter the number of teams in the playoff system there will always be semi-deserving teams snubbed. That’s the compelling storyline of the playoffs. If there were only two teams this year, it would have been so much more debated.”

Which Final Four game are you looking forward too most, and why?

gwinn-Katie Gwinn, Sports Information Intern, University of Tampa Athletics

“It’s the first year in college football history that a playoff will be held for the National Championship game, and people across that nation could not be happier. Other than the championship, the game I am most excited to see would be Oregon vs. Florida State. Growing up in the Bay Area of Florida, I’ve seen my fair share of FSU and UF fans, and even a few Miami fans now and then, but nothing prepared me for the explosion of Seminole fans once the Nole’s claimed Jameis Winston and went on a 14-0 run in 2013. After clinching the National Championship Title at the close of the 2013 season, my social media outlets were flooded with bandwagon fans – and it’s only gotten worse during the 2014 season.

This year has been a crazy one for the Seminoles, with come-from-behind wins, last minute victories, and a string of luck that leprechauns themselves would be jealous of. With all this propelling FSU to a No. 3 ranking and my Facebook getting flooded with Seminole “fans,” I truly cannot wait until the Oregon Ducks destroy Fisher and Winston’s amazingly lucky squad.

Some may say I’m a “hater” for all the negative energy I have towards a team that hails from my home state, but I disagree. Not only are the Noles known for a 27-0 streak over the past two years, they are known for the antics of immature quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston. The young man has been accused of rape, stealing groceries from Publix, and his latest performance was standing atop a table in the middle of FSU’s campus screaming expletives about women. Role model of the year? I think not. Yet the media has publicized the crap out of Winston and he’s gotten off scott-free on nearly every accusation that’s been thrown at him. What is this Winston’s GPA? Does he even go to class, or does he just play football and lose his mind when he’s in public? The world has glorified this young man despite his negative behaviors and actions, based solely on his level of talent. Coming from a Division II atmosphere, where character is often held in higher esteem than ability, I have a hard time swallowing this. For these reasons and more, I’m excited to see the Ducks and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota give the Seminoles (and Winston) a long-awaited beating.”

Which quarterback has a better game, Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota?

puzzo-Patrick Puzzo, Writer, RantSports.com

“I’m going to say Mariota finishes with a better statistical game, therefore Oregon will win. FSU’s defense has looked pedestrian at times, and Winston has started terribly more times than not. Oregon has a stud corner in Ifo Expre-Olomu, and I think he’ll lock down Rashad Greene. Oregon is going to put up points, so Winston will be forced to throw in the second half. But I think FSU weather’s the storm with their run game and keeps it close enough. Winston will get it going and make enough plays in the second half to keep the game highly competitive, but a slow start and turnovers will be too much to overcome. Mariota plays like the Heisman winner that he is and shows NFL scouts why he’s the nation’s top QB.”

Puzzo Prediction

Predictions

Allstate Sugar Bowl

1Alabama4Ohio State

katie perkinsKatie Perkins, Track & Field/Cross Country, University of South Florida < Ohio State >

Tod CaflischTod Caflisch, Director of Information Technology, Detroit Red Wings < Alabama >

ColleenColleen Courbron, Personal Trainer < Alabama >

Melinda SabinaMelinda Sabina, Model < Alabama >

chad newtonChad Newton, Rapper “Chaz-O” < Alabama >

Rose Bowl

2Oregon – 3Florida State

Erik KenneyErik Kenney, Intern, New York Islanders < Oregon >

hayleHayle Krigel, HR Recruiter, Miami Dolphins < FSU >

Lou SacconeLou Saccone, Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame < Oregon >

sam huertaSam Huerta, Game Day Entertainment, Tampa Bay Lightning < FSU >

jeeJeremy Jackson, Photographer, Regime Magazine < Oregon >

John Brown, The Show Stopper

John Brown dunkOver the years, we have seen many multi-sport athletes. It’s not rare these days, because sports is such a big part of this world. However, this story is unique and one I will continue to follow and hope you do as well. Not only is this kid fun to interview, but he’s fun to watch on ESPN. In High School, John Brown was a starting quarterback, trying to pursue a dream of playing at the University of Florida for the Gators. The direction of his athletic career took a three point turn, as one day he was discovered playing basketball, something he had never done competitively to that point in his life. He was a 6’2 sophomore JV quarterback who transformed into a 6’6 junior basketball player, being scouted to play college hoops. 5 years later, NBA scouts are keeping a close eye on the high flying forward at High Point University.

“He’s putting the High in High Point”

-Stan Verrett, ESPN anchor.

john brown vs syracuse

 

-What is it like seeing yourself on Sports Center top ten plays?

It’s very overwhelming to me! Where I come from not too many people can say they’ve made multiple appearances on Sports center. I grew up watching it just like any other kid and to actually see myself on it is truly a blessing.

-Do you think being a starting quarterback has helped your leadership skills on a basketball court?

Of course! Being a quarterback helped me with understanding the strengths and weaknesses of my teammates. So, coming into basketball was a fairly good transition because I had it in my mind that I could lead by example in helping each player develop.

-You went from being 6’2 to 6’6 from sophomore to junior year of high school. What’s your secret for all of us trying to grow an inch or two?

To be honest I don’t know where it came from! Everyday I woke up that summer and all of my clothes started becoming smaller and smaller until I had nothing that fit.

-Best football player you’ve ever watched at the University of Florida?

Tim Tebow BABY!!!! He was a true definition of a leader in my eyes. The way he motivated each player and gave them confidence they never had helped them win a championship.

-Have you noticed NBA scouts at your games? Does it change your mentality?

I never looked for them. I try to stay focused on the task at hand.

john brown HPU

-If you kept playing football, where would you be right now?

I would be playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars right now. They need me man, I believe I would be a true asset to the organization.

-If you could create your own dunk, what would be the name of it?

I would call it the “Show Stopper.” After I do it, the game would be shut down and we just get the win. Everybody go home!!!!

John Brown dunk 2 

-When you had to sit out your first year at High Point, what kind of drills did you do to concentrate on becoming a better dribbler?

I did a lot of two ball dribbling drills so I could focus on my weak hand and strong hand at the same time. Makes the process go a little faster.

-If you could pick five NBA players to participate in a slam dunk contest with, who would you choose?

That’s a tough one……Gerald Green, Nick Young, Terrence Ross, LeBron James and DeAndre Jordan.

Fox Sports FL- Kelly Nash #Rays #Lightning

 

Kelly Nash, Fox Sports FL

Kelly Nash, Fox Sports FL

Growing up, she knew she wanted to be a journalist. Years later it came down to news or sports. With a decision looming, Kelly had an opportunity to interview Mark Martin at the Homestead Motor Speedway. Soon after, she ended up choosing sports and has not looked back since. She is an inspiration for reporters as she gets to cover the Lightning and the Rays and also covered basketball and football in the ACC. That’s literally a dream come true for sports fans all over. With her success and experience look for her to continue to strive with Fox Sports and beyond!

Nash's Notebook
  • Favorite place to travel? Kauai, Hawaii, no question. I have been there twice and it enchants like no other.
  • Idol growing up? Adored Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on their long Sunday Night Baseball run. Also loved watching Joan Lunden on the morning news.
  • Routine before a game? Sleep in as late as possible. Get hair and makeup done. Arrive at the ballpark or rink around 1:30 to read about the match ups, pitch ideas for the broadcast, and meet with producers before showtime.

 

nash

Q&A

Favorite part about the city of Tampa?

I live in St. Pete, so I don’t venture to Tampa often, but I love the eats in Tampa, the laid-back vibe, and the people.

-When did you first decide you wanted to be a sports reporter? What was the process like when first researching sports journalism schools?

I decided I wanted to be a TV reporter back in the day. I was about 10 and already visiting local news stations in Miami, getting a little fix for my curiosity of the business. In grad school studying journalism at the University of Miami they wanted us to pick a track, news or sports. It took me weeks to decide. I had a great time interviewing NASCAR driver Mark Martin in Homestead before a race, so I chose sports.

Lightning pre-game show outside of the Forum

Lightning pre-game show outside of the Forum

-Explain the atmosphere of a Bolts game in the Forum, down by the ice when a goal is scored?

Electric. Literally. The tesla coils that shoot lightning bolts about 20 feet might be the most charged celebration in sports.

photo 3

-MLB season is in full gear, what is your prediction for the AL East standings come September?

As an eternal optimist, and seeing the Rays only back 8.5 games (as of the day I’m answering this), no reason not to predict we can’t rise from worst to first in this second half. #TBrising

Todd Kalas

Todd Kalas

-Out of all the baseball stadiums you’ve been in, where does Tropicana Field stand?

The last non-retractable roof in baseball ensures an air-conditioned experience at 72 degrees. And that is a beautiful thing. In order to elevate, you have to appreciate what you already have. I would like to see the Trop appreciated even more. It has all the amenities to remain competitive with other ballparks.

nash interview
-Is being an NFL reporter something you see in your future?

I’m living my dream now, so I’ve just started day dreaming about the future. I don’t want to rush thoughts of it. NFL is considered top-dog in the sports business. But my heart is in baseball.

-How much of an impact does social media have on a reporter’s everyday life?

I manage @SunSportsRays on Twitter, so I try and stay active on there more than my personal account. A lot of great sports info can originate on Twitter. It’s pretty fascinating how important it has become in breaking news. It delivers updates the fastest and has become a huge asset for me and my colleagues.

-One bit of advice for sports media students aspiring to get to where you are?

If you really want it… I mean, you want it so badly, there is no backup plan, then don’t give up. It will happen for you eventually, like it happened for me. Remain steadfast, committed, in times of discouragement.

horse