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Sonny Weems: B-baller is Bringing it On and Off the Court

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Sonny Weems playing in China

*In the highly competitive and widely watched game of basketball, players are often polarized, misunderstood and judged by what they do on the court. There are few players that have transcended the game itself and that have emerged as giants amongst men.

Sonny Weems is such a man. As a child, Weems was born with cleft feet. When this diagnosis was learned, doctors and family were certain that the toddler would not be able to walk, let alone run.

His childhood was quite tumultuous. But, after enduring many painful years of growth and wearing corrective shoes, the young Weems was able to begin playing sports and living an active lifestyle. The budding athlete went on to become a state long jump and high jump champion in track and field at West Memphis High School.

Although Weems excelled as a stellar track and field athlete, he would ultimately go on to pursue his true love of basketball. His height and natural dexterity with the ball helped to shape his court presence. But, his dedication to the game and on-court dominance helped to solidify him as a great basketball player. After much deliberation and an outpouring of support from his family, Weems decided to make basketball his sport of choice and with that switch, his life would never be the same.

Weems graduated from West Memphis High School where he was named first team all-state as a senior. He led his team to the Arkansas 5A Championship before going on to play for two years at The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. While there, Weems continued to perfect his craft and to polish his skillset. He became an All-American while at The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and became ranked No. 1 in the nation by several national ranking services. Weems would go on to lead his team to two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Eastern Conference Division titles.

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Sonny Weems – photo credit: Jessica Pelphrey – (Stylist: Rocio Doyle)

The star athlete would later go on to sign with the prestigious University of Arkansas. As a Razorback, he competed for coach Stan Heath in his final year of coaching. He averaged 11.8 points per game for the SEC NCAA Division I powerhouse and would lead his team to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Weems would later finish his senior year as the State Farm College Slam Dunk Champion at the NCAA Final Four. After college, he continued to pursue his dreams in basketball, as he was selected as the 39th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.

Weems has played for 10 years at the professional level and is still going strong. His NBA career includes the Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptures, Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers. He continued his love for the sport and subsequently went on to play in Europe in the summer of 2011 for three seasons before returning to the NBA in July of 2015. But, his love for the game internationally helped to push his return overseas. He has taken international teams to multiple EuroLeague Final Fours and was named to the First Team EuroLeague Competition, which is the top of the line in international sports. He played last season in China, where he was named one of the top ten players in scoring averaging more than 30 points per game.

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Weems hosted a community clean-up during the 6th Annual Weems Week – Photo: The Neely Agency

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People of all ages and from all walks of life helped to pick up trash as children would prepare to return to school the following week. – Photo: Neely Agency

Weems continues to actively lead on and off the court with the work that he does to give back to the community. In 2012, he created and developed Weems Week for the youth in his hometown of West Memphis, Arkansas. The annual week-long event’s goal is to inspire and motivate the next generation of thinkers, movers, and doers. This was the 6th year that Weems hosted the event, which features a basketball camp, back to school supplies and backpack giveaway and community cleanup. Weems has traveled the world pursuing his dream of playing professional basketball and desires to help others to achieve their dreams as well.

“These kids need this. There are a lot more things to do than just running around in the streets,” said Weems.

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Professional athlete Sonny Weems (middle, baack row) shares basketball skills and techniques with students during the basketball camp in his hometown of West Memphis Arkansas. – Photo: The Neely Agency

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Weems showing the youngsters how it’s done during his basketball camp – Photo: The Neely Agency

The 2018 Weems Week, held July 30 to August 3, was met with much success and a stellar turnout. Weems Week kicked off with a community cleanup at the Sonny Weems Basketball Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. The city of West Memphis dedicated the outdoor basketball court and park to Weems in 2015 to show appreciation for his commitment to the community. From the community cleanup, Weems hosted a basketball camp at the Lehr Arena on the Academies of West Memphis campus, formerly known as West Memphis High School. The camp focused on 7th grade male athletes and helped to foster creativity, greater motor skill function and daily life advice for all attendees.

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Lucky kids receiving their backpacks during Weems Week – Photo: The Neely Agency

Weems Week concluded with a back to school backpack giveaway. The supplies from the backpack giveaway are one of the many highlights of the camp. It allows students that are underprivileged to have access to much needed school supplies for their return to school in the fall.

Weems’s legacy continues to grow and the work that he continues to do is helping to champion the next generation of great leaders both on and off the court.

“To inspire and to motivate” are the principles that Weems Week was founded on.

“This is my way to give back to the youth in my community. Growing up in the inner city, I was not afforded the same opportunity as many other children at the time and so I desire to build something positive that can change the lives of children in the future,” said Weems.

Weems plans to expand Weems Week to serve more students across the country. Plans for Weems Week 2019 are underway and will be finalized by early January.

As Weems continues to give back, he serves as a light on and off the court for the many aspiring basketball players to come.

“It’s not the gift that God gives someone that we should be in awe of, rather it is what a person does for his fellow man with the gift that is given,” said Weems.

For more on Sonny Weems, visit SonnyWeems13.com. follow him on social media via:

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSonny24/

https://twitter.com/sonnyweems13?lang=en

https://www.instagram.com/sonny1324/?hl=en

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsfSwWVElme-f1OOe5R0vLw

walter james lovett

Walter James Lovett II

Walter James Lovett II is an author, podcaster and digital journalist that hails from West Palm Beach Florida. In 2009, he launched WITIN RADIO, a weekly podcast focusing on lifestyle, faith, film, food, sports and pop culture. This fall, Lovett will release a new comic book series and screenplay entitled “The Watcher,” based on the sex trafficking industry and sex addiction in the American Mid-South.

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Making People Laugh About the Hardships of Teaching Keeps Eddie B. Going (EUR Exclusive!)

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Eddie B.

*Eddie B. hit the mark when his “Teachers Only Comedy Tour” in 2017 played to sold-out audiences. His later show “I’m Already Professionally Developed Tour” was also a huge success.

With funny and telling commentary about what teachers really think has made Eddie B. a hit with educators and comedy fans around the world. While the former teacher is excited about his success, he takes it all in stride.

“People ask me why am I so humble and I don’t know how to answer that,” Eddie B. told the EUR in a recent phone interview. “The only answer I came up with one time is that the more thankful you are you have no choice but to display humbleness. You have to be thankful for what you have. So being humble and thankful go hand in hand.”

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With COVID-19 rendering comedy-tours practically non-existent, the Houston native keeps the jokes coming and his routines fresh by crashing virtual conferences held by, of course, teachers.

“I’m doing a lot of Zooms,” Eddie B. said. “I’m doing everybody’s meetings and convocations. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Thank God.”

The consummate “class clown,” he was always the funny one in the room and began making serious moves as a comedian while attending Texas A&M University (Kingsville).

Although he was earning a local name for himself, Eddie B. was not making the kind of money he had hoped. Continuing the comedy club circuit after graduation and taking odd jobs, he began teaching because it was steady pay. He remained a teacher for 13 years while still doing comedy.

“A lot of teachers say, ‘I’ve been wanting to teach my whole life. I was born this way.’ No, you weren’t.” the single father laughed. “I’m a tell you right now 70% of all teachers didn’t want to teach. I guarantee you that. Teaching is a profession you get stuck in. The only reason you get stuck is because of the kids. You know the money’s not keeping us. It’s our relationships with the kids and other teachers too – the camaraderie of it all.”

Eddie B. retired from teaching for a short while during his tenure but soon had to return to pay the bills.

“I’m hearing Steve Harvey and ‘em say, ‘You gotta jump. Take the leap,’ That’s cute,” he added. “But what the hell do you do when you take the jump and you get pulled back? I jumped as high as I could and got snatched back down, which led me to believe that it’s got more to do with timing then jumping.”

Down but not out, Eddie B., who showed off his craft on YouTube, said a voice inside his head told him, “’Hey, why don’t you do a video about (teaching)?’ So, I shot it before the kids got in my (school) room and put it out by lunch time. But I was like I don’t even have teaching in my comedy.”

“A couple of days later on my Instagram I got about 100,000 views,” he continued. “I thought something was wrong. I thought it was a glitch. It was just teachers bouncing it off and that was the magic of it. It kept growing and growing. Millions of views and the video was only sixty seconds. It was called ‘What Teachers Really Want to Say’ and I was like man if they like this I’ve got 13 years of this.”

Now that he was getting traction, he had to figure out a way to keep the momentum going with the newer audience.

“What they (the teachers who liked his videos) didn’t know was that I’m a comedian,” Eddie B. said. “They just thought I’m a funny teacher. I had to take what I knew about teaching and put it in a (comedy) set now.”

But could he do that without alienating those who had supported his regular comedy for so long?

“My comedy wasn’t always clean. I used to curse with every other word. I’m from the neighborhood and a large percent of my audience is Caucasian (white women teachers). They don’t want to hear that language. But I’ve been on tour for almost 4 years now and I’ve toned it down. I had to grow with it and learn on the job. It was like teaching.”

For more on Eddie B., and to find out where he may be next virtually and otherwise, go to his official website here.

You can also buy his book, “I’m Already Professionally Developed: Straight from the Teacher’s Desk,” released last year.

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Eddie B. (Courtesy of Eddie B.)

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JeffCars.com’s Review: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

Highlight:  This year’s model includes a solar control fixed glass roof.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $37,070 (Base Model: $28,725)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; side airbags; ABS; a radar activated cruise control system; a blindspot collision avoidance assist system; a rear cross traffic alert system; a forward collision alert system; a high beam assist system;  tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; a stability control system; a tire repair kit; and a rearview camera

Standard Equipment (Blue): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive; LED headlights; LED Daytime Running Lights; LED taillamps; a push button ignition starter; a keyless lock/unlock system; a hands free trunk; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; dual power folding mirrors; a solar control glass a chrome tip single exhaust; cloth seats; manual control front seats; rear split folding seat with a center armrest; a push button gear control system; an automatic climate control system; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; and an 8-inch infotainment screen

Standard Equipment (Limited): 17-inch wheels; full LED taillamps; side mirror LED turn signal indicators; dual power heated folding mirrors;  heated body color side mirrors; a rear bumper with parking sensors; laminated front glass; solar glass roof panel; leather seats; power front seats; heated and ventilated front seats; a wireless device charging system; dual charging USB ports; front console mounted rear vents; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a heated steering wheel; a 10-inch infotainment screen; a 12-speaker Bose audio system; a heads up display (HUD); a highway driving assist system; a Hyundai digital key; an electronic automatic rearview mirror; a 360-degree camera; an electronic blindspot monitor; ambient lighting; and front and rear parking sensors.

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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None

Other Trim Levels:

SEL (hybrid)

non hybrid trims

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Apple CarPlay/Android: Yes

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes                

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Hybrid System Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Hybrid Battery Warranty: Lifetime

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/192-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 45-city/51-hwy

What’s New: The eighth-generation Sonata has evolved from a vanilla looking ugly duckling to more like a swan, taking more styling cues from the sixth- generation breakout design, which was a game changer for both the midsize car market as well as the Korean brand.

To continue reading the review, click here.

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(Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

About The Reviewer: Jeff Fortson is the host of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, the only syndicated multicultural automotive radio show on the airwaves. The 30-minute weekly show, which airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials, includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers. The engaging show, which goes beyond traditional car talk, can be heard on your mobile and stationary audio devices, clicking here.

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Richard Sherman Tackles ‘Adulting’ The Right Way In New Digital Series / EUR Exclusive – WATCH

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*Known for being frugal, NFL star Richard Sherman is handing out financial advice to young people in a new digital series.

Launched in August 2020, “Adulting With Richard Sherman” is a 12-part digital show produced by Million Stories Media. The new media company, a project from the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, offers programming focusing on career, money, and budgeting matters for millennials and young families.

“Richard Sherman is the perfect choice to headline ‘Adulting,’” said Shelley Miles, CEO of the Singleton Foundation, in a press release. “His personality, personal story and likability will draw in viewers and his passion for financial matters will help get young people interested in their own financial futures. He connects with our foundation mission on so many levels and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”

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Richard Sherman is #25 for the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo: 49ers.com)

Available at no-cost on millionstories.com, viewers can expect no-nonsense talk from the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, who reportedly drove a $30,000 Dodge Challenger until as late as 2018. Topics include handling student loans and staying away from payday loans (see episode here).

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(Photo: Million Stories)

Additionally, Sherman tackles other topics such as building credit and having an emergency fund, which is great advice especially during the pandemic. (See episode here.)

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Richard Sherman in scene from “Having an Emergency Fund” episode. (Photo: Million Stories)

“Adulting With Richard Sherman” is now streaming on millionstories.com. New episodes are expected to launch soon. For more on Sherman, go here. For more on the Singleton Foundation, go here.

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