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STARTING LINE UP Page 6 | Evin Sims - Small City, Big Dreams Page 7 | Carolina Panthers – Playoff Expectations Are On The Rise Page 8 | Bellonora McCallum (Sports Agent) Page 12 | Richard Rivers – Watch For the Hook Page 18 | Charlotte Cobras – Through My Love for Football, I Give Page 21 | Clemson Tigers, S.C. Gamecocks – The Rivalry Deepens Page 24 | Duke “Blue Devils” Basketball – Carolina’s King of the Court Page 26 | Charlotte Bobcats – The Buzz Page 28 | Carolina Hurricanes – Cane’s Nation Page 29 | Fitness Corner – A Stronger Back, For Stronger Punches

Sports Passion, LLC is a sports system that encourages and promotes bridging the gap between sports and the passion for it. ©2013 Sports Passion, LLC. Advertising contact: advertising@sportspassion.net. Sports Passion, The Magazine is published quarterly by Sports Passion, LLC. Hard copies are distributed throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, electronically on http://sportspassion.net, http://joomag.com, http://issuu.com. With issues being available during the first week of (August, November, February, May). Vol. 1, Issue No.2 Photo Credits: Keith Allison, Edwin Martineza, Dougtone, Whiz Faction Designs, Lauren Nelson, Ken Lund, TonyTheTiger, James Williamor

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Rants-N-Raves With the new additions & new coaching staff, the Bobcats are bound to be better than a 21-man ball club this year. – Steve P. Cam Newton has arisen – Matt Tajh Boyd is the Truth – Clemson Fan Jabari Parker is a great add for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils – Bleed Blue The “Double Duel” Boyd and Watkins are unstoppable! The Tigers will be undefeated. – Todd Mike Davis is his name, lookout! – Gamecocks Fan The “Buzz” hype is strong in Charlotte. – Terry S. Don’t overlook North Carolina State. Watch Out for the Charlotte Bobcats this Season – Everick Davis Hurricanes Nation Baby #1CarolinaHurricanesFan Look for James McAdoo to be big for the Tar Heels this year. – Real Carolina Bobcats will win 40 games in 2013-14. – Kevin Let Your Voice Be Heard…You can now Rant-N-Rave on http://sportspassion.net

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Playoff Expectations Are On The Rise

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he Carolina Panthers were impressive in their (34-10) win against the Atlanta Falcons on November 3rd. The team gave their fans belief that playoff chances are once again returning to the city of Charlotte. Winners of four straight games, the Panthers are finding their footing and it could mean that they may find what it takes to get into the postseason this year. The team is constantly showing a physical and mental toughness, that they will not back down from any opponent. This would explain the recent scuffles during

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games this season and the nearly $50,000 fine that was handed down by the NFL after the Panthers vs. St. Louis Rams game. Cam Newton has been exceptional lately and is setting the tone for his team on offense, but Luke Kuechly and the Panthers’ defense has been the key. The Panthers’ monster defense has been dominant throughout their run and has the team in the position they are currently in. Head coach, Ron Rivera is hearing the talks on him been replaced, quieting down a bit. While the Carolina Panthers are on the right track to make into the playoffs, Rivera continues to preach to his team that they must take one game at a time. The Panthers currently sit on a 5-3 record and look to take on an aggressive San Francisco 49ers in their ninth game of the season. A win on November 10th, against the 49ers could take the Panthers’ playoff exceptions into another gear. While we wait in anticipation of seeing the Carolina Panthers name included as a playoff seed, let’s not forget the season is far from over and that the Panthers need their fans more now than ever.

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Small City, Big Dreams Introducing…

Greenwood, South Carolina

Evin Sims What does the phrase Sports Passion mean to you? “When nothing or no one will come in between you and goals of that one particular sport. You shed blood, sweat, and tears.” – Evin Sims Evin Sims, a young man who knows that hard work and determination will take you to the promise land. In our Small City, Big Dreams section Lenoir-Rhyne University red-shirt freshman, Evin Sims sat down with Sports Passion’s Calvis Callahan to discuss what it feels like to be from the city of Greenwood, South Carolina, fresh off leading the Greenwood High Eagles to a state championship last year to continuing his dream of playing football in college. The young man has a lot to desire knowing that although he came from a city with a population of a little more than 23,000, there are those before him that has reached the NFL and had very prosperous careers. Sims was introduced to football in the fourth grade by his cousin and he decided that it was the sport for him although his dad was more interested in NASCAR and golf, which wasn’t a problem.

Sims’ cousin gave him instructions on the game early on but the passion came from knowing that he had the talent and could become something that’s bigger than his dreams. Which he was in high school and he hopes that it carries on when he get his moment in college. Sims understands the importance of goal setting in sports and acknowledges “if you don’t have goals then why are you playing? Of course have fun but you have to play for something.” His parents instilled in him that one must be humble in order to succeed in life and he must continue to humble himself before God and others because the humble guys flourish more in life. That is just what he is hoping to do, “flourish in life.” Whether that is as a professional football player or a blue collar worker, he intends to work hard to set himself as well as his future family up for a fulfilling life.

“My parents always told me to earn everything nothing is given.”

When asked did he have any sports idols? He stated that he was a cheerleader for everyone because he loves to see guys play the game the right way. Sims knows that there is a strong possibility for him and others from small cities to have big dreams. He was asked how does it make him feel that athletes like Robert Brooks, Ernest Dye, Gaines Adams, Armanti Edwards, and Josh Norman among others from the city of Greenwood make it to the NFL? His reply, “it gives me hope that us small time folks have just as much as a chance as big city folk.” It is reassuring to know. Noting his talents, speed kills and a decent throwing arm can take you places. How could you not root for this humbled young man? Interesting fact: “I’m a twin and we look nothing alike. Some say “you’re not his brother, you’re his cousin.”


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We spent some time recently, talking to Bellonora McCallum about McCallum Enterprise, LLC and its involvement within the sports community. She was kind enough to answer our questions about the company, the message, and effect of ensuring that prospects have “representation the right way.” The Company SP: Where is your company located? BM: McCallum Enterprise, LLC. is a full service Sports and Entertainment Company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. SP: Tell about your experience in the sports industry? BM: My initial experience began with professional boxing promotion and expanded into a desire to represent and guide the careers of USA track and field and professional football athletes. Although relatively new to the industry I have had the opportunity to interact and impact the careers of athletes. I look forward to the chance to continue these relationships and establish new ones. Sports have always been a passion of mine. I developed a love of sports at a young age. My best memories include my Grandma Isabelle’s home cooked Sunday dinners and then sitting with the family and watching the Sunday Football Games and watching the heated debates between the Redskin and Cowboy fans at our Goode Family functions. It was the wealth of knowledge and the heated debates between the men in my family that sparked my interest in sports. I am still just as passionate about sports and I continue to watch sports on all levels. My brother and other athletes like him had a profound influence on my decision to work in the sports industry. It was through my brother’s experiences that I was inspired to pursue this career path. I observed my brother develop as an athlete in high school, have a successful athletic career in college, and pursue a professional career. I learned a very valuable lesson, strong representation on the field and off the field is the key to an athlete’s professional success. SP: Do you represent clients from all sports or is your focus on a particular area? BM: Currently the focus is in the areas of football and track and field. SP: What makes your agency different from the rest? BM: McCallum Enterprise’s approach is unique because our focus is on meeting the needs of the athletes we represent on and off the field and track. I have noticed the issues that so many athletes experience once they are professionals. Agents should not only help make them money but make sure they have a smooth transition on and off the field, during and after their career. We are not only dedicated to guiding the success of our athletes careers today but make plans for their continued financial stability once they retire or if for whatever reason are unable to continue competing in their desired sport.

SP: What does your company look for in talent/clients? BM: McCallum Enterprise’s looks for a client that is interested in building a relationship with our agency and places their trust in us to make decisions that will positively impact them financially and professionally. We look for athletes that care about their careers and are willing to put in the work to become successful.

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Bellonora McCallum - The Agent

Charlotte, North Carolina

SP: What is your career background and experience? BM: After completing my undergraduate degree at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, I attended law school at North Carolina Central University earning my MBA and law degree. I attribute the bulk of my experience to the time spent representing the State of North Carolina in all criminal proceedings in Mecklenburg County in my capacity as an Assistant District Attorney. This career was the spring board to teaching me the skills needed to successfully manage my own company. My love for sports, desire to learn as much as I could whenever possible, and experience with my family were all major contributing factors to the career path I ultimately chose. SP: What is the most memorable sports related encounter that you can share? BM: When I attended the 2012 Super Regional NFL Combine in Dallas, Texas with my client last year. He was invited out of hundreds that competed in NFL Regional Combines throughout the U.S. It was incredible being apart of the process of watching the prospects really perform in front of the scouts representing each NFL Team. You could really feel the intensity in such a huge space. But, on top of that it was the most amazing feeling to have access to get into the Cowboys Stadium and really absorb that atmosphere and the history involved. I grew up a HUGE Cowboy Fan. SP: What is the toughest part about being a female agent in a male-dominant sports agency industry? BM: The toughest part would have to be demonstrating that I am just as capable and knowledgeable as my male counterparts. SP: Are you taking on any new clients? BM: Yes, McCallum Enterprises welcomes the opportunity to assist new clients in reaching their career goals and planning for their future. SP: How do you find new talent? BM: I am an avid sports fan. So finding new talent is as easy watching the very sport you love at all competitive levels. SP: Any advice you would like to share with individuals looking to get into the sports agency industry? BM: The main advice I would give to anyone starting out in the sports industry is to believe in yourself and constantly surround yourself with positive people that believe and pray for your success. If it’s your passion go for it. Make sure you are ready to work hard and take the lessons along the way. Don’t be afraid to research and learn something on your own if there is no one there to guide you. SP: How might an interested party contact you or McCallum Enterprise? BM: Contact Me: 704-390-5540 or bmccallum0708@gmail.com

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Greensboro, North Carolina

WATCH FOR THE HOOK Meet Richard Rivers

Richard Rivers Record: 9-0; 5k.o’s Weight Class: 130-135 Light Weight Nickname: Smoother (Smoova) Than The Rest

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How and Why Did You Start Boxing? Smoova: I actually started out practicing martial arts with my dad, he wanted to keep me out of trouble and off the streets. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, you had to know how to defend yourself, any sign of weakness they would take advantage of you. I began to get bored with martial art and that’s when I began boxing. We were training in a boxing gym so I figured why not try it out. What’s Your Normal Training/Workout Routine Like? Smoova: Well I start off my morning at 8:00am with a 5 mile run, usually takes between 35 and 40 minutes. Come home, eat and rest up until 1 or 2 pm then head to my strength and conditioning training. I usually lift weights or work on my cardio depending on the day. That workout usually ranges from anywhere between 1.5 hours to 2 hours. After that’s complete, I eat lunch and head home to rest until 6:30pm, then it’s time for my boxing workout. Basically just working on my technique, speed, and power. What Are Your Boxing Career Goals? Smoova: Of course to become a world champion and to be recognized as one of the elite fighter such as the Mayweathers, Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson. Retiring undefeated, and most important

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to make as much money as possible to provide for my family when the time come. Do You Have a Signature Move? Smoova: I would have to say my left hook. Lol it’s pretty good. It’s actually funny because I’m naturally right handed but I think my left is stronger than my right. Most of my knockouts were with my left. During my amateur career in New Jersey, boxers from New York would come to New Jersey to spar because their opponent would throw a lot of hooks so they used me for preparation that felt pretty good. How Long Have You Been Boxing at the Current Level? Smoova: I’ve been a professional fighter for 6 years What’s Your Favorite Thing About Boxing? Smoova: Walking out the dressing room and into the event center, seeing people you know and even people you don’t know in the crowd cheering your name. It’s exciting!! It gets your blood flowing. What’s the Most Difficult Thing You’ve Encountered During Your Training? Smoova: Well I haven’t really encountered anything difficult, but the www.sportspassion.net


hardest thing about boxing is the training because you are putting a strain on your body every day from running, sparing, being on a strict diet, and also having the discipline to stay in the gym even on the days you really don’t want to be there. Training in different climates from running in 80 plus degree heat to running in 45 and below cold weather, which takes a lot of discipline. If You Could Give Advice to People Who’ve Started Boxing, What Would It Be? Smoova: My advice to anyone who wants to start boxing would be to just give 110% effort to the sport; train like your life depends on it. Basically train to win! The most important advice I would give is to find a trainer that has your best interest in mind because you’re the one that’s sacrificing your life when you’re in the ring and there are trainers that know you can’t beat your opponent, but will still let you fight so they can make money off you. Where Has Your Boxing Career Taken You? Where Are Some Cool Places You’ve Visited For A Boxing Match?

Hoya at the Bernard Hopkins and Ronald Winky Wright fight. I’ve trained with the Mayweathers at Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas, also trained with Sugar Shane Moseley and his father Jack Moseley for 3 months in Big Bear, California. They welcomed me into their homes with open arms, treated me like family. We went bowling, out to dinner, checked out a few fights, so it was a great experience for me because I was able to get to know them on a personal level and not just as a fan or a gym mate. How Often Do You Compete? Smoova: It has been a little over a year since my last competition. When you don’t have the support team around you its really hard. In professional boxing it is important to have a good promotional and management team. If not you’ll have to make your way from the bottom. That means, taking harder fights than guys who have their teams in place. It is highly important to have a really good trainer to teach you as much about pro boxing as possible. Right now that’s one of the goals, to get a support team, to get bigger and better fights with higher pay.

Smoova: I have been up and down the

whole east coast. I’ve met Oscar De La

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World of Champions

Charlotte, North Carolina

W.O.C. Boxing

WBC Continental Americas Cruiserweight Title Fight Championship Olanrewaju “God’s Power” Durodola vs Mitch “King Kamm” Williams

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Fight Night Photos Taken: October 26, 2013

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Athanasios Michaloudis is a former kickboxer from Greece. He began boxing professionally only two months ago and holds a record of 5-0 K.O.s. His most recent fight consisted of a knockout victory against Joseph Harper in Charlotte, NC on October 26, 2013. He dreams of one day becoming a world boxing champion. He definitely his potential and at the young age of 25 years old, he can have a long career in the boxing circuit. His next stop is Hollywood, California on November 14th.

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Charlotte, North Carolina

H A R L O T T

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Let’s begin by stating that what these individuals are doing is very commendable as public safety officers and also using their off time to train and compete on the Gridiron. The Charlotte Cobras are a non-profit organization composed of police officers, firefighters, medic personnel and volunteers whom compete in full contract football each year. They are a part of the National Public Safety League. These athletes’ playing experience ranges from none at all prior to joining the Cobras up to former NFL players. Some of the Charlotte Cobras players sat down with Sports Passion’s spokesperson Felicia Mitchell, to discuss the correlation between training, staying fit, and sacrificing themselves for the sake of their passion for the game of football and charity. It was clear from the start of our meeting that these guys have a very competitive spirit, just enough to keep each other on their toes, but it was also clear that enlarged egos are not a factor with this team. One question that I asked each of the guys was what’s behind the name of their team, why the name, Cobras? Ronald Smith, defensive tackle, was the first to state, when you see a Cobra what is the first reaction? The Cobra mascot is a great representation for the team because it strikes fear, its cunning, overall venomous creature. Training Comes Easy

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B R A S

On the football field the Cobras want to be known for their toughness, competitiveness, and heart but under those pads they are some pretty cool guys. One by one, I went through and asked them about how they train and remain in football form throughout the year. It’s apparent that some sort of training and exercise regimen is needed as part of their jobs as police officers, firemen, and medics but the guys noted that they train hard during the offseason to prove that there isn’t a need to get in shape when the season comes around because their goal is to continually train and stay in shape all year long. Reggie Blackmon, wide receiver and running back, is a huge fan of plyometrics, strength training, core and ab exercise routines. He commits to doing some form of training each day. Blackmon played for North Carolina Tar Heels and also had a stint in the semi-pro league. Therefore, he knows the importance of being active and staying fit. Aaron Webb, tight-end, also spoke of the importance of staying active and breaking a sweat every day. Not only does he play football for the Cobras, he is also a baseball player for the Charlotte Fire Department. For him, training and playing sports is a relief mechanism when he is not fighting fires. I was impressed with Cobra’s wide receiver, JD Williams. He is one of the oldest guys on the team, but you could never tell by looking at him or by the way he was so active during the time I observed him. He trains 4-5 days a week. Williams’ conditioning consists of hill sprints, wind sprints, power lifts, flipping tractor tires, boxing routines, among other strength training routines.

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Besides the impressive strength training regimen that Williams puts himself through, he also carried a bigger message. He loves that he is able to go out into the community and portray, CMPD as more than just officers, or “bad guys.” He understands that there is a negative image sometimes depicted of law enforcement, an unspoken fear and he feels that there is a need for positive reinforcement in our community and through this organization he can help make this possible. Community Involvement The Charlotte Cobras are supporters and huge contributors when it comes to improving the Charlotte community. They are very active in the PAL (Police Activities League), where they mentor and coach youth in their area. The players believe in being positive role models, so that the youth have someone to look up to. As a nonprofit organization, the Cobras donate their proceeds to families of fallen officers, cancer patients, injured officers and firemen, among others. Currently, a member of the Cobras’ coaching staff is battling cancer therefore proceeds from their 2013-14 season will go to the coach and his family to assist financially in the coach’s fight against cancer. Blackmon notes that football, the Cobras, as well as being an active fireman has made him a better person in all aspects of his life. He understands the meaning of service and loves what it brings out of him. Blackmon also knows that he has a responsibility. This is reason he enjoys the community service activities be is able to participate in through his job as well as the Cobras. He also spoke of accountability, being able to service the people in the community and their well-being, as well as being accountable for his own health and well-being. For him, the Cobras organization and football provides one way for him to help strengthen the Charlotte community. Williams acknowledges that initially joining the Cobras was for fun until he became a part of the team and realized the impact that they could have on the community and helping others, especially the youth. The Cobras spend some their time away from the act of duty last month to mentor and encourage the young football players, Coul-Oak Steelers of Northwest Charlotte, NC. This is only one act of kindness that the Cobras participated in on this day.

C H A R

L O T T

E C O B R A S

“Football is only one part of equation, the bigger factor is my ability to be a positive role model to many in my community. “ – Reggie Blackmon Sports Passion Magazine | 19

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Players took the opportunity to motivate the Coul-Oak Steelers “Mitey Mites” before their game and offer words of encouragement to the youth in areas of teamwork, togetherness, and respect.

Many players were a part of a Cancer Walk that took place during the same time. Therefore, Sports Passion Magazine is appreciative of their cooperation with making this day for the Coul-Oak Steelers exciting and making this interview possible. We Are One So how can you gather a group of guys, with different personalities and things run smoothly, I asked Coach Mo Sterling and Rod Wallace (team captain, quarterback) that question. Coach Mo jokingly states that a lot of yelling gets his point across to the players. Wallace knows the importance of staying positive on the field and controlling your body language is extremely important as the team’s quarterback. He recalls times in the past when he would get down during the game and his emotion and body language directly affected his teammates and the outcome of those games. When you are a part of a team, it’s about building each other up, motivating and encouraging each other to be the best that they can be. For that reason, I asked the players what does the Cobras signify to them? One by one they stated words such as brotherhood, community, family, togetherness, we are one! For this group, playing football is only one part of the equation because these guys enjoy being in the company of one another and it is like an extended family, a band of brothers.

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Upstate, South Carolina

One of College Football’s most storied and heated rivalries might just be set to get a little more heated at the end of the 2013 season with the prospect of the two teams closing out the season as highly ranked as they have ever been in the history of the match-up. Throw in a healthy mix of bad blood between the team’s two head coaches and the season closing match-up on November 30 could hardly be more exciting. The highest ranked match-up between these two in-state rival schools was in 1987 when South Carolina entered the game ranked at #12 and Clemson entered at #8. The schools are ranked at #14 and #8 respectively heading into week 11 and a win for the Gamecocks over Florida in two weeks’ time combined with no bad losses could well create the highest ranked match-up in the rivalries history. South Carolina and Clemson are both supported by the state of South Carolina and are separated by just over 100 miles. The rivalry has historical roots in the state’s history as well as being based on dislike between two extremely passionate athletic programs and fan bases. The football game has been renewed annually since 1909 after first being played in 1886. Clemson holds a 65-41-4 lead in the series, but the games have frequently been fiercely competitive with 40 decided by just one touchdown or less. The Gamecocks have enjoyed greater recent success as well winning the last four contests as well as six of the past eight. This season’s match-up is perhaps the most highly-anticipated in the game’s history for a number of reasons. Both schools started the seasons with legitimate national championship contending ambition, but have ultimately fallen out of that race after suffering crucial losses. Still, there will be plenty at stake in terms of final ranking and eventual Bowl game for each of these teams when they face-off to finish the 2013 season. There’s no love lost between either of the current line-ups either. After a blowout victory for the Gamecocks in 2011, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier was widely attributed as saying ‘We ain’t Alabama, we ain’t LSU, but we ain’t Clemson’. That quote was never said by Spurrier, but in fact represented comments made by Gamecocks play-by-play man Todd Ellis. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney responded angrily and would later be jibed back at Spurrier for his mistake. There’s no doubt that the November 30 clash will only further intensify a rivalry that runs deeper than just about any other in college sports. This is a rivalry that has seen numerous last second victories, brought a shameful brawl to the sport in 2004, a memorable display of sportsmanship in 2005 and huge numbers of famous refereeing decisions, most recently the notable catch/push-off debate from the game in 2000.

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This season’s game could well have all of that and more. Even more exciting is the prospect that both schools have every reason to believe that their recent success is here to stay. The state of South Carolina’s biggest sporting rivalry looks set to just keep getting bigger and bigger.

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Durham, North Carolina

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s it turns out the Carolina king of the court is actually a Duke. That, of course, would be as in the Duke Blue Devils from Durham. In essence they have already been anointed ACC royalty. While the Tar Heels still deserve a place of high standing, they are a step below the Blue Devils. As for North Carolina State, you’ll need an elevator with the arrow pointing down to reach them.

possible given the departures of Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly. The addition of highly touted F Jabari Parker is just the start of good things to come in 2013.

In the USA Today Top 25 Preseason rankings, Duke sits at 4 behind only Kentucky, Michigan State and Louisville. North Carolina just misses the Top 10 ranked at 11 behind (10) Ohio State. The (Tobacco) road will be tougher inside the ACC this year with the additions of Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and especially Syracuse. Next year, with the addition of Louisville, all bets will be off as to who might prevail in the conference. That said this will be the best basketball league in the nation. The depth of this Blue Devils hoops squad is perhaps the best in the entire NCAA. You may wonder how this is

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Jabari Parker making his verbal commitment to Duke University at press conference on December 20, 2012 Photo By TonyTheTiger

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Another new arrival is F Rodney Hood. He played for a year at Mississippi State before transferring to Duke. He saw playing time against the likes of Florida and Kentucky so he should be more than ready for ACC primetime. After Parker, he is Coach K’s best talent.

As previously mentioned, Duke needs to establish their post play. The only true center on their roster is Mason’s “little” brother 7 foot Marshall Plumlee, who is a sophomore and a work in progress. The other option is another second year man in 6’9” Amile Jefferson.

Duke needs to establish a down low presence and fill the 3 point void that opened up with the exit of Curry and Kelly. There are a few able candidates for that position with the starting backcourt of PG Quinn Cook and SG Rasheed Sulaimon. Tyler Thornton is capable as well and don’t be surprised to see Parker and Hood hoisting their share of treys.

It won’t take long to see how good this team will be as they meet Kansas in the season’s second game on November 12th. They begin the season with a “gimme” versus Davidson.

Now back to the 6’8” Parker. He is the total package on offense. He is explosive to the rim and his jump shot improved incrementally during his high school career. His passing ability is above average as is his overall knowledge of the game. As he adds size and strength his defense should improve and he is a top NBA lottery pick waiting to happen.

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Their first intra-state affair will be against the Wolfpack on January 18th. This could be a prototypical “trap” game with a huge matchup awaiting 4 days later against Miami of Florida. They don’t meet North Carolina for the first time until February 12th and then end the regular season against them on March 8th. Duke will score points as they always have. The difference between an early exit in March and a shot at the Final Four will be dependent upon how they match up with the bigger and stronger teams.

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The Hornet Buzz is Here

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Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte, North Carolina

≈ The Buzz ≈

The Buzz was created with fans petitioning to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte, now that the New Orleans Hornets have become the New Orleans Pelicans. The fans got their wish when the NBA Board of Governors approved the name change. As you know by now the Bobcats are getting the boot out of Charlotte and the Charlotte Hornets will be receiving a welcome back party beginning the 2014-15 NBA season. Throughout the city and through social media the “buzz” fandemonium has been great. From “Buzz City” to “Bring Back the Buzz,” the fan interaction has been exactly what team owner Michael Jordan and organization have been looking for. If you have been to a Bobcats game the past few seasons you know that fans are still wearing their throwback Charlotte Hornets jerseys and often speak of the team when they had Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and others. For the Charlotte fans it makes sense for them to convert back. Especially since the team hasn’t made a real impact since the Hornet days. The Bobcats organization needed to do something to gain the commitment back so the eventual name change, a new coaching staff, the draft of Cody Zeller, and the addition of Al Jefferson has steered the team and fans in the right direction. The Bobcats are on the right track on and off the court. The Bobcats recently defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first home game of the season and the fan reaction was intense. The Time Warner Arena was on fire, as the Bobcats secured their first win of the regular season and their first home victory. The sediment from the crowd as Bismack Biyombo dunked, Zeller hit a few shots, Josh McRoberts making an impact, Sessions making a couple of key baskets down the stretch, Henderson making free throws, and Kemba Walker being Kemba Walker. It was great to see. Everick Davis, Jr., a lead writer for sportspassion.net, has made the case for the Bobcats, as they are the team to look out for this year. The Bobcats’ back court is the key to the team improving, in particularly point guard, Kemba Walker. Walker and backup guard Ramon Sessions, have to set the tone and be leaders on the court. Co-captain Gerald Henderson is another player that is key. Walker and Henderson have been fan favorites for a while now and the two players will have an impact on the future of the organization for years to come, as well as ensuring the buzz remains even after the Bobcats become the Hornets next season. The Buzz has been created, but is it here to stay? That remains to be seen.

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Carolina Hurricanes ‘

Raleigh, North Carolina

Canes Nation The Carolina Hurricanes are back on ice for the 2013-14 season and they are looking to have an impact season and erase the thoughts of last year. Currently the Canes are not producing like they had hoped prior to the start of the season, but the Canes’ Nation is strong. Team captain, Eric Staal remains optimistic in spite of the slow start by the Hurricanes. He understands that this will not be an overnight turnaround for his team but he and his teammates can handle the pressure and look to rebound. The newly formed Metropolitan Division is thought to favor the Hurricanes this year. Sports Passion Magazine | 28

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Fitness Corner A Stronger Back, For Stronger Punches By Said Salem That’s right, a stronger back will allow you to punch harder, and also reduce your risk of injuries. “But isn’t your back for pulling?” correct, but before you stop reading this and return to bench pressing, hear me out! Boxers tend to have a very dominant and strong anterior (front side – e.g pectorals and anterior delt) and a weak posterior (back – e.g Lats, rhomboid and posterior delt). This happens due to the high repetition of punches thrown, and the high amount of press ups and other work done for the anterior. When considering the amount of work a boxer does for his front (anterior) and the little to no work done on his back (posterior) there is no surprise that a strength imbalance can occur. Why should you care about strength imbalances? Well, research[1,2] has shown that such imbalances can lead to a reduction in the amount pushing force the body produces, due to the body putting breaks on. Think of it like having a car with a really fast engine, but with bad brakes. You’re not going to drive fast because you know you can’t stop properly. Your body works in a similar way. When you have a strength imbalance between your front (anterior) and back (posterior) you will not be able to produce all the force you can when you punch, due to your body kicking in and protecting itself by putting the brakes on to protect your shoulder from injury, because your weaker back and shoulders cannot handle the amount of force that is transferred thru your arm when you punch. How do we remedy this? With pulling movements. Be sure to include exercises such as dumbbell rows and over hand chin ups into your next strength training session. This will help iron out any imbalances in strength between your anterior and posterior, thus allowing for optimal transfer of power thru your shoulder onto the other guys face!

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References 1. Jaric S, Ropert R, Kukolj M, Ilic DB. Role of agonist and antagonist muscle strength in rapid movement performance. Eur J Appl Physiol, 1995, 71, 464–468. 2. Baker D, Newton RU. Methods to increase the effectiveness of maximal power training for the upper body. Strength Cond J, 2005, 27, 24–32.

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Sports Passion Magazine | 30

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Volume 1, Issue 2