MetroSports Magazine Jan/Feb 2016

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MetroSports Magazine Westchester Knicks

Bring Professional Basketball to Westchester

January-February 2016

ZogSports Sports, Fun & Friends 2015 Slam Dunk Basketball Tournament Champions Dymiana Cox Local Gymnast named to P.R. National Team

Anais Almonte breaks onto the NYC MMA Scene

Contents January/February 2016

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Features 4 The Westchester Knicks Professional Basketball in the Heart of Westchester County 14 Westchester Slam Dunk Basketball Tournament Top High School Players Face Off at the Westchester County Center 17 ZogSports NYC Sports, Fun and Friends 26 Anais Almonte NYC Actress Sets Off On Her MMA Career 32 Dymiana Cox Local Gymnast Named to Puerto Rico National Team

Regular 39 Sports Photo Tip 40 Coach’s Corner 41 Athlete of the Month

Action Photography by Clark Thompson

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Train Like a Champion. Train with a Champion. MetroSports Magazine’s former Athlete of the Month and cover of our May-June 2015 issue, Keisher “Fire” McLeod, a former NY Golden Gloves Champion, current NYS Flyweight Champion and current WIBA World Flyweight Champion can now be your personal boxing trainer at the world famous Gleason’s Gym.

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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: Features Editor: Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg, Jeremy Harris Cover Photo: Jeremy Harris Proofreader: Melissa Tougas Contributors: Thomas Chin, Fitness Advertising: For rate card contact Please direct all inquiries to: Visit us on the web at:

MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3

Bringing Professional Basketball to Westchester The NBA Development League’s Westchester Knicks Light Up the County Center


ew York City’s basketball roots grow deep with Madison Square Garden hosting the NBA’s NY Knicks, the NCAA’s Big East Basketball tournament, the post-season NIT Tournament and the Jimmy V Basketball Classic, among others, while elsewhere in the City you’ll find the Brooklyn Nets, the Rucker Park Entertainers Basketball Classic tournament, the Bronx Orchard Beach Hoops in the Sun tournament. NYC’s basketball legacy also includes the legendary City College, N.Y.U., Rice High School and Power Memorial basketball teams of the past. Westchester County is home to equally legendary high school programs such as those at Ossining and Mount Vernon high schools, the annual Slam Dunk Tournament, several NCAA Division III and Division I teams, and numerous club teams such as those sponsored by Hooperstown. Westchester County now has an NBA affiliate Development League, or D-League, professional team to call its own, the Westchester Knicks. Currently playing in its second season, the Westchester Knicks bring a competitive, entertaining and family-friendly brand of basketball to the heart of Westchester County. Playing all 24 of their 2015-16 season home games at the conveniently located Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY, the team showcases up and coming talent in this franchise of the NBA’s development league program. The NBA D-League currently consists of 4 | January-February 2016

19 teams with the Westchester Knicks being the only D-League team in the NY metro region. With an overall record through the middle of January of 14 wins against 7 losses, the Westchester Knicks stand in first place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference. The team currently fields a roster of 11 players, coached by Mike Miller. Miller, formerly with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs D-League affiliate Austin Spurs, comes to the Westchester Knicks as the third head coach in its young history as the team looks to step-up its game and solidify its place in the league. Achieving early success and positioning the Knicks at the head of its Division and Conference, Miller was named the NBA D-League Coach of the Month for November. Facing Page: Knicks 6’7” power forward Thanasas Antetokounmpo jams one home against the Erie BayHawks.

Photo: Warren Rosenberg MSG Sports & Entertainment

The team is managed by former N.Y. Knick standout, Allan Houston, who can frequently be seen at the County Center games. During his 12 year NBA professional career spent with the NY Knicks and Detroit Pistons, Houston averaged 17.3 points-per-game and was elected to the NBA All-Star Team twice. Houston is also an Olympic Gold Medalist having achieved that honor as part of the U.S. championship team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Other notable celebrities frequently spotted on the sidelines at the Westchester Knicks County Center games include former Knicks NBA players John Starks and Larry Johnson. During one game in late November, boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in attendance to cheer on his friend, Westchester Knicks point guard, Jordon Crawford and actor Ben Stiller was on hand for the January 3rd game. Last year’s leading scorer on the Westchester Knicks, Langston Galloway, was called up to the big leagues last January and is currently a member of the New York Knicks roster. Current guard, Jimmer Fredette was called up to play with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans before returning to Westchester this November. Fredette is two-time All-American and was named the NCAA’s 2011 Player of the Year during his college career. continued on page 10 Top Left: Head Coach Mike Miller, in action, dur ing a game. Center Left: Manager and former NY Knicks Allan Houston with current NY Knick Kyle O’Quinn. Bottom Left: Former NY Knicks John Wallace and Larry Johnson enjoying a game at the Westchester County Center. Photos: Warren Rosenberg MSG Sports & Entertainment

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Above: A full-house on hand at the Wetschester County Center to cheer on the Westchester Knicks

Above Left: World Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr enjoying a game at the County Center. Above Right: Former NY Knick John Starks conducting a clinic for young players following a game. 914-765-0688

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg MSG Sports & Entertainment

Above: The Westchester Knicks Dancers perform at every home game. Right: A member of the ‘Knick Knacks’ Dancers performing for the fans. Below: Westchester’s Deputy County Executive, Kevin Plunkett (right), suited up for a charity game with his teammates and coach, former NY Knick Larry Johnson.

Photo: Warren Rosenberg MSG Sports & Entertainment

Photo: Clark Thompson MSG Sports & Entertainment Facing Page: Travis Trice II goes airborne to slam home two points in the Knicks December 12 defeat of the Delaware 87ers.

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Photo: Clark Thompson MSG Sports & Entertainment

Rejoining the team during its second game of the season, Fredette firmly established himself with a 37 point performance. Joining the team for its December 2nd game was Cleanthony Early, signed to a 2-year contract with the NY Knicks in 2014 and delivering a 14-point fourth quarter performance in a game against the Brooklyn Nets on November 7th of that year. On both the Westchester Knicks and on the visiting teams, fans will often get to watch, and mingle with, future NBA stars and some current NBA players spending a few games with their D-League affiliates as they recover from injuries or sharpen their skills. No doubt about it, there’s some competitive, high-level basketball to be watched and lots of fun to be had at the Westchester County Center. Below: Jimmer Fredette and fans after the game. Above: Cleanthony Early puts one home for the score. Below: Ben Stiller with Allan Houston. Facing Page Top: Jordon Crawford Facing Page Bottom: Jimmer Fredette

Photos: Warren Rosenberg - MSG Sports and Entertainment

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Photo: Clark Thompson MSG Sports & Entertainment Photo: Clark Thompson MSG Sports & Entertainment

Photos: Warren Rosenberg - MSG Sports and Entertainment

Jonathan Perry is one of the Westchester Knicks most loyal fans and he intends to be at every home game this season. When MSM asked Jonathan why, his answer was brief and simple, “I love it. It’s the best game in Westchester.” Jonathan is pictured above with some of the Westchester Knicks Dancers and at right with NY Liberty legend and 1988 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, Teresa Weatherspoon who dropped in on a game. Pictured at right, the Westchester Knicks Dancers pose with young dancers after a halftime performance in December. Participants had trained with the Knicks Dancers at a weekend clinic organized by the City Center Dance studio in White Plains. 12 | January-February 2016

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2015 SLAM DUNK Tournament

The 2015 Slam Dunk Tournament concluded its four day run at the Westchester County Center on December 29th.Twenty-four of the top high school teams from across New York State competed, with the Peekskill High School girls team and Bishop Laughlin boys team crowned tournament champions. In the 17 years of the tournament’s history, this was the third Championship title for the Peekskill girls and the first tournament Championship for Bishop Laughlin’s Photo: Clark Thompson

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Facing Page: Girl’s Tournament MVP, Peekskill’s Lanay Rodney, lays one in against Monroe Woodbury’s Casey Waldron in first round action. Rodney, who was also named MVP for the 2013 Tournament, is a prolific scorer having surpassed the career high school mark of 1,000 points in January 2014. Inset: First-year Peekskill head coach Kimberly Saxton enjoying her team’s performance. Right: Ossining High School’s Aubrey Griffin during first round action against Brooklyn’s Grand Street Campus. Aubrey, a 5’11” freshman, is the daughter of former NBA player Adrian Griffin who played nine seasons with the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic, Aubrey is ranked as the #3 girls high school basketball player in NY State. Below: Peekskill girls get a sideline strategy session from coach Saxton.

Photo: Clark Thompson

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Peekskill High School Girls 2015 Slam Dunk Champions Photo: Clark Thompson

Bishop Laughlin Boys 2015 Slam Dunk Champions Photo: Clark Thompson

Sports Fun & Friends



o, unlike some other NY Metro area athletes featured in this issue of MetroSports Magazine who play professional basketball or step into the ring to pummel an opponent in an MMA fight, let’s just assume that you’re looking for an opportunity to participate in a competitive sporting activity for fun, healthy exercise, or to meet and socialize with like-minded people. Over 100,000 people in major cities across the country satisfy this desire by joining up to participate in ZogSports, the country’s largest social sports league, with NY Metro area activities in NYC, Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken and Union City as well as in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco. ZogSports will be available in Denver later this spring. Zoggers can choose from the

Anthony Padgett. See Anthony’s interview on page 20.

Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC Above: Beach Volleyball at Brooklyn Bridge Park

traditional competitive sports of basketball, bowling, dodgeball, football (touch and flag), kickball, soccer, softball, and volleyball, and some of the more esoteric sports such as cornhole, ultimate frisbee and wiffle ball. ZogSports was featured in a 2010 Wall Street Journal Article, “Dating Game: Skipping for Sports Matchups” quoting participant Christina Cozzi as saying, “It’s a lot easier to get to know someone while wearing sweatpants and no makeup.” The New York Times, writing in a 2010 Urban Athlete column titled, “Bowling Ball, Shoes and a Wig” in describing the ZogSports aura offered that, “Fun is certainly more important than ability, but the competitive spirit has been known to kick in.” In 2012 ZogSports was listed by CBS as one of NYC’s Five Best Intramural Sports Leagues and in 2015 earned a respectable runners-up placing in the Best of D.C.’s “Staff Pick for

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Recreational Sports League.” Also, ZogSports was listed by Crains New York Magazine as one of NYC’s best 100 places to work in 2015. In addition to its athletic competition and social interaction aspects, ZogSports also has a charitable function. The company donates 10% of all net profit and 100% of all Happy Hour contributions. To date, ZogSports teams have helped raise over $2.7 million, all donated to charities selected by each team. ZogSports also operates a fully not-for-profit arm in New York City, ZogSports Athletic Association of NYC (ZSAANYC), which runs activities in the NYC Department of Education buildings and donates 100% of the net proceeds to charity. Facing Page: ZogSports coed soccer game at Brooklyn Bridge Park in the shadow of lower Manhattan.

Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

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If you think ZogSports isn’t a place for real sports enthusiasts, consider the recommendation of Cosmopolitan Magazine which, in an online article about two-time Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist Hilary Knight, cites her advice on feeling fabulous, “Camaraderie makes workouts fun, which helps you stick with it. And competition pushes you to work harder, which means faster results. Go to to find winter rec leagues in your area.” And it’s not just Olympic athletes who are drawn to ZogSports. Actor and comedian Bill Murray, pictured at right, once walked on to a ZogSports NYC kickball game on NYC’s Roosevelt Island back in 2012 and serial entrepreneur, Shark Tank celebrity and NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has also been known to drop in. It’s interesting to note the visible presence of the new One World Trade Center building in the photo of the ZogSports soccer game held at Brooklyn Bridge Park this past summer (see preceding page). It was the destruction of the original One World Trade Center tower on September 11, 2001 that led to the birth of the ZogSports enterprise. On his way into work in WTC Tower One on 9-11, Robert Herzog, then an executive with Marsh & McLennan, was confronted with the worst of humanity as One WTC was attacked before his eyes. This traumatic event caused him to rethink his priorities and, after some contemplation, resulted in his launching ZogSports.

Photo: Christopher G. DiLella

Photo: ZogSports Top: Comedian Bill Murray stops by to play Kickball with Zogsters on NYC’s Roosevelt Island. Above: Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks drops by ZogSports headquarters. Opposite Page, Top. Touch football on Roosevelt Island Opposite Page Bottom: After the game socializing at the Riverwalk Bar and Grill on Roosevelt Island

The Wall Street Journal. Dating Game:Skipping for Sports Matchups. Aug 17, 2010

CBS The 5 Best Intramural Sports Leagues and Programs in NYC. Feb 28, 2012

The New York Times. Bowling Ball, Shoes and Wig. June 17, 2010

Washington City Best Recreational Sports League 2015.

Crains New York. Crains names 2015 Best Places to Work. Sept 18, 2015

Cosmopolitan. Meet 5 Amazing Olympians Who Will Inspire You to Feel Fabulous This Winter. Jan 2, 2015

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

MSM Interviews Zogger Anthony Padgett MSM: How did you first come to know about and get involved with ZogSports? Anthony: About a year ago, I was doing a volunteer sports project with a middle school in which one of the games we played with the kids was dodgeball. Even though it had been awhile since I played it, I couldn’t help but think to myself “man this was fun, it’s too bad they don’t have things like this made just for adults”. After talking with some of the other volunteers about this same idea, the name ZogSports eventually came up, so I googled their website to find out what it was all about. I had liked what I saw.So this past summer, I joined one of their flag football leagues once school let out. MSM: What do you like most about the ZogSports experience? Anthony: The thing I liked most about my ZogSports experience was my teammates. I enjoyed playing with them and hanging out at the bar with them after the game. MSM: Do you find the level of athletic competition in ZogSports to be at all challenging or do you participate just for fun? Anthony: It all depends on the team I guess. Some weeks you could play against teams that are extremely athletic and will make plays based on that while the next week you might play a team with players who aren’t as big but communicate with one another really well and find success that way. I’ll play anybody regardless. MSM: Would you recommend ZogSports to others? Anthony: Yes! Definitely!!!

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Anthony Padgett is a student at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights and works part-time for the New York Public Library System. We met Anthony at a ZogSports Flag Football game on Randall’s Island and were immediately impressed with his athleticism. Anthony consented to be interviewed for this article.

Photo: Clark Thompson, ZogSports-NYC

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

Photo: Clark Thompson, ZogSports-NYC

Photo: Clark Thompson, ZogSports-NYC


Anais Almonte bursts into the MMA Limelight

hile New York’s ban on professional MMA continues, the amateur circuit is thankfully alive and well, with public events organized and promoted by organizations such as NYC’s Extreme Cage Fighting (ECF) and Westchester County’s AKBF Fight League. In this issue, MetroSports Magazine features a new MMA fighter on the NY metroarea scene, Anais Almonte, who won her first amateur fight on December 5, scoring a first round win by rear naked choke at the ECF’s Holiday Havoc-2, Redemption event held at the Melrose Ballroom in Astoria, NY. Ms. Almonte, an actress, writer and producer based out of NYC was introduced to the martial arts while training for an acting role. She has since carved out a specialized acting niche in cinematic combat fighting. Make no mistake however, Anais is not just a pretty face trying to capitalize on looks alone. She is a serious contender having competed in prior MMA, boxing and K1 matches. MSM interviewed Anais and she told us much about her goal to turn to professional MMA fighting and the similarities between her acting and fighting careers.


MSM: Who are your heros or heroines in acting and in fighting? Anais: In acting, Viola Davis, she’s definitely one of my favorite actresses, a woman who came from nothing and found a way out to to be 26 | January-February 2016

come the actress that she wanted to be. Her passion and strong desire in life gave her the strength that she needed to become one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood in a world that didn’t have room for an African American Lead. I’m so inspired by her and her story, she’s my heroine in acting. NYC has long been known as the mecca for the pugilistic sport of boxing and MetroSports Magazine has honored that history with regular coverage of the NYC boxing scene. While other states in the nation have extended the license for professional mixed martial arts (MMA) events, New York State stubbornly refuses to do so, depriving a new generation of talented athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents and earn a living from their highly specialized craft. One of the fighters previously covered in MetroSports Magazine, professional boxer, fitness trainer and former MMA competitor, Jennifer Santiago, was one of 13 athletes and MMA practitioners who joined in a 2011 lawsuit against New York State’s Attorney General, Eric Schniderman, and NYC’s Attorney General Cyrus Vance, contending that NY State’s ban on professional MMA was a violation of the law and of their constitutional rights. Joining Ms. Santiago in this suit were fighters Gina Carano, Jon Jones and Frankie Edgar along with the UFC’s corporate parent, Zuffa LLC.

Photo: Jeremy Harris

In fighting, definitely Holly Holmes, for me she represents what a real fighter looks like, a Woman with a beautiful heart and Humble but when she gets on the ring you see a true warrior, she transforms into a real fighter, she is so technical and the way she fights is so beautiful. For me, she fights with art, I get inspired by her every time I see her in the cage. I mean, she’s the champ in the professional MMA female division and defeated the best female fighter Ronda Rousey. I have probably seen that fight 1000 times and still get goose bumps. MSM: Your December 5th fight ended with a first round win. Were you surprised that you dispatched your opponent so quickly? Anais: The way that we train at ECF, I was prepared for anything - whether it was a 3 round war or a quick finish. Like my coach always says on training, “we train hard so can we win easy”, so yes I was happy to get the quick finish MSM: How was your experience fighting with the Extreme Cage Fighting group? Anais: It was definetly the most exciting professional martial art shows I have ever been part of. When I walked in that octagon and saw all those people around me, the lights, the music, the energy and the adrenaline that rushed through my body at that moment - it was just an incredible experience. I felt so powerful and so ready to give them what they wanted to see, a real and exciting MMA fight. It was such an emotional moment, something that I look forward to in my next fight and something that has become addictive. I look forward to experience it again and again .

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MSM: Can you describe your normal and pre-fight training routines? Anais: My pre-fight training routine is normally 4 days a week. I train privately with my Coach, Christian Defiris, who is a 5 time State martial arts and wrestling champion, with Karate Joe - my Boxing coach and Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, Braulio Cuevas, all part of the all-star training staff at EVF gym. I also do 4x a week conditioning and cardio and sparring once to twice a week. MSM: Are there any similarities in preparing for a new acting role and for an MMA fight? Anais: Absolutely, I think there is a similarity in a mental preparation level. When I prepare for a new role, I first start from believing and living in the character’s world I’m playing through specific techniques and exercises to become that person mentally. It’s the same when I’m preparing for a fight, I go through extensive physical training but also an important mental preparation in picturing myself as being the winner, I play the moves and combinations I’m going to use inside of my head, I see my opponents being defeated by me way before I go in the ring. It all starts with mental preparation. MSM: What is your ultimate goal in MMA? Anais: Short term, my team and I have discussed staying amateur for the next 6 months to a year, win the ECF woman’s MMA tittle then go pro. Once we go pro our eye is first on “INVICTA” the all female league and then hopefully the UFC, ultimately my goal is to become a Champion like any one else who does this sport and everything that comes with it is just icing on the cake.

Photo: Jeremy Harris

Photo: Jeremy Harris

MetroSports Magazine interviewed Christian Deferis, the president and CEO of Extreme Cage Fighting, an organization that promotes amateur MMA events in New York City. MSM: Several MMA fighters including Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar and NYC fighter Jennifer Santiago had filed an unsuccessful suit against the NY Attorney General challenging the State’s ban on professional MMA fights. Do you think we’ll see professional MMA fights coming to NYC anytime in the near future? Christian Deferis: I hope and pray mixed martial arts is legalized sometime this year. I’m really confused as to why, exactly, they’re still holding back on it but I do know that we will be seeing it legal in the near future. How soon though I’m really unsure. MSM: Can you describe for us the role that ECF plays in providing an opportunity for the development of amateur MMA fighters? Christian Deferis: The ECF Provides New York’s amateur martial artist a high level show to showcase their skills. I pride myself on running my organization as close to the best professional shows you see on television. I take all the precautions: full insurance, make sure there are medics, EMTs, ambulances and cutmen all at the show, all fighters must get medicals and all MMA fighters need blood work done to assure the safety of the fighters. The ECF also provides a gorgeous venue (Melrose ballroom ) and high-level promotion giving their audience, friends and family and an amazing experience all around.

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From action packed evenly matched fights to the NYC Dj s spinning live above the cage in the Vip sky lounge area also great food and awesome bartender serving delicious drinks and specials that we come up with show to show AND an outstanding lights show between rounds. It’s a real experience that no one really expects. This is what separates the Extreme cage fighting (ECF) from the rest. Attention to detail and actually caring about the fighters and fans experience.

Christian “The Destroyer” Deferis, president and CEO of Extreme Cage Fighting (ECF) is working to promote the sport of MMA in New York City. Deferis, himself an MMA combatant is undefeated as an amateur MMA artist, kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter. He was an All State wrestler in high school and has captured the Pride Grappling Gold Medal, twice, the NY State PKF Middleweight Grappling Championship, PKF NY State Super Welterweight Grappling Championship and the PKF Super Middleweight East Coast Kickboxing Championship. In addition to promoting amateur MMA events, Deferis currently trains fighters at ECF Elite Martial Arts and Fitness in Lynbrook NY, where he runs the ECF Elite Training Facility. It is here that Deferis, along with “Karate Joe” Joe Perry and “Professor” Braulio Cuevas, a disciple of the Gracies, train Anais Almonte.

Heading to the International Stage Local gymnast named 2015 Puerto Rico Junior Elite National Champion


ymiana Cox, a 15 year old gymnast who trains at Dynamic Gymnastics in Mohegan Lake, NY, is preparing for the next step in her promising gymnastics career - a trip to Colombia, South America, to compete in the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships. This past September Dymiana, a Level 10 gymnast, won the Puerto Rico National Championship in the 13-15 year old age division earning her a spot on the Puerto Rico Junior National Olympic Team. The Junior Pan American Championships, held once every two years,serves as the North, Central and South Americas qualifying event for the international Youth Olympic Games. Athletes bewteen the ages of 15 - 18 may compete in the Youth Olympic Games. As with the Olympics, the Youth Olympic Games consist of both Winter and Summer Games, held once every four years. The Summer Games which host the gymnastic competition was last held in Nanjing, China, in 2014. Dymiana trains under the tutelage of two former Olympians, Sorin Cepoi and

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Teodora Ungureanu, a husband and wife team who competed for Romania in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. This Olympic Dynamic Duo opened their New York gymnastic training facility in 1995 after serving as head coaches at LaGrenobloise in France where they trained several French national team members as well as the French Olympian Chloe Maigre. Dynamic Gymnastics is located in the Westchester County suburb of Mohegan Lake New York, about an hour north of NYC, on the campus of the Tom Thumb school. This is Dymiana’s second appearance in MetroSports Magazine. Based on her performance during the 2014-15 gymnastics competition season she was selected as MetroSports Magazine’s Athlete of the Month for April. At the New York State Gymnastics qualifying meet in January 2015, Dymiana captured first place awards on the uneven parallel bars, balance beam and floor exercise and placed second on vault. That was enough to crown her All Around Champion for that meet.

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Above: Dymiana works on perfecting her bar routine with coach Sorin Cepoi at the Dynamic Gymnastics training facility in Mohegan Lake, NY.

Above: Dymiana practicing her balance beam routine under the ever watchful gaze of Olympic silver medalist, Teodora Ungureanu.

Sports Photo Tip Sponsored by Hunts Photo & Video

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Sports Photo Tip of the Month Backgrounds Matter

too easy to forget to pay attention to I t’stheallbackground when you’re composing

of f/2.8 to f/1.8. Apertures wider than f/1.8 will have such narrow depth of field that you and cropping your sports photos given the may get the athlete’s face in focus, but not importance of setting white balance, ISO and his or her hands. selecting the best aperture and shutter speed Another important aspect is to actually to capture the image you’re after. Whether control what shows up in the background you’re shooting for fun or, more importantly, and this can be accomplished by careful sefor a commercial assignment, backgrounds do lection of your shooting position and commatter. position framing. When shooting on a comGiven how colorful and busy the background mercial assignment, you’ll never want to see will usually be in a sports arena, the most com- empty seats in the background and always pelling sports photos are those where there is want to be sure to include sponsor signage a clear separation of player action from back- and logos. ground distraction. This is achieved by selecting as wide open an aperture as possible, Left and Center: On the same field, simply limiting your depth of field to just those few Bottom moving your shooting positon can drastically improve feet of on-court or on-field action. The resultthe background. (Photo: Warren Rosenberg_ ing image will have tack-sharp player action Bottom Right: Which do you think NASCAR race sponagainst a blurred, out-of-focus background. sor Quicken Loans would prefer to see? (Photo: Warren Rosenberg - ISC Corp.) Most sports photographers work with high end lenses capable of maximun apertures of

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The Coaches Corner

Power Napping Your Way To a Better Day Thomas Chin


t’s mid-day and you’re facing a ton of work that still has to be finished. Tired, groggy, that “2:30” feeling, you just can’t seem to shake the sleepiness. Or perhaps you have a son or daughter who seems to be falling asleep every 5 minutes while attempting to get through their homework. While many may turn to coffee or an energy drink, the solution to the dreadful tiredness comes in a much easier, natural fashion: The Power Nap. The power nap has long been believed to be beneficial for re-energizing the body during times of drowsiness. However, not many people have often engaged in the activity, as the common thought was always “I have my time to sleep later” or “nighttime=sleep”. In fact, humans are the outlier when it comes to their sleep schedule. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “More than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they sleep for short periods throughout the day. Humans are part of the minority of monophasic sleepers, meaning that our days are divided into two distinct periods, one for sleep and one for wakefulness. How?

There are three type of napping you can engage in. The first is Planned Napping, in which you plan a nap before you are tired. This helps in staying awake, as your body knows it will receive its sleep shortly. The second is Emergency Napping, in which you take a nap once you feel drowsy and cannot continue whatever activity you were doing. This may help in performing activities that you begin to feel sleepy while doing, such as driving or operating machinery; things you cannot perform safely while dozing off. The third is Habitual Napping, in which you take a nap at the same time each day. Like Planned Napping, this gives your body something to look forward to, thus warding off drowsiness.

What they found was that the nappers “demonstrated vigilance performance improvements from 16% in median reaction time to 34% in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group.” Furthermore, the National Sleep Foundation notes that “Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents.” With all of its benefits, it seems as if power napping may be the solution to the dreadful grogginess that many of us face throughout the day. All you need is 15-20 minutes and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and alive! So what are you waiting for? Put down the coffee and get some shut eye!

Rosekind, Smith, and Miller. “Result Filters.” National Center for Even with these different nap- Biotechnology Information. U.S. ping techniques, the question National Library of Medicine, 4 still stands: Do they work? Dec. 1995. Web. 19 Nov. 2015. The answer: Absolutely yes! A study from NASA done in “Napping.” Benefits & Tips. Na1995 examined the benefits tional Sleep Foundation, n.d. Web. of power napping on mili- 19 Nov. 2015. tary pilots. Each participant was allowed to nap for up to 40 minutes, with the average nap being roughly 25 minutes.

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MetroSports Athlete of the Month MetroSports Athlete of the Month Jimmer Fredette Widely regarded as one of the NBA Development League’s best prospects for selection by an NBA team this year, Jimmer Fredette has made a significant impact on the Westchester Knicks since joining the team in November. In addition to his performance in helping the team reach 1st place in its division, Fredette leads the team in 3-point percentage, free throw percentage and assists.

MetroSports Athlete of the Month Lanay Rodney For her dominating performance in the 2015 Westchester Slam Dunk high school basketball Tournament, MetroSports Magazine names Peekskill High School senior Lanay Rodney as our Athlete of the Month for February 2016. Lanay put together back-to-back 30 point performances in the semifinal and final games being only the third player in tournament history to do so.Lanay captured her third tournament MVP award in helping lead Peekskill to its tournament championship

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