Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cuttino Mobley To Retire Due To Enlarged Heart Condition

Cuttino Mobley is close to retiring because of an enlarged heart condition:

Cuttino Mobley is strongly mulling a medical retirement because of an enlarged heart condition and could make the announcement tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the situation. Mobley, 33, still has one more heart test left today in Minnesota. It had been reported that Mobley had signed a waiver with the Clippers to release them of liability if he had heart problems. If Mobley, obtained in the Zach Randolph trade from the Clippers, retires, it would free open a roster spot and save the Knicks about 75 percent of the $18. 9 million left on his pact because of insurance. Mobley, who gets all the money, was obtained more for his contract that expires after next season than for his game. According to the source, Mobley helped initiate the extra testing following his failed physical. "He's not really focused on basketball, his main concern is his health," the source said.

I definitely wish Mobley the best with dealing with his enlarged heart condition. It is probably best for Mobley to retire rather than risk putting his life in jeopardy. Throughout his career, Mobley has averaged 16.0 points a game and in his prime was one of the better 3-point shooters in the game, where he ranks 73rd all time at 37.8%. Mobley is also known for stepping his offensive game up when facing Kobe Bryant, since they are familiar with each other with both of them being from the Philadelphia area. Mobley attended the University of Rhode Island, which also happens to be my alma mater. So you know I'll be rooting for Cat Mobley to stay in good health.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Breathin' - Jon Hope (Video)

New video from Jon Hope with some nice shots of my home city of Providence.

Audio: Breathin' - Jon Hope

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

1996-1997 Providence College Friars

The 1996-1997 Providence College Friars were a unique team with a different group of personalities that will probably always be remembered by Friar fans. They were a #10 seed in the NCAA Tournament that season and they knocked off # 7 Marquette, # 2 Duke, and # 14 Tenn.-Chattanooga, before losing to # 4 Arizona in OT. Arizona would go on to win the National Championship that year.

Here is a look at the players on the 1997 Providence College Friars:
PG: God Shammgod: Shammgod was the king of the crossover dribble, but he couldn't shoot to save his life. Still his flashy style of play was always entertaining to watch. The former McDonalds High School All-American only spent two years at PC before bolting for the NBA. He got drafted by the Washington Wizards in the second round, but didn't make it past one year in the NBA. Shammgod is currently playing for the Portland Chinooks of the International Basketball League. Shammgod averaged 10.8 points, 6.6 assists, and 2.4 steals a game for the 1997 Friars.

SG: Jamel Thomas: Thomas is probably most famously known as Stephon Marbury's cousin and Sebastian Telfair's half brother. However, he was also a key part of this Providence College team. Thomas was one of the most talented players on the Friars. He could shoot and pass very well and had good size for a college SG. He had a very short NBA career and has played in Italy and Turkey throughout the years. He averaged 14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game for the 1997 Friars. He also led the team with 65 three pointers, hitting on 40.1% of them.

SF: Derrick Brown: Brown was another Junior College transfer, who was a key part of the 1997 Friars team. He was a great college player who did almost everything well, but not well enough to be an NBA player. Brown was king of the baseline, always seeming to work his way from the baseline to sneak in underneath the hoop to catch a pass for a layup. He also had the best nickname on the team: Derrick "Flight" Brown. Brown averaged 17.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals a game in 1997. He also shot the ball extremely well, knocking down 49.9 % of his shots, including a solid 37% from three.

PF: Austin Croshere: Croshere was the star of this team and would end up having the most successful career after getting drafted in the lottery by the Indiana Pacers. He was Mr. Inside & Outside for the Friars, knocking down threes and handling his business down low. He was a great college scorer and was deadly at the free throw line hitting 84.3% of his free throws for his career. Croshere is back with the Indiana Pacers after bouncing around the NBA for a few years. Croshere finished the 1997 season averaging 17.9 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

C: Ruben Garces: Garces was the big man enforcer on this Providence College team. A Junior College transfer, Garces was solid low post presence for the Friars, providing just enough scoring to go with his rebounding. Garces had a brief NBA career and is currently playing in Spanish ACB for Pamesa Valencia. He is also a member of the Panama national basketball team. He finished the 1997 season averaging 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks a game, while shooting 53.8% from the field.

Bench: The bench for the Friars wasn't very deep, but it was led by Corey Wright and Jason Murdock. Corey Wright was a fan favorite at just 5'8" and was a quick change of pace guard for the Friars. His speed allowed him to average 2 steals a game for the Friars. Murdock averaged just under 19 minutes a game for the Friars, but struggled with his shot all season connecting on just 34.6% of his attempts, including just 29.8% from three. The other members on the bench did not see big minutes, but included big man Ndongo Ndiaye and forwards Abdul Brown and Kofi Pointer.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Jurassic Harlem (Channel 1) - Theo

New joint from Providence MC Theo, rockin' the Jurassic Park sample that Posta Boy rocked on back in the day.

Jurassic Harlem (Channel 1) - Theo

Monday, September 29, 2008

Showdown - Jon Hope

"....up for grabs, I'm Lynn Swann..."

Hot new joint from Jon Hope.

Showdown - Jon Hope

More: New Joints

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Demetrius Andrade Excited About Turning Pro

Here is the story, via The Providence Journal:

Demetrius Andrade closed one chapter of his boxing career in Beijing when the Providence welterweight lost a controversial, 11-9, quarterfinal bout to South Korea’s Kim Jung-Joo at the Summer Olympics.

On Sept. 6 he began writing another chapter when the 20-year-old world champion announced that he was turning pro. He signed a multiyear promotional undisclosed six-figure agreement with Artie Pelullo’s Banner Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.

Pelullo and DeGuardia say that Andrade is the world’s best boxer turning pro this year.

Yesterday at a news conference at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Andrade said that his first professional fight will be Oct. 23 in Airway Heights, Wash., on a nationally televised card headlined by the vacant featherweight title bout between Orlando Salido and Cristobal Cruz.

“It means the world to me,” Andrade said. “… It’s just another stepping stone in my life. Going to the Olympics was my dream. I always knew eventually I was going to turn pro, get all of the belts, and that’s just another dream I have and now I have to accomplish that dream.”

Andrade, who trains at 401 Boxing Gym in Cranston, said that he doesn’t know who he is fighting, but he is excited about making his pro debut on the Versus network.

“I’m going to go out there and I’m going to give [my fans] what they want,” Andrade said.

“It’s a big day,” Andrade’s father, manager, and co-coach Paul Andrade said. “It’s great that people are going to get to see him early [in his career]. A lot of people have already seen him at the Olympics and we are going to keep that going by going on TV shows and fighting on TV. We plan on coming to Providence and doing a real big show for our fans in Providence next. This is our hometown and we love everybody here.”

Andrade has been an exciting amateur, having won two national titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, and a world title in the 152-pound weight class.

For those achievements, along with representing the United States at the 2008 Olympics, Andrade was given several citations yesterday, from Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth H. Roberts, and Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline who declared yesterday to be “Demetrius Andrade Day.”

“This is an incredibly proud day for this city,” Cicilline said.

Being a pro boxer was a goal that Andrade dreamed about when he first started boxing at 6-years-old.

“We’ve been waiting for this for 14 years,” Paul Andrade said. “We’ve spent a lot of hours in that gym.”

“This is something that we’ve always spoken about for years and years,” Andrade’s co-coach David Keefe said. “We talked about doing this the right way. We’ve got two great promoters and we’ve got a great racehorse in Demetrius.”

Andrade said that he doesn’t think he’ll have to adjust much from the amateur style to the pros.

“There is no headgear so you have to watch out for the head butts and the elbows,” Keefe said. “The rounds are a [minute] longer. We’ll iron out the kinks and he’ll be fine. It’s just a matter of making a few adjustments.”

Pelullo and DeGuardia believe that Andrade can become a bigger icon and ambassador for the sport than boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya, who has built his own promotions company.

“If you look at what Oscar De La Hoya did and how he built an enterprise and how he made so much money, I think that Demetrius can surpass that ten fold,” Pelullo said. “I think that the world is changing. The market is changing. With the advent of the Internet, so many more people will be able to watch him so I think that we can’t even imagine the possibilities that he can reach.”

“We don’t expect a champion only,” DeGuardia said. “We don’t expect a multi-champion only. We expect a superstar.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bars Segment 16 - Donny Goines & Jon Hope

Had to post this dope freestyle video from Donny Goines and Prov-City repper Jon Hope. Hope kills this once again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Demetrius Andrade Speaks On His Controversial Loss

Here is the latest on Demetrius Andrade's loss at the Olympics, via the Providence Journal:

Olympic gold was his dream. Olympic judges were his nightmare.

The dream died Sunday for Providence's Demetrius Andrade, thanks to a nightmare he'll never forget.

"You know what was going through my mind [in the time between the end of the fight and the announcement of the judges' decision]? It was like, 'Damn, they might pull a Jones on me' -- and they did," Andrade said moments after he lost a controversial 11-9 decision to Kim Jungjoo of Korea in the boxing quarterfinals, ending his hopes of earning an Olympic medal. He was referring to a highly controversial decision at the 1988 Seoul Olympics when Roy Jones of the U.S. peppered South Korean fighter Park Si-Hun with punches, only to lose a 3-2 decision and the gold medal.

Andrade was so upset upon hearing he'd lost that he left the ring before the decision was announced, leaving Jungjoo alone with referee Hassen Boughalmi of Tunisia.

"It was no disrespect for [Jungjoo], but it was pointless for me to be in there," said Andrade. "There's no way he hit me 11 times. I blocked him . . . [He] probably scored three or four points, but not more than that."

"I thought that was totally ridiculous," agreed U.S. coach Dan Campbell. "[Andrade] clearly landed more scoring punches. I was talking to the people back in the tape room and they saw the same thing we did. Demetrius should have had at least eight points going into that last round."

But, according to the judges, Andrade never led in the bout, despite throwing more combinations than his opponent. He also appeared to score a knockdown, which was not counted.

"I was landing a lot of punches, but the judges were not giving them to me," he said. "It's tough for the kids back home who want to take up boxing because if they come to the Olympics to be treated like this, there's no point in coming at all."

Andrade's loss leaves the United States with only one boxer remaining in the tournament: Heavyweight Deontay Wilder, who struggled to beat Morocco's Mohammed Arjaoui on countback. Trailing 9-8, Wilder was awarded two points when Arjaoui was penalized for illegal ducking in the final minute. Arjaoui tied the score, 10-10, on a punch with 10 seconds left, but Wilder emerged victorious, 23-22, thanks to the convoluted Olympic scoring system of "accepted punches" among the five judges (the high and low counts are thrown out).

Wilder said the only reason his fight was so close was because of Andrade's defeat.

"I've been with Dee [Andrade] and my whole teammates for a whole year. We built a great bond together. We're like family. They're like my brothers," he said. "And when I saw [Andrade] come in [to the locker room] crying [because of the judges' decision], immediately I got emotional and broke down. I told him to stop because he was making me cry and lose focus.

"I feel I was a way much better fighter than [Arjaoui]. I feel I could have done way better than what I did. It was just a lack of focus."

Wilder, however, lived to fight another day. That's not the case with Andrade or any of the other American boxers, who -- prior to this year -- had never won fewer than two medals in any Olympics.

Andrade controlled the action for much of the fight but, according to the judges, repeatedly failed to land scoring punches against his defensive, counterpunching foe. After the bell, he rested his head on the rope in frustrated exhaustion before looking up to the stands at his father, Paul, who yelled, "That's all right, Boo Boo," as he pounded his chest and held his arms open wide.

"I fought my heart out," said Demetrius Andrade, "but sometimes life is unfair."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Demetrius Andrade Loses Controversial Bout To Kim Jung-joo

Andrade lost an 11-9 decision to Kim Jungjoo of Korea. He was so upset at the decision, that Andrade walked out of the ring before the decision was announced. "It was no disrespect for the other fighter, but it was pointless for me to be in there," said Andrade. "There's no way he hit me 11 times. I blocked him, he probably scored three or four points, but not more than that."

Why am I not surprised that Demetrius Andrade is getting robbed of a gold medal? Boxing at the Olympics is a joke and the judging needs to be revamped. I haven't seen the fight yet as it will be airing this afternoon between 3-7 PM ET on CNBC. It certainly sounds like Andrade should have won, so I suggest you check it out and decide for yourself. Don't let them get you down Demetrius, just turn pro and take it out on the competition. The city of Providence knows who the true Olympic gold medal winner should be.

Here is the story via USA Today:

Earlier welterweight Demetrius Andrade, the reigning world champion, failed to advance, dropping an 11-9 decision to Jungjoo Kim of Korea at Workers' Gymnasium.

Kim, bronze medalist in 2004, was no pushover, but Andrade felt robbed by the judging.

"Honestly, this don't make other kids want to come here or do this Olympic thing at all," Andrade said. "To come here and get treated like that (by judges) — what's the point in coming?

"The fights I've seen, Rau'shee (Warren) got robbed, Raynell Williams got robbed. I was throwing a lot of punches but (the judges) weren't giving me my points…..It's a shame how it happened like that."

Andrade fell behind 1-0 in the final seconds of the first period. The boxers were feeling each other out, twice being ordered to "box" by referee Hassen Boughalmi of Tunisia.

Andrade attacked early in the second round, tying the fight 1-1, but the Korean counterpunched his way to a 2-1 advantage. Although Andrade contunied to be the aggressor, Kim led 4-3 after two rounds.

The action heated up in the third period with the fighters trading punches. Each fighter slipped to the canvas in the first minute of the round, attempting to land effective blows. Andrade trailed 8-5 after a clean right by Kim but made it 8-6 at the end of the period.

Andrade's best punches failed to produce enough points from the judges in the final period, even though he twice sent Kim to the floor with punches and pushes.

Andrade, a 20-year-old from Providence, survived a tight 11-9 decision against Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia in his preliminary round fight, then routed Andrey Balanov of Russia in his second bout.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Demetrius Andrade To Fight South Korea's Kim Jung-joo On Sunday

Here's the latest on Demetrius Andrade, via the Providence Journal :

The last time Demetrius Andrade fought Andrey Balanov of Russia, the situation was far different.

It was 2005. Andrade, weeks away from his 17th birthday, was in Russia on his first international trip. Balanov was 28 and an experienced world boxer.

"He was the first person I ever fought over, maybe, [the age of] 22," Andrade said. "I was real nervous. I'm only 16, I've got no power, I can't hold the guy. I [just] went in there and did my thing."

"His thing" was a 35-17 loss.

"But I learned from it," Andrade said, "and it got me to where I am today."

Where he is today is far different. Andrade is now 20, the world amateur welterweight champion, and is one of the shining stars of the U.S. Olympic boxing team. He proved just how far he's come with a dominating 14-3 victory over Balanov in the quarterfinals on Thursday night in Beijing (Thursday morning Eastern time).

Balanov actually scored only one point in the match; he was awarded the other two when Andrade was penalized for ducking. Andrade's faster, more accurate punches overpowered Balanov, whose strategy -- based, seemingly, on a knowledge of Andrade's style -- was to try and trade blows with Andrade in the center of the ring at the beginning of the fight.

"I can't do cheap, easy punches," said Andrade. "I've got to pick my punches."

The Providence native led 2-0 after the first round, but then took control of the fight in the second round and cruised to the victory, which came easier than his 11-9 win over Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia in the first round on Sunday.

"The first fight was rough, but I'm very pleased with this one," said Andrade. "I worked on my strength and conditioning [between fights]. ... I was finding my range, my footwork was nice and I felt good out there."

With the win, he became the first American boxer to reach the quarterfinals. He'll fight again Sunday morning Eastern time at 8:46 a.m. against South Korea's Kim Jung-joo.

Of the American boxers still alive in the tournament, he has, perhaps, the best shot at a gold medal.

"Maybe I'm the favorite, but I don't pay attention to that," said Andrade. "We've got five [American] guys left [in the tournament], everyone on the team can do it, [we'll] just go out there and do our best."

He's also the favorite of the Chinese crowds ... but that could be because they think he's Kobe Bryant. Andrade bears only a passing resemblance to the international basketball star, but the Chinese -- apparently confusing him for Bryant -- mobbed him when he stepped onto the concourse at the boxing venue. The crowds eventually backed up the tunnel and into the arena before a squadron of security people, some with flashing lights and warning claxons, formed a protective semi-circle around Andrade.

Andrade finds it all amusing.

"It's happened a couple of times before," he said.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Demetrius Andrade Beats Andre Balanov

Demetrius Andrade was able to dominate Andre Balanov today and advance one step closer to his dream of winning a gold medal. His next opponent will be Korea's Kim Jung Joo. Here is the rundown via the Boston Globe:

That was then, and this is definitely now.

Demetrius Andrade fought Andre Balanov once before. It didn't turn out so well.

"I was 16," he explains. "It was my first trip abroad. I was a little nervous. I had no power. I couldn't hold the guy."

They met again Thursday night in a second-round 69-kilogram (152 pounds) Olympic welterweight match at the Worker's Gymnasium. By any measure, it was a rout. In the arcane, impenetrable scoring system that pollutes Olympic boxing these days, the official tally was 14-3. Two of the Russian's 3 points came via a penalty for "low ducking." A lot has happened since these two met four years ago in Balanov's homeland.

For one thing, Andrade, the pride of Providence, is a world champion. As such, he carries a burden here. The only other world champion on the 2008 US Olympic boxing team is Rau'shee Warren, and he is already out of the competition, the victim of what he and the rest of the Americans consider to have been a totally unjust decision on the part of judges from Tunisia, Argentina, Botswana, Russia and Thailand in his opening-round bout with Lee Oksung of Korea. Andrade came here as one of the favorites, if not the favorite in his weight class (Sports Illustrated gave him the gold in their Olympic preview issue). Demetrius Andrade is clearly America's marquee guy now.

He acknowledges that what happened to Warren gives him extra incentive to win gold here, not that he needed much of a push. Warren is more than just a friend. Warren is his roommate. They might as well be related.

"He's like my little brother, even though he is older," Andrade says. "He's just a little guy. I can smack him around a little."

One look at the post-fight Balanov post visage would tell anyone that Andrade smacked him around a lot. Balanov came out looking a lot older than his 32 years after spending eight minutes in the ring with Andrade, who completely dominated their rematch.

Andrade is noted for his defensive skills (SI labeled him "one of the world's best defensive fighters"), but Andrade was more than a Winky Wright wannabe, punishing the Russian with his full arsenal of punches while at the same time being maddeningly difficult to hit. He reached his match peak in the final 36 seconds of Round 2, when the judges rewarded his activity with 4 points that sent him into the third round with a clearly insurmountable 7-1 lead. And Demetrius Andrade knows what to do with a 7-1 lead.

"Just move," he explains. "Slip some punches. Get some rest."

A word about the much-discussed Olympic scoring: yuck

I mean, who understands it? There is no doubt that Andrade won every round. In all honesty, however, those aforementioned final 36 seconds of the second round didn't appear to be that overwhelming, at least not in comparison with other stretches. People were buzzing earlier in the evening when Kazakhstan's light welterweight (64-kilograms) Serik Sapiyev whipped Jonny Sanchez of Venezuela by the rather convincing score of 22-3. He was dominant, all right. But his 22-3 didn't look much different than Andrade's 14-3, and Sapiyev's defense was not as sophisticated as Andrade's.

No one has understood this rigid point system from the day it was implemented and no one ever will. I was seated for a while next to a veteran British scribe, who was asking me if I had any explanation for what was going on in a match between Mongolian Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg and Bulgarian Boris Georgiev. "The Mongolian hook snapped that guy's head back, and there was no point," the Brit observed. I couldn't argue with him on either point.

And don't get Andrade started on what happened to his friend Warren, who lost a very controversial 9-8 decision. "It was just unfair; that's all," he says. "Every time Rau'shee scored, they gave the other guy a point, too. That's not right."

Olympic boxing has always been a little quirky, but it's completely crazy now. It's definitely neat to see the score posted up on the big board atop the ring, but you spend the whole fight asking yourself how the judges arrived at those numbers. It has to play with boxers' minds.

But all anyone can do is fight his fight and hope for the best. US coach Dave Campbell is here to say that Andrade did just that, following pre-fight instructions perfectly. "First of all," Campbell says, "Demetrius is a world champion, and he fought the kind of fight we expect a world champion to fight. We expect him to compete at that level at all times.

"The main thing is to have a game plan and stick to it. We know these guys here can fight. So we wanted to test them with hard punches, then box. Then come back and bang some more. Demetrius did just that."

As good as Andrade was Thursday night, he says he can be even sharper. Logic says he'll have to raise his game against his next foe, Korea's Kim Jung Joo, a bronze medalist in Athens who literally shut out John Jackson of the US Virgin Islands (10-0). What he knows for sure is that one judges' robbery per room is the quota.

"They didn't just steal a Golden Glove jacket [from Rau'shee]," he says. "They stole a dream."

Such eloquence Demetrius Andrade can back up with his fists.

Alright - Jon Hope

Whoa, we now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this hotness from Jon Hope. This joint is FIRE. Providence stand up! Peace to J-Meezy.

Alright - Jon Hope

More: New Joints

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Demetrius Andrade Confident He Will Bring Home The Gold

Here is the lastest article on Demetrius Andrade, via the Providence Journal :

“It’s crazy. I can’t wait until this is over,” Sherly Garcia says shortly after hanging up the phone with her boyfriend.

It is about noon yesterday, and she is at the couple’s home in Providence, where young daughter Autumn Andrade squeals gleefully in the background.

Meanwhile, her boyfriend — U.S. Olympic boxer Demetrius Andrade — is on the other side of the world in Beijing, where it has just struck midnight and he is preparing to get some shuteye at the Olympic Village.

For nearly a year, the telephone has served as Garcia and Andrade’s lifeline — first while the 20-year-old boxer trained for 10 months at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and now as the 6-foot-1, 152-pound Providence native attempts to capture a gold medal.

“Oh God. I do not want to see that phone bill,” says Garcia, who has spoken to Andrade daily, sometimes twice daily, since he arrived in Beijing. And when they haven’t been able to catch up with each other on the phone, they’ve exchanged text messages. Lots of text messages.

Garcia had planned to travel to Beijing to be with Andrade while he fights in the Olympics, but says the plans just got too complicated. With Autumn about to turn 2 on Tuesday, Garcia and Andrade didn’t think it would be right for both of them to be away from their daughter on her birthday.

It’s hard to be apart from Andrade, says Garcia, 21, who first met her boyfriend while they were attending Providence’s Health and Science Technology Academy high school.

She and her daughter flew out to Colorado for a week or two here and there while he was training with the U.S. Boxing team. They also flew to Chicago to see him fight at the 2007 AIBA World Championships, where he beat Non Boonjumnong of Thailand in the finals, and to Houston to see him fight at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, where he earned a spot on the team with victories over David Lopez, Charles Hatley and Keith Thurman.

“It wasn’t home, but at least we were together,” said Garcia. “When he left [for Colorado], [Autumn] was really just a baby. I don’t want her to lose that connection with him because you know how little kids are when they don’t see someone for a long time. So I put pictures of him all over the place, and now she talks to him on the phone. When she sees him on TV, oh God, she goes crazy and starts yelling, ‘Daddy! Daddy!’ ”

When asked if Andrade’s spirits are high, Garcia quickly responds with an “Oh, yes! His spirits seem great,” adding that there’s something different about his attitude lately.

“That’s the thing about Boo Boo,” she said, referring to Andrade by his nickname. “He’s really focused. His confidence is up there. His attitude toward fights is always pretty much the same: he talks about what he’s going to have to do and no matter what, he always says he’s going to come out winning. But this is different now. This is the real deal. And his attitude is, ‘No one can tell me anything. No one can tell me different. It’s mine and that’s it. I’m getting it and I’m coming home.’  ”

Indeed, there wasn’t even a hint of hesitation in Andrade’s voice when reached by phone yesterday. Describing himself as being “in the best shape I can be in right now,” he says he feels fully recovered from his first-round bout against Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia, which Andrade won in a four-round decision on Sunday at the Workers’ Indoor Arena.

“I feel it every day and every night before I go to bed,” Andrade said of his quest to become the first U.S. welterweight to win the gold since Mark Breland at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. “I’m just driving and driving until I get there.”

Andrade fought the next opponent he will face, Andrey Balanov, once before, losing to the Russian on points, 35-17, at the 2005 World Cup. That was a long time ago, though, Andrade says. He was just 16 at the time and much has changed since then.

“I’m just going to give him a beating,” Andrade said quite matter-of-factly. “He’s not stronger than me. He’s not quicker than me. He’s not smarter than me. I’m going to do whatever I want to do.” Andrade fights Balanov tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (EST).

Like Garcia, David Keefe will also be watching Andrade compete from afar. Although he has served as Andrade’s co-coach along with Demetrius’ father, Paul, since Andrade was 10, Keefe technically cannot train Andrade while he is with the Olympic team. He had considered making the trip to Beijing anyway, but thought he would probably feel more helpless if he were actually at the arena and couldn’t coach.

He has stayed in touch with Andrade and his father by phone, though. And given what a number of delegations have already criticized as questionable judging by boxing officials at these Games, Keefe’s number-one piece of advice to Andrade is to make sure he “leaves nothing up to chance.”

“[U.S. flyweight] Rau’shee Warren just lost [yesterday] by a point. We’re not going to let that happen,” said Keefe, 29, a former amateur fighter from Pawtucket. “We’re going to try not to leave it up to the judges. We’re just going to go for it. Paul and myself have the attitude that we’re not happy just to be there. We’re going to go for the whole thing. That’s the goal, not just to represent our country. That’s great. That is nice, but we want to bring a gold medal back to Providence.”

And while Andrade continues to strive for that goal, Garcia’s eyes will be glued to the television and her hand will be glued to her phone.

“We waited for this for so long and he’s there and I can’t wait for this to end,” she said. “It’s like a whole year preparing for all this and now it’s here and it’s crazy.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Demetrius Andrade to Fight Andrey Balanov in Second Round on Thursday

Demetrius Andrade is scheduled to fight Andrey Balanov in the second round of the welterweight boxing division. The fight will take place on Thursday night in China, which is 9:30 AM Eastern Time here in the US. The fight is scheduled to air on CNBC sometime between 5-8 PM ET on Thursday. You can check out your local tv listings here to see where the fight airs in your area.

Here is the scoop on the fight and some quotes from Andrade's blog about his first round and upcoming fight:

Andrade, the 20-year-old left-hander from Providence, will box Andrey Balanov, 32, of Russia in the second round of the welterweight division Thursday night (Thursday at 9:30 a.m.). If Balanov studied Andrade’s first bout, he will avoid Kakhaber Jvania’s clutch-and-grab strategy. Andrade remained patient and defeated Jvania, 11-9, in a bout that was similar to their showdown for the world championship last year. “We just wanted to wear him down in he early rounds so I could go in there and box, and it came out well,” Andrade told USA Boxing. “I don’t want to talk about the scoring system, but things happen.” Andrade is the top-ranked welterweight (152 pounds) in the United States and one of the best in the world. The last American to win a gold medal in this weight class was Mark Breland at Los Angeles in 1984. “My confidence is good,” Andrade said. “I’m going in as I always do as the underdog. People don’t expect the United States to win, but I’m going to prove them wrong.” (Providence Journal)

If his first fight on the way to a hoped-for gold medal in boxing was any indication, Demetrius Andrade should receive a medal for patience. The Providence native was never in real danger of losing to Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia during his 11-9 victory in the first round of the welterweight division yesterday at Workers' Gymnasium. However, the fight was filled with grabs and clinches as the Georgian attempted to frustrate the lefthanded Andrade. Still, Andrade advanced to fight 32-year-old Andrey Balanov of Russia Thursday in the second round of the field of 32." He pretty much just prepared me for everybody else," said Andrade, a 6-foot-1-inch, 152-pounder bidding to become the first American to win a gold medal in the weight class since Mark Breland did it in 1984 in Los Angeles. "I fought him in the world championships [Andrade beat him, 22-11, last year in the first round] and he did the same things; that's why I try to go to the body a lot to try to slow them down. Nobody here wants to box me. So I will have to slug it out." The fight opened with the usual feeling-out phase until Andrade, the top welterweight in the International Amateur Boxing Association, landed a left to score the first point. He quickly added the second with a left body shot that knocked Jvania back to the corner post. After the first period (there are four, two-minute sessions), though, Andrade led only by 2 points. He believes another concern is how the judges will score his bouts during the tournament. United States coach Dan Campbell noted his corner could not see the scoreboard monitor after one period. "I'm never a nervous person," said Andrade, the 2007 world champion. "I just have worries with the surroundings and the judges. I don't think the score was fair. They do what they do, and I got to do what I got to do. So far so good." During the second period the action picked up a bit until a series of clinches occurred again. It got so rough, Andrade was pushed down with 1:16 left. But the 20-year-old recovered with a stiff right to Jvania's face, giving him a 4-2 lead at the halfway mark. Early in the third period, Andrade scored 2 quick points to take a 7-2 lead, but the Georgian was not going away as he attempted to draw Andrade into a brawl by claiming the next 2 points. "That's how it's always been," said Andrade. "I hit him with a good punch. He felt it. He wanted to try to come back and get me, but I put up my hands and locked up and stayed busy. If it comes, it comes." Andrade landed a jab for an 8-4 lead, then finished the third with a flurry to lead, 10-6. He played it safe in the fourth, avoiding contact by controlling the tempo and moving well. "I have four more fights to bring the gold to Providence, R.I.," Andrade said.

After all the anticipation I finally fought yesterday. I really wasn't too nervous when I got in the ring, however I felt a little rusty because I hadn't fought in so long. I started out slow, which is normal. From the opening bell I knew Jvania would be rough and dirty. I fought him once before and he doesn't try to box me, he tries the football player approach. I thought by the end I was up by at least 8 points, and was surprised it was as close as it was. The computer monitor broke between rounds, so we weren't too sure what the score actually was. I couldn't hear my dad yelling instructions, hopefully he will be closer for Thursdays fight against the Russian boxer, Andrey Balanov.My dad and Dave are going to come up with a good game plan for the next fight. My first fight is always my worst, I'm gonna bring it to this kid! I expect to be sharper for this one on Thursday, and move one step closer to getting the gold! Balanov is going to play rough, but I'm gonna give him a boxing lesson! (NBC Olympic Blogs - Demetrius Andrade)

Also, funny story here that Demetrius Andrade keeps getting mistaken for Kobe Bryant at the Olympics:

American middleweight boxer Demetrius Andrade looks a little like basketball's Kobe Bryant. A shorter, skinnier, less muscular version....OK, he looks nothing like Bryant. But try telling that to the Chinese, who mobbed Andrade when he left his seat at the boxing venue Monday and stepped onto the concourse. Instantly a crowd of several hundred people gathered, pointing, taking pictures or just simply gawking. The crowd eventually backed up the tunnel and into the arena before a squadron of security people, some with flashing lights and warning klaxons, formed a protective semi-circle around him. "It's happened a couple of times before," Andrade said with a laugh. Heavyweight Deontay Wilder is routinely mistaken for LeBron James, by the way. But at least he's 6-foot-7. (LA Times Blog)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Demetrius Andrade Wins First Fight, Moves On To Second Round

Providence, Rhode Island native Demetrius Andrade was able to win his first fight at the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, China. Andrade beat Kakhaber Jvania by the score of 11-9:

Another American boxer wins, and another bows out with a health scare. Although the U.S. team isn't the world's most consistent bunch, it's been consistently dramatic in the Olympics so far. Welterweight favorite Demetrius Andrade won a brawling Olympic debut Sunday night, but light welterweight Javier Molina lost a one-sided decision to Bulgaria's Boris Georgiev at Workers' Gymnasium. Andrade also had to be the bigger man in his 11-9 victory over Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia, who charged, pushed and shoved the Rhode Island native all night. Andrade got few chances to show off his peerless reflexes, but kept his composure with just enough counterpunching, including the clinching point on a whip-quick left hand in the final seconds. "I fought him in the world championships, and he did the exact same thing," said Andrade, who thought the judges missed several of his fast scoring punches. "It was a rough fight. Nobody in there wants to box me, so I guess I'm going to have to slug it out, bang out the body shots and then go back to boxing." Andrade said he was buoyed by loud cheers from the crowd. "It felt good," Andrade said. "That gave me a boost to keep on going, even though I knew the score wasn't fair." (Fox News)

After watching this bout, I have not changed my opinion that Olympic Boxing is a joke and I can't wait to see Andrade fight in the pros. The other fighter was trying to push, shove, and hold is way to a win but thankfully Andrade was able to land enough punches to win the fight. I still hope that Andrade is able to win the gold medal in the welterweight division but I would not be surprised if some funny business happens and Andrade misses out.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rocco Baldelli - Getting Back In The Game

Another Rhode Island connection in the article below about Rocco Baldelli's struggles return from injury and a mysterious disorder. If the Rays can add Baldelli and pitcher David Price to their team down the stretch, then they could have two players who can really give them a better chance of making the playoffs. Here is the story, via the NY Times:

With a bird’s-nest beard over his increasingly haggard complexion, Rocco Baldelli looks like a castaway, cut off from the world he knew.

This is no accident. Once a youthful and vibrant star outfielder for Tampa Bay, Baldelli has spent almost two years in his own surreality show while a mysterious cell disorder has left him exhausted, unable to run or swing, and unsure if he will even live normally. Fans’ dreams of Joe DiMaggio, which he conjured as a rookie sensation in 2003, gave way to nightmares of Lou Gehrig.

Baldelli has worked his way back to the point where he could be activated any day. But he will return to a different world, one in which the Rays are leading their division, and one in which, at 26, Baldelli understands he probably will never again be the athlete he once was.

“My body isn’t able to do what I’d like it to do or what I could do as of a couple of years ago,” Baldelli said Wednesday before the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians, 10-7, before flying to the West Coast. “But I didn’t know if I’d ever play again. I was having trouble swinging at all, in batting practice. I was thinking: ‘This is awful. How am I going to do this? How am I ever going to play baseball anymore?’ ”

Chronic exhaustion and muscle cramps sidelined Baldelli for most of last season. By the end of the year, his condition was maddeningly mysterious. Baldelli could not run without his hamstrings feeling as if they would tear in half; he would wake up almost unable to move because his leg muscles seized up; and the slightest workout left him too exhausted to even swing a bat. The answer vacuum was filled by speculation — shared by team executives and even Baldelli himself — that he might have either multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“You got scared for his life — no one knew what it was,” said the Rays’ current center fielder, B. J. Upton. Baldelli added, “It makes you think about a lot of things you never thought about before.”

It also made him try anything to get a diagnosis. He visited maybe 10 doctors, and underwent dozens of tests. Baldelli pulled up his uniform sleeve and shorts to reveal nasty four-inch scars on his left biceps and both thighs — all from tissue biopsies where doctors cut out muscle to try to learn what was going on.

Last November, a plausible theory emerged: mitochondrial disease, a disorder in which cells do not properly turn food and oxygen into adenosine triphosphate, which produces energy. The primarily genetic condition, which forced the cyclist Greg LeMond to retire in 1994, can appear at any age and shares some characteristics with diseases commonly associated with aging, like Parkinson’s disease, according to the Web site of the Cleveland Clinic.

“If he were a basketball player, forget it, his career’s over,” the Rays trainer Ron Porterfield said. “Can you get along with it in baseball? That’s what we’re hopeful about.”

There is no cure for the condition, but Baldelli’s daily mix of about 10 medications and nutritional supplements, increased sleep and better hydration and diet have helped mollify its effects. Baldelli spent this season’s first half learning how to manage his situation, to the point where he was able to play in parts of 13 rehabilitation games for the Rays’ Class AA affiliate last month.

Baldelli hit .297 with three home runs and eight runs batted in in 37 at-bats, but he still was not the Rocco Baldelli most baseball fans recall from 2003. At 21, Baldelli was a blindingly fast, spectacular athlete who had been an all-state volleyball and basketball player in high school and was expected to develop power with age. Comparisons to DiMaggio might have been absurd, but those to Dale Murphy were not.

Knee and elbow injuries cost Baldelli all but 92 games of the 2005 and 2006 seasons, and hamstring problems — perhaps related to the mitochondrial disorder — knocked him out after 35 games last year.

If Baldelli emerges from his long tunnel this weekend in Seattle, which club officials described as probable but not necessarily expected, his role will remain limited. He probably will not have the vigor to play a full nine innings, but he could serve as a designated hitter or as a pinch-hitter against left-handers. He could also play the late innings on defense.

Baldelli’s energy will be so precious that he will work out mostly in ballpark and hotel swimming pools, where the water can buoy his legs. “The thing that’s tough is that you can’t really exercise him,” Porterfield said.

Baldelli said he would take any playing time at this point. He boarded the team’s charter to Seattle on Wednesday hoping merely to be activated on the trip — to play one game, even one inning — so that he can feel part of the team again and build toward contributing to the pennant race.

“I’ve gone through so many difficult times, ups and downs, that I don’t really get antsy, I don’t get wary,” Baldelli said of the anticipation. “It’s almost like the stuff I’ve been through has kind of numbed me.”

Members of the Rays, several of whom grew beards to show support for Baldelli, said his first at-bat would be one of the most special moments in the team’s season. The veteran Cliff Floyd said, “We might have to have some Kleenexes in the dugout.”

The Birth - Theo (Mixtape)

"...Welcome one, welcome all to my lovely city/it's Providence, yeah I know it ain't the obvious/the Renaissance, the rebirth, the city of hate...."

New mixtape from Theo reppin' my home city of Providence, Rhode Island. I had mentioned in my post of Theo's joint with Skyzoo that I was feelin' Jon Hope more out of all the Providence MC's, but make no mistake about it Theo is dope too.

So check this mixtape out cause it's pretty damn tight and you know it's gotta be tight for me to give it props because like Theo said Providence is the "city of the hate" and you gotta come extra correct to get props here. This gotta be one of the most negative places to live but hey it made me who I am, so I ain't complaining.

The Birth - Theo (Mixtape)


01. Hi
02. There's Meaning
03. Good Morning America
04. Sweetest Language
05. T.V .Show (My Life)
06. Hola Oh Theo
07. Star Struck
08. Lightwork
09. Dillagence
10. Ridin Down The Freeway
11. Keep Doing Your Thing ft. Skyzoo
12. Grammy Family (Gramphone Flow)
13. Creator
14. High Life ft. J.A.M.E.S Watts
15. Somethin' For Me
16. iDream
17. Theo 'till Infinity

More: Mixtapes

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Keep Doing Your Thing - Theo feat Skyzoo

New joint from Theo, who just happens to rep my home city of Providence, Rhode Island. This joint features Skyzoo and is off of his upcoming mixtape/album The Birth. Right now I'm feelin' Jon Hope more than Theo when it comes to Providence cats.

Keep Doing Your Thing - Theo feat Skyzoo

More: New Joints

Demetrius Andrade - Going For Gold In Welterweight Boxing at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China

“I used to be a little kid dreaming of being in the Olympics and now I’m talking to kids with the same dream. I tell them to never let anybody say no to their dreams. It feels great to represent the United States, Rhode Island, Providence, family and friends. "

Demetrius Andrade is going to be representing the Unite States as a welterweight boxer in the upcoming Summer Olympics and I will be rooting for him extra hard because he is from my home city of Providence, Rhode Island.

Living in the state of Rhode Island which only has a population of 1 million people and is the smallest state in size in the whole U.S, it's not very often that someone from here makes a name for themselves. Since the state is so small, when someone does make a name for themselves, it's almost as if the whole state is getting some shine, so forgive me if I happen to give props to those who come from here. On top of that, my home city of Providence, where Andrade is also from, has one of the highest poverty rates in the whole country, which makes it even more rare to see someone from Providence make a name for themselves.

Andrade is 20 years old and has been the top U.S. ranked welterweight for over 3 years, so he has an excellent chance to win a gold medal and make the country and the city of Providence, Rhode Island proud. I haven't yet decided how much of the Summer Olympics I am going to cover here, but you can be sure I will be following all of Andrade's fights.

Plus, you gotta love the kid because his favorite song listed in his bio on the USA Boxing Website is "Ether" from Nas:

Home: Providence, RI
Birthdate: 2/26/1988
Weight class: Welterweight/152 lbs
Height: 6-1
Weight: 152 lbs
Born: February 26, 1988 in Providence, R.I.
Lives: Providence, R.I.
Coach: Paul Andrade
School: Cooley High School
Children: daughter Autumn Andrade
Began boxing: 1994
Career Highlight: The 2005 U.S. Championships, Silver Gloves, Dual Meets and Junior Olympic International Invitational
Biggest Influence: My dad because he taught me everything I know in my lifetime
Draw to boxing: My dad
Greatest strength in the ring: My jab
Goals in and out of the ring: To be the greatest boxer I can and give back to my fans
Favorite movie: Four Brothers
Favorite TV Show: BET
Favorite Song: Nas Ether
Hobbies outside of boxing: Playing football

Here are some articles on Demetrius Andrade:

The biggest honor for an amateur athlete is to represent his or her country in the Olympics. In less than a month, Providence boxer Demetrius Andrade, who has been ranked the top U.S. welterweight (152 pounds) for more than three years, will do exactly that at the Beijing Games. “It means the world to me to fight for the USA at the Olympics,” said Andrade, 20, who trains at the 401 Boxing Gym, in Cranston. Andrade earned a place on Team USA after putting on several dominating performances at the 2007 Golden Gloves (April 30 –May 5) and the United States Olympic Trials, which were held last Aug. 20-26 in Houston. He has been living and training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the last 10 months. The 6-foot-1 phenom returned to Providence on July 11 for a brief visit with family and friends, and to work out one more time with David Keefe and his father, Paul, who are his co-coaches here before flying back to Colorado last Sunday. “I’ve sacrificed a lot to get this far, and I’m going to show the world what I can do in Beijing,” Andrade said. Andrade says he wants to do more than just compete in the Olympics. “My goal is to win the gold,” Andrade said. Andrade is considered to be one of America’s favorites to bring home a medal. He is one of only two world champions on Team USA. He has not lost a fight against American competition in the 152-pound weight class in more than three years. “I feel he will do well,” Keefe said of Andrade’s chances at the Olympics. “I think he will medal. If we get a fair shake with the judges, he should bring a gold back to Providence. The main thing for him is to take one fight at a time, because there are no do-overs.” Andrade, who has competed only once this season (a victory in a Team USA-Russia event), won the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Championships welterweight crown but had to withdraw from the U.S. Championships last year because of a medical emergency. In addition, he won the 2006 and 2007 National Golden Gloves Tournament. At the Olympic Trials, Andrade dominated his three opponents, stopping David Lopez in the quarterfinals and Charles Hatley in the semifinals before earning a convincing 21-13 victory over Keith Thurman for the championship and to earn his spot on the national team. In international competition, Andrade won a world title at the AIBA World Championships (Association International de Boxe Amateur) last year. He was never in danger of losing any of his fights at the World Championships, winning all his bouts by an average of 17 points before stopping Non Boonjumnong, of Thailand, in the finals for the world title. Andrade also won the silver medal at the Pan Am Games last year. He lost a controversial decision to Pedro Lima of Brazil, 7-6. “That was a good experience,” Andrade said. “I learned different techniques and I learned what punches score. But in the finals I fought a guy from Brazil and the tournament was in Brazil — but I feel like I won.” Andrade has been fighting against international competition since he was 16 and he says that will give him a big advantage over everybody else at the Olympics. “I’m pretty much know every style,” Andrade said. “I’ve fought the Russians, the Cubans … everybody.” Andrade began boxing when he was 6 under the tutelage of his father and later, Keefe. “Demetrius has settled down a lot,” Keefe said. “When he was a kid, he was a bit wild like most kids are. Myself and Paul used to laugh about his wild uppercuts and hooks, that used to put him way out of position. Now he is relaxed, and his punches are more precise. He has always been able to make adjustments on the go, but off his adjustments he now throws nice crisp punches.” Looking back, Demetrius Andrade says he always believed he would make it to the Olympics. “When you are little, you always think that you are going to do it because that’s what you thought you were going to do. But then when reality kicks in, you find out it’s harder than what you thought it would be. “I just went through the hard work, and thanks to David Keefe and Paul Andrade, they brought me up to where I am at now, and I tell all of the little kids that they can do the same thing also. All they have to do is stick to it and stay focused.” As for the Olympics, Keefe says Andrade’s biggest competition will be Hanati Silamu, from China, Magomed Nurudinov, from Belarus, and Kim Jung-Joo, of South Korea.“This is a dream come true,” Andrade said. “I’m going to come home with the gold.” (Providence Journal)

Bill Belichick doesn't invite many amateur boxers to drive up from Rhode Island to meet with him and the New England Patriots. With a world championship pedigree and a glistening pro career stretching out beyond Beijing, Demetrius Andrade is like no other American amateur boxer. To the U.S. welterweight, a summons from Belichick just seemed like another opportunity to seize the day. "You know, if you want to win next year, put me out there," Andrade told the Patriots coach. "Running back or wide receiver, or I'll play defense, I don't care. All I do is win." Andrade was a pretty good football player as a kid, but Belichick is among a growing circle of fight fans who realize the Beijing Olympics could be Andrade's kickoff to a remarkable boxing career. He's favored to win gold next month in the division he has dominated for three years, joining flyweight Rau'shee Warren as the Americans' top medal hopes. The 20-year-old realizes a standout performance could open doors to even grander destinations than the Patriots' locker room, though he claims he'd be happy just to galvanize the entire U.S. program into a return to international prominence. "It feels like just yesterday I was sitting down, talking with my dad and my other coach about how I wanted to be in the Olympics," Andrade said after a recent workout at historic Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn. "Everything that's happened is just crazy. I can't believe it's finally here, everything I've been working for." Andrade got his nickname, Boo Boo, from his father after a few childhood tumbles left him with bruises. Paul Andrade chuckles at the name's inappropriateness now, since his son's defensive prowess has kept his body mostly punishment-free in a brutal sport. Andrade is more than one of the world's best defensive fighters, however. He's a skilled technical boxer with surprising power when he chooses to unleash it, and none of the world's top amateur welterweights have been able to keep up with him. If Andrade doesn't come home with the Americans' second boxing gold in the last three Olympics, coach Dan Campbell will be surprised. "He's extremely cerebral," Campbell said. "He's a thinking boxer from Round 1. He's got beautiful defense, and he has a huge arsenal. He can throw a lot of punches from a lot of different angles, and that's the key to this sport." Andrade (pronounced "AN-drayd") grew up in the Providence area among the city's sizable Cape Verdean population. His father and grandmother speak Portuguese to each other, and he picked up enough of the language and its Spanish similarities to help him out when his amateur success took him around the globe. He was introduced to his sport at the 401 Boxing Gym after his father decided he was too aggressive for karate classes, and Boo Boo quickly became obsessed. The only time he remembers crying in his tween years was when his parents banned him from the gym for acting up at school. Andrade won U.S. championships in 2005 and 2006, along with Golden Gloves titles. Though injuries prevented him from winning the U.S. crown in 2007, he demolished everybody at the Olympic team trials and the world championships to establish himself as the strong Beijing medal favorite. Andrade could have turned pro in 2006, and some people in his circle urged him to do so. The pull of Olympic honor was too great. "I had an older brother that fought, and he turned pro early, and now he doesn't fight any more," Andrade said. "My dad never really forced anything on us. He supported us in whatever we did, and I was always thinking about what the gold medal would be like." Still, dreams of the future pulled at Andrade every day during the U.S. team's yearlong residency program in Colorado Springs. He misses his 2-year-old daughter, Autumn, whose birth hardened his work ethic, and he can't wait to get back to being a father in Providence after the trip to China. His teammates describe him as an uncommonly frustrating fighter, even in a sparring session. His defensive reflexes remind some of Floyd Mayweather Jr., though Andrade is taller and rangier than the former bronze medalist. Andrade credits his skill to his father and co-coach David Keefe. Although Campbell has clashed with the parents and local coaches of several U.S. fighters who don't want to surrender control to a national team coach, he's got no problem with Paul Andrade. "His dad is a very good coach when it comes to technical things, and that's something that gets left out of a lot of amateur fighters' training," Campbell said. Andrade has been seasoned by a robust travel schedule to tournaments from Moscow to Chicago. Though he prefers "warm weather, good food" destinations like Venezuela over Azerbaijan, he prides himself on being able to adapt to anything. "I'm well-traveled at the age of 20," Andrade said. "Every year there were different things I had to learn about cultures, about how the world really goes around. It just made me glad to be from the United States." Erislandy Lara, the Cuban gold medalist from Athens, would have been Andrade's top rival in Beijing after they met in a lively bout in Brazil last year, but Andrade's path cleared when Lara was abruptly kicked off the Cuban team for attempting to defect during the Pan-Am Games. He's now a professional after escaping to Mexico and Germany earlier in the summer. With Lara gone, the rest of the field doesn't have Andrade's talent or pedigree - and Campbell thinks those boxers probably know it. "He doesn't even know his own talent," Campbell said. "They're not going to try to box him. They're going to try to rough him up, get him frustrated. I think he'll know how to handle it. He's handled everything else really well." (Pilot Online)

It looks like SouthCoast boxing fans will have someone to cheer in Beijing, China, next summer.Demetrius "Boo-Boo" Andrade of Providence, with whom local fight fans may be familiar from his appearances in the Southern New England Golden Gloves, won the 152-pound division at last month's Olympic Trials in Houston. He only needs to finish in the top 16 in his division at the World Championships in Chicago (Oct. 23-Nov. 3) to secure a spot in the 2008 Olympics. A two-time national champion in both the Golden Gloves and the U.S. Boxing tournaments, the 19-year-old is considered by those close to the Olympic boxing scene as one of the U.S. team's best bets to medal in Beijing. "Representing America means everything to me," Andrade said after his success in the Trials. "Not everybody in this world gets a chance to have this opportunity, you know. Most don't even get to see what it looks like at this level. So I'm going to try my hardest. I'm going to fight the best I can, and I'll have my family and my coach, David Keith, in China to support me." The first time I saw Andrade fight in Fall River, I was greatly impressed with not only his skills, but his poise in the ring. (And that was before I learned he was only 16.) He has since participated in several international tournaments, winning a silver in this summer's Pan-American Games that probably should have been gold. "It was one of those hometown political decisions," said Paul Morrissette, the Southern New England Golden Gloves tournament director and manager of the New England team. "He lost 7-6 (to Pedro Lima of Brazil) and had a point deducted for throwing his opponent down, but that was because the other kid kept grabbing him. He didn't want to fight. He just wanted to grab." Morrissette likes to tell the story of a sparring session between Andrade and pro boxer Paulie Malignaggi of Brooklyn, N.Y., a couple of years ago at Peter Manfredo's gym in Pawtucket. Malignaggi, who won the IBF junior welterweight world title last June, was looking for sparring partners and had come to Manfredo's gym at the invitation of Andrade's father. "Malignaggi came in real cocky, complaining that he couldn't get any quality sparring partners in New England, like there wasn't any good fighters around here," recounted Morrissette. "He was wearing a sweat suit and didn't even bother to take the top off for his sparring session with Boo-Boo, like Boo-Boo wasn't good enough to make him break a sweat. I told Boo-Boo, 'If you don't do anything else, at least make him take that damn sweat suit off.'" After a couple rounds, Andrade did just that, getting Malignaggi to take off the top. "Then they went back at it and Boo-Boo dropped him, a clean knockdown. 'No, no, that was a slip,' yelled Malignaggi, but after they were through, he admitted it was a knockdown."The kid can fight,' he said." (South Coast Today)

Reigning AIBA World welterweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade is prospecting for gold in China. The 20-year-old from Providence isn’t there to visit the The Great Wall, purchase a Ming vase in the Temple of Heaven, picnic in Tian’anmen Square, or cruise down the Yangtze River. Andrade is Team USA’s most promising hope to medal in the Olympic boxing competition. “It’s crazy,” he said right before leaving Colorado Springs training camp, “but everything’s good. I’m relaxed, stayed out of the public eye, and have remained focused on winning a gold medal. I’m not happy just being in The Olympics, or even winning a silver or bronze medal; I’m going for gold.” His gold medal performance at this year’s AIBA World Championships catapulted him into the No. 1 ranking in the world at 152-pounds. Andrade’s toughest competition figures to come from Asian champion Bakhyt Sarsekbayev (Kazakhstan), World Championships silver medalist Non Boonjumnong (Thailand), as well as bronze medalists Adem Kilicci (Turkey) and Hmati Silamu (China), European champion Andrey Balnov (Russia), and of course, Cuba’s representative, Carlos Banteur. The Olympic draw doesn’t matter to him because Demetrious believes he’s the best 152-pound amateur in the world. He defeated Boonjumnong and Kilicci in the World Championships. “Nobody they put in front of me can beat me,” a confident Andrade offered. “Only the judges can beat me and I’m not going to let them. I’m going to take the other fighters and judges out of it by beating my opponents so badly that they can’t take a decision away from me. I’ll stay on the outside, use my tough defense, and not allow any cheap shots. I’ve been fighting internationally for awhile and I’ve been robbed a few times. But I can’t let anybody beat me in The Olympics. “I’d prefer to get the tougher guys out early – second or third round – and have one less contender for the medal rounds. I really don’t know or care who I draw. Everybody else is fighting for second place.” Proud to represent the red, white and blue, “Boo Boo” has dreamed about boxing in the Olympics since he first laced-up a pair of gloves. He is a two-time U.S. National Championships winner and double National Golden Gloves champion who cruised through the U.S. Boxing Trials preceding the World Championships. “It feels good to be called an ambassador,” Andrade reflected. “I used to be a little kid dreaming of being in the Olympics and now I’m talking to kids with the same dream. I tell them to never let anybody say no to their dreams. It feels great to represent the United States, Rhode Island, Providence, family and friends. “I haven’t worried about anything. Inside the ring is another environment with just you and your opponent. I’ve been focusing on the physical part of boxing. My (co-coaches) dad (Paul Andrade) and Dave Keefe have helped me all of the other stuff. Impacted wisdom teeth and the best amateur boxers in the world couldn’t stop Demetrius at the World Championships. Now, he’s digging deep for gold in China. (Unlimited Fight News)

As Mike Reiss noted in Sunday's Boston Globe football notes column, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has developed an admiration for Rhode Island boxer Demetrius Andrade, who is bound for the Olympics in Beijing. Belichick was introduced to the 20-year-old Andrade through a former Wesleyan classmate. The coach watched some of the fighter's pats bouts, and he's going to be pulling for Andrade this month. "I was impressed by how many matches he's already fought for such a young kid and how he's been up against men a bit older than he is," Belichick said. (ProJo Blogs)

Some of the greatest human-interest stories come from those U.S. athletes with ties to Africa. Demetrius Andrade, whose nickname of “Boo Boo” seems slightly incongruous for a welterweight boxer, is of Cape Verdean descent. He hails from Providence, Rhode Island, home to many immigrants from this island nation located off Africa’s west coast. Andrade won the gold at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2007 and hopes for a repeat performance this year in Beijing. (America.Gov)

Demetrius Andrade, 20, is the top-rated amateur welterweight in the world and the odds-on favorite to win a gold medal in Beijing. The Providence, R.I., native is a tall (6-foot-1-inch), rangy southpaw with good power, fast hands, and a solid chin. He's the 2007 World Amateur Champion, a two-time National Amateur Champion, two-time National Golden Gloves Champion, and the best pro prospect on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. (NY Sun)

If you haven't seen Demetrius Andrade box then check out the video below of the AIBA Amateur Finals, where Andrade went to town on Non Boonjumnong to win. Andrade is lighting quick with the combinations and I feel bad for all those kids my younger cousin said Andrade used to get in fights with in middle school, when they had no idea he was a boxer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Telescopes - Reks feat Jon Hope & Lucky Dice

New joint from Reks off of his upcoming Grey Hairs album, featuring Jon Hope reppin' my home city of Providence. Jon Hope kills this joint by the way:

I wipe the sweat off my dome, spit the flem on the beat
In the street, they fight cold wars with heat
Believe the more drama, the more karma
It's not a myth, I was Hope before Obama
With the visions of the world where we educate the careless
I never lift weights, but I raise awareness.
I'm strong, my third eye see my first born quiver,
math class, harrassed when he first heard nigger,
I said, it's not the first nor the last,
but bored in class, use your brain like a gun shot blast,
and the impact will keep 'em intact when they provokin' 'em
I know it's in arm's reach, society Utopian
Now how you like them apples, pears, and oranges
You didn't think that this nigga here from Providence,
could change the world, as I stand in the session,
I'm not poor but I beg the answer

Telescopes - Reks feat Jon Hope & Lucky Dice

More: New Joints

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Agreed - Jon Hope

New video from Jon Hope reppin' my home city of Providence.

Previously: Savoir-Jon Hope

WIll Daniels Signs With Chicago Bulls Summer League Team

Got some more updates on where some of the better college players who went undrafted in the NBA Draft will be playing in the NBA summer league, via Hip 2 Da Game:

Will Daniels, URI: The URI basketball team has player movement involving former, current and future players. The most noteworthy, for the present, is that Will Daniels has signed to play for the Chicago Bulls. He will head to Florida this week to play for the Bulls from July 7 to 11 in the 2008 Orlando Pro Summer League. (Providence Journal Blogs)

Interesting move by Daniels to try and make the Bulls squad. The Bulls already have a similar player to to Daniels in Andres Nocioni and they have a decent amount of PF's and SF's who would probably play ahead of Daniels, like Loul Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and Drew Gooden. Of course, Deng is a free agent and the Bulls are also rumored to be involved in some upcoming trades, so if some of these guys get moved in a deal that sends Kurt Hinrich out of town, then Daniels might have a shot to stick with the Bulls.

Friday, June 27, 2008

URI's Will Daniels Goes Undrafted

I promised to follow the careers of players like Will Daniels and Josh Duncan, so even though they went undrafted last night I will continue to do that as long as I can find info on them.

Here is the scoop on Will Daniels going undrafted, via The Providence Journal:

The NBA Draft concluded last night without a team calling Will Daniels’ name.

The University of Rhode Island star was hoping to become the first Rams player to be picked since Lamar Odom in 1999, but now he’ll attempt to sign with a team for this summer as a free agent.

Daniels worked out for 11 pro teams, including the Celtics, Heat, Pistons, Bobcats and Wizards. He was seen by scouts as a player who could play either forward position and was looked at by several teams that held selections toward the end of the second round.

Reached before the draft, Daniels was sure of his next move regardless of whether he heard his name called.

“It’s important but not the end of the world. Not everything works in your favor,” he said.

“Regardless of whether I get picked or not, I’ll go to the summer league and try to make it as an undrafted guy.”

Daniels finished his Rhody career with 1,678 points (eighth all-time) and 662 rebounds. Last season, he ranked fourth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring, averaging 18.6 points per game, and 11th in rebounding, at 6.5 a game.

Daniels says the scouts he has spoken with see his 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame and like his ability to shoot the ball and play either forward position.

I think Daniels' best shot would be the with the Heat or the Wizards, so I'll keep an eye on that to see which teams he are looking to bring him in for summer league.

You can check out a video of Will Daniels' Draft Night here: Will Daniels' Draft Night

Monday, June 16, 2008

NBA Draft Sleepers - Will Daniels

Here are some NBA Draft sleepers courtesy of Basketball Prospectus:

Will Daniels (6'8" SR, SF, Rhode Island)

Daniels improved in each of his four seasons at Rhode Island, morphing from a low-percentage player with questionable shot selection to a very efficient scorer as a senior. As a freshman, he shot 40.5 percent from the field; he upped that to 50.1 percent during his final season. His scoring averaged progressed from 6.4 to 11.0, 17.4 and 18.6 during his time with the Rams and he managed that with the only increase in court time coming between his freshman and sophomore campaigns. Daniels is something of a longshot, but he's got ideal size for a small forward and has a very nice midrange shooting touch, hitting 55.5 percent of his two-point attempts. If he can play defense, he can stick.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Savior - Jon Hope

New joint from Jon Hope reppin' my home stomping grounds of Providence, RI.

Joint is tight, so check it out and I highly recommend checking out the bonus joint and the previous Jon Hope post I put up.

Savior - Jon Hope

Bonus Joint: The Rush - Jon Hope

Previously: Jon Hope-Various Joints

Ryan Gomes & Hoops For Heart

Former PC Friar and Boston Celtic and current Minnesota Timberwolves' player Ryan Gomes needs help with his Hoops for Heart health foundation. You can check out that link for the details. Gomes is really great in the community and I have been following his career closely since he began playing at Providence College, which is literally seconds from where I live.

More: Providence College

Saturday, May 24, 2008

NBA Draft Update - Will Daniels

Will Daniels, SF, Rhode Island: Since he skipped the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and he hasn't been projected to be invited to the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp, I'm going to assume he is going to go undrafted, unless some team promised to pick him in the second round. Right now has him going to the Bulls at # 39 but their second round mocks are usually not that accurate this far before the draft.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Providence Hires Drake's Keno Davis as Coach

So the Providence College Friars have finally got their coach, announcing today that Drake's Keno Davis was hired.

Drake had a great record this year but Keno Davis does not have much of a track record to go on as a coach. I think this is a wait and see situation as far as how Providence fans should view this hire. It is definitely too early to make a judgement on this hiring right now but I'm sure most Providence fans are just happy Tim Welsh is gone.

Previously: Larry Brown to Coach Providence?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Larry Brown to Coach Providence College?

The latest Larry Brown rumor had him headed to Providence College, but it appears that Providence may go in a different direction now as Travis Ford is the newest candidate to be in discussions with Providence.

If Providence was able to get Larry Brown to replace Tim Welsh that would be a HUGE move for them. Brown would definitely be able to bring in some top flight recruits to a Providence team that has struggled lately to keep up with the other Big East teams.

However, if Brown is not the choice then Travis Ford would definitely be a good second option. He has revived the UMass program to some extent and I think he would be successful at Providence as well.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

West Virginia & Joe Mazzulla Knock Off Duke

A lot of good action yesterday and here is a run down of some of the best action:

West Virginia knocked off Duke 73-67, who struggled shooting the whole night. Joe Alexander was great once again with 22 points and 11 rebounds but the key to this game was backup guard Joe Mazzulla. He almost recorded a triple-double with 13 points 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Mazzulla, who is a Rhode Island product, helped execute the West Virginia game plan to crash the boards and it worked as they dominated Duke on the glass 45-19.