John Thompson and a young journalist

On January 14, 1989, John Thompson, the Georgetown men’s basketball coach, walked off the court before his team’s game against Boston College at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Thompson, who choreographed the whole scene, came onto the court  for warmups and then just

Dap Kings

In his memoir, The Color of Water, a young James McBride is sitting on a school bus headed for a camp in Upstate New York. He is looking out the window at his white mother, “the only white face in a sea of black faces.”

At the ballpark with Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington held a band together for over 50 years from 1923 to his death in 1974.  This rare video of Ellington playing baseball with a few of his bandmates from the early 1940s captures a glimpse of how these pioneering jazz artists  passed their time on

Jacob Lawrence’s games

In 1949, Jacob Lawrence created Strike (below) to commemorate Jackie Robinson as the first African-American in major league baseball. On Wednesday, April 15th, Major league baseball celebrated the 68th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in the game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  All players and coaches

A Hockey Dad’s Icy Start

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on March 19, 2015 on NBC SportsWorld   Learn to Play, a youth hockey clinic at Ice House, a popular four-rink facility in Hackensack, N.J., is set to start at 5:15 p.m. It’s a spring weekday

The Legacy of Africa’s first golf course

Some of my African ancestors may have witnessed a golf match as they were taken in chains on cargo ships from Bance Island (now Bunce) in Sierra Leone to work in the rice fields in lowcountry South Carolina and Georgia. A black girl separated from her mother and

Listening to Miles Davis and Jack Johnson

In 1970, Miles Davis recorded A Tribute to Jack Johnson as the soundtrack for a new documentary on the controversial Black heavyweight champion who dominated boxing at the beginning of the 20th century. For writing inspiration, Davis trained at Gleason’s Gym in New York with Bobby McQuillan, a former

Dean Smith’s legacy

On January 17, 1972, the Georgia Bulldogs men’s basketball team beat Kentucky 85-73 on their home court in Athens. Tim Bassett, a 6-foot-8 African-American forward, led the Bulldogs with 27 points and 13 rebounds. After the game, Bassett was approached by Adolph Rupp, the Kentucky

Pete Carroll and the Mind of a coach

The best thing about the ending of Super Bowl XLIX was that the whole world got a chance to be an armchair offensive coordinator, regardless of their knowledge of the game. It didn’t matter if you knew anything about “personnel groupings” or “goal line defenses”

Wheaties Man

I never came close to eating Wheaties. For me the “Breakfast of Champions” was a large bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes with ice-cold whole milk. I know the iconic orange box mostly through the man whose image seemed to inhabit its packaging long after