Ray Jr on Sports

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  1. College Basketball’s Final Four will take place for the right for 2 teams to play in the National Championship. I have to admit, it’s pretty intriguing.
  2. #1 seed North Carolina will face #10 Syracuse-in their 4th ACC matchup of the season-which will also guarantee at least one ACC team in the championship.
  3. Meanwhile the other 2 teams are a pair of #2 seeds in Oklahoma & Villanova. The Sooners, probably the 3rd best team in the Big 12, will face a Wildcat team who was ranked #1 a few times this season. This Big East favorite evokes memories of the team who won the 1985 National Title when they upset John Thompson and Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown.
  4. I mentioned this before, but I believe that North Carolina and Villanova will win this round and play Monday night for the title. If it happens, that will be an epic game.
  5. As for the Pitt Panthers as they’re adjusting to their new HC in Kevin Stallings, they were able to retain at least one of their 2016 recruits as F Corey Manigault, will honor his commitment with the Panthers, but Pitt recruit Crisshawn Clark asked to be released from his scholarship as well as Virginia Episcopal point guard Justice Kithcart. Unfortunately, that’s part of the business. These players were recruited by former HC Jaime Dixon.
  6. Stallings also made some key moves: Adding longtime Vanderbilt aide Tom Richardson and offering a job to Pitt assistant coach (and former player) Brandin Knight. Stallings said that he would like Knight to remain, but the decision is up to him. Knight was also interviewed for the Pitt head coaching position.
  7. As for the recruitment plans, Stallings said that he will search in New York and New Jersey for talent. I hope he’s checking for JUCO and Graduate-Transfers as well because this team will truly be in need of them.

8.Also: Congrats to former Pitt G James Robinson who was selected to play in an all-star game Friday in Houston as part of the Final Four festivities as well as Grad-transfer C Rafael Maia who was selected to play for the Latin American selected team for the same festivities.

  1. As for Pitt football, RB James Conner was given a special honor: He was chosen to throw out the first pitch at the Pittsburgh Pirates Home Opener Sunday afternoon. I admire this young man’s fight and spirit as he overcomes Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  2. Just imagine the 1-2 punch that Conner and 2016 ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year Quadree Ollison. That’s going to be a pretty good one, and certainly a nice ‘problem’ for HC Pat Narduzzi to have.
  3. As for the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers made some news as they reportedly signed DE Ricardo Mathews to a 1-year deal. is entering his seventh NFL season in 2016. Mathews was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round (238th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft and remained with the Colts through 2013. Most recently, he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the San Diego Chargers.
  4. I honestly don’t see much impact with this deal. If Mathews can make an impression in training camp and the preseason, then he’ll be good for depth. Other than that, I’m sure special teams might work for him.
  5. As for the Steelers draft picks, they will get 7 draft picks, which will include a compensatory 6th Round pick and two 7th round picks, which will replace the 5th Round pick that they don’t have after giving that up in a trade for CB Brandon Boykin.
  6. Speaking of Boykin, he’s no longer a Steeler after he agreed to a 1-year deal with the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. I don’t understand why the Steelers traded for Boykin since as he hardly played in 2015, but when he did, he made plays. Now he’s gone. Makes no sense to me.
  7. Wherever San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick goes, he’ll certainly be getting paid as the deadline passed for the team to decline his $11.9 million salary. I guess you can say it was a nice gesture on the 49ers part, but I can’t see Kaepernick wanting to stay there and playing for new HC Chip Kelly. I still think the SB Champion Denver Broncos will be a good fit for him.
  8. As for the NBA, pretty much nothing’s changed as the regular season makes way for the postseason. Golden State (68-7) has the league’s best record and with 7 games to go, they could still at least tie the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 72-10 record. 63-12 San Antonio is #2 and could still also finish the season with 70 wins.
  9. In the Eastern Conference, Cleveland (52-22) is tops followed by 50-24 Toronto. As for the NBA’s worst, you’ll find 9-66 Philadelphia there as they could tie their own 1972-73 record of 9-73 (unless they get their 10th win) and in the Western Conference, it’s the LA Lakers at 19-59.
  10. As for the playoffs, so far, the Cavs, Raptors and Atlanta Hawks have clinched in the East and the Warriors, Spurs, OKC Thunder and the LA Clippers in the West. There are a combined 8 playoff spots left.
  11. If I was a betting man, the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers will lock up the remaining 5 spots, simply because the remaining teams are eliminated. They’re just fighting for higher seeds.
  12. And in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz have the inside track at those spots, but the Rockets and Jazz need to watch out as the Dallas Mavericks are breathing down their necks.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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a letter from B-PEP and The Coalition Against Violence (CAV) regarding the recent situation involving Wendy Bell.

March 31, 2016

Mr. Chuck Wolfertz Vice President/ General Manager/ WTAE TV 400 Ardmore Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Dear Mr. Wolfertz;

First of all I wanted to thank you on behalf of the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence (CAV) for your Editorial a few days ago regarding the unfortunate situation involving your now former anchor Wendy Bell. We appreciated your sensitivity in addressing the inappropriate use of the WTAE Facebook page by Ms. Bell and your statement of regret on behalf of you, Wendy Bell, and WTAE TV for the messages which had been posted. In your editorial you mentioned that management from WTAE TV has begun to initiate a comprehensive examination of the issues which have been exposed as a result of the Facebook postings. B-PEP and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence applaud your decision to do so. We are also encouraged to see that you and WTAE TV are also committed to work with local community organizations ‘…to further dialogue around these important issues”. We urge you to work closely with the Pittsburgh Black Media (PBMF) as partners in the effort to move forward. Representatives of The Black Political Empowerment Project and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence are very willing to assist in this effort as well. For your information and review, we are sharing with you the section from our CAV “Strategies For Change: Creating More Peaceful Communities” entitled “The Role of Media”. Our entire document was written with the input and participation of a few hundred area citizens, across lines of age, race and ethnicity. “The Role of the Media” was written in response to the views of many people, of all races, that African Americans, and particularly young African American males, are portrayed in area media in a very negative light. This feeling or attitude has been prevalent for many years, if not decades. It does not appear to many of us that much has changed over the years in terms of how African Americans, and people of color in general, are portrayed in the media. B-PEP PLANNING COUNCIL Tim Stevens Chairman & CEO Valerie Dixon Vice-Chairperson Lorraine B. Cook Cross Secretary/Civic Engagement Coordinator A. Odell Richardson Treasurer Mary Young Personnel Committee Chair Lois “Toni” McClendon B-PEP Radio Producer Lead Writer & Editor/ CAV/ B-PEP Administrator Brigette Bethea Special Assistant B-PEP- CAV In Memoriam: Rev. Dr. LeRoy Patrick Rev. Dr. James E.Garmon Rick Adams William Anderson Art Baldwin Jordan Ball Rev. Maureen CrossBolden K.L. Brewer Lois M. Cain Monica Carlisle Richard Carrington Elena Chaffin Martha Conley, Esq. Rob Conroy Rev. Sampson Cooper Mary Evans Rev. Michele P. Ellison Brandi Fisher Monique Flowers Evan Frazier Keonna Gibson, Intern Janice Gladden Navada Green Elder Eugene Hanner H.P. Jackson Tamara Jones Ron King Valerie Lauw Terrance McDaniel Shirley Muhammad Kenneth Alan Miller Joanne Norris, Intern E. Richard Phipps Betty Pickett Marlene V. Ramseur Jonathan Reyes Reggie Roberts Craig Stevens William “Jack” Simmons Esq. Schnel Simmons John Small Celeste Taylor Flo Taylor Natalie Taylor David Tessitor Jamar Thrasher Clyde Trent James Tucker Matthew Ulich Cynthia Vanda Dewitt Walton Shanon Williams Ashley G. Woodson Karen Wright Mary Young 2 “It’s a LIFETIME COMMITMENT… African Americans VOTE in EACH and EVERY election!!” Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Email: b-pepinfo@b-pep.net Website: www.b-pep.net A few years ago B-PEP and CAV helped to host “A Media Summit on Black Imaging”. The event was hosted by WPXI TV and was attended by representatives of most of our area media. Years before a similar summit was hosted by WQED TV when I was President of the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch. Ironically, earlier on the same day that I found out about the Wendy Bell postings in a meeting about a future Youth Summit which would be based on some of the strategies from our Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence document, something was mentioned in that meeting that caused me to state that maybe it was time to host another Media Summit on Black Imaging. Once I heard of the Wendy Bell Facebook Page the need for such a Media Summit seemed even more necessary! Part of my personal reaction to Ms. Bell’s comments were that these comments were stated publicly and posted on a WTAE TV Facebook page, particularly because of the extremely inflammatory and racially insensitive nature of some of those comments. Even in my former volunteer position for ten years as President of the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch, and my thirty years as Chairman (and now CEO) of B-PEP I have always tried to be extremely careful any time I was asked by the media to address various issues. I felt, and still feel, that my words are potentially a reflection on the organizations I represent, or have represented. I would hope that any representative of WTAE TV and other media outlets, would be aware that any comment posted on a Facebook Page, particularly one supported by one’s media source, could reflect, potentially negatively on themselves and their employer, and potentially further racial tensions and the racial divide. Everyone, particularly a professional media person, should be totally aware of the power and passion around the subject of race in Pittsburgh and in America. The last thing we need to propagate through the media is a continuing and an expansion of negative images of African Americans. Some of Ms. Bell’s comments were the height of stereotyping of young Black males. It is possible that the continued negative images of young African American males both on WTAE TV and in the media in general, over a period of years, helped seed such negative thoughts and impressions in the mind of Ms. Bell, as well as in the minds of the viewers of local and national television. This pattern of the ongoing negative projection of African American males must be stopped. Media representatives and interested citizens of Metropolitan Pittsburgh should have an urgency about how to explore ways of how the conversation around race can take place in a constructive manner. In reviewing Wendy Bell’s full posting I truly believe that she was honestly reacting to a tragedy which affected so many people and occurred almost on the door steps of WTAE TV. I think her heart may have been in the right place, but unfortunately some her words were not. I am still not certain if WTAE TV have missed a golden opportunity for a ‘teachable moment’ for Ms. Bell, for the station and for people of all races to collectively address what went wrong and why, and move to ‘fix it’! 3 “It’s a LIFETIME COMMITMENT… African Americans VOTE in EACH and EVERY election!!” Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Email: b-pepinfo@b-pep.net Website: www.b-pep.net Some people talk about why so many Black males are unemployed. Part of the answer might be based, at least in part, on the continued projection of African American males as criminals. Such ongoing negative pictures have to have a negative effect on the minds and perspectives of those charged with hiring new employees when considering young African Americans. Such negative perspectives can certainly have a profound and negative effect on an entire community of people. The time to address this entire situation is now. We strongly urge WTAE TV, and all area media, to fully review the “The Role of Media” section from the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence “Strategies for Change: Creating More Peaceful Communities” document and to create policies, procedures and methods aimed at implementing many of the recommendations contained in this section. One of the recommendations would be to further diversify of your on air personalities, as well as those who make key decisions for the direction of your station with regard to how news is covered. We look forward to hearing from your station as to how you plan to move forward. Thanks for your consideration of our thoughts and recommendations.

Sincerely,

Tim Stevens, Chairman & CEO

The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) Co-convener, Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence (CAV)

Factors for buying a new house this spring

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Spring time is the period of the year when the nature awakes and everything seems more enthusiastic and energetic. But, it turns out that spring is the busiest and liveliest period of the year in the real estate industry too. If we compare the number of houses on sale at this time of the year and the number of sales and any other season, we will definitely be impressed. In case you perform some research on the Internet to check how to sell a house this spring, you will get many tips and advice, but if you want to buy a house the situation is different. That’s why we have created a short list of factors to consider for buying a new house this spring.

A Professional Real Estate Agent

Even though many people believe that real estate agents are not required in this digital age, they are wrong. As a matter of fact, experts say that using their help today is more important than ever. The paper work and other activities related to this procedure are very complex and you definitely need someone who has experience and knowledge in this field to help you. A real estate agent like this can help you get what you are looking for without any hassles. On top of that, it is the seller’s duty to pay the commission, which means that this action won’t cost you anything.

Home mortgage pre-approval

In case you are interested in buying a new house this spring, then you must have certain budget for this purpose. It is good to point out that home financing is much different compared to the situation we had 10 or 15 years ago. Getting home mortgage approval is more difficult and even if you believe that you will get a loan easily you might be wrong. So, it is the best idea to consult a mortgage expert before you start looking for your next house. Those who will get pre-approval for mortgage will also have better chances to buy a new house fast because sellers want to work with this type of buyers.

Prioritization

Different home buyers have different needs and requirements. For example, families with small children want a home close to good schools and kindergartens and houses with larger yards. Single people are usually focused on houses that are close to their job or houses on a location with different transportation options. Finally, senior citizens want to live close to hospitals and other places that may be useful for people of their age. So, create a list of things that you need the most and prioritize.

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Competition

Don’t forget that you may have to compete with other buyers. That’s why you need to learn more about bidding and how to finish this process in a way that will suit you. The basic rule is to provide a realistic offer and stop under bidding especially if the house you have found looks very close to your dream house.   editor@urbanmediatoday.com

JAMES CONNER TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH FOR PIRATES’ SEASON OPENER

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The Pitt tailback will take the mound on Sunday, April 3.

       PITTSBURGH—Pitt junior running back James Conner will throw out the ceremonial first pitch when the Pittsburgh Pirates open the Major League Baseball season by hosting the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

 

“I’m honored and thrilled to throw out the first pitch for the Pirates’ season opener and I want to thank everyone in the organization for this incredible invitation,” Conner said. “It has been a long time since I played baseball but I’ll make sure my arm is ready to throw a strike on Sunday. The Bucs’ road to the World Series begins this weekend and I can’t wait to be at PNC Park.”

 

One of college football’s elite players, Conner announced this past December he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. In the midst of his treatments, he has continued to surprise and inspire with his vigorous participation in the Panthers’ offseason workouts.

 

“Fear is a choice,” Conner said. “I choose to not fear cancer. I choose to fight it, and I will win.”

 

A native of Erie, Pa., and graduate of McDowell High School, Conner was selected the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year after rushing for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was named to seven postseason All-America squads, including first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

 

But Conner has been an All-American off the field as well. Although sidelined in 2015 due to a knee injury, he was honored as a member of the prestigious Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, a select group of football student-athletes who have made a positive impact on others and their communities.

 

Conner’s volunteerism includes time with Children’s Hospital, Mel Blount Youth Home, the humanitarian organization World Vision as well as the National Kidney Foundation, which honored him with its 2015 “Small Hands Big Heart” Award. During Conner’s hospital visits, he hands out his used game gloves as souvenirs to young patients.

The best new small houses in America

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In the past few years, people in America and around the globe are impressed by small homes. There are many positive things about owning a small house. Obviously, they are much cheaper than big homes. In addition, they are easy to maintain. It is also much easier to take care of the exterior. These are only some of the advantages of new small houses and the reason why so many people are interested in owning one. However, there are some downsides associated with this specific type of housing. For instance, there are ordinances in certain places that are not favorable when it comes to small homes and it seems that builders are more focused on larger projects so it is sometimes difficult to find reliable builders for this purpose. But, the fact is that there are some places across America that actually support the construction of such homes. So, where are the best new small houses in America?

In order to find these states where you can build a home like this, you must take different factors into consideration and based on these factors you can create a short list of friendly places.

A small house is defined as a house that covers an area of about 600 square feet even though there is no official definition of such homes so they may be a little bit small or bigger.

The best new small houses in America can be found in areas with liberal zoning and permitting regulations. These areas provide good options for mobile homes, ADUs, RVs and other similar small and improvised homes. A good state for this type of homes is a state where the laws, ordinances and codes are not very strict when it comes to the size of your home. In many cases, local authorities regulate some aspects of this issue, so you should analyze these regulations too. There are many states where local authorities provide special information to small home owners through the Internet or via pamphlets that can be found in their offices.

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If you want to live in the best new small houses in America, you must find a place where there are already a high number of houses like this. As a matter of fact, in a community like this you can get inspiration for the floor plan and overall design of your home. There are also many states in which you can find towns and cities that support small houses over the Internet and they are trying to attract homeowners. In addition, if you are interested in some specific place, you should analyze the availability of architects and builders focused on new small houses.

If you do a brief research, you will see that California is the state where we can find a huge number of small homes. Building new small homes is a real trend there. In addition, you can try Oregon, North Carolina, Texas and Florida as places where many builders and architects have experience in this field.

editor@urbanmediatoday.com

New Pitt HC Stallings Deserves chance; Final Four set

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One week after longtime head coach Jaime Dixon departed to his Alma mater TCU, the Pitt Panthers basketball team hired his successor in the name of former Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings, a team that he spent 17 years with and has led to 7 NCAA Tournaments appearances, including this season in which they lost to Wichita St. in the First Four.

Pitt gets a veteran head coach that has had some success, and what was the fans reaction? Outrage. And for the record, that was before it was announced that he would be Pitt’s 15th basketball HC in school history.

Why the outrage you ask? because Stallings isn’t Sean Miller. Former Pitt player and successful HC at Xavier and now Arizona. Many fans, just had it downright predicted that Miller would leave his success as a Wildcat and come home. Get a clue, people. Would you do the same? The man has led both Xavier and Arizona to a combined 4 Elite Eight’s and his Wildcats spent a few weeks last season ranked #1. He left a classy statement confirming that he will stay at what he called ‘The best coaching job in America.’ And I don’t blame him either.

Folks are mad that Stallings isn’t Archie Miller, either. Sean’s brother, who isn’t even a Pitt alum (he went to NC State) has turned into a pretty good coach too, turning the Dayton Fliers into one of the elite teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference and he has led them to 3 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Elite Eight in 2014. He also said he wasn’t interested in the Pitt job. Can you blame him? No.

My point is, the Pitt fans wanted a big name coach to return the Panthers to the status that Dixon had almost 10 years ago. My question is this: Why can’t that be Stallings? Has he led Pitt to a losing season that we didn’t know about?

No. The man deserves a chance. You know, just like the man that Stallings is replacing. In 2003, Ben Howland made the decision to leave Pitt and go after his dream job at UCLA (just like Dixon did last week) folks were in an uproar because he turned Pitt around and now he was gone. I wasn’t mad at him for doing so-partly because I knew he was going to do it. Then the fans started chirping about that proverbial ‘big-name’ coach, like then Wake Forest HC Skip Processor, who had won ACC Coach of the Year that season and had future NBA Hall of Famer Tim Duncan on that team. Whether he was interviewed or not, Prosser stayed.

Current Kentucky HC John Calipari was interested in the Pitt job back then. At the time, he was coaching the Memphis Grizzlies and at one time, he as an assistant at Pitt, but the Panthers didn’t even look his way. They chose Howland’s assistant Dixon and just like this year, the fans went nuts.

Pitt was Dixon’s first coaching gig and he made Howland’s teams ever better, leading them to 13 NCAA Tournaments in 15 years and that Elite Eight appearance in 2009. He had a 1st-team All-American (Dajuan Blair) and led them to their first-ever #1 ranking and #1 seeds in their history. They were a top team in the Big East and despite nearly mediocre status in the ACC, it’s fair to say that Dixon did a good job.

So why can’t Stallings?

Because he didn’t lead Vanderbilt to a National Title? Just ask every HC in college basketball team just how hard that is. Stallings led the Commodores to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances (2006, 07) and an SEC Conference Tournament Championship in 2012-you know, the conference that has Kentucky, and Florida in it? He knows what it’s like to play against nationally-ranked teams and was successful against them. Unlike Dixon, he comes with veteran coaching experience.

Stallings also has the reputation of very good recruiter-something that Pitt hasn’t had since Dixon found Steven Adams, only to lose him a year later to the NBA Draft. New Pitt AD Scott Barnes is a basketball guy and he had a reason for bringing Stallings on board. Yes, he has to deal with the fans, and also the threat of two of their 2016 recruits (Corey Manigult, Justice Kithart) possibly changing their minds about Pitt now that Dixon is gone, but the question is, how will Stallings, the 17-year vet respond? He deserves the chance.

Also, there’s the relationship between Stallings and Pitt F Sheldon Jeter. Stallings was Jeter’s coach in Vanderbilt and when he wanted to transfer a few years ago, Stallings blocked it. Jeter then played at a Junior College before joining Pitt.

At his introductory news conference, here’s what Stallings had to say about that: “That’s something that Sheldon and I have discussed, and the details, quite frankly, are unimportant. I think if we had to do the situation again, things might have been handled a little bit differently. Honestly, that to me is something that is in the past. I’ve spoken with Sheldon, and I’ve spoken with his family, and I think we’re all comfortable with what happened. I think we’re all comfortable with where we are at now, and I think we’re all with what things look like for us going forward.” Good answer.

Stallings also had this to say about being HC at Pitt: “I’m humbled, I’m thankful, I’m appreciative, and most of all I’m very excited to be the new basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh. My goals as we enter this new era is to have a program that our administration looks at with pride on and off the court, teams that our fans find exciting and entertaining, and players whose experience will be rewarding and life altering.”

Stallings also said “I’m very committed to recruiting the very best student-athletes that we can find for the University of Pittsburgh. I would love for all of them to come from Western Pennsylvania. It would perhaps make our recruiting endeavors a little bit easier, but that’s probably not going to happen. We’re going to recruit locally, state-wide, and nationally as hard as we can and as effectively as we can.”

Like Dixon and every new coach, Stallings deserves a chance to show what he can do at Pitt. The fans need to get over it and get ready for the 2016-17 season with him in charge. You live and die by their decision, and Pitt is living by theirs. Give the man a chance.

NCAA 2016

Final Four Teams Set

I have to be honest, I expected the North Carolina Tar Heels to make it, Villanova too, I didn’t exactly see Oklahoma getting in, but if you would’ve told me that the Syracuse Orange would be a Final Four team, I would’ve thought you were nuts. And I’m not the only one.

But it’s true, the Orange is one of two ACC teams to play on College Basketball’s biggest stage which will take place this weekend. The #10 Seeded-Orange will take on #1Tar Heels for the 4th time this season for the right to play in the National Championship against either the #2 Villanova Wildcats or #2 Oklahoma Sooners in Houston Texas.

I was among the many who didn’t expect the Orange to even make the Big Dance, but like Pitt, I believe that they benefited from the absence of the Louisville Cardinals, who missed the postseason due to suspension. But who cares? HC Jim Boeheim’s team got invited and are now 1 of 4 teams left in the 68 team tournament.

Boeheim said himself that his team hadn’t peaked yet. They missed him for several weeks, and they didn’t exactly shine with him. And Pitt also beat them 3 times too. But look at them now. Boeheim was right.

I have to be honest though, despite their impressive showing, I can’t see them getting past the Tar Heels, who are truly having one of their better seasons under HC Roy Williams. I have this thing about teams who have been there, done that. They always have a chance to do it again, and I think the Tar Heels will be in the National Championship.

As for the other game, the Sooners are truly just as much as a surprise as the Orange, but at least they’ve been ranked in top 10-including #1 for a few weeks. Folks seemed to forget about them after that. I bet nobody’s forgetting about them now. But HC Jay Wright has certainly made sure that folks didn’t forget his Wildcats, who were also ranked #1 for a few weeks this season and here they are: A game away from the National Championship for the first time since 2009. I think that Villanova wins this game and will play the Tar Heels next Monday for the right to win it all.

It’s been a good season folks, but we haven’t seen nothing yet.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Facts About Heart Disease

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Many health conditions can result in what is termed heart disease, such as arrhythmia, heart infections, coronary artery disease, diseases that affect blood vessels and congenital heart defects. The most common meaning of heart disease is any blockage in the blood vessels, arteries or the heart’s valves, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.

 

There are many things that put a person at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Some factors are out of a person’s control. For example, the older you are the more likely it is you will develop heart disease. Men are at an increased risk, but women’s risk goes up after menopause. Also, having a family history of heart disease makes it much more likely that you will experience the condition.

 

Not everything that increases a person’s risk for heart disease is out of that person’s control. Eating a poor diet that consists of high amounts of fat, salt and cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Smoking is another huge contributor to heart problems. Not managing high blood pressure or diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes also increases a person’s risk. Being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle and not properly managing stress are all things within a person’s scope of control that also increase his risk for heart disease.

 

How can someone tell they might have heart disease? There are several warning signs to watch for. Chest pain and shortness of breath are obvious symptoms, but many people write them off as indigestion or fatigue. If your legs or arms experience sudden pain, turn numb without reason or are constantly cold, this is a definite warning sign that something is wrong with your cardiovascular system. Other possible signs include experiencing lightheadedness on a regular basis, fainting and feeling a fluttering sensation in your chest.

 

If you suspect you or someone close to you is suffering from heart disease, medical attention is needed to properly diagnose and manage the situation. The doctor might prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure, thin out your blood or lower your cholesterol. If medications alone are not enough to manage your heart condition, the doctor might recommend undergoing various medical procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.

 

Medications and medical procedures are not the only ways to manage heart disease. Making certain lifestyle changes can at least help with your condition. If you smoke, you need to quit immediately. Take any diabetes or blood pressure medicines faithfully, and monitor your cholesterol levels. Change your eating habits so you consume more foods with low saturated fats, whole grains and vegetables. Exercise regularly and work to lower your weight if you are overweight. These changes may take time, but each day that passes that you continue with your current lifestyle can actually bring you closer to your grave.

editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Pitt Tabs Stallings to Lead Men’s Basketball Program

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Stallings Becomes 15th Head Coach in Panther History

PITTSBURGH – Kevin Stallings has been named the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball program as announced by Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes Sunday afternoon.

 

“Coach Stallings and I share the same vision for Pitt — playing in the Final Four,” said Barnes. “Kevin has a successful track record recruiting the ACC footprint and beyond, and is one of the best coaches in the country at building an offense around his talent. He plays a fun up-tempo style that players love and fans will enjoy.  Kevin runs his program with impeccable character and has a high care factor and connection with his student-athletes. He is a Power Five conference coach whose experience and success will be immediate assets for our program.”

 

Stallings has compiled a 455-283 record with nine NCAA Tournament appearances over a 23-year head coaching career. He began his head coaching career at Illinois State in 1993 before taking control of the Vanderbilt program prior to the start of the 1999-00 season.

 

“I am extremely excited to join the University of Pittsburgh family,” said Stallings. “Pitt has a tremendous basketball tradition and I am looking forward to building on the excellent foundation that is in place on the court and in the classroom. The city of Pittsburgh is outstanding and I have a great deal of respect for the people that make it such a special place. I look forward to seeing their support along with that of the Oakland Zoo next season at the Petersen Events Center.”

 

A two-time SEC Coach of the Year, Stallings spent the past 17 seasons at Vanderbilt compiling eight 20+ win seasons en route to a 332-220 record overall. His teams advanced to seven NCAA Tournaments, including six in the past 10 years and three consecutive tournaments (2010, 2011, 2012) for the first time in program history. He also became the first coach to take two Vanderbilt teams (2004 and 2007) to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 teams. In all, Stallings coached in 12 postseason tournaments during his time at Vanderbilt with seven NCAA Tournament bids and five NIT appearances.

 

In 2011-12, he led Vanderbilt to the SEC Tournament Championship, marking the first time a Commodore team won the tournament in 60 years. His team reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament and concluded the season 25-11 overall.

 

Stallings coached three SEC Players of the Year (Dan Langhi, Derrick Byars, Shan Foster), seven NBA Draft picks, 37 All-SEC performers and 53  SEC Academic Honor Roll members during his tenure in Nashville. He also coached the top three scorers (Foster, Jeffrey Taylor and Matt Freije) in program history.

 

Success has followed Stallings over 38 years in the college ranks as a player at Purdue, an assistant at both Purdue and Kansas and his previous head coaching positions at Illinois State and Vanderbilt. During that time span, he has been a part of 25 seasons with 20-or-more victories and a basketball season that concluded during postseason play 30 times.

 

Along with the success on the court, Stallings has also witnessed his players excel in the classroom. At Vanderbilt, all 45 of his seniors either have earned or are currently working toward their college degree. While at Illinois State, five Redbirds achieved Academic All-America status; and all but two seniors earned their degree.

 

“The University of Pittsburgh’s tremendous reputation as an elite academic institution added to the appeal of this position,” Stallings added. “I believe we can achieve a great deal of success on the court and in the classroom, while developing complete student-athletes.”

 

As an assistant coach, Stallings worked with two of the nation’s most well-known and respected mentors – Gene Keady, his college coach at Purdue, and Roy Williams at Kansas.

 

After helping lead the Boilermakers as a player (1980-82) to three postseason tournament appearances, including a NCAA Final Four appearance in 1980, Stallings served as an assistant coach under Keady from 1983-88. On Keady’s staff, Stallings helped direct Purdue to six NCAA Tournament appearances and three Big Ten championships while tallying a 140-44 overall record.

 

Stallings left Purdue to join Williams’ coaching staff at Kansas in 1989. Over the next five seasons, the Jayhawks made four NCAA Tournament appearances, enjoyed two trips to the Final Four, finished as the 1991 national runner-up and accumulated a 132-38 mark during Stallings’ stay.

 

A 1978 graduate of Collinsville High School outside of St. Louis, Stallings played under the legendary Vergil Fletcher, who was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004.Stallings earned his undergraduate degree in business management and marketing at Purdue in 1982 before receiving a Master’s degree in counseling from Purdue in 1985. Stallings and his wife Lisa have three children: Jacob, Alexa and Jordyn.

 

Stallings is the 15th head coach in program history and takes over a team that went 21-12 overall and 9-9 in the ACC a year ago. The Panthers reached the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in the past 15 seasons before falling to Wisconsin, 47-43, in an opening round game in St. Louis.

Why young people are not driving as much as their parents?

young people

According to the latest studies and surveys, young people are not interested into driving as much as their parents were. Back in those days, driving a car was one of the most desired things among teenagers and young adults. But, it seems that modern young people have different priorities. So, what exactly causes this decline and why is this happening?

It seems that the answer to this question is more complex and there are different factors that contribute to this trend. We will now analyze some of these factors.

To start with, if we look at the numbers we will see that the population growth is much slower than before. The number of newborn children is decreasing compared to the figures from 1980s and even more compared to 1960s. This trend will continue in the next few years, so we can’t expect that there will be more young drivers in the following years.

Another thing that makes young people stay away from cars or at least drive less than young people a few decades ago is the emergence of the Internet. The World Wide Web has brought many changes in the lives of young people. We can all agree that young people spend less time hanging out with their peers in the real life and they have replaced this socialization with social media. In the past, people had to drive to see their friends. Today, they only have to log in onto their Facebook account and they can communicate with their friends and see what’s going on in the world. They no longer need to drive to local libraries to find information about anything and they also don’t need to drive in different parts of the city to buy clothes or other products because they can purchase things online. This is definitely a characteristic for the younger generation – most of online shoppers belong to this category of people.

Furthermore, the price of oil and gas has forced many people to rationalize the use of cars. In the past, many people used their cars to drive around and have fun. Modern people use their vehicles only when they need to. The modernization of the public transport systems also had impact. People can use subways, trains, modern buses and other transportation means to reach any destination. On top of that, there are many low cost flights and increased number of flights.

auto lot

Another reason why young people are not driving as much as their parents is the fact that most of them are aware of the damage that frequent use of cars is causing to the nature. These young people were raised to respect nature and they are doing their best to avoid pollution and don’t want to cause pollution. Of course, this problem may be solved with the use of hybrid and eco-friendly car models.

Young people will continue to drive cars, but the truth is that their use today is decreased.

editor@urbanmediatoday.com

 

11th Annual Vigil of Hope — Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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Drug and alcohol addiction and its attendant tragedies, have touched countless

Americans from all walks of life and from all backgrounds. Over the years, families and friends have found individual ways to remember their loved ones. The eleventh annual “Vigil of Hope” brings the community together to remember those who have lost their lives, offer hope for those who still struggle with the disease, and celebrate those who have found recovery. Participants are encouraged to bring a picture of their loved one.

 

The Vigil of Hope will be held on Wednesday, June 8, at 7 PM at the Passavant Hospital Foundation Legacy Theatre, next to Cumberland Woods Village on the campus of UPMC Passavant McCandless.

 

The featured speakers for this program will be announced shortly.

 

This service is sponsored by the Bridge to Hope and Beyond Bridge to Hope Family Support Groups in partnership with Passavant Hospital Foundation. For more information on this event or on either family support group, please contact the Passavant Hospital Foundation at 412/748-5120 or go to bridge2hope.org.

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