MBB : Breaking the cycle: Jardine escaped the streets, overcame obstacles to lead team as senior

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Thirteen years. That’s the fork in the road, the point that Scoop Jardine and his father, Antonio, describe as pivotal for a kid growing up in South Philadelphia.Antonio Jardine says it’s the age when a kid starts smelling himself. The age when he starts getting to know girls and begins to see the streets.Scoop says it’s the age when a kid feels grown up even though he’s really not. The age when he starts hanging out with 19- and 20-year-olds, thinking he’s the man.He rolls up the sleeves of his gray hooded sweatshirt to reveal his first tattoo. He got it at age 13. Two numbers, one on the underside of each forearm, represent the South Philly culture. A ‘0’ on the right and a ‘5’ on the left come together to form ’05,’ as in Fifth Street.The Fifth Street projects. That’s where Scoop is from.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I didn’t know any better,’ Scoop said. ‘I just got my block on me because that’s what we did.‘It’s something that I don’t regret, but now it’s like, ‘Wow, that was pointless.”Thirteen is also when Scoop thought he might be headed to jail after getting caught joyriding.Scoop, his cousin Jahron Richards and his friend Jamal Wilson were out cruising around in a car owned by Wilson’s parents. Richards, who is seven years older than Scoop, drove while the two youngsters enjoyed the ride.But Wilson took the vehicle without his parents’ permission. And when a car began tailing them, Scoop thought it was all over. Grand theft auto.‘I thought it was a cop,’ Scoop said. ‘I thought we were going down.’It turned out to be Scoop’s mother, who recognized the car and all three boys inside.‘That wasn’t good,’ Scoop said with a laugh.It’s a neighborhood where gunshots and drug deals faze no one, where people who have overdosed lie on the sidewalks ‘looking like zombies,’ as Wilson put it.Yet Scoop managed to avoid becoming another South Philly statistic. Through strong familial bonds and four years at Neumann-Goretti High School, a national basketball power, he made it out. He has already graduated from Syracuse University, and he’ll take two degrees with him when he leaves in May.Along for the ride are Richards and another cousin, Theron ‘Smoke’ Richards, who live with Scoop off campus. His basketball career has become a family affair of sorts, with relatives constantly in and out of his apartment and his father at every game since freshman year.Two disciplinary issues as a freshman left his future at Syracuse uncertain, and he said everyone expected him to be expelled. But those watchful eyes of his family and friends, some of whom have already seen the inside of a penitentiary, are what kept Scoop on track.Now he’s poised to lead a 30-1 Syracuse team into the Big East tournament and beyond, with all of South Philly on his back.‘We’re too talented, too gifted and have too many opportunities to be another statistic and caught in that cycle of South Philly,’ said Wilson, who played college basketball at Rhode Island. ‘So before any of us could get that chance, we were on each other’s a** about not going that route.’***Three years. That’s how long Scoop and Wilson shared a bed.They lived together in the South Walk projects at the home of Scoop’s grandmother, Deborah Jardine. There, the bond of friendship turned into a union of brotherhood.Both attended Neumann-Goretti. Both went on to play Division-I basketball. Scoop was the big brother Wilson never had.‘I was real raw growing up, and the six years we were together he basically made me who I am and influenced a lot of me,’ Wilson said.On the court the brotherhood meant matching Scoop’s competitiveness, so naturally they still remember the fight. A tussle for a loose ball turned into Scoop throwing a punch. Then they hugged like boxers. Then Scoop bit him.‘We started hugging and grabbing each other, and I bit him on the chest,’ Scoop said.Later that day, it was as if nothing had happened. They went home, back to South Walk and back to the shared bed.Off the court the brotherhood meant looking out for each other. The whole team was in and out of the home of Deborah Jardine, who is affectionately known as ‘Grams.’ It was the safe house for any and all of their Neumann-Goretti teammates.‘Grams’ house was kind of the home away from home for a lot of guys on the team,’ said Carl Arrigale, the head coach at Neumann-Goretti.Wilson and Scoop were joined by Wali Hepburn and Earl Pettis, both future college players, and Dion Waiters, Scoop’s teammate at SU. The group, which included others as well, huddled around the television for a turn on the PlayStation and raided Grams’ refrigerator on a daily basis.As long as they were in the house, they would be out of trouble. ‘I have to thank my mom for that,’ said Scoop’s father, Antonio Jardine. ‘Just having that spot where they could go so they don’t have to be in the streets.’In college, the brotherhood between Scoop and Wilson meant consoling each other.Scoop said everybody thought he was going to be kicked off the team and possibly expelled after two separate legal incidents his freshman year. Wilson was kicked off the team at Rhode Island in December after three-plus years of butting heads with then-head coach Jim Baron.‘If you start out young and you’re very talented, everybody in South Philly kind of puts you on a pedestal,’ Wilson said. ‘And that pedestal sends you to college a little bit arrogant and ahead of yourself.’The first incident was a sexual assault allegation against Scoop, Jonny Flynn, Rick Jackson — who played with Scoop at Neumann-Goretti — and a fourth SU student. They were later cleared of all criminal or university charges, but the details are still unknown and the situation remains mysterious. The same year, Scoop allowed a cousin to use a stolen Syracuse ID card and purchase $115.65 worth of food.Wilson, who is a year younger, said Scoop called him after those two incidents and warned him about what to look out for in college. Scoop’s snap-out-of-it moment came as a freshman, meaning he had time to reform.Wilson was given the boot midway through his senior season.‘What happened with him, fortunately it happened early, so he got his wake-up call right away,’ Wilson said.Two weeks after Wilson was dismissed, Scoop called him to talk. He convinced his best friend to stay in school and earn a degree. He wouldn’t let him drift back to South Philly to fade into the life they fought to avoid.Like always, the conversation ended with ‘I love you.’***Almost four years. That’s the combined amount of time Scoop’s cousins Smoke Richards and Jahron Richards have spent in jail.They fell victim to the spin cycle. They were South Philly statistics.‘Once you get in the circle, that line is like an electric gate that will zap you right back in,’ Smoke Richards said.Smoke Richards was zapped back in when he tore apart his left knee, shattering his dreams of becoming a college running back. Once his knee crumpled under the weight of multiple defenders as a sophomore on Penn Wood High School’s junior varsity team, his mindset changed.He had a new first priority.‘It was go sell drugs,’ said Smoke Richards, now 35. ‘That was my first thought.’He’d seen his cousins and friends all do it. Hell, slangin’ was what got them the girls, cars and money they flashed around the neighborhood. So it couldn’t be that bad, right?Wrong.Smoke Richards sold cocaine, marijuana and heroin on the streets of South Philly while already on the run from police. After six to seven years of hiding, he was caught and served two years.Jahron Richards, 30, dropped out of high school to hang out with a group of people who smoked weed and stole cars. He served a year and a half for charges stemming from each of those activities.‘Before I went to jail, I could barely read or write or do math or any of that,’ Jahron Richards said. ‘I was being around the wrong crowd and influenced by the wrong people.’Now, they have escaped the circle and become the right people. Now, they help Scoop.Jahron Richards and Smoke Richards live with Scoop in a three-bedroom apartment off campus in Syracuse. They’ve been instructed on how to take care of Scoop after a crash course from Antonio Jardine. Their job is to keep him in line, make sure he learns from their mistakes and stays out of trouble.‘Don’t fall weakness to what we have done,’ Smoke Richards said he told Scoop.They try to make Scoop’s life as easy as possible so he can focus on basketball. They clean the apartment, make his bed if he forgets and cook him food.Smoke and Jahron Richards bicker, almost like a married couple, over who is the better cook. Jahron Richards says he’s better because he is great with seasonings. Smoke Richards claims to be the best because he makes good food without seasonings, ‘which only kill you faster.’Plus Jahron messed up the grits on Monday morning. Smoke and Scoop’s younger brother rag on him for that.‘When I go home, it’s great because it’s not about basketball,’ Scoop said. ‘You get away from it, and it’s fun. It’s family moments. I’m grateful for it.’They’re treated like family within the basketball program, always hanging out with the players and interacting with the coaches. Scoop said they even play pick-up games with some of the managers.And after nearly a year in Syracuse, they’ve found a circle that’s beneficial to be a part of.‘Since I’ve been here, I’ve met so many people,’ Jahron Richards said. ‘I definitely got emotionally attached to Syracuse. I know I’m definitely going to miss all this.’***Twenty-five days. That’s the maximum amount of time Scoop has left as a Syracuse basketball player.It scares him a little. Life without Syracuse seems odd after being here for five years.He’s morphed from a 17-year-old kid on a pedestal into a 23-year-old adult mature enough to be a coach one day.‘I think he’s matured and improved as much as you could ever ask somebody to,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘He’s grown up a lot.’It’s a transformation that is remarkable, not only in its broad scope — from the streets of South Philly to Syracuse — but also in it’s fortuitousness.He could have easily been shown the door after back-to-back bouts of trouble his freshman year. But Syracuse took a chance on him. Boeheim, Athletic Director Daryl Gross and SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor were all part of a team that went to bat for him, Scoop said.And he’s thankful.‘Everybody thought they were going to give me the boot,’ Scoop said. ‘… They all took a chance for me. It’s funny because now you look four years later, they took a chance and I proved them right.’Scoop admits there are still people who view him as a knucklehead and troublemaker after those incidents. But he brushes them off, saying he will continue to do what he does and leave his past behind him.This year, he’s proving critics wrong and leading Syracuse toward a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. His timely shot-making and leadership abilities have guided this team to the best regular season in school history.April 2 is the date for this year’s national championship in New Orleans. That’s the ultimate prize, the ultimate capstone for Scoop’s career if he can achieve it.Back home, South Philly continues to ride the wave. Hepburn, a former high school teammate of Scoop’s, said Syracuse basketball is the talk of the town. Everyone clears off the streets and into a place with a television to watch one of their own as he attempts to bring home a title.A title for Scoop would be a title for Fifth Street.‘It’s for everybody,’ Scoop said. ‘We’re doing it for back home.’[email protected]center_img Published on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13last_img read more

Euphoria in St. Louis, Bosnian and Herzegovinian Ready for the Match with Argentina

first_imgThe real euphoria among B&H people who live in St. Louis is caused due to the friendly match of B&H football representation with Argentina.St. Louis is colored in yellow-blue these days and B&H flags are in almost every home where B&H people live. More than 70.000 people from B&H live in the area of St. Louis and they are all very exited and proud that will have the opportunity to watch live the game of B&H representation.The public watch of the match will be organized at the restaurants owned by B&H people. The match will take place on 18th November (by local time). A various kind of items representing B&H such as B&H flags, hats, scarfs and cakes can be found at shops owned by B&H living in St. Louis.Moreover, B&H football players have started to gather in St. Louis. Emir Spahić, Vedad Ibišević, Sead Kolašinac, Sejad Salihović, Adnan Zahirović, Miralem Pjanić, Edin Višća, Zoran Krvžić and Avdija Vršajević have already arrived and Edin Džeko joined them yesterday.The American media inform as well on the euphoria of this American city.(Source: Klix.ba)last_img read more

Tyson Fury claims Deontay Wilder is ‘running scared’ ahead of rematch

first_img“Not worried at all [about taking a big punch]. It’s what I get paid to do, train hard and fight hard.” Feeling ready now for feb22 we going on a trip on our favourite rocket  shipA post shared by Tyson Fury (@gypsyking101) on Feb 13, 2020 at 9:23pm PSTFury stepped back from boxing in 2019 to venture into professional wrestling. He defeated Braun Strowman in his WWE debut, at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, by count-out, and the 31-year-old believes the training regime he went through ahead of his wrestling bow has given him the upper hand against Wilder.”[The training for wrestling] has helped massively for sure,” Fury said. “There’s a massive difference, almost unbelievable, between training for something like that and a world title fight. It’s more about agility and speed, definitely.” Former unified world champion Fury thought he had done enough to win on points at Staples Center, though two knockdowns from Wilder in the ninth and 12th rounds, respectively, ultimately proved costly.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThere has been no love lost between the fighters in the lead-up to Saturday’s rematch, but Fury is convinced he has the upper hand, adding that he does not fear taking another punch of the caliber that Wilder landed in the final round in December 2018.”He’s on the back foot already, he’s running scared,” Fury told Omnisport. WILDER-FURY 2: Odds, prediction, trends, prop bets for fight”It was good [to take the punch]. It’s nice to take a big right hand like that now and again. It’s what I train for and what I get paid for. It was lovely to do some work for the pay.”It was a lapse in concentration. I feel fantastic and the training camp has gone well, perfectly. It won’t happen again. View this post on Instagram Tyson Fury says Deontay Wilder is “running scared” ahead of the pair’s heavyweight rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday.Fury and Wilder will rekindle their fierce rivalry at the MGM Grand Arena, 14 months after a contentious split draw in Los Angeles.last_img read more