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Sunday, May 21, 2017

In A League Of Their Own: Basketball Beauties Season 2



I'm not sure exactly when I heard about the Basketball Beauties League but I was instantly intrigued. A collection of all-female basketball players who are former WNBA stars, semi pros, college stand outs, singers, entertainers, and those who love of the game - I see this as a such a necessity for the city of Los Angeles and the sports universe. Carefully screening each baller who submits to play for the league not anyone gets to play, after an evaluation of their talent then they are approved. This keeps up the integrity of the game and ensures the best of the best are out there on the court. Introducing myself to the head honcho Jude Thomas in the early weeks of the season he was welcoming from the jump. As the creator of Basketball Beauties it seems like he's everywhere at every time, no seriously! He's never in one spot for more than two minutes. As I see him catching up with players to see where they're at mentally, he deeply cares, and you can see how he facilitates a familial feel in the midst of this competitive environment. Weather you're a fan, a player on the court, or a part of his staff Jude makes sure your always good.

One of the first players I met was Heartbreak. No, no typo - her name as aforementioned is Heartbreak. I thought that was so dope and speaking with her more throughout the weeks she loves basketball but also has equal passions with a member of the SpaceX company and she's a singer. A rocket scientist who can ball as well? Yes, this is what makes Basketball Beauties so unique. It has multi-faceted women who play basketball with the best of them. I also had met Brittney Elena, the Lola Bunny of the Basketball Beauties. An easy on the eyes and hard as nails on the court dynamo. She gave me the best photo ops because of her fun personality and humorous outlook on life. Somebody soon needs to give her a show she's that charismatic. I would say the heart and soul of the League is Elisha Taylor also known as a Elite Taylor and The Black Italian. She's a magnet once she steps into the building, speaking to everyone going by and see how they are doing, and you can see her encouraging her teammates and just as hyped when they score as if she had made the basket. It's all love here, it's all unity. On the court they are all competitive as hell but they do not let that seep into the post game. Hugs at the end, laughing at certain moments, and rejoicing that they are all their to ball.

I wanted to know, at the essence of it, why the players believed in this league in particular. During the Conference Finals a few weeks ago I spoke with one of the stars of Basketball Beauties Danika Dale. I liken her to a Kevin Durant, a happy warrior who can turn it on at any time and seeing with my own eyes damn near un-guardable. I ask her what makes it different. She had one word. "Opportunity", she continued, "It's more than basketball, It's friendship. You can come here to get in shape, to network, make friends, and that's what makes it great." I knew exactly what she meant because each week you would see aspects of all of that. It's more than a game when you seek out a league to play ball. You want a place to feel like home, and to be yourself. That's what makes Basketball Beauties so special. And this is why you should come through to see them ball so hard.  
































Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hit The Spot: UNPLUGDLA


As I stepped into The Study, a swanky bookstore themed lounge right on Hollywood Boulevard fit for the occasion, I noticed the Black Girl Magic in the room alone could power the venue. It might of been the extra buzzy atmosphere because it's almost summer with people bursting with energy ready to dance, hungry to absorb game, and to feel soul. Or was it the jubilant mood of recent college grads that filled the air? A mixture of both I would say because they knew UNPLUGDLA only throws the littest events. A compilation of poetry, comedy, soul music, and Hip Hop is what this magnificent soiree has to offer. Complimentary food at the inception of the mixer makes it feel like home cooking, a nice welcoming touch. Chicken and waffles to begin with, could this get any better? Oh it does.

I had the pleasure of having a front row seat and seeing the effervescent poet Janae perform her two poems. The previous performances had set the tone- the crowd was initially in a frenzy with a female comedian who hit a few nerves but they had mellowed out - soul music heals all. Janae humbly saying "I only have two poems, then I'll get out of your way" the crowd immediately voices how they feel, almost in outrage, no no no they wanted her to stay and encouraged her to take her time. The crowd was hers before she had even performed. The first of her sonnets was about fuckboys, a crowd favorite, yet it's funny introduction quickly turned into sad and hurtful confession . Even if you're far from a fuckboy you felt sorry a woman had to deal with such a man. You could tell Janae used this platform as a cathartic experience to exercise her frustration. With an impromptu hype man in the audience saying "bars" at the perfect pause in her writings she had the crowd in her trance. They swooned at her every syllable. Such visceral lines like "When you eat my ass, do you taste the shit you put me through?" packed punches. Performances from songstress The Lion Heart Sommer Cooks, R&B artist Staurm, and spoken word artist like quenched the soul pallet so well. Hit this spot again and again. UNPLUGDLA is lit, so come through.

Instagram: @UNPLUGDLA

   




 






















Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal

Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal