The girl who just wanted to play football
Ella, a 13-year-old who attends the Sequoyah School in Pasadena, just wants to play football - something easier said than done when the rest of the teams in the area refuse to play against a girl.
As the season began, the league voted against allowing a girl to play. If Ella played, it would mean a forfeit, even though the games could still take place. And Sequoyah would be banned from postseason play.
Ella’s teammates didn’t blink.
As it turns out, the team finished 0-8 after Ella joined them, not because they lost, but because each time she prepared to take the field, they were forced to forfeit.
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Michael E. Stern
Mapping out the trajectory of a possible NBA star
How do you make a basketball legend? Ron Holmes, who played at UCLA but never made it to the professional leagues, has been wondering for years, spending his life trying to turn his son, highly-touted UCLA star Shabazz Muhammad, into NBA royalty.
From Ken Bensinger’s report:
As a student, Holmes said, he found himself fascinated by the careful breeding of thoroughbreds, the way that two fast, powerful horses could be crossed to create an even faster, more powerful colt.
Around that time he met Faye Paige, a point guard, sprinter and hurdler at Cal State Long Beach. Spotting her at a summer league game, Holmes recalled saying to a friend: “See that No. 10? She’s going to be my wife, and we’re going to make some All-Americans.”
Read the entire story, complete with a birth certificate discrepancy and the fate of Shabazz’s siblings, here.
Photos: Luis Sinco, Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
One man runs marathons in marriage, combating illness and on his own two feet
The Los Angeles Marathon, set for Sunday, will have a participant running for two: John Creel, 77, will be taking part not just for himself, but for his wife Ingrid as well. After she was bound to a wheelchair by multiple sclerosis in 1995, John became her primary caretaker, and began running as a means of relief. Sunday’s marathon will be Creel’s 60th since then.
From columnist Bill Plaschke’s time with the Creels:
They still laugh about how they met in 1958 on a snowy night in a small town in Germany. She didn’t speak English, he barely spoke German, yet a year later they were married. At the time he was a member of the U.S. Army's Green Berets. Today he runs his marathons with the actual green beret atop his balding head. It reeks of sweat and has been tattered by moths, but, like his devotion, it is unmoving.
Photos: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times
What’s it like to be a one-hit wonder?
It’s a long journey to success in baseball, an even longer journey to the minors, even longer for the majors and even then, some careers just appear as blips on the MLB radar.
Nearly 1,000 players have appeared for just a single at-bat in the majors since 1871, a stunning number considering the amount of work taken to gain even that singular chance, and the number of players who never even made it that far.
From former MLB player Jeff Banister, current bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates:
"The events in my life allowed me to just really, truly kind of hold on to that one at-bat, that one game, and just how precious they really are. And how fragile professional sports and athletes really are," Banister says. "It can be there one day and gone the next. I didn’t dwell on it. I don’t dwell on it."
Los Angeles primed to host 2024 Summer Olympics
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee formally asking that L.A. be considered in the bids to host the 2024 summer games - which if accepted, would be the city’s third gig following the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.
Relations between the U.S. and the International Olympic Committee had cooled over a disagreement about sharing sponsorship revenue that flows largely from American corporations. After Chicago was ousted early in voting for 2016 — Rio de Janeiro eventually won — the USOC skipped the 2020 bidding process.
Now, with a new revenue-sharing plan in place, Los Angeles officials believe they have a shot.
Pictured above are some of the highlights of those two previous Summer Olympics.
Photos: Georges Bendrihem / AFP/Getty Images, Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times archives
Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks on a fast break against the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on March 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Clippers may be under the microscope at the moment, after Charles Barkley accused them of being “fool’s gold,” but how many teams have a maestro of dunks on par with Griffin? Admittedly, we’re a little biased.
test reblogged from nba
Remembering Jerry Buss: Longtime L.A. Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke doesn’t hold back in his accolades for Lakers owner Buss, who passed away at the age of 80 yesterday.
Jerry Buss was one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports, the creator of the most entertaining championship teams ever, a fearless pioneer who bonded a giant and disparate city under a brilliant blanket of purple and gold.
Look back at Buss’ life, weigh in on his impressive NBA legacy, or read the rest of Plaschke’s eulogy for the man who brought 10 championships to L.A.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
Title IX has benefited anyone who loves sports: The landmark legislation saying that no one will be denied the opportunity to play sports turns 40 this year. It has been wonderful for everyone, including the 6-year-old girl who plays soccer and her not-so-athletic father, columnist Chris Erskine writes.
Happy 40th, Title IX, a plain-Jane name for the biggest, most colossal sports development since someone stuck an air needle in a pig’s bladder. Bigger than Lombardi, bigger than Gatorade. Bigger, almost, than Chris Berman.
Photo: Brandi Chastain says that Title IX impacted more than just the way people viewed sports. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Vin Scully will be back in the booth next season: The legendary Dodgers broadcaster has been the sound of summer in Southern California for more than half a century. We are blessed to be able to pull up a chair and spend part of another year with him.
Photo: Vin Scully. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times
Olympic Games and the tricky science of telling men from women: Gender tests may be the most controversial obstacle the athletes face. The London Games tries a new approach based on testosterone.
Consider the Spanish hurdler Maria Jose Martinez-Patiño. A gender test revealed that she had a Y chromosome, which normally makes a person male. She also had complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, or CAIS, which prevented her body from responding properly to testosterone and caused her to develop as a woman.
… For the London Games, officials are going by a new set of rules that shifts the focus from DNA to testosterone, a hormone that aids muscle development, endurance and speed.
To a group of increasingly vocal skeptics, the very notion of gender testing is flawed and efforts to measure it biologically are doomed to fail. But some experts said they had to try anyway.
Photo: South Africa’s Caster Semenya, center, was singled out for gender testing at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. She eventually was cleared to compete. Credit: Martin Meissner / Associated Press
A Pennsylvania woman has filed a civil suit over the antics of the Phillie Phanatic, alleging that the furry green Philadelphia Phillies mascot “approached plaintiff, picked up her chair and threw plaintiff and her chair into the pool” at a hotel.
The suit contends that the woman suffered “severe and permanent injuries” to multiple body parts, “mental anxiety and anguish” and “humiliation and loss of life’s pleasures.”
The Phanatic was negligent, the lawsuit says, for “failing to consider the risks inherent in throwing a patron into a pool.’’ Worse, it says, he failed “to give the plaintiff the option of not engaging in such an activity.’’
Still worse: He led “plaintiff to believe that he would not throw her into the pool … thereby causing her to lower her guard.’’
The Phanatic has been the subject of at least three previous civil suits — “once for hugging someone too hard and once for plopping on a woman’s lap, aggravating her arthritis,” The Times’ David Zucchino reports.
Photo: The Phanatic entertaining students at a school event on May 22. Credit: Ellen F. O’Connell / Associated Press
For the Kings fans: More photos from tonight’s Game 6, and some shots from Times assistant managing editor Michael Whitley that offer a glimpse into the paper’s layout tomorrow. There’s a parade planned for Thursday.