SBD/January 27, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Alexander proud of role in negotiations for last two NBA CBAs
CONTINENTAL magazine's Bob Woods profiles Rockets Owner LESLIE ALEXANDER, who, when asked to "name his major accomplishments," said he has "done three things that are going to change sports." Alexander said the first was hiring Rockets GM DARYL MOREY, and the "second is the launch of Comcast SportsNet Houston with Astros owner DRAYTON MCLANE." The third is the "key role he played in the two most recent" CBAs. Woods also notes Alexander's Clutch City Foundation has "donated nearly $10 million to benefit children throughout the Houston area" since its establishment in '95. Alexander "shies away from touting the philanthropic efforts that have been a hallmark of his ownership." The Rockets "assisted thousands of New Orleanians who relocated to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and committed $100,000 to the Yao Ming Foundation" (CONTINENTAL, 1/ '11 issue).

AWARDS SEASON: In Indianapolis, David Woods notes WNBA Indiana Fever F TAMIKA CATCHINGS "recently was named one of five finalists for the inaugural United Nations non-governmental organization Positive Peace Award in the athlete category." She also is "one of 10 finalists for the Jefferson Awards, a kind of Nobel Prize for community service that will be announced in March." Catchings started the Catch the Stars foundation in Indianapolis in '04, and she "aims to expand to the Chicago and Dallas areas, where she played in high school, and Knoxville, Tenn., home of her alma mater, the University of Tennessee." Catchings also "wants to introduce camps in Poland and South Korea, where she has played in pro leagues during the WNBA offseason." Additionally, Catchings has "co-authored a 32-page children's book" titled "DREAMS ARE FOR CATCHING: DISCOVERING THE STAR IN YOU" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/27).

PROPOSED INVESTMENT: In Providence, W. Zachary Malinowski reported former NBAer CUTTINO MOBLEY is the "biggest-name investor" among the 18 accepted proposals "to open up to three compassion centers that will be licensed to sell marijuana to patients in the state's growing medical-marijuana program." Mobley is the "sole financier of the proposed Summitt Medical Compassion Center" in Warwick, R.I., and his proposal indicated he has made a "binding commitment" of $4M toward the center. The "lump sum includes a $3.5 million line of credit and a $500,000 equity contribution that does not have to be repaid" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 1/26).

NAMES
: Late Yankees Chair GEORGE STEINBRENNER was honored Tuesday at the 22nd annual Baseball Assistance Team dinner. More than 30 former Yankees were on hand “paying their respects,” including BERNIE WILLIAMS, who “strummed his guitar to the mellow tunes” of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Yankees SS DEREK JETER “offered his thoughts via a recording” (MLB.com, 1/26)....A source said Knicks F WILSON CHANDLER is “leaning toward” hiring HAPPY WALTERS to represent him. Chandler “parted ways with his longtime agent, CHRIS LUCHEY, last week and in several days is expected to announce the hiring of Walters” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/27)....Former Univ. of Georgia AD DAMON EVANS “pleaded guilty last week to a DUI charge” stemming from a June 30 incident. Evans’ lawyer STEVE WEINER said that as a first-time offender, his client “will not serve jail time for the crime.” Evans was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 40 hours of community service. He also must pay a fine of $750 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/27)….Former NBAer JAMAL MASHBURN yesterday called for Kentucky state lawmakers to “approve a proposal that would gradually raise the minimum dropout age from 16 to 18.” The legislation would increase the minimum age to 17 in ’15 and 18 a year later (AP, 1/26)….Fenway Park yesterday formally announced that New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys will perform at the ballpark on June 6, Fenway’s 11th summer show since ’03 (BOSTON HERALD, 1/27).
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