Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WNBA Cares About Kids

I was in Phoenix for the WNBA Final — Phoenix vs. Indiana. The game was outstanding!!! Phoenix won in overtime, 120-116. The skill level and scoring ability of both teams may be the best I have ever seen, and I am not easily impressed!

I was in town for our WNBA Cares event at the Lincoln Phoenix YMCA. Toyota, the Phoenix Mercury and the WNBA partnered for a $50,000 renovation of the reading and learning center at the “Y.”

I emceed the event and my good friend and colleague NBA Legend Bob Lanier came to support the cause. He is one of the most outstanding people I have ever met!

There were about 50 kids chosen based on their good grades to be a part of the program and to be the first to use the center. I love these events because the kids can’t stop smiling!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Golfing for a Great Cause

I played in UCSF Medical Center’s Annual Golf Fundraiser at the Presidio in San Francisco. The tournament raises money for hospital programs, namely the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center, where they can do medical procedures on a fetus — miraculous stuff!!!

The tournament was a scramble, so we played the “best ball” on each shot. That’s my kind of golf — the game moves along and it creates a real team effort. I played with Jan Laret, Mark Laret’s (CEO UCSF Medical Center) wife. We had great conversation about healthcare and the future of medical treatments.

With Jan Laret

A breast cancer survivor, Jan is an outstanding woman whom I greatly admire. Fortunately our group was not too serious, so we had a lot of fun. I got an award (a new Blackberry) for the athlete with the “highest score.” I was really excited (thinking wow, my game has improved!!!) until I realized that the LOWEST score is the best!!! It was all in good fun as we did not even keep score...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Help Out Others by Volunteering

I spoke to the Marin National Charity League at their annual Philanthropy Faire. There were 200 mothers and daughters at the event.

The Faire raises money and awareness for local charities. The mother/daughter teams also volunteer to help numerous organizations, ranging from local youth programs to planting trees in the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area).

It was a pleasure to speak to the group! Volunteering is one of the most noble things we can do to improve life in our communities. I also believe “to whom much is given, much is expected.” I speak at charity events and give back because I have been blessed with success and I feel it is my duty to help. There is nothing better in life than using your success to lift others up.

We all have talents to make the world a better place! And we can ALL volunteer our time. I left the Faire motivated and inspired by all of the work the NCL is doing in our community!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Speaking at the Olympic Training Center

I was the keynote speaker at the International Association of High Performance Training Centers in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center.

The participants at the IAHPTC convention were either directors or owners of High Performance Training Centers. Their mission is to provide Olympic-level athletes state of the art training facilities. My topic was “Leadership in Sports.”

It was great to be back in Colorado Springs at the USOTC. I spent a good bit of my career with USA Basketball training there. Prior to the Olympics in 1996, we used the facilities as our home base for 18 months (when we were not traveling all over the planet!).

When I arrived at the auditorium to speak, the 200 or so participants were in the middle of a session. I took a deep breath as I looked across the room. One word can sum it up — somber. I had to give myself a pep talk — “just have energy!” I love Paula Abdul’s advice to performers: "have passion and energy, that matters more than what you are doing.”

Passion and energy are the keys to a successful talk for me, too. As soon as I got the group interacting, they were fantastic! We had a great time especially when we shared ideas on “life after sports.” I got to meet some incredible people, namely Marcus Vinicius Freire, CEO of The Brazilian Olympic Committee, and others from Thailand, Uganda, and South Africa. It was a wonderful event!

With the Ugandan Directors

With the Thailand Directors

IAHPTC Owners and Directors

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mom's Workout: Day 1

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After the USANA convention in Salt Lake City, I visited with my parents who happen to live in Salt Lake. My mom shared that her cholesterol is 285!!! I have worried about her for years since the number one killer of women is heart disease and she has been relatively sedentary.

Her doctor told her she had two choices — medication or exercise. Well...my mom does not want to be on medication, so she is choosing to exercise.

I got her to commit to exercise (walking) 3 to 4 times a week (something she has never done!!). I hope her story will motivate other people who think it is too late to start exercising. It is never to late to take control of our health and our lives!

My Mom is keeping a calendar of her workouts and we are going to re-test her cholesterol at Thanksgiving. Go Mom!