ESPN Films’ Latest Documentary “144” Takes Viewers Inside the WNBA’s Unprecedented 2020 Season May 13 on ESPN

WNBA Playoffs 2019: Seattle Storm vs Los Angeles Sparks single elimination game on September 15, 2019. (Photo by Stephanie Lovell)

Trailer Featuring Original Song “Enough is Enough” Now Available 

Film, Executive Produced by Chiney Ogwumike, will be available on ESPN+ immediately after its debut 

ESPN Films will debut its latest documentary “144” about the unprecedented 2020 WNBA season in the bubble May 13 on ESPN. After the COVID-19  pandemic shut down sports, many leagues were forced to figure out how to save their seasons. The WNBA created a single site at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where 144 players across 12 teams played 147 games from July to October 2020. Directed by Lauren Stowell & Jenna Contreras, the latter who spent 62 days in the bubble, the documentary explores the season dedicated to social justice and all that the players overcame to get through it: the COVID-19 pandemic, the demands of activism, and the rigors of an unrelenting schedule. The trailer, which will air during the WNBA Draft on ESPN, also features the original song “Enough is Enough” from Disney Music Publishing Artist, Songwriter and Activist Blush. Trailer: https://bit.ly/3e8xeJJ

Said Executive Producer, WNBA All-Star and Multi-Platform ESPN Commentator Chiney Ogwumike: “Developing this documentary about my sisters in the WNBA and the powerful 2020 season has been an honor. ‘144’ amplifies the story of how our league helped create unprecedented social change while redefining how we see strong female athletes compete at the highest level. It is a privilege to showcase the 144 in their vulnerability letting cameras behind-the-scenes, their dedication to social impact, and their strength in navigating through one of the most challenging seasons we have ever had.”

“144” will premiere May 13 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after its premiere, along with the ESPN Films and 30 for 30 library. Advance press screeners, additional information, including film clips and director statements and bios, are available upon request. Follow 30 for 30 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About ESPN Films

ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports. The high quality of storytelling, highlighted by the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 series and the Academy-Award winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” has led to record viewership as well as multiple honors and critical acclaim. Additional projects from ESPN Films over the years have included 30 for 30 Shorts, Nine for IX, SEC Storied and Emmy award-winning docu-series “The Last Dance.” ESPN+ is the exclusive home for the entire 30 for 30 library.

UCLA Loses A Heartbreaker At The Buzzer To Gonzaga In Final Four

March 3, 2018 Los Angeles, CA UCLA Bruins guard Aaron Holiday (3) with the floater during the UCLA Bruins vs USC Trojans at Galen Center on March 3, 2018. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

INDIANAPOILS, IN – UCLA suffered a gut-wrenching conclusion to their magical March Madness run as Jalen Suggs banked the shot of a lifetime in at the buzzer, as NO.1 Gonzaga defeated NO.11 UCLA Bruins in Overtime of the Final Four, 93-90, on Saturday, April 3rd at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 


Bruins Guard Johnny Juzang tied the game with a put back to even the Final Four classic with 3.3 seconds remaining in OT. Unfortunately, Gonzaga passed it to Suggs who dashed across the half court line- releasing a 30 foot bank shot- making history with a miraculous buzzer beater- immediately jumping on the scorers table just as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have done in the past.


 This see-saw battle will go down as one of the greatest games in the history of the NCAA Tournament. UCLA Nation is sickened and devastated as this is the end of their season. Gonzaga will face NO.1 Baylor Bears on Monday night.

UCLA fought and played with tremendous heart and grit, nearly shocking the undefeated 31-0  Zags. Juzang provided another brilliant performance; never leaving the court with a game high 29 points. He  had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation. But Bulldogs Drew Timme, on a bang bang play was knocked down, and Juzang was called for charging forcing the extra five minutes of overtime basketball.


In OT of this thrilling game Timme was unstoppable, scoring at will in the post. This was a setup to one of the greatest endings in NCAA basketball history. Trailing 90-85, Jaime Jaquez Jr. made a three pointer to pull his team within two, as he pumped his fist in celebration.

After a Bruins stop, Juzang grabbed his own rebound and laid the ball in to even the score at 90.This was followed by the epic, game winning shot by Suggs that will be shown on sports highlight shows for decades to come. Despite the loss, the Bruins can still hold their head high. Congratulations to our UCLA Bruins, the old cliché certainly fits that this was a game that nobody deserved to lose!

UCLA GOES FROM PLAY IN TO FINAL 4

UCLA Jaylen Hands is hyped after making a late basket during the USC Trojans vs UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on February 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Indianapolis, IND- UCLA advances to the Final Four  continuing their historic run through March Madness on Tuesday, March 30, as the NO. 11 seed UCLA Bruins pulled off another upset defeating the NO. 1 seed Michigan Wolverines, 51-49 at Lucas Oil Stadium .


Bruins guard Johnny Juzang was brilliant, torching Michigan with 28 points, his fantastic shooting kept the Bruins in the game early. 


“Nobody believed in us, that’s how this team likes it,” said UCLA Head Coach Mick Cronin.

The small crowd was pro Michigan, but very loud. The Bruins trailed by seven early before Juzang went on a tear, scoring every jumper in sight scoring 12 consecutive points. UCLA held on to a four point lead at the half.


Early in the second half, Juzang suffered a twisted ankle which allowed Michigan to claw back in the game. A seesaw battle ensued as both teams showed defensive grit, and the outcome was not decided until the Final buzzer. Point Guard Tyger Campbell added 11 points in the shocking upset. 


UCLA’s defense was dominant, holding the Wolverines to 39 percent from the field. Michigan went ice cold down the stretch, missing their final eight shots, including a pair of potential game winning 3-pointers in the closing seconds. 


UCLA has reached their19th appearance in the Final Four in the school’s history, their first since 2008. Awaiting them next is the juggernaut, undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. Armed with loads of talent it will take another monumental effort to advance for the Bruins. USC on the other side of the bracket lost 85-66 to the now 30-0 zags.


Tipoff is set for 5:34 pm on Saturday night, win or lose, UCLA Basketball is back!

USC and UCLA Advance In March Madness

Portland Pilots vs USC Trojans basketball game on Friday November 8, 2019 at Galen Center. (Photo by Rick Gurrola)

INDIANA- Often overlooked and disrespected by narrow minded college basketball pundits, the PAC-12 has steamrolled through March Madness, going a perfect 6-0 to open the tournament. Included in this run is double digit victories by both USC and UCLA, which has both advancing to the round of 32. In a year in which the world has seen many unthinkable firsts; the NCAA Tournament is no exception as the Oregon vs Virginia Commonwealth University(VCU) game was cancelled just hours before tipoff because of VCU’s inability to meet COVID-19 protocols.


Specifically, VCU was not able to put five players on the court.
Faced with this harsh reality, the NCAA Committee was forced to make the gut wrenching decision to rule the game a No Contest. Sadly, this marks the first time in the history of March Madness a game has been cancelled. Oregon will play Iowa on Monday. 


Now let’s talk Bruins and Trojans basketball!

In the matinee game, the NO.6 USC Trojans made a statement in their first round matchup- crushing the NO.11 Drake Bulldogs by a score of 72-56 on Saturday, March 20.


After a close first half in which USC clung to a slim three point lead, their swarming defense kicked into overdrive led by Evan Mosley. His three blocks put the leash on the Bulldogs, only allowing seven field goals for 19 points in the second half. When the Trojans have at least three players score 10 or more points they’re 20-0. That is now 21-0 after three Trojans scored at least 14 points today.


The road to the Final Four doesn’t get any easier for the Trojans. Awaiting them on Monday night is the perennial powerhouse, NO. 3 Kansas Jayhawks on Monday night.


For loyal readers of Canyon News- we clearly realize the UCLA Bruins are the only team on your radar; that’s why we saved the best for last. It was like deja vu all over again for UCLA as J-3 led the way for the resurgent Bruins. The trio of Jules Bernard, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang once again were pivotal in the victory.


The NO. 11 UCLA Bruins knocked off the NO. 6 BYU Cougars,73-62 on Saturday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Led by Johnny Juzang who poured in 27 points to carry the Bruins. 


‘This is what we live for. This is the height of college basketball,” Juzang said, ”and playing for the Bruins – I’m from Los Angeles. Playing with a lot of guys I’ve known, we’re all brothers here. So putting on this jersey with my brothers, coming out, playing for the home team – I’m just trying to make everybody on the team proud.” 

Jules Bernard added 16 points in the upset. Also key was Jaime Jaquez, his 13 points were key as BYU jumped out in the second half, cutting the Bruins lead to four. Jaquez drove past the Cougars defense for an epic slam dunk, effectively ending BYU’s comeback. 


UCLA will now meet another Cinderella story on Monday night. Minutes after the Bruins victory, NO. 14 Abilene Christian upset the NO. 3 Texas Longhorns, 53-52.


”I owe (assistant coach) Darren Savino lunch. He’s scouting Abilene Christian and he told me they would win,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. ”Abilene Christian is really, really good. That’s all I can say.”

It will be UCLA’s third game in five nights. With both Southland programs succeeding in the tournament – the fans are feeling March Gladness!

UCLA Water Polo makes 119 NCAA Championships

Los Angeles, CA – The UCLA Men’s Water Polo team won the 2020-2021 NCAA Championship. This is UCLA Athletics’ 119th NCAA Team Championship and the the 12th overall for UCLA Men’s Water Polo!

February 3, 2018 Westwood, CA UCLA Bruins center Thomas Welsh (40) hyping up the crowd on his 22nd birthday during the USC Trojans vs UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on February 3 , 2018. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN-Rallying from fourteen points down the UCLA Bruins earned a furious come from behind overtime victory over the Michigan State Spartans, 86-80 in the play in round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 18 at Mackey Arena. The tandem of Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the way as the Bruins outscored the Spartans 53-36 in the second half and overtime. The UCLA Bruins move on to face the NO. 6 seed BYU Cougars on Saturday night.


Jaquez tied the game with 28 seconds left in regulation, converting a three point play to send the game into overtime. Never leaving the court and playing the whole 45 minutes, Jaquez scored a career high 27 points. While Juzang scored the first pivotal four points in OT, it proved to be all the points the Bruins would need. UCLA outscored MSU 9-3 in OT. 


One other J proved essential in the victory, Jules Bernard, scoring 11 points while grabbing a game high 8 rebounds.


Showing amazing resolve after losing the final four games of the regular season, the Bruins live to fight another day. 


As UCLA showed poise and steely resolve during the games final crucial moments one could almost feel the pedigree of UCLA teams of yesteryear. Wooden-Alcindor-Walton-Goodrich-Wilkes-Hazzard-O’Bannon-Miller-Love-Westbrook.

California Prep Football Restart

Los Angeles, CA – On a cold night in March in the city of Bellflower with a small buzz swelling under the lights of the football field. Yes the 20-21 football prep season finally kicked off in California well after the rest of the states.

The match up on Saturday March 13, 2021 with Sierra Canyon traveling to the No.1 team in the state St. John Bosco.

The 13th of March is the one year anniversary of the Sports World coming to a screeching halt. The Corona Virus had just began to bring the world to it’s knees.

If you ask any parent in the stands did they think that this day would come for their child to take the football field this season? Most would say no… These parents watched as other states reopened and played football during the fall season like normal. California’s late restarts in the spring is unusual but the game on the field looks the same.

After a slow start be the defending State Champions the Braves picked up where they left off over 16 months ago with a dominating victory 42-21 over Trail Blazers.

This spring season will just be a time to tune up everyone’s game and get some new film for folks to evaluate talent. Schools starting on different weeks and only allowing for a six games max with no minimum, there will be no playoffs or a crowning of a new champion.

On the field these student-athletes will compete with the sole goal of a victory and bragging rights for the day. Parents, fans and coaches will debate who should of been the champion.

What’s next for the student-athletes in Cali? No one knows how the rest of this story will be written, so sit back and enjoy the new normal of limited fans, weekly testing and prep football back under the bright lights.

World Champions Cup set to debut in 2022

World Champions Cup set to debut in 2022, featuring major champions, Hall of Famers and legends of the game squaring off in a first-of-its-kind international team golf competition

Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Darren Clarke on board to captain Team USA, Team World and Team Europe, respectively, in the first playing of the new annual competition

CHICAGO (MARCH 16, 2021) – A unique and exciting new professional golf competition is ready to take the world stage, as sports media and marketing firm Intersport announced today the creation of the World Champions Cup, scheduled to debut in the fall of 2022.

Inspired by the passion and tradition of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, the World Champions Cup will be a first-of-its-kind golf tournament featuring Team USA, Team Europe and Team World squaring off over three days of competition that will renew some of the game’s most storied rivalries as the teams battle for international pride and global bragging rights.

World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and 2011 The Open champion Darren Clarke will each serve as playing captains for their respective teams of six competitors, all aged 50 and older, in the first playing of the World Champions Cup. Seven-time PGA TOUR winner and popular golf commentator Peter Jacobsen will serve as Chairman of the inaugural event.

“This is a truly exciting day for golf fans and for all of us who love the game,” said Charles N. Besser, Chairman and CEO of Intersport. “Our team at Intersport has invested a significant amount of time and effort into developing this concept. The World Champions Cup is a continuation of Intersport’s history of launching significant new events that endure for decades. We are confident that the World Champions Cup will renew golf’s legendary rivalries on a global stage while bringing innovation to the game we love. We can’t wait to tee off in 2022.”

Intersport has been creating award-winning sports and entertainment-based marketing platforms since 1985. In addition to launching and operating the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, which, in its inaugural year, was the TOUR’s most awarded event on the 2018-19 schedule, Intersport is an Emmy Award winner and owns and operates nearly a dozen nationally televised sports properties.

The World Champions Cup is sanctioned by the PGA TOUR. The annual three-team, three-day match play competition will be held at one of America’s great golf courses and will be contested across twice-daily, nine-hole matches featuring team formats and singles play, with points being earned for each hole won in each match. When the three-day competition concludes, the team with the highest point total across all matches will be crowned the champion.

“We are excited to add this global event to the golf calendar starting in 2022 and are appreciative of Intersport’s passion to begin a new world-wide golf tradition,” said Miller Brady, President of PGA TOUR Champions. “The World Champions Cup will give golf fans the opportunity to see the game’s greatest players come together in a team format on the world’s biggest stage. International team events are some of the most significant competitions in our game and it will be fun to see Ernie, Jim and Darren, along with their teammates, compete for the inaugural World Champions Cup next year.”

Intersport is currently engaged in preliminary conversations with potential media partners, title sponsors, and host courses.

Els, a native of South Africa, will captain Team World. The former World No. 1 player, elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011, boasts a resume that includes 19 PGA TOUR victories and 47 international wins. The biggest among those are his two U.S. Open titles (1994 and 1997) and his two wins a full decade apart at The Open (2002, 2012). The Big Easy has been a member of eight Presidents Cup teams and captained the International squad in 2019.

“International team golf events have provided me with some of my greatest golf memories,” Els said. “I have spent my career competing in global golf championships and supporting the growth of the game across the world. It’s a great honor to be named the captain of Team World for the inaugural World Champions Cup.”

Furyk will captain Team USA. Throughout his career, Furyk has represented Team USA in seven Presidents Cups, nine Ryder Cups and served as a Ryder Cup captain in 2018. He is a 17-time winner on the PGA TOUR, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, and a two-time winner on PGA TOUR Champions. Furyk is also the owner of the lowest round in PGA TOUR history, having shot 58 in the fourth round of the Travelers Championship in 2016.

“I am excited to lead Team USA and recapture the great global team championships I have been fortunate enough to enjoy during my career,” Furyk said. “For more than 20 years, I have been competing against Ernie and Darren, and I look forward to having the chance to captain Team USA and play against them in the World Champions Cup.”

Clarke, a native of Northern Ireland, will captain Team Europe. He is most famous for his 2011 victory at The Open at Royal St. George’s, where he finished three strokes better than Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. A member of five Ryder Cup teams and the 2016 captain for Team Europe, Clarke’s resume includes victories at two PGA TOUR World Golf Championships events and two PGA TOUR Champions events, as well as 15 international wins.

“I am extremely proud to be named captain of Team Europe for the inaugural playing of the World Champions Cup,” Clarke said. “To be selected along with Jim and Ernie, two of golf’s all-time great players, is an honor. I have been fortunate to compete in many global team events, but I am as excited about captaining and playing in the World Champions Cup as I ever have been throughout my career.”

Jacobsen, the Chairman of the inaugural World Champions Cup, is a seven-time PGA TOUR winner, two-time PGA TOUR Champions winner and the 2004 U.S. Senior Open champion. A popular golf media personality for the past two decades, Jacobsen has established himself as one of the great ambassadors of golf. He represents everything a professional athlete and committed community leader should be. Throughout the years he has used his talents and status to transcend the game of golf and touch the lives of many.

“I have spent nearly all of my life playing, watching, talking and loving the game of golf,” Jacobsen said. “After nearly 40 years on the PGA TOUR, it is the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to represent something as significant as the World Champions Cup will one day be for golf.”

Additional information about the World Champions Cup is available at www.WorldChampionsCup.com, on Twitter (@WorldChampsCup) and on Instagram (@WorldChampionsCup).

About Intersport

Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Sports Properties, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps their clients to create ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit www.intersport.global, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

About PGA TOUR Champions

PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 34 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.

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Phi Beta Sigma Supports the Passing of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

The overall societal issue of police misconduct and brutality is not a new phenomenon, especially for the African American communities where it has had disproportionate impact. The public outcry around it reached the national consciousness during the civil unrest of the 1960s, over police abuses; was reignited during the “L.A. Riots” sparked by the Rodney King beating and subsequent trial; and, has reached critical mass with the summer of intense protests following the deaths of George Floyd and others at the hands of police.

The critical mass of activism and protest has made legislative change a priority. While both major parties and houses have offered potential bills, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bill will now need Senate approval, which will prove challenging based upon contested provisions therein. Championing the need for this proposed reform to become action is a cause Phi Beta Sigma must add to our 107-year long history of advocacy as “A Brotherhood of Conscious Men Actively Serving Our Community.”

The Men of Sigma have been a force for change that positively impact the lives of African-Americans and humanity as a whole throughout the decades of battling this brand of injustice. During the 60s, Bro. Dr. Huey P. Newton was a leading voice in the powerful activism that emerged from the ashes of the nationwide riots. In the 90s, the Fraternity facilitated the Million Man March as Black men stood up in response to a lack of justice despite evidence. And, in the current milieu, the Men of Sigma have responded en masse, leading the way with protest in the streets and webinars and social media advocacy in the digital domain. But, in this moment, the fraternity must use direct appeals to our representatives and encourage our circles of influence to do likewise. We must uphold the legacy and example of Sigma lawmakers like the late Hon. Bro. John Lewis and recently initiated Bro. Rep. Adriano Espaillat.

Therefore, ALL Sigma men are asked to call and email their Senators and encourage them to vote to pass this important legislative action. We must let them know their constituency wants protections for the constitutional and human rights of all citizens, even those suspected of a crime. We all deserve equal protection under the law, due process and respect for our humanity. Also, as a fraternity with many dedicated law enforcement professionals, we want our brothers and all those who uphold the law honorably to have a framework of rules that protects their reputation from rogues and criminals who abuse under the color of authority. We believe that having these principles in play creates an environment that protects people, supports police and allows us all to live in safer, more harmonious cities.

Brothers of Sigma, a recent article shared the details of the bill and the urgency around passing it with the title
“We Must Act Now” (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/03/house-passes-george-floyd-police-reform-bill/6904980002/). 
We, as Sigma Men, understand the importance of “TIME VALUE” and will no doubt take immediate action in helping to ensure passage of this legislation by the Senate. 
Hon. Bro. Micheal E. Cristal, International President

HBCU Graduates Scheduled as NBA ALL-STAR Officials

Atlanta, GA – The NBA will have a referee crew composed entirely of graduates of historically Black colleges and universities officiating Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.

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Courtney Kirkland was part of last year’s All-Star Game crew, which featured all Black officials. This weekend, the crew of three HBCU graduates will represent their alma maters and HBCU heritage; they also live in Atlanta.

Tony Brown, 1989 graduate of Clark Atlanta University.

Courtney Kirkland,  1999 graduate of Southern University.

Tom Washington, 1978 graduate of Norfolk State University.

NBA and National Basketball Players Association will commit over $3 million in funds and resources to highlight the importance of HBCUs and raise awareness and support around the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.

“Because we work so hard at our game, our job is not to be seen. So when we do our job properly, they won’t even know that there are three Black men out there officiating.” said Brown, “hopefully people from my alma mater will say he is one of us. That is the sense of pride that we will share together.”

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