Hail to Thee...

Congrats to Chicago’s First Tee Leadership Summit Participants! First Tee, in partnership with PGA Tour Superstore, has announced the first-of-its-kind First Tee Leadership Summit to be held August 2-13, 2021, at West Creek Ranch in Montana. Brandon Savage (15 years old) and Madison Miller (17 years old), both from First Tee Greater Chicago are two of 40 teens who will take part in this special Summit.

The Summit is designed to strengthen the participants’ character, self-confidence and resilience through dynamic outdoor and team-building activities. The all-encompassing experience includes a robust curriculum that explores relationship building, positive risk taking and character evaluation. There will be workshops offered along with numerous outdoor activities such as fly fishing, yoga, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting. Additionally, four of the participants will be selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship to support their continued education and growth.

Sounds like a great experience for Brandon and Madison – congrats and enjoy the Summit.

Hail and Farewell – Duncan Keith

One of the key components of the Chicago Blackhawks’ run of three Stanley Cup championships in six seasons – Duncan Keith, who was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2002 NHL Draft, has spent his entire pro career with the team. Career stats include registering 105 goals and dishing out 520 assists in 1,192 career games and he ranks second all-time among Blackhawks players in games played, trailing only Stan Mikita.

In addition to three Stanley Cup championships, Keith is a two-time winner of the Norris Trophy, given to the league’s best defenseman, and won the 2015 Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the most valuable player of the NHL postseason.

Earlier this off-season, Keith reportedly requested a trade from the Blackhawks, seeking to move closer to his family in the Pacific Northwest and his wish has been granted. Hail to thee Duncan Keith – you will always be a Chicago Blackhawk to us. Thanks for all you did to make our Blackhawks dreams come true.

All Hail – Maya Moore

By age 29, she’d already won four WNBA championships and a league MVP award. She was the 2011 WNBA Rookie of the Year. She was a six-time WNBA All-Star and a five-time All-WNBA first-team honoree. She won three consecutive championships with her club in China, Shanxi Flame, as well as a EuroLeague Championship with Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg. She had won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA and at the University of Connecticut, she’d won two national championships and was a four-time consensus All-American and the only player in women’s college basketball history to win the Wade Trophy three times.

Movin’ on – Feb. 5, 2019  Maya Moore made an announcement that would upend the WNBA: She would be sitting out the 2019 season to focus on “the people in my family, as well as on investing my time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years.”

Moore left the WNBA to continue the fight for criminal justice reform alongside Jonathan Irons, whom she married after helping him win his release from prison after 23 years. Moore and Irons’ story is one for the ages – superstar athlete gives up a hall-of-fame career to seek justice for a man who would eventually be freed thanks in part to her support – woman falls in love with man – wedding bells ring and they now work together in the fight for criminal justice reform. You could not make this story up – it is incredible and heartbreaking, yet heart-warming. Catch the documentary detailing their story on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series called “Breakaway.” It will leave you wanting MOORE.

All Hail and Amen….Chicago Sky’s Candace Parker

Candace Parker of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, will appear on the cover of “NBA 2K,” a spot usually reserved for male NBA players. For the first time ever the top selling basketball video game will feature a woman athlete on the cover of a special edition of “NBA 2K22.”

“The cover of NBA 2K is such a pivotal platform to inspire young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they can be cover athletes too,” Parker said in a statement. “Representation matters, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series.”On Twitter, Parker said she is “extremely proud and humbled” by being featured on the cover and added, “I’m hopeful there will be many more badass females to follow.” Parker will be featured on the North American GameStop Exclusive Edition of the game celebrating the WNBA’s 25th anniversary. Parker attributed the new cover to the growing popularity of the WNBA. The most recent season saw ratings for the WNBA finals rise 15% and players in the league have gained popularity and visibility in the male dominated sports world.”To be part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and rising popularity of the women’s game,” Parker said in her statement. “I’m proud to be the first female cover athlete to be the face of NBA 2K.” The game is currently available for pre-order and will be released on September 10.

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