My wife and I are spending a few days at a spectacular resort, the St Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA. I am here to speak for US Trust, which is under the umbrella of Bank of America. I will be the keynote speaker at their event to honor their award winning top performers. I can’t thank Janet Ashley and Julie Barber for their assistance during my visit. Also a sincere thank to the head of US Trust, Keith Banks. I am very proud as this will be my 9th presentation for Bank of America Financial Advisors. As part of the event, we are having dinner at San Juan Capistrano. Really looking forward to a terrific few days with this group! We will head from CA to my alma mater, Seton Hall in New Jersey where I will be the recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year award. It will be a black tie affair on June 13th.
This is a great time of year for hockey and basketball fans. The Stanley Cup championship between the Rangers and Kings starts Wednesday. The NBA championship between the Heat-Spurs, part two, starts Thursday.
The Rangers have been a team of destiny, beating Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston and Montreal to make the finals for the first time in 20 years. I am happy to see former Tampa Bay star Martin St. Louis playing so well in the playoffs. New York has an outstanding goalie in Henrik Lundqvist.
The Big Apple is buzzing with excitement over the Rangers. I understand that the Kings are favored, but I am going with the New Yorkers in six.
Miami is in its fourth straight NBA finals, rare air in league circles, with the likes of the Lakers and Celtics. Erik Spolestra has done a marvelous job with a very talented team, getting them to mesh and play as a unit. They have tightened up on defense at important times, like the final game of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers. San Antonio is led by the best coach in the NBA, Gregg Popovich. The future Hall of Famer knows how to get the most out of his players, understands the strengths and weaknesses of his deep bench. He has pushed all the right buttons, as the Spurs got past Oklahoma City in six games.
The Heat is gunning for a three-peat. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have other ideas.Then again, last year, the Spurs were on the verge of cutting down the nets when Ray Allen hit a stunning shot in game six, extending the game and series. Now the Spurs would like revenge.
Miami is a team of destiny, thanks to the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Wade has been healthy in the playoffs and that has made a difference.This Heat team is a lot more than just the talented trio. There is Allen, capable of making big trifectas. Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, these guys have all contributed this season. San Antonio had Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard and company to provide depth.
I expect an exciting series. I think King James and company will celebrate again, this time winning in seven games. It should be a super series, baby!
The Miami Heat are back in the NBA finals for the fourth straight year, That puts this franchise in elite company with some of the greats, like the Cetics and Lakers. Many teams would love one shot at a title; now Miami is gunning for its third straight.
The big three — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — have shined this postseason. Let’s also give credit to Erik Spoelstra for a solid coaching job. This team is a lot more than just the big three. Ray Allen has been Mr. Clutch over the years. Udonis Haslem and Chris “Birdman” Andersen help up front, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole are factors in the backcourt, This is a true team!
The Heat knocked off the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, and it is back to the drawing board for Larry Bird’s team. After earning the top seed and homecourt advantage for the playoffs, the Pacers had a disappointing end to the postseason. There are many questions for the future, starting with free agent Lance Stephenson. Will the team try to bring him back?
Congrats to the Heat, waiting for the Thunder-Spurs winner in the NBA championship.
I am a big tennis fan, and I love keeping track of the major tournaments. The French Open has been upset city so far.
Wednesday was Serena and Venus Williams both fall, one round before they would have met. Serena’s loss was stunning because she fell 6-2, 6-2 to a Spanish opponent. Her serve was erratic and it was just a rough day for the top seed.
The tourney has seen the two Australian Open singles champions — Li Na and Stan Wawrinka — stunned in the first round. There have been a handful of other upsets, opening up the draw. Maria Sharapova has to be one of the favorites on the women’s side. The usual suspects — Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, are still alive on the men’s side.
For the second straight year, and third time in four years, the Cavaliers got the top pick in the NBA draft by winning the lottery. This time it came at incredible odds, drawing the top pick with just a 1.7 percent chance.
The team stunned everyone by picking Anthony Bennett out of UNLV last year. That choice did not work out very well as Bennett was plagued by injuries.This time around, the Cavaliers have the top choice, but also the pressing matter of finding a head coach. Mike Brown was fired after one season in his latest stint with the team.
We have to wait for over a month until we hear commissioner Adam Silver announce Cleveland’s first choice. Will it by Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, Jabari Parker of Duke, Julius Randle of Kentucky, or another shocking selection.If I was Cleveland, I would go with Parker. I feel he is the most NBA-ready player of the elite possibilities. He can score inside or outside, can rebound, defend.
Sarasota was truly the sports capital of the world on Friday night. The Dickie V gala was held at the Sarasota Ritz-Carlton and there were sports celebrities everywhere as the ballroom was packed.
It was a special evening as we raised a lot of money for pediatric cancer research for the V Foundation. I cannot thank honorees Mike Brey of Notre Dame, Tom Cream of Indiana and Nick Saban of Alabama for their eloquent speeches. We also had a youngster from Nebraska, Jack Hoffman, along with coach Bo Pellini as we looked back on his battle with brain cancer and his tremendous spring game touchdown from last year.
We were able to present $250,000 research grants in honor of the Livingston and Holsworth families. They lost their young children to the dreaded disease of cancer.
There were so many stories of perserverance, youngsters winning the fight against cancer. It was so special to introduce my team of superstar kids to the crowd.
Thanks to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for introducing me to the crowd, and to John Saunders as emcee of the evening. It was truly a night to remember. Also thanks to Yvette Sherman for singing Wind Beneath My Wings, an amazing performance.
Kids should not have to go through chemotherapy. They should be out playing ball and enjoying their youth. I am passionate about this fight against cancer and you can still help. For more information, go on my page to the Dickie V gala link.
I am so thrilled that our gala, raising money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, has been sold out for months.
More than 870 people will be in attendance at the Sarasota (Fla.) Ritz-Carlton on Friday night. That is why Sarasota will be the sports capital of the world for a very special evening.
There will be more than 70 celebrities from the world of sports there. Three special coaches — Nick Saban of Alabama, Mike Brey of Notre Dame and Tom Crean of Indiana — will be honorees. We will also have Nebraska football coach Bo Pellini introducing a special young man, ESPY winner Jack Hoffman. Battling brain cancer, he scored a touchdown at last year’s Nebraska’s spring game.
We will have many inspirational stories of youngsters that have beaten cancer. There will also be a presentation of a grant in honor of Lacey Holsworth, the young lady who meant so much to Michigan State basketball before losing her battle with cancer. Coach Tom Izzo, as well as Lacey’s parents, will be in attendance.
There will be another grant in the name of Eddie Livingston, a youngster from our area who also lost his battle with cancer.
I hope that one day, kids will not have to worry about chemotherapy and will be able to play ball and live normal lives. We have to beat this dreaded disease.
While the event is sold out, you can still help. For details, visit JimmyV.org.
The NFL draft certainly produced a number of memorable moments.
Jadeveon Clowney was picked by the Houston Texans at number one. He has the potential to make noise at the next level. Blake Bortles was a surprise pick at #3 by Jacksonville.
The Buffalo Bills made a major move by trading up to secure wide receiver Sammy Watkins of Clemson.
I liked the moves made by Tampa Bay, starting with wide receiver Mike Evans of Texas A&M.
The two biggest storylines were Johnny Manziel going to Cleveland at #22 and Michael Sam, the first openly gay player, going to the Rams in the seventh round.
Best of luck to all of the players drafted.
I want to thank the owners of Ed’s Tavern in Lakewood Ranch for opening up their doors and donating 50% of the proceeds from all the sales on food and beverages tonight to the V Foundation. The money raised will go towards a research grant that I am putting together in memory of Lacey Holsworth. I appreciate the community support and the big turnout. I can’t thank Albert Myara and Bob Bender for their genoriusty and for making the event happen. I want to sincerely thank Mary Kenealy and Janet Allen for taking time to make certain that the event was done in a first class fashion. I had a chance to speak to the crowd and share some of my thoughts. We must all unite and work together to beat this dreaded diease.
I had a great time speaking for Clockwork Home Services at their convention at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.
VP Rick Yohn gave me a wonderful introduction to over 500 in attendance. Karen Pensoneau represented Clockwork Home Services so well. I discussed the game of life and was thrilled when I received a standing ovation from the crowd. Clockwork Home Services in involved in air conditioning, plumbing and other services and I was impressed by their people.
Friday was also a special day for Big Blue Nation. With Aaron and Andrew Harrison returning to Lexington, John Calipari has a boatload of talent.