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Texas Southern women’s basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke’s list of accomplishments should have qualified her for any job in the basketball world. She’s won a championship in high school, two collegiately, four in the WNBA and two Olympic medals. Individually, she’s a four-time WNBA Finals MVP, two-time WNBA MVP, three-time All-Star and a four-time All-WNBA first-team selection.

Once her playing career ended in 2003 and she was pondering her next career steps, the only flaw on Cooper-Dyke’s résumé complicated her job search: She didn’t complete her bachelor’s degree. When it was time for Cooper-Dyke to find a college coaching opportunity, it was a historically Black college and university (HBCU) that gave her the shot and a path to finish her degree.

“You can say I should have been given the coaching job anyway because I’m a Hall of Famer or because I won four championships in a row, but there are rules and regulations,” Cooper-Dyke told Andscape. “Even if you’ve won championships, or you’ve played on the highest levels in the Olympics, you need to follow the rules [and] you have to go finish your degree. That’s why I encourage my players today to finish their degree … every single player I want to graduate.”

For Cooper-Dyke, the combination of academic struggles, the death of her brother and the time-sensitive nature of a pro career all were contributing factors to her not finishing her degree at USC. Cooper-Dyke dropped out of USC briefly after the 1984 season before returning to play her senior year in 1985-86. Afterward, she started her overseas career in Spain.

When she ended her playing career, the school willing to take a chance on Cooper-Dyke was Prairie View A&M, an HBCU 50 miles north in Houston, where she spent her WNBA career with the Houston Comets. Then-Prairie View athletic director and current commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Charles McClelland said his hiring of Cooper-Dyke in 2005 followed the tradition of HBCUs.

“That’s the history of HBCUs, taking chances on individuals that have not necessarily been given the opportunity. That’s the mission of our schools: We historically served the underserved. It’s in our DNA, our creed, and it’s who we are,” McClelland said. “I think that we are very good at identifying talent, nurturing that talent and having that talent to excel. We do that from students to student-athletes to coaches.

“When we hired her, she did not have a bachelor’s degree and that was one of the requirements that I laid out. ‘I’m gonna take a chance on you, I’m gonna take the heat for hiring you, but you have to promise me that you’re going to finish your degree.’ It was a nonnegotiable, not necessarily for her to coach, but I understood her potential and for her to grow, she needed that degree. So we worked together.”

McClelland gave Cooper-Dyke two years. The 23-year gap between her freshman year at USC in 1982 and her first year at Prairie View A&M in 2005 was an adjustment.

“I’m so old that when I was in school there were certain classes that weren’t mandatory [or] they weren’t in the general education area,” Cooper-Dyke said with a laugh. “When I went back to school, I actually had to go back and take other classes like computer and speech.”

Her educational experiences between the two universities also differed. While at USC, basketball and maintaining her grades were Cooper-Dyke’s primary focuses with little time left for extracurriculars. At Prairie View, she was introduced to Black Greek-letter organizations and their culture, something she had never experienced growing up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“I was pretty much isolated, in a sense that I took [basketball] very seriously. I came from the inner city. So I already had an issue academically [and] I had to study harder [and] catch up. So I really have very little time for extracurricular activities other than basketball and academics,” Cooper-Dyke said of her experience at USC. “Also, [HBCU culture] wasn’t something that I grew up around. I didn’t grow up around fraternities and sororities, so I didn’t really have a history there. I learned so much by being at a historically Black university.”

At the start of her coaching career with Prairie View, Cooper-Dyke managed schoolwork and coaching. She received academic credit after sending in videos of speeches she had given over the course of her career. She graduated in 2005.

In her second season, she led Prairie View to its first SWAC title and an automatic NCAA tournament bid. In her five-year tenure from 2005 to 2010, the Lady Panthers would go on to win two SWAC tournament titles, three SWAC regular-season championships and two postseason bids to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. In 2007, Cooper-Dyke was named the SWAC Coach of the Year, the first of three coach of the year honors from three different conferences.

When analyzing the current HBCU coaching ranks and seeing the increase in former professional athletes, including Jackson State’s Deion Sanders and Tennessee State’s Eddie George in football, and Fisk’s Kenny Anderson in men’s basketball, McClelland is quick to say Prairie View was the first to do it.

“Now when you look at all of the professional athletes that are entering into the space, we were the first to do it with Cynthia and that was back in the early 2000s,” McClelland said. “Cynthia’s name still was ringing as the best female athlete, regardless of what sport that was out there. So to bring her in, from my perspective, it was a no-brainer. There was nobody that I have ever talked to, man, woman or child, who knew more basketball than Cynthia Cooper.

“When you look at where Prairie View has come from, fast-forward now to all of the facilities that they have, all of the championships that they won quite frankly, it started with the hiring of Cynthia Cooper. She was definitely the catalyst to bring the recognition and the notoriety and ultimately the resources to Prairie View for it to be enjoying the basketball and overall athletic success that it enjoys today.”

Cooper-Dyke is now in her second stint as head coach of Texas Southern after coaching the Tigers for one season in 2012-13 before leaving for USC. She has also coached UNC Wilmington and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. With nearly 20 years of head-coaching experience, Cooper-Dyke says she’s softened her approach to adapt to the needs of the new generation of students she’s coaching, but one thing she hasn’t let up on is her student-athletes graduating.

“​​Not getting my degree initially helped me really focus these kids on getting their degree immediately so that they don’t have to come back to school. If they’re coming back to school, they should be coming back for their master’s,” Cooper-Dyke said. “Education is No. 1, even if you have already graduated, and you’re working on your master’s. Let’s get it done. Let’s get it done while we’re paying for it [and] let’s get it done in a timely fashion. And getting good grades in that class, not just skating by.”

After coaching at two HBCUs, Cooper-Dyke loves the culture. She happily recalls the first time she saw a probate from a Greek-letter organization and how she excitedly recorded the entire step show on her phone. When Texas Southern nearly upset Jackson State this season, she likened her team’s effort to how the Comets beat a far more talented Los Angeles Sparks team spearheaded by Lisa Leslie and how SWAC competition has improved over the years.

“When you look at the heart, passion and the hard work that players put into the sport, it balances the tables. I think we’re doing a fantastic job right now of playing both sides of the ball. So we’re a little closer to figuring out who we are as a team offensively and defensively. I think now we’re playing with a lot more confidence and winning does that,” Cooper-Dyke said of her team this season.

“The talent pool is bigger, the talent level is higher, and therefore every game [in the SWAC] is a competitive game. So you’ve got to bring it every single game. I like the fact that we’re more competitive so that when we go out and play other teams outside of the SWAC, that those games become more competitive as well.”

She also etched her name into HBCU history and was a 2021 inductee into the SWAC Hall of Fame, which includes legends Walter Payton, Eddie G. Robinson and Steve McNair.

Cooper-Dyke has found a passion for coaching at an HBCU and is proud of the experiences she’s had along the way.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to really give back and give to a historically Black university with hopefully some great coaching and the passion I have for women’s basketball. It turned out that the HBCUs gave me more than I think I gave,” Cooper-Dyke said. “I was all prepared to give and the HBCU experience gave me so much more. It’s just so much bigger than the university, it’s when you are coaching people who look like you, you’re around students and faculty and you feel at home almost immediately.

“The fact that I’ve been at UNC Wilmington, Prairie View, USC and now I’m at Texas Southern, there aren’t a lot of differences between some of the BCS-level schools and the SWAC schools,” she continued. “It’s just some discipline, some commitment and some drive, and you get those things together and you could compete with anyone. I love being at an HBCU.”

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By: Mia Berry
Title: How an HBCU created a college coaching path for Cynthia Cooper-Dyke The Texas Southern women’s basketball coach uses her life experiences as a constant lesson for her players
Sourced From: andscape.com/features/how-an-hbcu-created-a-college-coaching-path-for-cynthia-cooper-dyke/
Published Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2022 17:32:58 +0000

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Baller Awards

How did Julie Andrews lose her voice?

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Julie Andrews became a Hollywood legend thanks to her powerful voice, which landed her leading roles in classics such as 1964’s Mary Poppins and 1965’s The Sound of Music. Unfortunately, the star hasn’t sung since 1997, when she lost part of her vocal talents.

While most people know Andrews for her enviable Hollywood career, the actress’ first passion is theater. Andrews began to perform at an early age by the side of her mother, Barbara Ward Wells, and stepfather, Ted Andrews, both part of the Entertainments National Service Association put together to entertain British troops during World War II. In 1947, when Andrews was only 12 years old, she made her professional singing an aria at the London Hippodrome. A few years later, Andrews would begin a brilliant Broadway career across the ocean, using her voice to charm audiences for generations.

As the 40th Anniversary Edition DVD of Mary Poppins reveals, Andrews was invited by Walt Disney himself to take over the leading part in the House of Mouse’s iconic adaptation of Pamela Lyndon Travers’ books. Disney saw Andrew performing in Broadway’s Camelot and decided she was the only one who could do justice to the enchanted nanny. The movie’s production was halted so that Andrews could give birth to her first child in London before returning to America.

It’s hard to think of a big studio making financial compromises of this scale for an actress with no experience in filmmaking. Yet, Disney was right on the money, as Andrews’ performance would go on to win her a Best Actress Oscar. She would be nominated for the same award for The Sound of Music and Victor/Victoria, two projects that showcase the star’s impressive singing voice.

Unfortunately, the year 1997 would soon rob Andrews of her ability to sing.

Why can’t Julie Andrews sing anymore?

Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins
Image via Walt Disney Pictures

While performing on Broadway in 1997, Andrews noticed her voice becoming hoarse. After consulting with a physician, she received the news she had non-cancerogenic nodules in her vocal cords that had to be removed. But when she woke up from her surgery, she found out she could no longer sing. 

The result of the surgery would be tragic enough without malpractice from the responsible doctor. However, as it turns out, Andrews never had nodules, and her hoarse voice was caused by muscular striation. That means she received an incorrect diagnosis in 1997 and could have had her condition treated in less invasive ways. In 1999, Andrews filed a suit against the doctors of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, getting a settlement in 2000. Regardless of any legal compensation, the damage was done, and Andrews would be forced to abandon her career as a singer.

Andrews underwent multiple surgeries to try to fix her voice but to no success. That meant she had to be careful when choosing roles for film and TV projects. But it didn’t stop her from winning our hearts in The Princess Diaries movies, which we all hope will one day get a third installment. In addition, Andrews found a new calling writing children’s books with her daughter, Emma Katherine Walton Hamilton.

Andrews currently lends her voice to Lady Whistledown in Netflix’s Bridgerton. Bridgerton’s third season premieres on the streamer on May 16, 2024.

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By: Marco Vito Oddo
Title: How did Julie Andrews lose her voice?
Sourced From: wegotthiscovered.com/movies/how-did-julie-andrews-lose-her-voice/
Published Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2024 16:19:42 +0000

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Orlando Bloom opens up about his life with Katy Perry in rare interview

Orlando Bloom knows successful partnerships often require personal growth.

The actor was a guest on the What Now? with Trevor Noah podcast, where he discussed his new documentary series Orlando Bloom: To the Edge.

Noah also asked about his life away from work, commenting that Bloom and his partner Katy Perry seemed to be living “a life of normalcy.”

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Katy Perry, left, and Orlando Bloom arrive at the tenth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

“I think one of the things that I fell in love with Katy was, she hates when I say this, so I have to word it carefully, but her music was everywhere, right? When I came up it was just on every radio station, but I wasn’t conscious of what I was listening to. But I fell in love with Katheryn, this girl from Santa Barbara,” Bloom replied.

He continued, saying Perry had parents who were “pastors living on food stamps. We’re not talking glamorous Montecito. It’s the side (of Santa Barbara) that no one knows.”

Bloom said Perry also “demands that I evolve, and I feel I do the same for her.”

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Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom

“And that makes for fireworks, pardon the pun,” he said. “But it also makes for a lot of fun and a lot of growth.”

The two began dating in 2016. They welcomed a daughter, Daisy Dove, in 2020.

Bloom added that he wouldn’t change the relationship for anything.

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Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Carnival Row, premiere, red carpet

“I wouldn’t change it for anything, even when sometimes it feels like, ‘How do we do this?’ Because we’ve got these two giant careers and lives, and hers is like a universe sometimes,” he said.

“But I think I just keep coming back to her and trying to hold her hand and walk her back to the sand pit and be like, we’re just going to build a sandcastle.”

FOLLOW US ON WHATSAPP HERE: Stay across all the latest in celebrity, lifestyle and opinion via our WhatsApp channel. No comments, no algorithm and nobody can see your private details.

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Title: Orlando Bloom opens up about his life with Katy Perry in rare interview
Sourced From: celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/orlando-bloom-opens-up-about-romance-with-katy-perry/a5c2a15b-7efa-4921-872d-6bd9b0399183
Published Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2024 04:04:00 GMT

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Baller Awards

‘It changed my whole life’: Why Mambo No. 5 singer Lou Bega is happy to be called a ‘one-hit wonder’

“A little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side, a little bit of Rita’s all I need, a little bit of Tina’s what I see… I do all to fall in love with a girl like you.”

Everyone knows Mambo No.5. 

Released by Lou Bega in 1999, the undeniably catchy song – a cover of a 1950 instrumental track by Dámaso Pérez Prado – soon became utterly inescapable.

Mambo No. 5 hit number one in several countries, including Australia, and earned Bega a Grammy nomination for best male pop vocal performance.

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Lou Bega

Bizarrely, it even spawned another cover version, “performed” by animated children’s character Bob the Builder and released two years later in 2001.

So just what happened to the singer Lou Bega? 9Honey Celebrity takes a look at where he is now.

Who is Lou Bega and what is he up to now?

Lou Bega was a stage name.

Bega is a German singer, whose real name is David Lubega Balemezi.

He was born in Munich in the ’70s and is now 49. His late mother was Italian and his father was from Uganda. He lived in Italy, Germany and Uganda while growing up.

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Lou Bega

The song propelled Bega to celebrity status. Even though his subsequent music didn’t reach the same heights as Mambo No. 5, he’s still a name plenty of people remember today.

He started out his music career as a rapper.

Bega recently performed some shows to celebrate 25 years since the release of the hit song. 

He is also quite active on his official Instagram account and boasts 16,000 followers.

Lou Bega

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He recently released a book titled Mambo No.1, under his name, David Lubega.

“My Life is better than a movie,” he previously wrote in one post.

In 2013, it was reported that a journalist mixed up Lou Bega’s name with Lou Reed, who had died, and Bega had to say he was still alive but had received condolences from fans.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cjw_Y0_ooux/?igsh=MTllend4bGZ6eDZldA%3D%3D

What songs does he sing?

The success of Mambo No. 5 helped his debut album A Little Bit of Mambo scale the charts in various countries, including Australia, though the other singles from the album didn’t track quite as well.

Bega has released seven studio albums in total, and his most recent was called 90s Cruiser, which was released in 2021.

READ MORE: Aussie Sex/Life star Adam Demos reflects on his Hollywood career

Lou Bega in his video for 'Mambo No. 5'

While some artists would bristle at being seen as a “one-hit wonder”, Bega seems relaxed about it.

Speaking to Vanity Fair on the 20th anniversary of Mambo No. 5 in 2019, he said he ultimately decided the song had been a “blessing” for him, rather than a curse.

“It opened all the doors and changed my whole life,” he said.

As for how the song’s theme – the lyrics list women’s names as conquests – chimes with the attitudes and values we hold today, Bega told the magazine he didn’t think it was problematic.

“It was a different time. I never felt like a predator singing it,” he explained.

“It has a cuteness about it. Even the last part of it says, ‘I do all to fall in love with a girl like you.'”

Other songs he released include Angelina and Sweet Like Cola.

Scenes from Lou Bega's 'Mambo No. 5' music video

What is the meaning behind Mambo no.5?

Bega told Vanity Fair there are two levels to the hit song, one “superficial level”.

“Then there’s a deeper level. When you actually listen to it as a song, the first verse is about repentance, actually,” he said.

He previously recalled a funny pinch-me moment when he met Jennifer Lopez at the Grammys when he was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in the early 2000s.

Jennifer Lopez Grammy Awards 2000 iconic dress

Speaking to Rolling Stone India, he said: “She turned around and said, ‘Hi Lou, nice to meet you’ and kissed my cheek and you know what at that time I can’t describe what happened to me [laughs].”

“A week before I was watching her on television and here I am receiving a kiss on the cheek from her. It was quite monumental.”

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Who is he married to and does he have a family?

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Bega is married to Jenieva Jane B and the pair share two children.

He often shares glimpses of his personal life on Instagram and it seems the family have a strong interest in horse riding.

He previously shared a gushing tribute to his wife on her birthday and wrote: “I can still remember how my eyes discovered yours for the very first time & I couldn’t believe it.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/C1CcTqEIAv_/?igsh=MW9uMXZoNXNkZjZ5bA%3D%3D

“The perfect match, my second half, the most beautiful thing in the world, finally one. I felt instantly touched by the most High. Prayer answered!!!… We are one in flesh & spirit!!! 4Ever ❤️ you Jen-Jen!!”

He is said to have a networth of approximately $AU4.6million.

FOLLOW US ON WHATSAPP HERE: Stay across all the latest in celebrity, lifestyle and opinion via our WhatsApp channel. No comments, no algorithm and nobody can see your private details.

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Title: ‘It changed my whole life’: Why Mambo No. 5 singer Lou Bega is happy to be called a ‘one-hit wonder’
Sourced From: celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/lou-bega-mambo-no-5-what-happened-what-is-he-doing-now-explainer/4bc899fb-d17b-4453-97a1-cd9a1c127671
Published Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2024 03:04:00 GMT

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