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Interview with Corey Benjamin: Former NBA Basketball player

IMG_9685By Nia Turner Moreno 

Where are you currently living at?

San Bernardino County, CA

Growing up did you ever think that you would play for the NBA?

Yes, that was my main goal in life. As a kid I used to dream of playing for the Chicago Bulls. I used to dream I was Michael Jordan when I was younger. And my dream came true because I actually was able to play with him when I joined the Chicago Bulls.

How old where you when you started playing basketball?

When I first picked up a ball and started playing I was 4 years old. I was going to Oregon State for 2 years, and I got drafted at 20 years old.

What did you like most about playing for the NBA and what did you like least?

There was really nothing that I liked least about playing for the NBA. Dreams come true so for me being in the NBA was an accomplishment

Do you still play basketball in your free time?

No, I don’t play, but I’m a basketball trainer for the Inland Empire. I train kids at Etiwanda High School and Fontana High School and middle schools in San Bernardino County. I’m also a mentor for nine Elementary Schools.

What have you been doing since you retired?

I’m a role model in our community and I have personal relationships with young boys and girls. There’s a lot of kids out there that need a good mentor. I’m a mentor for a lot in the San Bernardino community, especially the youth that are going off to college. I do my best to be there for them. Growing up in the environment I lived in, I didn’t have any good role models or guides to help me, so I pretty much just had to find my own way. I want these kids to have some kind of help; someone to set a good example for them.

Do you have any other hobbies beside basketball?

I fish when I have free time and I love spending time with my family and being a father to my five kids, 4 girls 1 boy. I’m busy most of the time, so it’s nice to spend time with them. Family is a very important part in my life.act_corey_benjamin

Is “Basketball Legende” still an ongoing program for the youth?

That’s the name of my program for the kids in the community. Legende is Legends in French. I played overseas in France and I like to incorporate my professional basketball background into the things I do now. A part of the things I do in the program is basketball training and I talk to the kids about keeping up good grades, as well because that’s a big part of playing basketball.

What would you say to the youth or anyone that is striving to reach their goals?

I tell all the kids that “dreams do come true it all starts with yourself”. Work hard, the harder you believe in your goal, whatever your goal is it can come true. What I tell my kids is if you want to be a doctor, find the best doctor there is and apply that to yourself. If you want to be a basketball player find the best basketball player there is and apply that to yourself.  Whatever it is that person did to make it where they’re at, apply it to the qualities that you already have. You have to put your goals first. Life is like a merry go round you’re up, you’re down; you’re not always going to be happy but you just have to believe in your goals if that’s what you want. There are other programs out there to help young kids, but if I can also help them that’s what I’m going to do. Kids are our future so I do my best to help out.

Is there anything else that I might have left out that you would like for people to know about you?

I’m a mentor. I’m a trainer. I’m a life coach. I speak for D.A.R.E programs, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. I consider myself a disciple; I’m one of God’ called people.

 

 

Riverside Celebrates 36th Annual Black History Culture Parade, Expo

Article and Photos By John Coleman

RIVERSIDE, CA- In 1965/66, Riverside was the first largest school district in the US to voluntarily integrate their schools and to go forward despite, weeks later, the arson burning of its Lowell Elementary School. The 2015 Riverside Black History Parade and Expo will, in part, celebrate the 50th anniversary of that decision and the part it continues to play in Riverside’s becoming a ‘world class city’.

Dignitaries who participated in the 2015 Black History and Culture Parade included:   Rusty Bailey, Mayor;    Sergio Diaz, Police Chief;    Michael Moore, Fire Chief;   David Hansen, Supt, RUSD;     Stan Sniff, Sheriff;     Richard Roth, State Senator;     Jose Medina, Member, State Legislative Assembly.

Other Parade participants included:  community leaders, educators, business owners, ministers and members of their churches,   college and youth groups,   community service and activity programs,   NAACP,   Tuskegee Airmen,   Prince Hall Masons and Shriners,   car clubs and their prize auto collections, and many other people who march with their organizations to have fun.

There has to be recognition for those crowd pleasers that have their own ‘groupies’ who follow them whenever they parade, these include   The Ex-Plosive Drill and Drum Squad;

The Black Diamond Step Team; Black Diamond Cheer and Dance Team; and of course the San Bernardino Westside Steppers Drill and Drum Team.

Craig Goodwin, Wanda Scruggs, & Jeanie Gaines were announcers at the viewing stand, across from the historical County Court House.

 

Why Westside Story Newspaper is “The Soul of the Inland Empire…Sharing Quest for Excellence”

logoBy Wallace J. Allen

The soul is without matter and cannot be touched physically. Where soul exists, it extends beyond life and lingers through multi generations.  For some unspoken but widely accepted reason, Black folks are identified as the tangible truth that soul exists. Soul brother, soul sister, soul music and soul food are examples of that application! Soul is a code word for “the Black Experience”.

WSSNews identifies and identifies with the “Black Experience” as it occurs in the inland Empire. The Black Experience will always include the memory of its era of Kings and Queens, as well as the tragedy of “The Middle Passage”. The glory of fighting for and building this great nation while enslaved by hate and handcuffed by ignorance. Electing a President only to see his effectiveness ridiculed by racism. All are elements of the Black Experience.

The ‘Quest for Excellence” is also an element of the “Black Experience”.  One of our angel poetesses, Mya Angelo, captures the essence of that quest with her piece titled, “Still, We Rise”. Regardless of the pain delivered by those against us, history evidences not only survival ‘still we rise’, but demonstrates that we also thrive. Regardless of circumstance the “Black Experience” still provides excellence.

Westside Story Newspaper acknowledges the community’s struggle, but it seeks to encourage and celebrate its excellence. Your support in the form of a financial gift or kind words of encouragement will be greatly appreciated and wisely used to “Share The Quest For Excellence”!  You can mail to 577 North “D” Street, San Bernardino Ca. 92401. You can go to wssnews.com and click on the “DONATION” Button. You can email your encouraging words to walleniv@yahoo.com. Your critique is also encouraged and welcomed. I realize that excellence is our goal not our status!