Page 5 - Sports Facts

This NBA great turned out a truckload of money by not entering the draft early. Find out why!

If you were offered a multi-million dollar contract to play your favorite sport, chances are you'd take it in a heartbeat. That's the case with basketball superstar Tim Duncan—except he turned it down thanks to a very special promise to his late mother.

Duncan was born and raised in Christiansted, a small town on Saint Croix (a main island in the United States Virgin Islands). He was a star swimmer through his early teenage years and aimed to make the 1992 Olympic Games. However, after a hurricane destroyed the island's only Olympic-sized pool in 1989 he was forced to swim in the ocean and quickly lost his enthusiasm for swimming due to sharks. He turned to basketball.

His mother passed away right before his 14th birthday and made him promise to earn a college degree in her final days. Of course, he willingly accepted his mother's dying wish. He excelled at Wake Forest University and was named one of the most eligible NBA prospects in his sophomore season. He refused to enter the draft early, despite the league introducing a rookie salary cap the following year, costing him a lot of money.

He graduated with a college degree and made himself available for the 1997 NBA Draft where he was drafted first by the San Antonio Spurs.


The average annual salary of a professional NBA cheerleader is tiny. I couldn't believe how low it really is!

Just about everyone knows that NBA players make enough to get by, and then some. But what about the cheerleaders? How do they fare these days? Well, most of the cheerleaders have modest incomes. They are often paid on a per game basis, but that income is supplemented by making other appearances for public relations.

The most recent data available shows that cheerleaders are paid between $50 and $150 per game, with some exceptions. They are not all given a uniform wage; the exact pay depends upon the team. Generally, the more popular the team, the higher the pay. In other cases, cheerleaders make minimum wage, which varies from state to state.

Luckily for them, they actually earn more away from the court than they do while cheering at the games. Other perks include free tickets and parking and paid travel expenses. To boot, cheerleading can open doors for career advancement later in life. Hey, it worked out well for Paula Abdul.

Doubtless, for many cheerleaders it's not about the money. It's about living a dream. They get to dance, have a good time, keep the fans' and the teams' spirits up, and be seen by millions of people. That's a life dreamed of by many, and surely many cheerleaders feel fortunate to see it come true and get paid for it.


How do you feel about sports teams being named after corporations? It is a growing trend that won't go away any time soon

Internationally it has become a growing trend to name sports teams after the corporations that sponsor them. This is not as acceptable in the American sports landscape, though. The American reaction to the New York Red Bulls naming their soccer team after the corporation, for example, received a mixed reaction from fans and media alike.

On an international scale there are various examples of teams named after corporations, like Bayer Leverkusen in Germany which is named after a firm that manufactures aspirin. PSV Eindhoven of Holland is named for Philips Electronics. Korea Professional Baseball has nine franchises nationwide and all teams are named after the companies or business conglomerates which own them. South Africa has a provincial rugby team named the Vodacom Bulls because they are sponsored by Vodacom, a cellular network provider. The same goes for the South African Cricket team, Chevrolet Warriors who are generously sponsored by the car manufacturer.

Sports teams sometimes sell their names to increase revenue for themselves. This is often frowned upon by some sports organisations. UEFA bans sponsors’ names to be used when addressing a team. It seems that the interest corporations are showing in sports teams is a growing trend and the reality is that corporations have been investing in, and promoting sports organizations for decades.


Some awesome lists!

I couldn't believe just how healthy drinking watermelon juice can be

There are countless benefits from drinking watermelon juice! Watermelons are made up of 92% water and are therefore very hydrating. Juicing fresh watermelons allows your body to absorb all of their nutrients rapidly and easily. Despite it being 92% water, it also contains vitamin A, B1, B6, C, beta-carotene, lycopene, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and chlorophyll.

The juice can detoxify your entire body, cleansing your kidneys, bladder, and gallbladder. It is an excellent source of potassium. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and promotes a healthy heart. Drinking watermelon juice lowers the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis and macular degeneration.

Watermelon is also rich in the amino acid l-citrulline, which is fantastic for relieving muscle soreness. A study has investigated the potential of the juice as a functional drink for athletes. In the study seven athletes were supplied with 500 ml of natural watermelon juice which contains 1.17 g of l-citrulline, an enriched watermelon juice which contained 4.83 g of l-citrulline plus 1.17 g from watermelon, and a placebo. Both watermelon juices helped to reduce the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness after 24 hours.

Watermelon also contains high dosages of lycopene which has shown to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular complications.


This South Korean figure skater started skating when she was five, and never finished off the podium until she retired!

Kim Yuna is a retired South Korean figure skater. She was born on 5 September 1990 and started skating when she was five years old. Her coach at the time, Jong-Hyeon Ryu, was so certain that she would become a world-class figure skate, that he strongly advised Yuna’s mother to let her continue skating.

Kim won her first gold medal in figure skating in 2002 at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia. Since then this remarkable athlete has never finished off the podium! When she was 12 she became the youngest skater ever to win the senior title at the South Korean championships. In 2004-2005 she won 5 medals and landed her first triple-triple jump at the 2005 World Junior Championships, earning 158.93 points and the silver medal.

Kim made her senior international debut at 2006 Skate Canada where she won a bronze medal. At the 2007 World Championships she set the highest short program score ever under the ISU Judging System and consequently, a world record with 71.95 points.

In total, Kim Yuna has been on the podium 53 times in her career! In February 2014 Yuna competed at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, where she won an Olympic silver medal. She also announced that the Olympics would mark the end of her competitive skating career.



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