Dr. Nikki Franke celebrates fifty years of coaching the Division 1 Women’s Fencing Team at Temple University this year!
I was a young inexperienced teenager when I walked into Coach Franke’s fencing room in McGonigle Hall for the first time. Looking back now, I didn’t know anything (competitive-wise) about my weapon, Sabre. Coming from Brooklyn, New York and fencing only on a recreational level at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, I had only one national tournament under my belt. But, Coach Franke was still willing to take a chance on me.
This is what makes Coach Franke the great coach that she is, the chances that she’s willing to take on young inexperienced fencers. After transitioning over to Sabre from Foil the previous year at the suggestion of my then coach Mika’il Sankofa, I had to sharpen up my skills asap to prove to Coach Franke that she wasn’t just doing me a favor. Along with the help and support of Zoila Palacio who was the Sabre & Epee coach at Temple University, I went on to become a three-time NCAA Championship competitor as well as an All-American fencer for Temple University. Compared to my teammates back home who were already going on to compete at the 2000 Summer Games in Athens, I was far behind.
However, with the support of Coach Franke and Coach Palacio, I was able to go on and compete and gain high results in several international senior world cups all over the world between the years of 2006 and 2015.
This year makes 50 years that Coach Franke has been coaching up the young ladies at Temple University. I’m so glad that I chose Temple University as my school back in 2000. This is definitely a decision that I never regret. Here’s to 50 more years Coach Franke! Hoot! Hoot! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
“This is a lily white sport. Make no bones about it.” – Peter Westbrook
Peter Westbrook knows all about the sport of fencing. The six-time Olympic bronze medalist has been sending African-American fencers to the Olympic Games for the past two decades. I, myself started fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation when I was eleven-years-old and I’ve had the opportunity to know Peter Westbrook not just as an Olympian but as a human being. And trust me — they don’t make them like him anymore!
Next month for the Tokyo 2020 games, the Peter Westbrook Foundation will be sending a quarter of Team USA’s men’s fencing team to compete. This is something no other organization has done to date. Check out the cool news special CBS New York recently did highlighting the Peter Westbrook Foundation below. Good luck to my PWF fencing family at the Tokyo 2020 games next month. I’ve been knowing these Good Men all my life!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
So many great things happened in the world of sports this past week, that we had to spread some of the love over here at Brooklyn Girl Code! Florida native, Sloane Stephens won her first U.S. Open title on Saturday, September 9th beating out Madison Keys who was the No. 15-seed. With this win, Stephens becomes the lowest ranked player (No. 83-seed) to ever win a women’s singles title at the event. Tennis great Rafael Nadal kept the winning spree going winning his third U.S. Open title (2010, 2013, 2017) on Sunday, September 10th beating out No. 28-seed Kevin Anderson in the men’s single final at the world famous Arthur Ashe Stadium. The two champions celebrated their well deserved titles with friends and family all week long. Check out some cool photos of the champs below.
While Sloane Stephens was celebrating her first U.S. Open win this past Saturday, my wonderful sport of Fencing was celebrating its own day! “World Fencing Day” which was created by the FIE (International Fencing Federation) in conjuction with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) celebrates the solidarity of the sport of Fencing all over the world. Fencing is most definitely a sport that is played in hundreds of countries worldwide. So, this day was long overdue. However, as a Fencer myself, I was delighted to see the sport finally get its own day! Check out some really cool pics of all the international Fencers celebrating “World Fencing Day” below.
Lastly, but certainly not least, one of my all-time favorites, seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady got inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. McGrady, who I always looked at as one of the more humble players in the NBA, gave an awesome enshrinement speech alongside his legendary players and peers at the ceremony held in Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday, September 8th. Watch the video below! Nothing but champions over here at Brooklyn Girl Code baby! Congrats to all the winners and honorees from this past week!
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