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
Legendary Basketball Hall of Fame Coach John Thompson passed away surrounded by family at his Arlington, Virginia home on August 30th, 2020. In 1984, with the assistance of NBA legend Patrick Ewing, Coach Thompson became the first Black coach to lead an NCAA Division I basketball team to the national championship beating the Houston Cougars in the finals.
During his tenure with the Georgetown Hoyas (1972-1999), Thompson lead his team to a 596-239 (.714) winning record. Thompson who was a Washington D.C. native was also a two-time NBA champion playing for the Boston Celtics alongside Bill Russell from 1964-1966. In 1988 at the Seoul Olympics, Thompson served as the head coach for the Unites States Men’s basketball team.
Under Thompson’s instruction, retired NBA player and 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Allen Iverson would go on to set the Georgetown University record for highest career scoring average (22.9 points per game). In 2017, Patrick Ewing took over as head coach for the Hoyas. However, it’s obvious that no one will ever make the same mark in Georgetown that Coach John Thompson made. Rest well to a true sports legend!
#ThankYouVince for all your sportsmanship and best of luck with your media career! Check out Vince Carter’s podcast “Winging It With Vince Carter” via The Ringer currently streaming. -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 🏀 ❤️
The day was April 15th, 1947. Seventy years ago today, to be exact. It was Opening Day for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the historic Ebbets Field stadium which was conveniently located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. However, this Opening Day was way different than the Dodgers’ previous ones. Today, a young man by the name of Jackie Robinson who wore the number “42” on his jersey would be taking the field as the starting first baseman, batting second. On this day, seventy years ago, Jackie Robinson single-handedly broke the color barrier in Major League Sports.
Although there were rumors that people would be boycotting the game due to their disapproval of Robinson’s integration, the game actually went very well. The Dodgers would go on to win 5-3 against the Boston Braves (now known as the Atlanta Braves). When Robinson’s number was called on the P.A. system as the Brooklyn Dodgers’ starting first baseman, the crowd applauded “politely” according to sports editor Ed Silverman who was at Ebbets Field on this historic day in 1947 to witness history. In a new article for The New Yorker which commemorates the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Ed Silverman revisits April 15th, 1947 and talks about what the day was like:
“I deliberately sat in the bleachers, which were predominantly filled with black attendees. The women were all well coifed. Many wore lovely dresses and light coats. The men were all nicely attired. It was more like going to church than to a ballgame.”
Jackie Robinson would go on to have a stellar first season in his Major League Baseball career and became the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. Robinson also served as a Major League Baseball All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949, becoming the first Black player to do so. All in a day’s work for a legendary sports giant like Mr. Robinson. All in a day’s work!
Check out some cool footage via MLB.com of Jackie Robinson’s opening day, here.
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