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The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Prudential Center - Want to win some tickets?

709194560_62d66c9d5f_zI am SO excited.  The other day, I read that the Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Prudential Center in February with their "You Write the Rules" world tour.  Coincidentally, I read it on the same day that Whatever Work's Facebook page reached 300 Likes.  

I love writing my own rules, I love the Harlem Globetrotters and most importantly I love YOU!  

...So guess what?

It's giveaway time! 

I am proud to announce that Prudential Center in Newark, NJ has offered me an awesome giveaway prize of 4 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters in action on February 16th.  

This year, the Globetrotters are trying something a little different:

The Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour will allow New York area fans to choose the rules of each game. New rules include playing with two basketballs at once, getting double the points for each basket, and more. Fans can vote for their favorite rule at www.harlemglobetrotters.com/rule.

I am a HUGE fan of the Globetrotters.  I remember watching the commercials as a kid...trying to emulate their moves out in my driveway next to my wooden basketball hoop...whistling Sweet Georgia Brown for the rest of the day.

I even learned to play it on the clarinet.

I always felt super cool whenever I got the basketball to spin for more than one rotation on my finger tip or I could dribble two balls for more than 3 seconds.  I thought for SURE a Globetrotter scout would be driving by, slam on the brakes and immediately knock on our front door to talk with my parents about jersey size and the need for a tutor while we're on the road.

Of  course, that never happened.  But a girl can dream, right?  

Here is a little more about the show:

FIRST FEMALE HARLEM GLOBETROTTER IN 20 YEARS LEADS
WORLD FAMOUS TEAM INTO PRUDENTIAL CENTER

Globetrotters bring six games to NYC-area from February 15-18

TNT Maddox will inspire all girls in the NYC-area when she leads the world famous Harlem Globetrotters into Manhattan, North Jersey, and Long Island for six games from Feb. 15-18, including her Prudential Center debut on Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. 

As a former standout at Temple University, TNT joined the Globetrotters in the fall of 2011 as the ninth woman to play for the team in 87 years. She is the first female Globetrotter since 1993. The first woman to ever play for a men’s professional basketball team was a Globetrotter – Hall of Famer Lynette Woodard – who signed in 1985.

Sponsored by Howard Johnson Hotels, Wonderful Pistachios, Greyhound Lines, Spalding, and Russell Athletic, the Original Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 87th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Throughout their history, the Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 121 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents—over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

I am so excited about this giveaway.  To enter, all you have to do is follow the prompts within the following Rafflecopter form.  You can choose as many entries as you like, but you MUST complete the task required in the form.  Example: if you choose the "Leave a blog post comment" option, you MUST leave a blog post comment in order for that entry to be included.  I hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Prudential Center:

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Prudential Center is home to the three-time Stanley Cup Champion and 2011-2012 Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, over 200 events a year including major concerts, the 2011 NCAA East Regional, the 2011 & 2012 NBA Draft and the 2013 NHL Draft. Opened in October 2007, the arena now welcomes over 2 million guests through its doors annually, ranking tenth overall in 2011, according to leading industry publication Venues Today. The Rock provides the ultimate live sports and entertainment experience for fans, featuring unique dining options and superior customer service in seven premium lounges. The Acela Club showcases a custom-made mahogany wine cabinet and unique seating overlooking the ice and court. Ice Lounge is furnished with an ice bar and features center bowl views. The exciting sports bar atmosphere is the centerpiece of Bud Light Goal Bar, also with center bowl views.

What’s more, the fan experience begins outside Prudential Center in Championship Plaza, a brick paved fan message-driven courtyard that features a 22-foot tall, three-ton metal “Ironman” hockey player statue. The Plaza plays host to live entertainment with a block party atmosphere during FanFest celebrations before events. AmeriHealth Pavilion is Prudential Center Center’s second ice rink and is the official practice facility of the New Jersey Devils and home to Brick City Boxing, youth, high school and adult hockey programming and Hockey In Newark.

A pro sports first, the Devils created Mission Control which features a Digital Command Center located inside the Prudential Center designed to more effectively manage, monitor, and measure the franchise’s online brand engagements. Mission Control is fueled in part by the Devils Generals, a team of two-dozen socially-savvy fans who utilize Twitter, Facebook and other online channels hosted by the team/arena to extend the organization’s reach.

Prudential Center is located in downtown Newark just two blocks from Newark Penn Station, accessible via NJ Transit, PATH and Amtrak, while at the heart of cross-roads for five major highway access routes and 12 miles from midtown Manhattan. Prudential Center’s charitable arm, Devils Care, in partnership with the New Jersey Devils, was awarded the 2011 EPA’s Environmental Quality Award for its Rock and Wrap It Up! Program.

*This post is sponsored by Prudential Center.  All opinions are my own.   


Interview with YuLin Olliver @ Street League Skateboarding

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I recently had the privilege to interview YuLin Olliver from Street League Skateboarding for a piece I was working on at NJ.com.  Since my daughter loves skateboarding, I thought I'd have her come up with some questions to ask. The interview was so cool, I thought I'd post it in its entirety here.  Enjoy!

1. Do I have to wear my pads all the time? How about my helmet?

YuLin: I find that you fall when you least expect it, and when you are starting to get tired. I would recommend wearing all your pads and especially your helmet whenever you are skateboarding. Professional vert skaters always wear their pads and helmets. Vert is where you skate on a huge half pipe. Vert skaters and street skaters often times are very good at skating bowls and pools too. Here are some videos and photos of pro skater 16 year old Allysha Bergado, at one point she was the youngest X Games athlete in history. Street skating pros tend to not wear pads or helmets, yet they have been skateboarding and falling for so long that they have learned how to fall and roll away safely.


Chrissie: I recommend pads and a helmet when you first begin skating ramps.

Clayton: I suggest maybe wearing pads until you reach a certain level of comfortability and confidence. It's hard to say someone should stop wearing helmets/pads. Just more a matter of preference.
2. What is the best trick to try for my first one?

YuLin: The ollie is the beginning of everything. I'd recommend ollie-ing off curbs and over cracks in the road. Then getting kick turns in both directions and being able to skate fakie.

Chrissie:  Ollie or shuv-it.

Clayton:  I recommend trying to learn how to ollie first. The ollie is the root for almost every other trick and it's what you used to get into grinds. Then maybe learn 180's and kick flips/heel flips. Once you get those kind of tricks down then things really start to take off and you get a better understanding on how the board works and you can learn to combine tricks and come up with variations. I.E. 180 + Kickflip = 180 flip.
3. How old were you when you started skateboarding? Did you ever get hurt?

YuLin:  This is not going make much sense for you but, I started skateboarding when I was 25 years old. After I became a snowboarder. I just really missed snowboarding during the summer so with skateboarding, I can skate ANYWHERE. I love going fast and carving and skating snake runs. And no need to pay for an expensive ticket to a ski resort. Yes I broke my left ankle once (spiral fracture of the left fibula) when I was learning to drop in on a mini ramp a snowboarding/skateboarding camp in Mount Hood, Oregon. But I went to the doctors, they put a plate in there and it didn't really even hurt. Now my ankle is even stronger than it ever was before. I had them take the plate out after a year and I worked out in the gym and at home a lot right after the injury, stretched and swam every day, so that I was skateboarding and snowboarding again in just a few months. Then I went back and learned how to drop in for real this time. I had great friends to help me learn, so I haven't gotten injured since that time.

Chrissie:  8 years old. Bumps and bruises come with the territory of the sport, but my only serious injury has been a sprained ankle.

Clayton: I started skating when I was 14. I've broken a few bones over the years and have had other numerous injuries.  Just comes with the learning process!
4. When it gets cold, can I still skate on the street if there’s ice on it?

YuLin:  I wouldn't unless you wanted skateboarding to be even unpredictable and even more difficult than it might already be. Skateboard wheels are made to go forward and backwards. If you skate on ice, the physics go out the window and now your board (and you) can go any which way so that would be difficult and unpredictable. Plus keep it FUN! That's the point right? Keep it as FUN as possible for as LONG as possible. And if you get injured, you can not have fun skateboarding if you have to nurse a broken something for 6 weeks.

Chrissie:  I wouldn't. The wetness from the ice can make your griptape not grip as well, rust your bearings, and over time warp your deck.

Clayton:  You can still skate when it gets cold. However, the ground always seems a little harder and it just takes a little longer to warm up. I recommend indoor skateparks if you have any near by. I don't recommend skating on ice, thats actually one of the ways I have broken my arm!
5. How do I become a professional skateboarder?

YuLin:  There is no secret formula but like with any sport or endeavor, it takes being the best at what you do and not being prone to injury. Some people are amazing athletes but are injured all the time. Some people are talented but don't know how to work with their sponsors. Not only must you love skateboarding and skate every chance you get while keeping it fun, you need to film and skate contests to show your soon-to-be sponsors what you would bring to them if they hired you/sponsored you. It always helps if you are the type of person that other kids can relate to, that aspect helps the sponsors. Be the best, be happy, be accessible to your sponsors and commit to your dream no matter what gets in your way.

Chrissie:  Skate every chance you get! Begin entering competitions, even at a beginner level. Once you are good enough, film yourself doing your best tricks and send it off to skate companies to get sponsorships.

Clayton:  Please let me know if you figure out the answer to this one as well. I'm still working on it! But the best way I'm sure is to just keep pushing yourself and trying to progress on a daily basis, stay motivated for the right reasons.

"Hammin' Around" and Tinkering with some toys from K'NEX - Product review and giveaway

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The other day was like Christmas in our house.  A big beautiful package from K'NEX arrived and my kids were overjoyed.  They ripped it open to find a Tinker Toys Vehicle Building Set and an Angry Birds Hammin' Around Building Set.  Perfect!

We all fell in love with K'NEX a long time ago, but the clincher was when we went to Monster Jam and saw the K'NEX full scale version of the Grave Digger sitting there.  If you haven't seen it, here it is!

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The toys they sent us to check out did not disappoint.  My kids played for hours- yes, hours. That's pretty good because I'm lucky if my kids play for minutes sometimes.  My 4 year-old son must have built 52 things.  His imagination was roaming all over the place.  He made everything suggested on the easy to follow instructions and then went off on his own making helicopters, aliens and interesting three wheeled cars that constantly spin. Here are some pictures of his accomplishments:

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My 8 year-old daughter had no problem setting up the Angry Birds set with a little help from me.  It was a great project to work on together because we could help each other equally.  The instructions were very easy and the pieces fit nicely.  When we were done, my daughter's sense of accomplishment was overwhelming.  The set is made just like the Angry Birds game you are used to playing on your iPhone.  You are supposed to set it up and use the included slingshot to fling birds at it.  My daughter was too proud of her work to knock it down.  Instead, she flung the birds at her brother's creations.  He was OK with that.

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Both sets appealed to my kids for different reasons.  I asked them both what their favorite parts of their toys are and both responded with, "Building them!" 

I love the fact that the toys sparked some creativity that sometimes gets lost these days.  I could see my kids' eyes sparkle when they came up with a new creations.  Every day since we received the toys, they have been playing with them.  Also, my daughter finally did destroy her Angry Birds set-up.  Of course she built it right back up again, and the second time was even easier.

Both of these toys fit my kids' personalities perfectly.  My kids are always trying to figure out the inner workings of things.  It's not uncommon to find things completely taken apart in my son's room because he wanted to see how they work.  My daughter constantly asks questions about the mechanics of everything.  With these K'NEX toys, they are able to make their own versions of toys and then explain to us how they did it. 

K'NEX is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and would love to share their happiness with you!  Not only are they giving away plenty of prizes on their website, but I am hosting a giveaway of the awesome Tinker Toys set right here!  If you win, K'NEX will send you your own version of the Tinker Toys Vehicle Building Set that my son loves so much.  Best of luck and most importantly HAVE FUN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I was given these toys to review by K'NEX and loved them.  I would not write anything I didn't truly feel about any product no matter what. :-)


Street League Skateboarding Championship- This Sunday Aug 26th!

015My daughter has seriously been bitten by the skateboarding bug.  For her birthday last year we got her a Dyrdek board with little doves all over it.  She started by sitting down and traveling down the driveway.  Then she saw her friend skating for real and could NOT let him show her up.  Since that day, she's been a fiend. 

I recently had the fortunate experience of catching up with YuLin Olliver at Street League Skateboarding.  This was extremely cool to my daughter, because the founder of Street League is none other than Rob Dyrdek - the one and only skater who (Gasp!) designed my daughter's board. 

We talked about this year's Street League Skateboarding Championships that are taking place on Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.  She filled me in on the incedible event that's going to take place.  I wanted to write about it here, because I reeeally wish I could go.  I was hoping some of you readers would check it out and report back about how AWESOME it was!

 

Here are the details taken directly from Street League:

  • Street League Skateboarding (SLS) is the premier professional skateboarding contest series worldwide. Founded by 20-year professional skateboarder and entrepreneur, Rob Dyrdek, Street League features 24 of the world’s top street skateboarders competing exclusively for a groundbreaking $1.6 million prize purse in a nationwide tour. The series will be available live on ESPN2, ESPN3, Street League’s official website, and distributed to over 198 countries via the ESPN family of channels. Driven by the need to enhance the experience of live professional street skateboarding, Street League utilizes the ISX™ instant-scoring format that makes every single trick count.
  • Top 24 street skaters in the world, only 8 remain for the Championship August 26th
  • $1.6mm purse, largest in history
  • Street League’s $1.6 million purse is the largest in skateboarding history and almost double the combined winnings for all other skate contests. The SLS tour culminates in a winner-takes-all Championship in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center on August 26. The SLS Championship will feature the Golden Ticket winners of the first three stops of the 2012 tour along with the remaining top six qualifiers who will compete for $200,000 as well as the title of Street League Champion. The Championship will air LIVE on ESPN2 on August 26 at 5pm ET. Check www.streetleague.com for complete webcast schedule.

 

And here's the competition:

1. Paul Rodriguez – This young dad is on a contest hot streak including his first Street League win last month in Arizona and is a fan favorite to contend with Nyjah Huston.

2. Nyjah Huston – has won more in contest prize money than any other pro skater in history. He has won more Street League contests by far than any other skater. To date there have only been 4 pros to ever win a Street League and of the 10 contests, Nyjah has won 7 of them. At age 17, his talent is almost unbelievable.

3. Bastien Salabanzi – the only one of the 6 new pros to join Street League to make it to finals. Coming from France, with a close 2nd place finish at Stop 1, Bastien wants a win as much as anyone.

4. Chaz Ortiz - Coming fresh off the release of his amazing solo video part for Zoo York, and with a brand new private skatepark in his hometown of Chicago, Chaz is as on point on the board as he's ever been. Always nipping at the heels of the top spot. New Jersey could definitely be the time where he walks away with a win.

5. Chris Cole – Always giving the winners a run for their money with a mix of technical innovation, big tricks and some outside the box approach, this could be the time for Chris to get his first Street League win.

6. Ryan Sheckler – Always a crowd pleaser, Ryan goes big and is one of the most exciting skaters to watch. He had to place 3rd or higher in the last stop to make it into the Newark Championship and he did it. He always skates hard to the very end.

7. Luan Oliveira – This is Luan's first appearance in a Street League Championship event . He is fast and technical. Coming from Brazil, is one of the most technically skilled and consistent skaters in the Street League.

8. Sean Malto – Coming from Kansas City MO, Sean is the defending 2011 Street League Champion so you know he wants to take home another Championship win for the Red & Yellow.

 

So who do you think will win???  I'm making my pick right now - PAUL RODRIGUEZ will take it all.  Although I will  be rooting for everyone. 

Get your tickets right now at www.streetleague.com/tickets.

Also, check out Street League's Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @STREETLEAGUE