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HOOD CENTER

Hood Center

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HOOD CENTER

HOOD CENTER

Hood Center

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About Us

Since I’ve been a small pup, BASKETBALL has taken my life through different avenues. From playing AAU for the Riverside Church Hawks, to getting recruited to attend boarding school at TABOR Academy, to becoming a personal trainer for the Mercy College Women’s Basketball Team, to now starting my own PODCAST! I’m a kid from The Bronx who has seen so many ups and downs when it came to players accomplishing their dreams - whether it be playing in the NBA, taking their talents overseas, or just simply making a living doing what they love to do!


As a player , as a fan, as a witness, I want to take on the responsibility of bringing those memories back! Urban cities all around the world have so much insight and knowledge about the game, that it is ONLY RIGHT our voices be heard on the biggest platforms. I’ve seen players like Kemba Walker take the NCAA by storm and also put his footprints in the NBA as one of the top 25 players in the league CURRENTLY! And I’ve also witnessed players like Cory Fisher have trouble getting to the next level. I wanna talk about it!!!! I’m proud to say that I’ve started a podcast called “HOOD CENTER” (Hood version of Sports Center) and I couldn’t be more excited about it! 



See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Latest Episodes

THE ADJUSTMENTS | Kendrick Ray

EMiddletown isn't really the place you to get recognized, but when your parents want a better life for you outside of The Bronx, it's not really much you can say. Basketball wasn't taken seriously until he went to Kennesaw State - and watching the pain marinate in that house after his big brother Allan Ray didn't get drafted, he decided it was time to lock in! Prior to that, Quinnipiac was a lesson learned; the classroom wasn't his forte and it affected his play. But you would think Kennesaw State was the place to be after looking at his numbers...nah! What coach promises you a scholarship and lets you enter the school year thinking you're good to go, until your mother finds a bill in the mail telling you to pay for the classes you registered for?! On top of that, you playing under a shitty flex offense didn't help either - but 19 points a game still gets the job done! Overseas was a journey in itself! Kendrick and his agent weren't on the same page which resulted in Allan Ray being his agent. I mean...when you and your older brother already have a partnership in the real estate business, the sports agency world doesn't seem so far fetch. This pandemic stopped Kendrick's momentum a bit - he was just starting to get into the flow of things on the court. But like any real baller...you just adjust! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

75 MIN6 d ago
Comments
THE ADJUSTMENTS | Kendrick Ray

SILENT KILLER | Jordan "JayO" Aaron

EHe don't do much talking - but his game damn sure speaks for itself! When you grow up spending nights at Kyrie Irving's house shooting hoops in his backyard as a little kid, it's not a secret that energy will rub off on you somehow. The Bronx native found himself at Bronx Leadership Academy his first two and a half years in high school before transferring to Wings Academy where he played under Billy Turnage, scoring 35 points off the bench his second game which gave Turnage no choice but to start him for the rest of the season. He took his talents to Southeastern Iowa where he could just get away from the hood for a while and focus on his craft - his life was a bit of a roller coaster due to the passing of his mother a year prior. But after so many accomplishments in Iowa, he found the assistant coach at Milwaukee-Wisconsin following his every move which made the trust between them two solid! After making his name known in Milwaukee, he took his talents overseas where the work load is a bit different from the collegiate level. When you're the best player on the team, people watch your every move! And being that he doesn't speak much, transforming into a vocal leader was something he had to adjust to. All in all, he hears all the noise about who's better and who's not - but he just wants to let people know...HE'S BEEN OUTSIDE!!! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

85 MIN1 w ago
Comments
SILENT KILLER | Jordan "JayO" Aaron

"I STAND TALL" | Kedar "Superman" Edwards

ECan you imagine a 6'5 forward walking into a courtroom in a suit defending his client? Well...that was his dream before the ball started bouncing. The Brooklyn native never seen it coming - but when you go from averaging 0.2 points a game at Wingate High School to averaging 18 points your following year, your thought patterns start to shift a bit. Especially when you go prep at Coachville in Pennsylvania where Rip Hamilton attended - and he PERSONALLY tells you to come in for a workout! Saying that, college was also a roadblock - getting recruited to play for LIU was something he wanted, but when paperwork gets in the way, you have to make other choices. With a solid career at State Fair CC and UT Martin, he took his talents overseas where he made a name for himself. He tells us that with all the work he's put in - teams now have to come correct before he signs another contract. You might know him as Superman, but the reason for that name runs deeper than you think! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

78 MIN2 w ago
Comments
"I STAND TALL" | Kedar "Superman" Edwards

JUST KEEP WORKING | Kevin "KP" Punter Jr.

ENobody wanted to give him his respect! Was it because The Bronx native took his talents to New Rochelle and played in a Class B Division at Salesian High School where he became Player Of The Year as a senior? Was it because he didn't go straight to a university and went JUCO at State Fair Community College in Missouri where he became First Team All American? Why does he suddenly just get the respect after becoming First Team All-SEC at the University of Tennessee? For God's Sake...HE'S BEEN DOING THIS!!! Before we knew who Rico Hines was, he was in private workouts with the man (before he even had a beard lol). Even when he thought it was over after taking his SAT's SEVEN TIMES and not getting that score he needed to goto college - he just kept pushing! Kevin Punter Jr. talks about all the steps it took to get to this point - and after playing in about 5 different countries, Italy seems like the place to be in the future. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

83 MINJUN 4
Comments
JUST KEEP WORKING | Kevin "KP" Punter Jr.

POLITICS AS USUAL | Malcolm "MG3" Grant

EAfter averaging 23 points a game his senior year at Robeson High School, getting invited to the Jordan Brand Classic, and becoming PSAL Player Of The Year, why not just make him a McDonald's All American? After getting recruited to Villanova University and scoring 18 points in the last seven minutes of the game to upset LSU, why is he only playing ONE SINGLE MINUTE for the next three games? MG3 gets into detail about it all. His transfer to UMiami after his freshman year wasn't so bad - but again, politics come into play. After graduating with a degree in Sports Administration he finds himself traveling to countries like Canada, Cyprus, Sweden, and many others. That journey wasn't a walk in the park either - especially when money is involved! This interview was important for us! During this pandemic that we're in with COVID-19, it's nearly impossible to find a professional studio to record in. And we were bias about not going virtual because we always gained a personal connection wi...

90 MINMAY 2
Comments
POLITICS AS USUAL | Malcolm "MG3" Grant

HUMBLE & HUNGRY | Steven "Abby" Ruple Jr.

EIt's different when your basketball peers request for you to be on the show and tell your story! The Harlem native is respected throughout NYC - and if you ever stepped foot in Dyckman park, it's no secret that Abby fills the seats night in and night out. Even Coach Mo Hicks recruited Abby to play for him at Rice High School, but with so many prospects coming in (including a lack of confidence at the time) he chose to take his talents to Thurgood Marshall Academy where he was mentored under a highly respected coach in Abdul Torrence. Although Abby wasn't recruited to his liking out of high school, he went off to Colorado to play for Adam State University - and was faced with a life or death situation when he came back home for the holidays. Steven "Abby" Ruple Jr. might not be your high caliber type of player - but when he laces up, you have to respect him! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

50 MINAPR 12
Comments
HUMBLE & HUNGRY | Steven "Abby" Ruple Jr.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS | Josh "Jiggy" Watkins

ECould you imagine him doing a post grad year at South Kent, playing in the back-court with Isaiah Thomas?! What was practice even like when he played JUCO at Howard College with NBA's own Jae Crowder? After transferring from Howard, the Harlem Native (known for his impeccable handles and signature spin move) faced some obstacles back in Utah. With all the articles written on him - whether it be ESPN, Salt Lake Tribune, his school paper, etc., Jiggy never spoke on why he was dismissed from the team. What really happened? Jiggy Josh opens up about his departure and how he felt during those times. He even seen things from his teammates he didn't quite agree with. But lastly, although he was suspended, Jiggy had some unfinished business at the University of Utah. He finished stronger than everyone thought he would! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

45 MINAPR 5
Comments
UNFINISHED BUSINESS | Josh "Jiggy" Watkins

STRAIGHT OUT THE MUD | David "Cha Ching" Teele

EWho would've thought commentating his first basketball game in Amsterdam projects would put him in positions to feed his family? If you've sat and watched a summer league game at Dyckman park, then you know who Cha Ching is. The game of basketball itself can mesmerize you, but when one of your favorite players pulls up from behind the arc and you hear "..GOD BLESS GOODNIGHT!" it adds a different texture to your experience. David "Cha Ching" Teele speaks on his journey of commentating and how his brand expanded. Not only is he currently sponsored by Nike and known as the one of the best if not, the top basketball commentator in NYC, he still looks for ways to make more history! He also seen a lane in High School basketball before anyone seen it coming. And because of that, he was able to finish his "Dark Skin Splash Brother's Tour" with his partner in grind Mr.Talk Spicy. Cha Ching's love for his craft will only allow him to reach new heights, and we appreciate him for being our firs...

64 MINMAR 29
Comments
STRAIGHT OUT THE MUD | David "Cha Ching" Teele

GIVIN' GAME | Curtis Kelly

EHe's cool, he's calm, he's collected! Another Rice Raider who filled the bleachers in Gauchos gym playing next to Edgar Sosa in High School speaks on the chemistry and work ethic that Rice produced over the years. When asked about his personal growth and the things he regretted as a basketball player, his answer is as cool as his persona! Growing up in The Bronx is no walk in the park, but the memories is something he wouldn't trade for the world. Playing ball at UConn, transferring to Kansas State, and going overseas gave him a chance to come back and drop some gems on the youth. Curtis Kelly was here when Hood Center was just starting - and we share some memories that we can now laugh at. Episode 10 ends the first season for Hood Center, and the journey is something to remember already! Thanks to everyone who showed their love and support thus far...it's been a blast! See y'all soon! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

74 MINFEB 23
Comments
GIVIN' GAME | Curtis Kelly

A TRUE GENTLEMAN | Omari Lawrence

EWith all his trials and tribulations as a basketball player, Omari continues to progress as a man! There aren't many players today who take pride in giving back to their communities, maintaining good health, and last but not least, having a Queen by his side! We can go on for days about his fulfilling journey as a ball player - playing with guys like Darryl "Truck" Bryant and Kevin Parrom at St.Raymond's, staying home and competing at St.John's, transferring to Kansas State, and taking his talents overseas to countries like Slovakia and Hong Kong. But more importantly, Omari remembers all the lessons he's learned during those times, and has no problem living with some regrets. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

66 MINFEB 16
Comments
A TRUE GENTLEMAN | Omari Lawrence

Latest Episodes

THE ADJUSTMENTS | Kendrick Ray

EMiddletown isn't really the place you to get recognized, but when your parents want a better life for you outside of The Bronx, it's not really much you can say. Basketball wasn't taken seriously until he went to Kennesaw State - and watching the pain marinate in that house after his big brother Allan Ray didn't get drafted, he decided it was time to lock in! Prior to that, Quinnipiac was a lesson learned; the classroom wasn't his forte and it affected his play. But you would think Kennesaw State was the place to be after looking at his numbers...nah! What coach promises you a scholarship and lets you enter the school year thinking you're good to go, until your mother finds a bill in the mail telling you to pay for the classes you registered for?! On top of that, you playing under a shitty flex offense didn't help either - but 19 points a game still gets the job done! Overseas was a journey in itself! Kendrick and his agent weren't on the same page which resulted in Allan Ray being his agent. I mean...when you and your older brother already have a partnership in the real estate business, the sports agency world doesn't seem so far fetch. This pandemic stopped Kendrick's momentum a bit - he was just starting to get into the flow of things on the court. But like any real baller...you just adjust! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

75 MIN6 d ago
Comments
THE ADJUSTMENTS | Kendrick Ray

SILENT KILLER | Jordan "JayO" Aaron

EHe don't do much talking - but his game damn sure speaks for itself! When you grow up spending nights at Kyrie Irving's house shooting hoops in his backyard as a little kid, it's not a secret that energy will rub off on you somehow. The Bronx native found himself at Bronx Leadership Academy his first two and a half years in high school before transferring to Wings Academy where he played under Billy Turnage, scoring 35 points off the bench his second game which gave Turnage no choice but to start him for the rest of the season. He took his talents to Southeastern Iowa where he could just get away from the hood for a while and focus on his craft - his life was a bit of a roller coaster due to the passing of his mother a year prior. But after so many accomplishments in Iowa, he found the assistant coach at Milwaukee-Wisconsin following his every move which made the trust between them two solid! After making his name known in Milwaukee, he took his talents overseas where the work load is a bit different from the collegiate level. When you're the best player on the team, people watch your every move! And being that he doesn't speak much, transforming into a vocal leader was something he had to adjust to. All in all, he hears all the noise about who's better and who's not - but he just wants to let people know...HE'S BEEN OUTSIDE!!! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

85 MIN1 w ago
Comments
SILENT KILLER | Jordan "JayO" Aaron

"I STAND TALL" | Kedar "Superman" Edwards

ECan you imagine a 6'5 forward walking into a courtroom in a suit defending his client? Well...that was his dream before the ball started bouncing. The Brooklyn native never seen it coming - but when you go from averaging 0.2 points a game at Wingate High School to averaging 18 points your following year, your thought patterns start to shift a bit. Especially when you go prep at Coachville in Pennsylvania where Rip Hamilton attended - and he PERSONALLY tells you to come in for a workout! Saying that, college was also a roadblock - getting recruited to play for LIU was something he wanted, but when paperwork gets in the way, you have to make other choices. With a solid career at State Fair CC and UT Martin, he took his talents overseas where he made a name for himself. He tells us that with all the work he's put in - teams now have to come correct before he signs another contract. You might know him as Superman, but the reason for that name runs deeper than you think! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

78 MIN2 w ago
Comments
"I STAND TALL" | Kedar "Superman" Edwards

JUST KEEP WORKING | Kevin "KP" Punter Jr.

ENobody wanted to give him his respect! Was it because The Bronx native took his talents to New Rochelle and played in a Class B Division at Salesian High School where he became Player Of The Year as a senior? Was it because he didn't go straight to a university and went JUCO at State Fair Community College in Missouri where he became First Team All American? Why does he suddenly just get the respect after becoming First Team All-SEC at the University of Tennessee? For God's Sake...HE'S BEEN DOING THIS!!! Before we knew who Rico Hines was, he was in private workouts with the man (before he even had a beard lol). Even when he thought it was over after taking his SAT's SEVEN TIMES and not getting that score he needed to goto college - he just kept pushing! Kevin Punter Jr. talks about all the steps it took to get to this point - and after playing in about 5 different countries, Italy seems like the place to be in the future. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

83 MINJUN 4
Comments
JUST KEEP WORKING | Kevin "KP" Punter Jr.

POLITICS AS USUAL | Malcolm "MG3" Grant

EAfter averaging 23 points a game his senior year at Robeson High School, getting invited to the Jordan Brand Classic, and becoming PSAL Player Of The Year, why not just make him a McDonald's All American? After getting recruited to Villanova University and scoring 18 points in the last seven minutes of the game to upset LSU, why is he only playing ONE SINGLE MINUTE for the next three games? MG3 gets into detail about it all. His transfer to UMiami after his freshman year wasn't so bad - but again, politics come into play. After graduating with a degree in Sports Administration he finds himself traveling to countries like Canada, Cyprus, Sweden, and many others. That journey wasn't a walk in the park either - especially when money is involved! This interview was important for us! During this pandemic that we're in with COVID-19, it's nearly impossible to find a professional studio to record in. And we were bias about not going virtual because we always gained a personal connection wi...

90 MINMAY 2
Comments
POLITICS AS USUAL | Malcolm "MG3" Grant

HUMBLE & HUNGRY | Steven "Abby" Ruple Jr.

EIt's different when your basketball peers request for you to be on the show and tell your story! The Harlem native is respected throughout NYC - and if you ever stepped foot in Dyckman park, it's no secret that Abby fills the seats night in and night out. Even Coach Mo Hicks recruited Abby to play for him at Rice High School, but with so many prospects coming in (including a lack of confidence at the time) he chose to take his talents to Thurgood Marshall Academy where he was mentored under a highly respected coach in Abdul Torrence. Although Abby wasn't recruited to his liking out of high school, he went off to Colorado to play for Adam State University - and was faced with a life or death situation when he came back home for the holidays. Steven "Abby" Ruple Jr. might not be your high caliber type of player - but when he laces up, you have to respect him! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

50 MINAPR 12
Comments
HUMBLE & HUNGRY | Steven "Abby" Ruple Jr.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS | Josh "Jiggy" Watkins

ECould you imagine him doing a post grad year at South Kent, playing in the back-court with Isaiah Thomas?! What was practice even like when he played JUCO at Howard College with NBA's own Jae Crowder? After transferring from Howard, the Harlem Native (known for his impeccable handles and signature spin move) faced some obstacles back in Utah. With all the articles written on him - whether it be ESPN, Salt Lake Tribune, his school paper, etc., Jiggy never spoke on why he was dismissed from the team. What really happened? Jiggy Josh opens up about his departure and how he felt during those times. He even seen things from his teammates he didn't quite agree with. But lastly, although he was suspended, Jiggy had some unfinished business at the University of Utah. He finished stronger than everyone thought he would! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

45 MINAPR 5
Comments
UNFINISHED BUSINESS | Josh "Jiggy" Watkins

STRAIGHT OUT THE MUD | David "Cha Ching" Teele

EWho would've thought commentating his first basketball game in Amsterdam projects would put him in positions to feed his family? If you've sat and watched a summer league game at Dyckman park, then you know who Cha Ching is. The game of basketball itself can mesmerize you, but when one of your favorite players pulls up from behind the arc and you hear "..GOD BLESS GOODNIGHT!" it adds a different texture to your experience. David "Cha Ching" Teele speaks on his journey of commentating and how his brand expanded. Not only is he currently sponsored by Nike and known as the one of the best if not, the top basketball commentator in NYC, he still looks for ways to make more history! He also seen a lane in High School basketball before anyone seen it coming. And because of that, he was able to finish his "Dark Skin Splash Brother's Tour" with his partner in grind Mr.Talk Spicy. Cha Ching's love for his craft will only allow him to reach new heights, and we appreciate him for being our firs...

64 MINMAR 29
Comments
STRAIGHT OUT THE MUD | David "Cha Ching" Teele

GIVIN' GAME | Curtis Kelly

EHe's cool, he's calm, he's collected! Another Rice Raider who filled the bleachers in Gauchos gym playing next to Edgar Sosa in High School speaks on the chemistry and work ethic that Rice produced over the years. When asked about his personal growth and the things he regretted as a basketball player, his answer is as cool as his persona! Growing up in The Bronx is no walk in the park, but the memories is something he wouldn't trade for the world. Playing ball at UConn, transferring to Kansas State, and going overseas gave him a chance to come back and drop some gems on the youth. Curtis Kelly was here when Hood Center was just starting - and we share some memories that we can now laugh at. Episode 10 ends the first season for Hood Center, and the journey is something to remember already! Thanks to everyone who showed their love and support thus far...it's been a blast! See y'all soon! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

74 MINFEB 23
Comments
GIVIN' GAME | Curtis Kelly

A TRUE GENTLEMAN | Omari Lawrence

EWith all his trials and tribulations as a basketball player, Omari continues to progress as a man! There aren't many players today who take pride in giving back to their communities, maintaining good health, and last but not least, having a Queen by his side! We can go on for days about his fulfilling journey as a ball player - playing with guys like Darryl "Truck" Bryant and Kevin Parrom at St.Raymond's, staying home and competing at St.John's, transferring to Kansas State, and taking his talents overseas to countries like Slovakia and Hong Kong. But more importantly, Omari remembers all the lessons he's learned during those times, and has no problem living with some regrets. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

66 MINFEB 16
Comments
A TRUE GENTLEMAN | Omari Lawrence
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