#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT WILLIS REED & GRAMBLING

Grambition was able to catch up with NBA and Grambling Legends Hall of Famer Willis Reed and chop it up with him as he talked about his days at Grambling. Check out the interview and find out why twenty-six cents held him down during college, why he chose Grambling, what Fred Hobdy meant to him, the influence Collie J. Nicholson had on exposing the world to Grambling, and much more. #GRAMbition

#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT CHRISTOPHER DUPREE & THE LOUIE BEAR PROJECT

Every now and then you may come across someone who is concerned about the trash laying round on the street or those empty coke bottles sitting right in front of a trash can. Recycling is almost non-existent and extinct to the most common human. But for Grambling native and Alumnus Christopher Dupree he saw a problem that was on life support and he feels he is the one to breathe new life back into it.  Grambition: What are your ties and/or affiliations to Grambling? Chris Dupree: I have deep ties to Grambling. My family is pretty much from the Arcadia, Simsboro, and Grambling area. My father was a stand out baseball athlete at GSU, my mother graduated and taught at GSU, my cousin is the city councilwoman, so I grew up in the Grambling culture. All but 6th & 7th grade were spent at a Grambling school; GSU Nursery, AJB, GMMS, GHS, & GSU!! In high school I was a 3 sport athlete basketball, baseball, and track. My senior year we made it to the Top 28 in basketball and I was apart of the State Runner Up track team running the 4×4. In college I earned my Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology and pledged Kappa Alpha Psi. I also met my wife at GSU so I’m pretty much a LOCAL, my family still remains deeply tied to Grambling. Grambition: Good deal. Why did you choose this particular idea or project you are engaged in?  CD: I chose to focus my projects’ agenda towards anti littering/recycling awareness because it is a lost topic especially in communities of color. I wanted to help create a narrative that went against the advertised torn down black community. The Louie Bear Project allows me to positively affect change in areas throughout the state with the goal of creating a brighter future through green practices. We not only want to educate everyone about recycling but also display why this benefits us. It keeps our communities clean, brings our communities together, and it helps reduce our ecological footprint on the world. Grambition: That is a good look there. What inspired “Louie Bear” and why “Louie Bear”? CD:  I was inspired by my peers who I would talk to and still talk to about making a difference in our communities. I knew I wanted to do something more than keep our children off the street, but also give them something to do and be proud about besides sports. One day after work I noticed a 2 liter bottle just sitting in the road of my apartment complex and wondered who would even do that. And although I was not living in Louisiana at the time I knew Louisiana was facing the same issue. So I had my cause but didn’t know how I was going to positively affect this change so I googled the benefits of recycling. In doing that I found out about the United States low recycling rates but also the many things that could come from recycled material like notebooks, pen, pencil, and even clothes. All that was great but how was I going to present this to students, then I remembered D.A.R.E. and how they would come to our school talking about Just Say No and then I realized that was how I wanted to present my project. From there I just needed my mascot. My line brother would do a painting of Kanye West’s Dropout bear with his own twist. I saw that and thought it was pretty dope so I tweaked my version and Louie was born. Louie is short for Louisiana and I added the bear similar to Smokey the Bear since I wanted Louie to be public service figure as well. Two years later The Louie Bear Project is an official Louisiana nonprofit. Just last year The Louie Bear Project was awarded the Health Community Grant awarded by Keep Louisiana Beautiful but due to the lack of recycling resources in the area, the grant was withdrawn. Currently we are looking to partner with area schools and groups to bring more awareness to our platform. Grambition: That’s dope. Being that many are either unaware or don’t care about recycling, what are some future plans you have for the Louie Bear Project? CD: My future plans for The Louie Bear Project include; hosting an annual Back 2 School Drive in the G and statewide, visiting schools throughout the state raising awareness, hosting community clean up events, and updating area parks that have seen better days. The Louie Bear Project is a dope concept. It’s even better that it is headed by one of Grambling’s own. You want to get down with something so positive or find out more information about this blossoming project, visit one of Louie Bear’s social media pages or hit him by email. #GRAMbition @louiebearproject (Instagram) The Louie Bear Project (Facebook) www.thelouiebearproject.org (Website) greenlouiebear@gmail.com (Email)       

#GRAMbitionTHROWBACK #42 ANTONIO HUDSON, GRAMBLING LAB

If you were in Grambling from 1997-2001, it’s a pretty good chance you got to witness former Grambling Lab star Antonio Hudson. Hudson wreak havoc on opposing teams. He earned All-State honors, Player of the Year and many more accolades during his time there.  Ultimately, Hudson went on to play for Louisiana State University after averaging a triple-double his Senior year. He averaged 30 pts, 12 reb, 10 ast.  Hudson put up monster numbers during his time at the Lab. Hudson was blessed to be able to play under Hall of Fame Coach Michael Lyons. Archived Footage of Hudson playing at Grambling Lab has seemed to surface and Grambition has the exclusive highlights right here. Feeling a little nostalgic? Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the footage below.  #GRAMbition

#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT ANTHONY T. MITCHELL AND HIS FAMILY EMPIRE

Anthony T. Mitchell, also known as Blakcard ATM was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on October 10, 1984 to become an entertainer, motivational speaker, and most importantly an entrepreneur. Blakcard ATM and his family moved to his mother’s hometown of Grambling, La. at the age of 7. At Alma J. Brown Elementary, Blakcard was introduced to music in the first grade, and from there he has loved music and entertainment ever since. Blakcard attended Grambling school from 1st grade though out college. Performing and speaking in front of large crowds has become a full-time profession among other services.  As a kid growing up in Grambling, Louisiana, ATM worked with my grandfather cutting grass, building, and working in the garden. During this time of his life he learned about hard work and self employment. By the age of ten, he had drawn up his first business plan and began making money ironing clothes for the elders in his home. Finding a love for basketball and playing under the direction of Michael Lyons at Grambling High School further solidified his need for a motivated work environment.  Blakcard ATM moved to Lake Charles, La in 2006. There he met his wife Santana Mitchell. Being self-employed was always a lifelong dream of the Grambling resident. Having the love for music and arts, photography and videography was an easy learn. As a husband and wife duo their company Faces of Fantasy Photography LLC., is among the premier companies for photography and videography. Faces of Fantasy Photography lives by the motto #smileforever, where their job is to capture the moments that will always make you smile. Once Faces of Fantasy was up and running and Blakcard ATM was still creating music and performing, but saw there wasn’t a local market for urban musicians to gain maximum exposure.      Business Links: http://www.billboardgang.com/ http://www.fofantasy.com/ http://www.blakcardatm.com/    Contact the Empire: instagram.com/blakcardatm Facebook.com/blakcardatm Twitter.com/blakcardatmInstagram.com/billboardgangmag Facebook.com/billboardgangmagazine Email: Billboardgang@gmail.com   Twitter.com/billboardgang (929)322-4880 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.BillboardGang https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/billboardgang-magazine/id1195629583?mt=8

GRAMBLING’S SINGING BAE: BLYTHE DENNIS

When people mention Grambling and Music, the first thing that may come to mind is The World Famed. That is great because the World Famed is legendary. But you may soon want to get familiar with Blythe Dennis if you haven’t already. Blythe’s soulful voice and those melodic tones will have you out here picking berries with a robe on and candles lit on the porch.  Blythe is from Grambling. She attended the lab schools and is a PROUD graduate of Grambling State University. When Grambition.com asked Blythe why she chose singing as her profession she responded, “I have always enjoyed music. One of the first gifts I remember receiving was a stereo from my parents. I would listen to it all the time. I’d even make my own recordings by plugging the headphones into the microphone plug! Even as a child, there was no question what I would be when I grew up. I always knew music was in my future.” Blythe decide to show the world how serious she was when she released “Blythe Dennis:Covers Vol.1” in 2013. She covered some of her favorite artist such as Corrine Bailey Rae. She then followed that with an original debut titled “Many are Called” in 2014. Blythe is so soulful I could not listen to those projects without the lights dim and the fireplace lit sipping red wine out of a coffee mug. Blythe continued to drop covers for some of her favorite artist over the next few years to build up the anticipation of her 2017 release of “The HeartBreak EP”. This EP is so soothing. I mean more than likely you can relate to a lot of what she is saying. See with this one you might be cleaning your house and begin to say that you don’t need no man or woman for anything. This project is nonetheless amazing. “This year for me is all about branding. I plan to pub my album to the max of course! Visuals for The Heartbreak EP are definitely in the works. I’m also in the process of writing songs for another album to be released later this year so be on the lookout for that. I’m also in the process of revamping my #MusicMonday segment on IG and Facebook. So it’s safe to say that I’m working overtime!” Well Blythe we see the grind and we are here to support you and your journey. Sky is the limit for you. #GRAMbition You want to get in touch with Blythe, try any one of these: Email: blythe.promo@gmail.com IG: @manyarecalled Twitter: @blythedennis Facebook: Blythe Dennis Download “The HeartBreak EP” here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-heartbreak-ep/id1227485321 https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/blythedennis https://www.amazon.com/Heartbreak-EP-Blythe-Dennis/dp/B071YCGWWK/ref=pd_zg_rss_ms_dmusic_digital-music-album_4 https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Blythe_Dennis_The_Heartbreak_EP?id=Bmdcx4bwq4vqgaebigc622echpm&hl=en Download “Covers Vol. 1” here: http://www.datpiff.com/Blythe-Dennis-Covers-Vol-1-mixtape.455174.html Download “Many Are Called” here: http://www.datpiff.com/Blythe-Dennis-Many-Are-Called-mixtape.586819.html

#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT SENIOR CHAD WILLIAMS

Grambling has always been known to send players to the NFL. Whether drafted or undrafted they get there. Well Senior wide receiver Chad Williams has officially joined an elite list of players to get drafted. With the 98th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Williams. The pick is Grambling’s first selection since Jason Hatcher went 92nd in 2006. Williams finished this season with 90 receptions for 1,337 yards and 11 touchdowns. He ended his career at Grambling with 210 receptions for 3,062 yards and 28 touchdowns.   Welcome home, Mr. Williams!@go_10_ is now a member of your #AZCardinals! READ: https://t.co/V4Ql98Ew4j pic.twitter.com/2Z5PHDcZqN — Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 29, 2017   Congrats to our very own Chad Williams for being drafted by the @AZCardinals in the 3rd round of the 2017 @NFL Draft!!! #GramFam pic.twitter.com/WjPekVsGcr — GSU Athletics (@GSU_TIGERS) April 29, 2017 .@MikeLeach82 with the announcement. @go_10_ with the new home. #CardsDraft pic.twitter.com/WgMdGuU2Ds — Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 29, 2017 😎 @go_10_ 😎 pic.twitter.com/5lMUObzwXg — Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 29, 2017

#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT THE RODGERS’ LAW FIRM, L.L.C

Grambling’s gems lie notoriously in two things: football and it’s marching band represented by the Grambling State University itself. But Grambling has hidden gems in the numerous graduates GSU has given birth to over the course of, well it’s existence. Those diamonds in the rough come from the coals pressurized by academic challenges and social development existent on the campus. Some coals become shining diamonds valued by an entire global society. Other pieces remain needing more time and high temperatures while others never come under pressure. That is not the case with Kelvin Rodgers, an entrepreneur in his own right operating Rodger’s Law Firm, L.L.C. Kelvin is a 2005 GSU graduate majoring in Criminal Justice later attending Southern  University Law School achieving his masters in criminal law in 2009.   However, that wasn’t the crowning achievement in his law journey: Kelvin attained a “one-hitter quitter” on the Louisiana Bar exam acing it on the first try that same year getting his masters! This swung the door open not just for his foot, but entire body to enter into his career. Grambition hollas at Kelvin to recognize the come-up and inspire someone (specifically Grambling grads since this is Grambition) interested in a career in law, but do not know where to begin.    What does your law firm specialize in? We practice Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Family Law. And your practice began at where on the timeline? In January 2016, I left the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office and started The Rodgers’ Law Firm.  I felt that it was time to serve my community and state in a different capacity. Nice! That’s what’s up. Let’s be loud a bit with your humble beginnings. Where did you get your first start after passing the Louisiana Bar? I began my legal career in November 2009 as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Ramona Emanuel of the First Judicial District Court in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I clerked for Judge Emanuel for nine months before being hired as an Assistant District Attorney in Caddo Parish in August 2010.  As an Assistant District Attorney I prosecuted various types of crimes including murder, rape, molestation of juveniles, and armed robbery. Why did you choose to attend GSU? I began my studies at Grambling State University in August 2002 and graduated in December 2005.  I chose Grambling because my father and a plethora of other successful individuals that I knew were graduates of Grambling.  Also, my major was criminal justice and Grambling had a great criminal justice program. What were the reasons for becoming a lawyer? Is that a “When I grow up” story? What led you to the decision for this profession? I chose to become a lawyer for two reasons.  The first reason is because my grandmother told me that I could become a lawyer and that I would be good at it.  That was more than enough motivation for me because I always wanted to make her proud.   The second reason is after looking at the criminal justice system, I realized that the criminal justice system has flaws that needs to be fixed.  I was able to see that African Americans, especially men, are incarcerated at an alarmingly disproportionate rate.  Therefore, I chose to join in the fight to fix the system. What is the immediate future looking like for your Law Firm? Next on the horizon for The Rodgers’ Law Firm is expansion.  Currently I am only licensed to practice in Louisiana, however, I plan to be able to practice in Texas by the end of this year. At Grambition, we want to commercialize local businesses, whatever we can do to serve people, even if it’s not here in the “G.” How can people look you up? If you would like to contact The Rodgers’ Law Firm, I can be reached as follows: Phone: (318) 245-2956 Fax: (318) 404-1598 Email: therodgerslawfirm@gmail.com Mail: P.O. Box 1371 Shreveport, LA 71164 Any final remarks, expressions, thoughts you would like to leave our readers with? One question that I’m always asked is, “When it comes to the Bayou Classic, which team do you cheer for since you went to Grambling and Southern?”  The answer is the same every time and without hesitation, “I cheer for Grambling. I received my law degree from Southern, but a law degree is worthless without a solid foundation. Grambling State University gave me the foundation needed to succeed.”  

#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT THE PAUL MILLSAP STORY PART 1 & 2

Paul Millsap is a name that has become known around the NBA. Well Patrick Clay helped give us some understanding of Millsap’s growth. Grambition.com would like to salute Patrick Clay over at KNOE for an amazing piece on Grambling’s own Paul Millsap. There isn’t much needed to be typed. The links  are below. Check out this amazing story. #GRAMbition PAUL MILLSAP STORY PART 1:  http://www.knoe.com/content/news/A-Hometown-All-Star-The-Paul-Millsap-Story-Part-One-414223743.html PAUL MILLSAP STORY PART 2: http://www.knoe.com/content/news/A-Hometown-All-Star-The-Paul-Millsap-Story-Part-Two-414365073.html

#GRAMbitionSPOTLIGHT TYLAN DEAN MR. 2000

When you think of Grambling Lab Basketball, you think of quite a few names that stand out immediately. Well current senior guard Tylan Dean looks to add his name to that list. Dean has broken 2,000 points for his high school career. Dean who has played for Grambling Lab/Lincoln Prep has been a consistent scorer for four years.  “It’s an amazing feeling like no other. It doesn’t feel real(laughs). It’s crazy because I have the chance to score more during the playoffs! I just got to thank God for everything. It’s a great feeling.” said Dean. Dean is a three year starter but earned some starting time as a freshmen as well. He has averaged 19 points a game or better as a starter. He is an All-District and All-State player and will more than likely be MVP this season. Tylan Dean may not get the recognition he deserves but here at GRAMbition.com we recognize real. All in for 10. Dean for 3. #GRAMbition #TD2K Take a look at what started it all for Dean, his freshmen year highlights: Check out his sophomore and junior year highlights: Check out the final buckets that led to Dean breaking 2,000 points: