Twins tower over the competition

first_imgKei Ana missed. But she kept trying. If her love for the game runs as deep as the first two generations of Hoods, there is a good chance she’ll become the third generation of females to play basketball, possibly at Glenn. NORWALK – Three-year-old Kei Ana Hood’s eyes lit up at the sight of a basketball inside the gym at Glenn High last Thursday night. The first thing she tried to do was dribble it after the Eagles’ practice let out. Her older sister Brandi, a power forward for Glenn, placed Kei Ana on her strong shoulders to take a couple shots at the hoop while Champign – Brandi’s fraternal twin – their mother La Tanya and grandmother Inez looked on to see if she could make a bucket. “All of my family is into basketball,” Champign said. “I can’t live without basketball. It’s such a part of my life.” In 1989, La Tanya played basketball for the Eagles, the same year she gave birth to Champign and Brandi. In those days, La Tanya was a 5-foot-7 center that helped lead Glenn to the Suburban League title and to the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Little did La Tanya know that Brandi and Champign, born on Oct. 7 1989, would one day grow to be 6-foot-1 and 6-0, respectively, and to become the dominate forces for the Eagles inside the paint. This season, Eagles coach Linda Para has utilized their size and strength to pound their way into a first-place tie with Cerritos in the league. And tonight, Glenn (21-4, 9-2) hosts Cerritos (17-7, 9-2) for the outright league crown. An Eagle victory would give Glenn its first outright crown since the early 1990s. center_img This year, Brandi is averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds while Champign’sis picking up 16 and 10. “When one of them is off offensively, the other one is on,” Para said. “Then, if they are both on the same day, it’s a great day. … You don’t really realize how strong they are until you go up against them. Sometimes they get offensive fouls called on them because referees are blown away by how far these girls can push other players off the block. “They are up there with the boys (in strength) in the weight room,” Para said. “I’ve tried to go against them and I’ve learned my lesson really quickly. They push each other really hard.” Both have drawn considerable interest from Chapman University and local junior colleges. The twins are also competitive in the classroom. Brandi sports a 3.7 GPA while Champign has a 3.1. “We were competitive,” Brandi said. “Champign was really a better basketball player than I was. That kept me playing, trying to get as good she was.” Then, everything changed. Three years ago, Champign had to undergo surgery on both her legs to correct her knock-knees and double joints. As incredible as it sounds, Champign could stand facing forward and point her legs and toes almost totally in the opposite direct. She can twist one leg like that these days. “That’s what messed up everything,” Brandi said. “I became a better player, and it kind of took away the competitive thing between us. But she is back and doing better than ever.” Today, Champign still struggles with knee problems, and it has taken some of her joy out of the game. At one point, she didn’t know if she truly wanted to play in college. “She doesn’t feel as though she is as quick as she once was before surgery,” La Tanya said. “We tell her that she can (improve her speed). She is still capable. I can’t pressure her to play. She is young. She should give it a try. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.” Champign said: “I sat out for like a year or so. My enthusiasm kind of fell after I had surgery. It took me out of basketball. I was into my studies and rehabilitating (my legs), trying to walk again. Those were my main goals. I had to learn how to walk again from scratch, getting those legs going. I wasn’t thinking about doing anything with a basketball yet. I knew I was going back to it soon or later.” La Tanya, a single mother who earned her AA degree in business and who has been a court services assistant III for seven years at the Compton Court House, delivered the twins two months premature. Champign arrived at 12:35 a.m., weighing 4 pounds, 3.5 ounces, and Brandi arrived a minute later, weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces. By the time they were age 9, La Tanya had signed her daughters up to play basketball through the Bellflower YMCA. Champign, who had a natural passion for the game, had to convince Brandi to play, and both have been forces in the paint since middle school. “Kids called Brandi `Shaq’ because she was so powerful,” La Tonya said. “(Today,) players know it’s like bumping into a wall when they go up against them. You bounce right off.” Earl Williams can be reached at [email protected] or (562) 499-1338. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Express draw Bright Stars in Uganda cup semis

first_imgExpress last won the Uganda Cup in 2007 (file photo)Stanbic Uganda Cup 2019Semi-finals-Kyetume Vs Proline – Nakisunga Ssaza Play ground-Bright Stars Vs Express– Champions Stadium, MwereweSemi-finals (1st Leg): 24th – 28th AprilSemi-finals (2nd Leg): 5th – 9th May    MENGO – Express FC will have to negotiate past fellow StarTimes Uganda Premier League side, Bright Stars if they are to play in the 2019 Uganda Cup finals.This was confirmed on Wednesday, April 10th, at the semi finals’ draw conducted at FUFA House in Mengo.Express who have not won the Cup since beating KCCA FC on penalties back in 2007 are craving for silverware especially after changing top management last year.The last time they won something was in 2012 when they won the Uganda Premier League, but 7 years down the road, it feels like ages ago.To get to this stage, Express eliminated Paidha (Bye), Police (penalties), Water (2-1) and Bul (1-0).It will not be the draw Express hoped for as Bright Stars is the only remaining top tier side with the other two (Kyetume and Proline), playing in the Big League.It is expected to be a tough tie for both sides as Bright Stars who have already eliminated Kazo Excel, URA FC, Bumate and Nebbi Central, are also eyeing a first ever Uganda Cup crown.The first leg of the tie will be played at the Betway Mutessa II Stadium in Wankulukuku between 24th and 28th of April while the return leg happens a week later in Mwerere.The other semifinal sees Kyetume take on fellow Big League side Proline.Kyetume will host Proline at Nakisunga Ssaza play ground in the first leg.Proline head coach Shafik Bisaso and Kyetume CEO Henry Kayondo were present to witness the draw first hand.“The draw is fair, said Bisaso after the draw.“Like the rules suggest, the winner with most goals will progress to the finals.“We shall give our best over the two legs.To get here, Kyetume eliminated Wakiso Giants on penalties while Proline defeated Vipers 2-1 at Lugogo.The venue for final of this year’s Stanbic Uganda Cup has been confirmed as Masaka Recreational Stadium, hosted by Buganda Region.Comments Tags: bright starsExpress FCKyetume FCproline fcShafick BisasotopUganda Cuplast_img read more