21 is a podcast created by Drew Lasker and Yvonne Harris to share more about the high and lows, both on and off the court, of being an athlete. Join Drew and Yvonne as they explore the powerful connections between life and sports, told by the athletes who have lived it.
On this segment of 21, we talk with Former Army Specialist Robert Soto. Robert was featured in Pulitzer Prize Winner CJ Shivers’ book, The Fighters: Americans in Combat. The Boston Globe says, “The Fighters” is a “gripping, unforgettable” portrait of modern warfare.”
Like so many of us, the tragic events of September 11, 2001, changed Robert’s life. As a native of the Bronx, Robert lived in close proximity to the terrorist attacks on New York City. What he witnessed and experienced in the aftermath of that day propelled him into military service.
Robert discusses the process to enlist in the Army, his impressions of training, and how he prepared for deployment. He describes some of his most powerful memories of combat, illustrates the countries and people where he served, and pays homage to a fallen comrade.
Robert is now retired from the Army and is pursuing a career in music. As a special addition to this podcast, we feature a track of Robert’s music.
The TrainHarder21 family thanks Robert for his service to our country, and we extend our gratitude to all in our armed forces who have fought to protect our freedom.
Happy Independence Holiday! Enjoy this episode of 21!
On this segment of 21, we talk with Maggie Pierce. Maggie is a special member of the TrainHarder 21 family. She is T21H’s longest running client. Drew has watched her develop from a novice basketball player into a skilled baller with a competitive fire.
Like millions of high school seniors across the globe, Maggie is experiencing a year like none other with modified graduations, proms, and college plans still in limbo.
Listen as we learn about Maggie’s development through the T21H program (while rocking out to Taylor Swift!), and how she maintains a positive attitude during these anything-but-normal times. And while Drew was coaching Maggie in basketball, Maggie taught him a few of her traditional Irish dance moves!
Enjoy this episode of 21!
“To the world you are a dad. To our family you are the world.”
At 21, we work hard and play even harder. To get to know our guests better, we have created 21 Questions with 21. This is like the game many of us grew up with, but with a new twist on the questions.
This is a special edition of 21 Questions with 21 in celebration of Father’s Day! We love our Dads, and all the wonderful men who show up in our lives as Dads, Uncles, Cousins, Role Models, Coaches and Confidants.
We played 21 Questions with 21 with a few of the Dads who have supported our podcast. Listen to the speed rounds with Rod Watson , Adam Hall, Dexter Pittman, and 21 Co-Host, Drew Lasker.
We encourage you to play a round of 21 Questions with 21 with your Dad this weekend. If you have not purchased a Father’s Day gift yet, his responses may give you some cool ideas!
You can play 21 Questions with 21 with your family, friends, coaches and players. As always, we are open to your suggestions. Send us your recommended questions via email or social media; we will mix things up in the weeks to come.
Enjoy this episode of 21!
***Episode Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to the background music used for this segment. The musical underlay for this episode features 21 Questions by artist 50 Cent, featuring Nate Dogg, from the album Get Rich or Die Tryin.***
On this segment of 21, we talk with Alison Gorrell.
One of the purposes for 21 is to educate student athletes about careers that can come from sports, even if you are not playing. Alison is a wonderful example of the possibilities!
Allison’s journey with basketball started in Colorado and has taken her too many exciting places throughout the world.
She attended Florida Atlantic University, was captain of the women’s basketball team and earned a BA in Journalism with a minor in Economics.
While at FAU, a meeting with her advisor transformed Allison’s post-graduate focus. Allison’s advisor connected her to Northumbria University in the UK, where she continued in the role as captain of the women’s basketball team and focused her studies on a MS in Sports Psychology.
Listen to learn how Alison has continued to use her network to land some unique gigs. Our talk with Alison reminded us of a few things:
1) It is not who you know, but who knows you.
2) It is never too early, or too late, to focus on building your network.
3) When opportunity knocks, open the door and take a leap of faith.
4) Trust the process.
Enjoy this episode of 21!
As hosts of the podcast, 21, we share the grief, sadness, and outrage felt by so many in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death. We condemn all acts of violence and racism, and we lend our support to those who demand change by peaceful and productive means.
One of the objectives of the 21 podcast is to equip student athletes with knowledge and life lessons that extend beyond the court. We explore the powerful connections between sports, society, business, and everyday life.
In light of these recent painful events, we will devote podcasts to conversations about racism in our country, and how sports can serve as a place for respect and unity. We will talk with players, coaches, educators, and parents about their experiences with racial biases in an effort to garner tangible actions that can help us all become more inclusive leaders on and off the court.
In this episode, we talk with Coach Matt Logie and Michael Ojo to discuss the impact of George Floyd’s death and what coaches and players can do in order to pave a positive path forward.
Matt is the Head Basketball Coach at Point Loma Nazarene University. Prior to joining PLNU, Matt was a three-time NWC Coach of the Year and a two-time finalist for the Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year Award.
Mike is a decorated professional basketball player whose love for the game has positioned him to see the world. Mike has played professionally in the UK, Spain, Austria, Cyprus and the Nigerian national team.
21 will lend our microphone to these crucial conversations for as long as it takes finally see healing in race relations. All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.
On this segment of 21, we talk with Adenike “Nike” Charles. Nike is a former high school and college basketball phenom who calls Toronto home. While many players can remember when they fell in love with basketball, for Nike, the sport was the impetus for her to start to love herself. Basketball allowed Nike to release the negative labels given to her by others and empowered her to create her own ideals and life narrative.
After tragic death of her high school boyfriend to violence, Nike move to the US to play college basketball. Nike and Drew became fast friends, both sharing tremendous work ethics and desires to help their teams win.
Nike earned a degree in kinesiology and has established a successful career as a corporate manager.
Nike’s true passion for helping others is evident in her business, Just2Sweat. The motto of Just2Sweat is, ‘where faith and fitness transform lives.’ Nike invests in each client, helping them to achieve greater physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. In this season of her life, Nike states, “My well is full, and I can always pour out to others.”
On this segment of 21, we talk with Ciara Carl. Ciara will soon begin her 8th season as the Assistant Coach for the San Diego State University Women’s Basketball Team.
Ciara and Drew have been friends since their basketball days at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) where Ciara established records for 647 assists 277 steals, while leading her team to 3 trips to the NAIA
tournament and a Final Four appearance.
As a coach, Ciara instills her champion mindset with her players and actively recruits student athletes with skills on the court and integrity off the court.
Ciara flexes her philanthropic muscle through her with her nonprofit, Unchained, which has the mission to touch young lives and bring hope for those who have dreams. Unchained supports children impacted
Ciara still has game, and she would welcome a 1-on-1 match up with NBA Allstar Damian Lillard!
On this segment of 21, we talk with Dexter Pittman. Dexter is an NBA Champion who came from humble beginnings. Growing up, Dexter’s sport of choice was football until a conversation with his Dad shifted his focus to basketball.
Dexter acknowledges how blessed he is to have played with and against some of the biggest names in the NBA today, while also appreciating the opportunity to play overseas.
A native of Rosenberg, Texas, Dexter is an unexpected hometown hero who actively seeks ways to give back to his community and pay it forward to other children growing up on the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’
Dexter was one of the NBA’s ‘big men,’ with an even bigger heart!
Connect with Dexter on social media.
Enjoy this episode of 21!
On this segment of 21, you’ll meet Adam Hall.
Adam was a beloved basketball star at both Katy High School (Texas) and the University of Virginia, who has enjoyed a long and celebrated international basketball career.
Adam keeps it real about the twists and turns of his path, and how he pressed forward regardless of his circumstances…all for the love of the game.