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21 Podcast

21 Podcast

By 21 Media
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.
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21 Talks with Moochie Norris, Retired 12-Year NBA Proffesional

21 Podcast

21 Talks with Moochie Norris, Retired 12-Year NBA Proffesional

21 Podcast

21 Talks with Ex European Basketball Star, Troy Sledge
On this segment of 21, we talk with Troy “TJ” Sledge, one of Drew’s former college teammates. Troy grew up in Brooklyn where his love for the game was fortified by the electric basketball atmosphere of New York City, centered around the famed Holcombe Rucker Park, The Rucker, in Harlem. Troy shares some of his fondest memories play youth basketball, and those early mentors who impacted his life. (Shout out to Heather Brown!) Like so many young athletes, Troy was a basketball superstar who saw the game as a vehicle for his life dreams. And like many young athletes, Troy did not receive the proper guidance to understand the importance of grades and standardized tests in making the sports dream a reality. In Texas, we call it ‘No pass, no play.’ Troy’s journey took a different turn when he did not meet the academic requirements to attend certain colleges. However, on 21 we believe that everything that happens for a reason, and great things happen to great people. Both are true for Troy! Troy left NYC to play college ball in California, then he has a successful professional career overseas. Troy describes how his professional career ended abruptly and that it took him almost 7 years for settle on his next career move. This is not uncommon for professional athletes; most just don’t speak openly about it. Troy’s transparency, his realness is a gift. He is wise beyond his years and now devotes his time to his family and sharing his gifts and lessons with others. Enjoy this episode of 21!
September 25, 2020
21 Talk with Vince Gilreath, Sports Performance Coach
On this segment of 21, we talk with Vince Gilreath. One of the purposes for 21 is to educate student athletes about careers that relate to sports, even if you are not playing.  Vince is an amazing testament to making that a reality! Vince is from Houston, Texas, and hails from Clements High School (Go Rangers!). He was a track star at Texas State University and a dedicated student.  Vince majored in kinesiology, which is not an easy major for someone who is a dedicated athlete!  Vince, however, does not focus on what is easy; he does what is needed to manifest the best results.  This is the same approach that he has with his clients. Vince parlayed his passion for exercise, smart eating, and lifestyle healthy into building a prosperous physical training business. Vince now works with some well-known athletes who are at the top of their games. With his clients, Vince shares his expertise on how to work out most efficiently (smarter, not harder). What Vince appreciates most is his work with young athletes.  He understands the importance of instilling young athletes with knowledge on how leverage exercise and diet to bring forth their best, inner athlete. Just listening to Vince will inspire you to put down that cheeseburger and go for a run!  It is never too late (or too early) to get into your best shape. Enjoy this episode of 21!
September 17, 2020
Tim Derksen's Clutch Shot, Leading the Charge for American Athletes Abroad to Cast Their Votes
On this special edition of 21, Tim Derksen issues a call to action for American athletes playing abroad:  VOTE in this current election cycle! Tim hails from Tucson, Arizona, where he was the Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year in high school.  While playing college basketball for the University of San Francisco, Tim was honored as WCC All-Freshman Team and WCC All-Conference Second Team. Tim currently plays in Switzerland for the Les Lions de Geneve and he is using his platform to galvanize American athletes playing overseas to vote.  As you listen to Tim, you can hear his real passion for his reasons for voting, and he is sharing his ‘fire’ via social media with other athletes and professionals living abroad. Tim cites as a primary resource for Americans living overseas who wish cast their vote in the US elections.  Share this website and this podcast with everyone you know playing sports and living overseas. Quick action is needed!  September 21, 2020, is the deadline for Americans living outside of the country to cast their votes for the current presidential election. Enjoy this episode of 21, then VOTE!
September 10, 2020
21 Talks with Andre Jones, European Basketball Professional
On this segment of 21, you’ll meet Andre Jones. Andre is a basketball star who hails from Suffolk, Virginia, which is a part of the Hampton Roads area.  (For the sports buffs, Hampton Roads has been the source of top athletic talent, including Allen Iverson and Michael Vick, for starters.) Andre epitomizes the pro athlete whose path was not what he thought it would be, but the trials he went through make him so much more appreciative of the success he currently experiences. Andre was a star basketball player at Nansemond River High School.  He was highly recruited by well-known colleges until he was sidelined by an injury.  Once the dust settled and he healed from his injury, the big-name schools were no longer vying for him.  He decided to attend Winthrop University where he soon learned that he was not the big fish in the smaller pond.  And while he excelled at Winthrop, he also gained an appreciation for the tremendous talent of other basketball players who may not have had the same name recognition in high school. When Andre graduated from college, he did not immediately go into the pros as he had always dreamed.  Before receiving the opportunity to play professionally, Andre worked for a non-profit organization whose work centered around children.  What may have seemed like a dream deferred, was really Andre’s training ground for lessons of humility and gratitude. Today, Andre enjoys a career and personal life that he never imagined.  As we settled in our recording with Andre, he shared with us how wonderfully humbling it is for him to travel places, and people recognize him and want to meet him.  And for the #boymoms listening to this podcast, Andre shares how he wished he would have waited a little later in life before making dating a priority.  Such powerful advice our young sons need to hear today!!! As you listen to this podcast, we are sure you will agree that Andre’s greatest life chapters are still ahead of him....and we look forward to seeing all that he has yet to accomplish.  We thank Andre for his candor, authenticity, and transparency. Everyone will be able to relate to some part of his journey.
September 4, 2020
21 Talks with 'Your Favorite CPA' Eric Pierre, Owner of Pierre Accounting
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” - Oprah Winfrey On this segment of 21, we talk with Eric Pierre. 21 loves to highlight careers that link to sports, even if you are not playing.  To that end, Eric is an athlete turned CPA who has both accounting and basketball in his DNA. Listen as Eric discusses his college days at Stephen F. Austin State University, and how a pivotal decision towards the end of his collegiate career established the trajectory and direction of his professional path.  The lesson captured in this moment is a powerful reminder to ask for what you want! The basketball bug bit Eric again while he was establishing a very successful business career.  He took a brief detour, and then decided that his purpose is to serve his clients by supporting and helping to grow their businesses.  And by being true to purpose, Eric now leads Pierre Accounting a successful practice with offices in California and Texas. Enjoy this episode of 21!
August 27, 2020
21 Talks with Niya Blair Hackworth, Director of Inclusion for the NCAA
“Always Remember That Striving and Struggle Precede Success, Even in The Dictionary." - Sarah Ban Breathnach On this segment of 21, we talk with Niya Blair Hackworth, Director of Inclusion for the National College Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA office of inclusion advances diversity, equity and inclusion in college athletics for over 1,100 member schools and athletic conferences. The office supports student-athletes and individuals who teach and lead across the core areas of disability, international, LGBTQ, race/ethnicity and women. In her role, Niya leads, partners and assists in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) related initiatives, focusing on race and ethnicity and student-athletes with disabilities. Prior to joining the NCAA in 2019, Niya worked for Louisiana State University, Arkansas State University, and the University of Houston. On 21, we like to highlight sports-related careers that may not involve being a professional athlete. Niya has established her a brand as a stalwart in the D&I professional circles with a specific focus on driving strategic initiatives at universities. In this episode, Niya discusses the impact that COVID-19 and the recent racial tensions has had on NCAA sports. She also shares sage career advice for women (athletes or not) who are determined to make things happen in their career. And when asked about her playlist, Niya shares that she is rocking out with a R&B singer who is making a comeback. Enjoy this episode of 21!
August 21, 2020
21 Talks with Jermaal Taylor, Professional Illustrator
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” - Unknown On this segment of 21, we talk with Jermaal Taylor. Jermaal and Drew have been friends since their days at Katy High School. As a young child, Jermaal found his calling through art. He leaned into his artistic talent not only to create visually beautiful works, but as an outlet for expression. The 21 team will let you in on a little secret. When we record our podcasts, we do so via Zoom with cameras on, although we only release the audio version. So, when we recorded with Jermaal, we were excited to see some of his latest works. His subjects include athletes, religious and world leaders, actors and recording artists…notably Houston music legend, DJ Screw. Jermaal’s unique style and depiction of his subjects has garnered him a strong fan base, which continues to grow. His work is available on canvas and clothing at this website, Our time with Jermaal reminded us about the importance of being true to our own unique purpose. Running our own race. Jermaal does just that as he positively impacts the lives of others through his talented artistry. Enjoy this episode of 21!
August 14, 2020
21 Talks with Mike Niemi, Paetow High School Head Basketball Coach
"Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters."--John Wooden On this segment of 21, we talk with Coach Michael Niemi.  Mike is the Head Basketball Coach at Paetow High School in Katy, Texas.  Mike loves basketball but has never been one to relish the limelight.  His success at Katy High School (which is also where Drew played) paved the path for Mike to play college basketball at Southern Methodist University (SMU).  While at SMU, Mike made basketball his priority while also focusing on his appreciation for Fine Arts. (How many basketball players can you say that about?) Post college, Mike knew that he wanted to coach the game, but his career path was not as easy as he thought it would be.  Mike became discouraged when he was overlooked for head coaching opportunities, and he decided to leave coaching for a profession that paid more and provided a more predictable schedule.  It wasn’t long, however, before Mike decided that his life’s purpose and passion are tied to basketball.  Within a short time, he returned to coaching and it wasn’t long before he received the head coaching position he had always wanted.  For Mike, coaching is not a job.  It’s his calling.  He considers his players and their families are a part of his extended family. Listen as Mike discusses the highs and lows of coaching, and how COVID-19 and the renewed focus on race relations may impact how he coaches and leads his players. Enjoy this episode of 21!
August 6, 2020
21 Talks with Moochie Norris, Retired 12-Year NBA Proffesional
“Create the moment.”  On this segment of 21, we talk with Martyn Bernard “Moochie” Norris. Moochie grew up in Washington D.C., and while he enjoyed basketball, he did not become serious about the sport until his last 2 years in high school. Moochie’s college basketball career led him to Texas, Alabama and Florida, which eventually set the stage for him being drafted into the NBA in 1996 in the 2nd Round, as the 33rd pick overall.  As a point of reference, the 1996 NBA Draft Class is considered by many to be the most talented class in draft history as it included: Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, and Kobe Bryant. Moochie’s professional career spanned 12 years, and included affiliations with the Houston Rockets, Seattle Supersonics, and the New York Knicks.  And for our bobblehead aficionados, Moochie is a part of an elite group of NBA players to have his own bobblehead figurine! Listening to Moochie, you are reminded of the importance of being fully present, living in the moment, and pivoting quickly when faced with potential setbacks. In this current season, Moochie coaches young basketball players who view him as a role model.  He enjoys teaching the next generation and brings his high energy and trademark sense of humor to his coaching methodology. We are blessed to know Moochie and thank him for sharing his story and supporting our podcast. Enjoy this episode of 21!
July 30, 2020
21 Talks with Elizabeth Lloyd, A Woman Who is Rocking' It, Houston Rockets Group Sales Account Executive
There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” – Author Unknown On this segment of 21, we talk with Elizabeth Lloyd, Group Sales Account Executive with the Houston Rockets. On 21 we like to highlight career opportunities that are related to sports even if you are not a professional athlete.  Elizabeth is a super example of someone who has navigated a career within sports management/operations. Elizabeth grew up around athletes and sports, and while attending Texas Southern University she was inspired to connect her degree in Communication and Public Relations to a job with a professional sports team. In her position with the Houston Rockets, Elizabeth manages client relationships with corporations and other large groups.  She puts the needs of her clients first; always delivering a first-class experience on game day. Elizabeth will be the first to tell you that a job with a professional sports team is not about “glitz & glam,” but is one that requires a lot of hard work and long hours. Elizabeth’s success is the result of her grit, willingness to network, and ability to understand that sometimes hearing ‘no’ is part of the game. She is tough as nails in a field that is still largely male-dominated, and she serves as a role model for other women who are starting their careers in sports and entertainment. Elizabeth’s favorite role is that of Mom to her children.  She is also a leader in our community through her volunteer efforts, and she serves as an Executive Advisory Board Member for the NBA Retired Players Association in Houston. Elizabeth rocks!!! Enjoy this episode of 21!
July 23, 2020
21 Talks with Ant Martin, Former International Basketball Pro
On this segment of 21, we talk with Anthony “Ant” Martin. Ant grew up in New York City and has had a life-long love for basketball. Ant played at the legendary Holcombe Rucker Park, The Rucker, in Harlem. Basketball served as a means for Ant to leave New York and move to Texas to play college basketball. The lessons he learned during his years playing college basketball are still powerful teachings today. Ant valued friendship over sports and fought his way through injuries when many would have given up hope. We had so much fun talking with Ant.  His powerful storytelling draws you in; you can visualize his experiences in the way that he describes them…almost like watching a movie. And sticking with that comparison, Ant’s movie is in some ways like a fusion of The Real Rucker Park Legends and Love & Basketball. Ant currently lives in Rosharon, Texas, with his wife and kids. Enjoy this episode of 21!
July 16, 2020
21 Talks BLM with Sonya Pitcaithly & April McCullar
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”– James Baldwin While one of the objectives of 21 is to equip student athletes with knowledge and life lessons that extend beyond the court, we also understand that our podcast will serve as a platform to discuss relevant, and sometimes difficult societal topics. In response to the recent death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, we previously talked with Coach Matt Nogie and Mike Ojo about what coaches and players can do pave a positive path forward. In this episode, listen as we talk to April McCullar and Sonya Pitcaithly, both moms to 11-year-old sons who love basketball. Like so many parents, April and Sonya are trying to process the events surrounding George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement, while grappling with how to discuss issues of race with their children. We thank April and Sonya for their willingness to share their thoughts on this forum. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to combating racism, but we also know that change cannot happen without courageous conversations, active listening, and an innate belief in the power of universal goodness. 21 will continue to lend our microphone to these crucial conversations for as long as it takes to finally see much needed healing in race relations.  All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter
July 10, 2020
21 Recognizes the Independence Holiday and Talks with Former Army Specialist Robert Soto
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!
July 1, 2020
21 Talks with Maggie Pierce, 2020 High School Graduate & T21H Athlete
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!
June 24, 2020
21 Celebrates Father’s Day with a special edition of 21 Questions with 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.***
June 19, 2020
21 Talks with Alison Gorrell, Basketball player and Mental Performance Coach
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!
June 12, 2020
21 Talks with BLM with Coach Matt Logie & Pro player Mike Ojo
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.
June 8, 2020
21 Talks with Nike Charles, Just2Sweat Founder
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.”
June 5, 2020
21 Talks with Ciara Carl, San Diego State Assistant Basketball Coach & Mentor
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 by homelessness. Ciara still has game, and she would welcome a 1-on-1 match up with NBA Allstar Damian Lillard!
May 27, 2020
21 Talks with Dexter Pittman, NBA Champion
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!
May 21, 2020
21 Talks with Adam Hall, International Basketball Star
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.
May 14, 2020
21 Talks with Rod Watson, Luxury Realtor
In this episode, we talk to Rod Watson
May 7, 2020