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Joelle Embres' Blog

By Joelle Embres | Agent in Parkland, FL
  • Go Heat 1 win from NBA title

    Posted Under: General Area in South Florida, Entertainment & Nightlife in South Florida, In My Neighborhood in South Florida  |  June 20, 2012 10:11 AM  |  396 views  |  No comments

    LeBron James could hardly stand, certainly couldn't run. Good thing all he needed to do was shoot.

    Better get well fast, LeBron. You're one win away from the biggest party of your life.

    A limping, grimacing James shook off left leg cramps to hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining and the Miami Heat held off the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 104-98 victory Tuesday night and a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals that no team has ever blown.

    "I was just trying to make a play," James said. "If I was out on the floor, I wanted to try to make a play with the limited mobility I had at that time, and I was happy I was able to come through."

    Game 5 is Thursday night and James will have a chance to finish a nine-year chase that started in Cleveland before he famously -- or infamously -- left for South Florida before last season.

    "Of course it's there to think about," said James, making it clear he plans to play. "I'll be ready for Game 5."

    With James watching the final moments, Mario Chalmers finished off a stellar 25-point effort that matched Dwyane Wade. James had 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, missing a shot at a triple-double only because he was on the bench at the end after thigh cramps emerged following a fall near the Thunder basket.

    The Heat needed all James could give and more to hold off Russell Westbrook. He scored 43 points for the Thunder, who wasted an early 17-point lead but were never out of the game because of their sensational point guard. Kevin Durant had 28 points but James Harden threw in another clunker, finishing with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting. Westbrook and Durant were the only Thunder players to score in the last 16:46.

    "Shots were falling," said Westbrook, who was 20 of 32. "It really doesn't mean nothing. We didn't come out with the win."

    James stumbled to the court on a drive midway through the fourth quarter, staying on the offensive end of the floor as the Heat regained possession on a blocked shot, and he made a short jumper that made it 92-90. After Westbrook missed a jumper, the Heat called timeout as James gingerly went to the court. Unable to walk off, he was carried to the sideline by a pair of teammates.

    He returned to a huge roar with a little over 4 minutes left and the Heat down two, and after Chris Bosh tied it, James slowly walked into a pull-up 3-point attempt -- perhaps doing so knowing he couldn't drive by anyone -- and drilled it.

    "That 3 was just sheer will and competitiveness, to contribute in some way," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

    That made it 97-94, and when Wade followed with a layup with 2:19 left, the Heat finally enough room to withstand Westbrook, who kept coming all night.

    Chalmers, the player who was struggling so badly that the Thunder put Durant on him in hopes of avoiding further foul trouble, made 9 of 15 shots, scoring more points than he had in the previous three games.

    "Obviously LeBron James is one of the most dominant players in the game, and he explodes many nights scoring-wise. But we've always got his back, and certain nights like tonight when he wasn't feeling his greatest, you have guys like Mario Chalmers step up, big plays, big moments," said Wade, who had to shake off his own aches and pains after landing hard on his back in the first half following a spectacular block by Serge Ibaka. "That's what this team is built on, and that's the reason we're playing together."

    The Heat couldn't have done it without James, who refused to let any pain prevent him from taking the biggest step of his career.

    The Heat led 2-1 in the finals last year but James' struggles were their biggest problem as they lost the next three to Dallas. He was at his brilliant best in this one, keeping up his scoring surge but also willingly kicking it out to open teammates whenever he was double-teamed.

    He tried to play through the pain, but the Heat had to call another timeout and remove him for good shortly after his go-ahead basket, and Spoelstra said the Heat couldn't keep playing four against five.

    Bosh finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, who quickly climbed out of the 17-point hole by scoring 16 straight points, with Chalmers and backup Norris Cole helping steady them until James and Wade got going.

    "We're going to keep fighting," Durant said. "It's just frustrating, but we're going to keep fighting. That's how we've been since I got here."

    In foul trouble the last two games, Durant began the game covering Chalmers, an adjustment that freed him from the burden of defending James. It kept Durant safe from fouls -- but the Thunder probably didn't count on the scoring explosion from Chalmers after he totaled just five points over the previous two games.

    "I took that as a little sign of disrespect," Chalmers said.

    Neither team could gain separation during a dizzying middle two periods, one score quickly answered on the other end as Miami took a 79-75 lead to the final 12 minutes.

    Westbrook hit his first four shots and the Thunder made six of their first seven in a 13-3 burst out of the gate. A run of six straight made it 23-12 against the stunned Heat, who started 5 of 17, and it grew to 33-17 on Harden's fast-break layup with 21 seconds left.

    The Heat found their spark in Cole, who hit a 3-pointer and then opened the second quarter with another to kick off a 16-0 burst, and the Heat would come all the way back to tie it at 35 on Wade's 3-pointer with 7:57 remaining in the half.

    With the crowd back in it, Bosh get them even more fired up by diving on the floor for a loose ball, then leaping up after he was fouled and screaming toward the fans.

    Yet the Thunder never gave up the lead, Westbrook constantly coming through with a bucket every time the Heat seemed to get within one point in the final minutes. The Thunder took a 49-46 lead into the break after Shane Battier missed a 3-point attempt just before the buzzer.

    Miami finally went in front again in the third, Wade hitting a pair of free throws and James rifling a pass to him after a rebound for a basket that made it 50-49, and the Heat would play from in front for most of the remainder of the period.

    Notes: Heat president and former coach Pat Riley was honored before the game with the "Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award" by the National Basketball Coaches Association. Riley is the only coach to win Coach of the Year honors with three different teams. ... Battier came in 11 for 15 from 3-point range in the series, tied with Orlando's Rashard Lewis in 2009 for the most makes ever in the first three games of the finals. He made only one. The most through four games is Derek Harper in 1994, with 14.

  • Great effort forces Heat-Celtics Game 7

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in South Florida, In My Neighborhood in South Florida  |  June 8, 2012 6:42 AM  |  374 views  |  No comments

     

    In so many ways, all of them good, LeBron James introduced himself to the basketball world all over again Thursday night. He carried his team. He conquered the moment.

    He did what he did at such an efficiently high level for such a pressurized night, it belongs in the pantheon of greatest South Florida sports performances.

    forty-five points? Fifteen rebounds? All with a season teetering, the Heat riding on his shoulders and a sporting nation waiting to pounce on him?

    "I'm just glad we got the win,'' LeBron said after the Heat's 98-79 win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.


    'Bron Voyage, Boston.

    The Heat won't be coming back this year. Maybe the Celtics won't be, either. Because now, as the scene shifts to Game 7 Saturday night in Miami, everything shifts dramatically with it.

    Momentum. Pressure. Conversations. Criticisms. And, most fundamentally, a series that stands tied with one final game to go.

    "I hope now y'all will stop talking about LeBron and how he doesn't play in big games,'' Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I hope that's to bed."

    Only one other player had 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in this conference-finals setting - Wilt Chamberlain. LeBron never had shot 73 percent (19 of 26) in a playoff game. It was that kind of night, that kind of performance.

    For the previous two days, everyone questioned everything about the Heat, from their resolve to their futures, except notably that "Good Job, Good Effort" kid shouting to them after Game 5's loss.

    Is that upgraded now to, "Great Job, Great Effort?"

    LeBron missed his first shot of the game, an open 16-foot jumper. And then couldn't miss. He hit any kind of shot you can imagine. Fadeaway jump shots. Floating push shots. He flew in to take a rebound out of the air and slammed it down.

    He made five straight shots.

    Then it became 10 straight.

    Suddenly, a Celtics team one win from the NBA Finals was playing in quicksand, two steps slow, two steps behind, in the manner they haven't all series in contrast to their thirtysomething bodies.

    Suddenly, too, the greatness of LeBron bloomed in the biggest game. He made 12 straight shots in his 30-point first half. Only six other players in the past 15 NBA postseasons have scored that many in a first half.

    Dwyane Wade was asked if this was the greatest he'd seen LeBron play.

    "Yes,'' he said. "He gave an MVP performance."

    "The best I've seen, one of the best this league has ever seen,'' said teammate Chris Bosh said, who had seven points and six rebounds in his second game back from injury.

    When Boston cut the lead to 10 points in the third quarter, James sank a 3-point shot to stretch out the lead again. When it came within 10 again later, James responded with a sweet baseline jump shot to snuff Boston hopes that started loud on Thursday night.

    Fans wore shirts that read, "I Am Not South Beach." They carried signs that changed the TD Garden name to, "The Jungle." By the end, they tried to "Boo" LeBron. When that didn't work, they adopted a cool, "Boston Celtics" chant with their team down 20 points.

    "He was absolutely fearless tonight,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of LeBron.

    Fearless in a historic way. Put it up there with the greatest individual performances South Florida has seen: Wade scoring 43 points in the '06 Finals. Josh Beckett's clinching shutout in '03. Dan Marino's five touchdowns off Achilles' injury. A.J. Duhe's three interceptions in the AFC Championship Game. Larry Csonka's 33 carries for 145 Super Bowl yards.

    For what this night meant and how LeBron came through, he belongs up there. Oh, there were others who helped in various ways. Wade shook off another slow start and finished with 17 points. Shane Battier had five early points to keep things starting smooth.

    A year ago, LeBron talked about sitting at home for two weeks, not moving, not shaving and looking like a "homeless man" after the collapse in the NBA Finals against Dallas. He talked of good lessons learned.

    Maybe you saw Thursday night something he learned. He delivered the win, the Heat evened the series and two seasons collide with Saturday's Game 7.

    "Good win tonight,'' Spoelstra said. "And now we have a series. That's what everyone wanted, right? We'll now go back to our corner and come back out in 48 hours."

    "Guys were angry,'' Boston guard Ray Allen said.

  • Kamp Kool

    Posted Under: General Area in Coral Springs, Entertainment & Nightlife in Coral Springs, Shopping & Local Amenities in Coral Springs  |  June 6, 2012 8:12 AM  |  587 views  |  No comments

    Elementary Camps - Extended Hours

    8 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Monday to Friday

    Seven-week Session: $717

    Session I (four-week): $453

    Session II (three-week): $341

    Super sessions for campers entering first through fifth grade. This camp is filled with action-packed games, outdoor sports, arts and crafts, movies, on-site entertainment, special events and field trips.

    Parkside Elementary

    10257 N.W. 29th St.

    (Limit 100 campers)

    (Swimming included except for Fridays)

    Coral Glades High School

    2700 Sportsplex Drive

    (Limit 60 campers)

  • Networking opportunity in sports

    Posted Under: General Area in Coconut Creek, Entertainment & Nightlife in Coconut Creek  |  June 1, 2012 1:19 PM  |  628 views  |  No comments

    When Steve Arsenault moved to South Florida from Boston 11 years ago, he looked for a sports league that would help him make friends and network with people.

    Finding little in that regard, Arsenault took matters into his own hands and founded the Miami Sports and Social Club, a coed recreational sports league for young professionals. He has since expanded that venture with the establishment of the Broward Sports and Social Club.

    "I belonged to a club up there and there wasn't one down here, so I started one," said Arsenault, who has about 6,000 athletes participating in his two clubs, which fall under the umbrella organization Sports & Social Clubs of SFLA (South Florida).

    The Broward club offers flag football, kickball, soccer, volleyball, dodge ball and basketball leagues throughout the year. The winning team gets a shoulder bag and a credit to play in a future league.

    Coconut Creek's David Perry, 30, has played five years in the league.

    "I really didn't know what to expect," Perry said. "It is a good mix of fun, and a social aspect of it."

    Arsenault partners with local parks to run the programs and has added a social aspect where athletes can go to local bars after their games and earn points for socializing.

    For example, if five team members go to a bar after the game, they receive five points. If other teams also go there, they can challenge them to darts, pool, beer pong and other games to earn additional points.

    "We are going to have a league champ and a social champ for every league," Arsenault said. "If your team [finishes play] at 0-7, or 0-8 and doesn't win anything in the playoffs, you can still be a social champ and be at the bar after the games mingling with all of the other teams."

    Coral Springs resident Eric Trader, 26, started playing in the club's soccer league last year and this is his first year playing flag football.

    "Everybody comes out here just to have fun and you make a lot of friends out here," Trader said. "I joined three new teams since I have been out here and everybody sort of jells."

    Visit PlayBroward.com for more information.

    join margate's camp senior

    The Margate Parks and Recreation Department is running its 2012 Camp Senior program registration this week between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Firefighters Park, 2500 Rock Island Road.

    Registration hours are also held on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    A summer recreation program for city residents ages 13-16, Camp Senior is an eight-week program conducted weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 11-Aug. 3 at Firefighters Park.

    Each year, the program provides a diversity of active and passive recreation opportunities geared for teenagers. Potential trips on tap are parasailing, Laser Quest, Boomers, Incredible Ice, Muvico, Ski Rixen, Rapids Water Park, a canoe trip and an extreme indoor karting trip.

  • 'All Aboard' display spotlights trains

    Posted Under: General Area in Coral Springs, Entertainment & Nightlife in Coral Springs, In My Neighborhood in Coral Springs  |  April 6, 2012 7:02 AM  |  390 views  |  No comments

     

    John Childrey shows Oakland Academy spring break camp preschool students and teacher Grecia Raudales his operating American Flyer train display, a part of the "All Aboard!! Artistic History of the Railroad" exhibit at the Coral Springs Museum of Art.  

    A new Coral Springs exhibit spotlights the role of trains in the American imagination.

    "All Aboard!! An Artistic History of the Railroad" at the Coral Springs Museum of Art features photographs, lithograph reproductions and other memorabilia, and an operating display with collectible trains and accessories.

    "I hope this personalizes the art — that at some point, people can tie into the nostalgia of trains and the whimsicalness of childhood," said John Childrey, a Coral Springs resident and retired Florida Atlantic University professor who organized the exhibit.

     

    Photographer O. Winston Link captured the steam engine trains of the Norfolk & Western Railway that were discontinued in the 1960s, as well as the communities in which they traveled.

    The 30 photos from the mid- to late 1950s on exhibit are noteworthy for their composition, contrast and sharpness, said Barbara O'Keefe, the museum's executive director.

    Link earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and later applied an engineer's perspective to his photographic pursuits. He died in 2001 at age 86 after leaving a rich artistic legacy, said Kimberly Parker, director of the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Va., that features more than 300 of his photos.

    Parker said Link forged a new style with the artificial lighting that illuminated the black and white photographs he often shot at night.

    To obtain the lighting he desired for a 1956 shot in the exhibit, Link repeatedly ventured across the falls of the Goose Neck Dam over the Maury River in Rockbridge County, Va., on a two-wire span to place lighting fixtures.

    "It was revolutionary," Parker said.

    Train memorabilia also on display includes a wall of Currier & Ives illustration reproductions featuring trains from the late 1800s and early 1900s, postcards of steam engines and logging trains in Wisconsin during the early 1900s, American Flyer catalog posters, and photos of Howardsville, Va., where Childrey's grandfather managed a train stop.

    Childrey is an avid collector of now-discontinued American Flyer trains and accessories whose fondness for locomotives developed from visits with his grandfather in the mid-1940s, he said.

    The 8-by-12-foot H-shaped layout operates with a classic, hand-controlled transformer that converts electricity into power.

    American Flyer trains run through themed areas, including a circus and carnival with an operating Ferris wheel and carousel, a central park, a main street, an industrial park, and a farm. The display also has a small Lionel train oval.

    Students attending a spring break camp at Oakland Academy in Sunrise saw the exhibit during a recent museum visit. They watched the trains in action, and Childrey gave them a quick lesson about the display and real train travel.

    "I liked that we got to see the trains move," said 10-year-old Keris Kuefler. "… I learned that (actual) trains can move very fast and very slow, and that it's very safe."

    O'Keefe said the exhibit can reach people of all ages and backgrounds.

    "In an art museum, you try to touch all audiences. We've never had train art before, and with all this nostalgia he's (Childrey) brought, it's really exciting," O'Keefe said.

    The exhibit runs through May 26. The museum is at 2855 Coral Springs Drive.

    Museum staff members operate the train display according to a set schedule.

    For more information, view http://www.csmart.org or call 954-340-5000.
  • Fun and Fitness Day Camp

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in Coral Springs, Shopping & Local Amenities in Coral Springs, In My Neighborhood in Coral Springs  |  March 6, 2012 7:11 AM  |  688 views  |  No comments

     

    Fun and Fitness Day Camp

    Seven-week Session: $687 Session I (four-week): $443 • Session II (three-week): $336

    One of our most popular day camps offered for campers entering second through fifth grades. Kids will have a summer filled with fun and fitness activities including swimming, field trips and special events.

     

    Coral Glades High School

    2700 Sportsplex Drive

    (Limit 60 Campers)

  • Fun-ART-astic Summer camp

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in Coral Springs, Shopping & Local Amenities in Coral Springs, In My Neighborhood in Coral Springs  |  March 6, 2012 7:06 AM  |  655 views  |  No comments

     

    Session I • June 18 to July 12: $400

    Session II • July 16 to August 9: $400

    Choose the week you wish to attend: $105 per week

    Monday through Thursday • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Our campers will experience the joy of learning new skills and

    gain confidence as they participate in a variety of activities:

    Spanish, Fine Arts Studio, Science, Games, Sports, Writing &

    Performances. Fun activities include: hands on experiment,

    Exploring fabulous animals, Tie-dye t-shirts, Journey around

    the globe in 8 weeks, clever crafts from recyclables, Themed

    spirit days, Wet & Wild Thursdays & much more! Our older

    campers (6th, 7th & 8th Graders) will be introduced to a

    Leadership Program to start gaining experience in planning,

    communication & self-confidence. For more information call

    the camp director at 954-722-9359.

    A registration fee of $25 must be paid to the instructor at the

    “Meet & Greet” at the Coral Springs Gymnasium on Sunday, June

    17 from 2 to 4 p.m. Each camper will receive 3 Camp T-Shirts.

    Extra T-Shirts may be purchases from the instructor for $10.

    Campers must bring lunch, labeled water bottle and snacks.

    Dress attire is shorts or pants, camp T-shirt and sneakers.

    Forest Glen Middle

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