Buccaneers Super Bowl Champions Honored for Their Service at Ryan Nece Foundation’s Morning Huddle
TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Super Bowl Champion Ryan Nece spent plenty of time in the huddle during his playing career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Recently, he brought his own Morning Huddle presented by Suncoast Credit Union to a crowd of hundreds at Armature Works. The event honored several of his former teammates and current Buccaneers, as well as raised money for the Ryan Nece Foundation.
“It’s an honor and it’s a privilege to be in a huddle with great men and I’ve had a chance to do that a number of times over the years,” Nece said. I had an opportunity to huddle up with great people in the community and get a chance to hear from some elite athletes Lavonte David, Chris Godwin, Dexter Jackson, and Martin Gramatica, and hear what it takes to be successful. In short, a really powerful day.
Guests were treated to breakfast and a welcoming introduction by Ryan Nece Foundation CEO Melissa Neeley, who explained the organization’s mission and purpose, which is “to create opportunities for teens to embrace the power of giving through volunteerism and [our] inspirational leadership program; and empower teens to become leaders and impact giving in their communities.”
After a pair of student spotlights and a brief introduction of the panelists (see above), Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ reporter Casey Phillips moderated the roundtable discussion that started off by asking the athletes about their thoughts on leadership.
“You don’t have to be in the front to lead,” said Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson. “You can also lead from the back.”
“Anyone can be a leader, just be yourself and don’t be something you aren’t,” added current wide receiver Chris Godwin.
As for what made their respective Super Bowl champion teams so special there were several consistent factors among the group.
“Unity and family were the keys,” said Gramatica. “Everyone loved each other. We played next to each other, but we went to battle for each other. To have those types of leaders taught us to be professionals.”
Hard work, accountability, and consistency were key for Godwin.
“We all worked hard from the beginning but just because we worked hard didn’t mean anything, that wasn’t enough,” he noted. “We wanted to change the culture to a winning mentality, at first we couldn’t gel and had to address our accountability and consistency.”
For their efforts in the community, David, Godwin, Jackson, and Gramatica received the prestigious Paragon Award from the foundation.
“We don’t give this award out lightly and recognize the men and women that embrace leadership, lean into service, and that is elite at what they do,” said Nece. “We try to make sure we acknowledge those people in our community because we need more of them. All four of those men got that award today because they are all doing amazing things to help others.”
While Nece and his foundation honored those recipients, hundreds in the room were there to support his cause as well.
“I’ve had the chance to win a Super Bowl and that is a highlight of my career, but there is nothing more powerful than when another human being says thank you,” he said. “That’s what the power of giving is all about and for our organization to be doing this for 16 years and to be able to help others, and most importantly educate young minds through our Student Service Program, about how they can too embrace the power of giving, is really important.”
For more information and to support the Ryan Nece Foundation visit ryannecefoundation.org.
Todd Grasley is a sports reporter for Florida National News Tampa. | email@example.com
Magic Gaming to Host First NBA 2K League Game at leAD Lake Nona on May 28
Orlando, Fla. — Magic Gaming will host Hornets Venom GT on Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m. at the leAD Lake Nona Sports & Health Tech Accelerator, (7004 Tavistock Lakes Blvd., Orlando), Magic Gaming’s new home. The game is free and open to the public.
Magic Gaming is one of eight teams selected by the NBA 2K League to host an in-person, in-market game during the 2023 season. After doors open, there will be a pregame show and team/player introductions. Following the game there will be a postgame show and Q&A session with the Magic Gaming team.
The match between Magic Gaming and Hornets Venom GT will take place during week two of group play in THE TIPOFF tournament. It will also be streamed on the OrlandoMagicGaming Twitch channel.
THE TIPOFF is the first tournament featuring 5v5 gameplay of the season. For the first time, the NBA 2K League season was separated into 3v3 and 5v5 halves. The 3v3 portion of the season began with the NBA2KL 3v3 SLAM OPEN on March 8 and finished with the NBA2KL 3v3 Finals on Saturday, May 13. The 5v5 competition tips off on Wednesday, May 23 with THE TIPOFF and will culminate with the NBA2KL 5v5 Finals on Saturday, August 5.
Magic Gaming finished the 3v3 season with a 10-17 overall record after a loss in the STEAL OPEN semifinals against Blazer5 Gaming on May 6. In the 2022 5v5 NBA 2K League season, Magic Gaming clinched their first playoff berth in franchise history.
Orlando Magic, AdventHealth Recognized with Downtown Orlando Partnership Golden Brick Award for AdventHealth Training Center
Orlando, Fla. (May 4, 2023) — The Orlando Magic and its partner, AdventHealth, were recognized with the Downtown Orlando Partnership (DOP) Golden Brick Award for the Magic’s AdventHealth Training Center, taking home its Award of Excellence. The DOP awarded 15 Golden Bricks at its annual luncheon on May 2 with projects nominated for community and development which positively impacted downtown Orlando in 2023.
In August of 2022, the DeVos family, Magic and AdventHealth unveiled the state-of-the-art AdventHealth Training Center as part of the Magic and AdventHealth’s continuing commitment to health and wellness. The new downtown facility serves as the training site for the Magic and a destination sports medicine hub to Central Florida. Together, the two organizations continue to build an innovative health and wellness model that brings whole-person medicine, science and research together to optimize sports performance, bringing those learnings to the broader community.
The center, one block from Amway Center, boasts 130,000-square-feet located on a nearly four-acre site at South Division Avenue and West Central Boulevard. The $70 million facility marks the latest investment in the Parramore community and in the continued growth and revitalization of this historic neighborhood.
The Orlando Magic and AdventHealth also furthered its commitment to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) with the awarding of $17 million of design and construction contracts for the project to 33 local MWBEs. That amount represented approximately 32 percent of awarded opportunities, which is over the city’s recommended 24 percent MWBE participation.
The facility was designed by HOK, with Balfour Beatty serving as the construction manager.
The Golden Brick Awards is Downtown Orlando Partnership’s exclusive annual awards celebrating the people, projects, and initiatives that propel downtown forward. During the past year, DOP welcomed new projects and introduced those that will enhance the vibrancy and appeal of downtown. Every year, the DOP hosts the Golden Brick Awards to recognize the best community and development projects that impacted downtown.
XFL DC Defenders defeats Arlington Renegades 28-26 in overtime
WASHINGTON DC (FNN SPORTS) – The D.C. Defenders improved to 8-1 Sunday after defeating Arlington Renegades 28-26 in overtime at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
Currently, the DC Defenders and Houston Roughnecks are still the only teams to clinch playoff spots, giving week 10 a significant amount of consequences for the remaining two spots.
D.C. jumped on the Renegades early as quarterback Jordan Ta’amu threw two touchdown passes and D’Eriq King also had one to give the Defenders a 20-9 halftime lead.
D.C. struck again in the third quarter when former Washington Redskins and longtime NFL safety, D.J. Swearinger intercepted Arlington quarterback Luis Perez and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. At this point, the Defenders led 26-9.
The Renegades made a furious fourth-quarter comeback after a pair of De’Veon Smith touchdown runs and a field goal to suddenly tie the game on a Taylor Russolino 27-yard field goal with five seconds remaining.
The game went into overtime where Ta’amu found Jake Hammond for the score and another Defenders’ win.
Next up for D.C. is a trip to San Antonio to close out the regular season before returning home in two weeks to host either St. Louis or Seattle for the North Division championship.
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