Pitbull Becomes Part Owner of New NASCAR Team Trackhouse Racing

Pitbull is dealing with a new type of track

New NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing has brought on the 40-year-old Cuban American rapper/singer, known also as Mr. Worldwide, as an ownership partner for the organization, which will make its debut next month at the Daytona 500.

Pitbull

Trackhouse made the announcement with a video on Twitter in which the Grammy winner is featured dancing to an “I believe we will win” chant. He also holds signs that say: “Knuckle Up,” “Fight Hard” and “Buckle Up.”

Pitbull joins NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as celebrity owners entering NASCAR this year. Jordan is a part owner of 23XI Racing with Denny Hamlin.

“I’ve been a fan of the NASCAR story since the movie Days of Thunder,” Pitbull said in a statement. “We are going to show the world NASCAR is not only a sport but a culture.”

Trackhouse was launched late last year by former driver Justin Marks, who struggled to find a charter that guarantees entry into every Cup Series race on the schedule. He ultimately leased one from Spire Motorsports to get his organization on the grid.

The team has hired Mexican driver Daniel Suarez for the No. 99 Chevrolet, but it will not be NASCAR’s first pairing of a Latino driver and team owner. Juan Pablo Montoya, a Colombian, drove for Chip Ganassi Racing when it was part owned by Felix Sabates, a Cuban.

J.J. Barea to Play for Spain’s Estudiantes Team

J.J. Barea is heading to España.

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player, a former Dallas Mavericks guard, has signed a contract to play in Spain’s top division with Estudiantes, the Madrid-based club has announced.

J.J. Barea

Barea played for the Mavericks for 11 seasons, helping the team win the NBA title in 2011. The Mavericks released him in December.

 

Barea played 14 NBA seasons, including three with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 assists in 831 games. 

He’s signed through the end of the season, Estudiantes said. He’s scheduled to arrive in Madrid this week to start training.

Barea told Spanish sports daily Marca in 2011 that his father’s family came from a village in northern Spain.

Tessa Ferrer to Star in Apple TV+’s New Basketball-Themed Drama Series “Swagger”

Tessa Ferrer’s got some serious swagger

The 34-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress and former Grey’s Anatomy star has joined the ensemble cast of Apple TV+’s new basketball-themed drama series Swagger.

Tessa Ferrer

The project, which hails from NBA superstar Kevin Durant and Imagine’s Brian Grazer, stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis.

Ferrer will be a series regulars alongside Isaiah Hill, Shinelle Azoroh, 32-year-old part-Afro-Dominican actor Tristan Mack WildsCaleel Harris, Latino actor/producer Jason Rivera, Solomon Irama, Ozie Nzeribe and James Bingham.

Written and directed by Bythewood, who also serves as showrunner, Swagger is inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experiences. It explores the world of youth basketball, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption. Off the court, the show reveals what it’s like to grow up in America.

Wilds will portray Alonzo Powers, the grassroots division leader at a major shoe company.

Ferrer will portray Meg Bailey, a former basketball player and coach for the rival team.

Rivera will play Nick, a player from Puerto Rico with the drive to become the best player in the country.

The drama is co-produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios.

J.J. Barea Re-Signs with Dallas Mavericks

J.J. Barea is still a maverick

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican professional basketball player and NBA point guard has agreed to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $2.6 million, according to ESPN.

JJ Barea Dallas Mavericks

With Barea’s return, the Mavericks anticipate entering training camp with 16 players on guaranteed contracts, one over the regular-season roster limit. Dallas plans to have competition for the final roster spots in camp.

Barea has spent 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Mavericks, playing a key role on the 2010-11 championship team. He played a limited role last season after returning from a ruptured Achilles, averaging 7.7 points and 3.9 assists in 29 games, but provides valuable leadership in the locker room and has an especially strong relationship with superstar Luka Doncic.

The 5-foot-10 Barea, who first made the Mavs as an undrafted rookie, has career averages of 8.9 points and 3.9 assists per game. He has coaching ambitions after his playing career ends.

Carmelo Anthony Executive-Producing “Blood Brothers” Limited Series About Muhammad Ali & Malcom X’s Friendship

Carmelo Anthony continues to expand his empire beyond basketball…

A+E Studios has put in development Blood Brothers (working title), an eight-episode limited series based on the 2016 non-fiction book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by historians Johnny Smith and Randy Roberts.

Carmelo Anthony in Stay Melo

The project hails from the 36-year-old Puerto Rican NBA star, writer-producer Charles Murray and Narrative Film Group.

Written by Murray, Blood Brothers is described as a unique examination of the friendship between two of our generation’s most prominent Black figures: Muhammad Ali, the future heavyweight champion of the world, and Malcolm X, the controversial public voice of the Nation of Islam. Beginning with Ali’s (then known as Cassius Clay) initial meeting and eventual bond with Malcolm X, the series will explore their personal lives and instantaneous friendship, as well as the relationship’s eventual demise due to America’s socio-political tensions and divisiveness within the Nation of Islam.

“A+E Studios is honored to tell this provocative, untold story of the bond between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X,” said Barry Jossen, President and Head of A+E Studios, and Tana Jamieson, EVP, Creative Affairs, A+E Studios in a joint statement. “Under the thoughtful guidance of our dear friend Charles Murray and an extraordinary group of executive producers, the series will add to the legacies of these two icons who left an indelible imprint on America.”

Blood Brothers is an A+E Studios production. Murray serves as executive producer and showrunner through Raising Kane Films, along with Anthony and Asani Swann’s Creative 7.

“At Creative 7, we are passionate about sharing stories of remarkable individuals whose resilience and determination changed the course of history,” said Anthony and Swann, co-founders of Creative 7. “It’s an honor to be working with A+E Studios to tell the story of the complex bond between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, two civil rights leaders who had a lasting impact both in and beyond Black America. We believe this story has the power to resonate with audiences on a global scale and are excited to bring this unique and inspiring tale to life.”

Demi Lovato Takes Part in Twitter Q&A About Mental Health with “OK Not To Be Okay” Collaborator Marshmello & NBA Star Kevin Love

Demi Lovato’s spreading her “OK Not To Be OK” message with the world…

NBA player Kevin Love moderated a Twitter Q&A about mental health with the 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress and her “OK Not To Be OK” collaborator Marshmello.

Demi Lovato

While 2020 has thrown curveball after curveball at the world and the well-being of millions, Lovato, Marshmello and Love wanted people to know it will get better.

The Cleveland Cavaliers player — who recently penned a personal essay about his mental health struggles — replied to fans who asked questions using the #OKNotToBeOK hashtag about what tools, from therapy to different hobbies, they can use to improve their mindset.

“It’s not easy some days, but knowing ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ has truly helped me with this,” Lovato responded to a fan who asked about motivating yourself even during the rough patches. “You have good days… and a couple bad days in between. We can’t stress ourselves with trying to be perfect. Love you too!”

https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/1308129595221143554?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1308129595221143554%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.billboard.com%2Farticles%2Fcolumns%2Fpop%2F9453162%2Fkevin-love-ok-not-to-be-ok-mental-health-twitter-qa-demi-lovato-marshmello

Justina Machado to Compete on ABC’s Upcoming Season of “Dancing With The Stars”

Justina Machado’s ready to paso doble her way into your hearts…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will compete on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars this season.

Justina Machado

Machado will compete against Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, rapper Nelly, Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause and NBA legend Charles Oakley among others for the coveted DTWS mirrorball trophy.

The ABC celebrity ballroom dancing competition series, based on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, will premiere on September 14 with new host Tyra Banks.

This season’s other competirors include Monica Aldama, star of Netflix’s Cheer, Disney Channel actress Skai Jackson, The Real’s Jeannie Mai, Catfish’s Nev Schulman, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, Super Bowl champion Vernon Davis, Anne Heche, Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, and The Bachelor’s Kaitlyn Bristowe.

This season’s professional dancers include Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart.

In addition to hosting, Banks will also serve as an executive producer this season. She replaces Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews as the show’s host in season 29.

One of the challenges for this season is to ensure that the production adheres to COVID-19 protocols, a trickier move for a dance competition format than many other productions. Details of the health and safety protocols and other format refreshes are expected imminently.

Toronto’s Marc Gasol Preparing for Emotional First Matchup Against Former Memphis Grizzlies Team

Marc Gasol is preparing for an emotional first…

The 35-year-old Spanish professional basketball player, currently playing for the Toronto Raptors, is mentally preparing to face-off against his former team.

Marc Gasol,

Gasol played for parts of 11 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, going to three All-Star Games with the team’s jersey on his back, earning two All-NBA selections there and a Defensive Player of the Year award.

And now, he’ll play against his former team for the first time.

The Grizzlies face Gasol and the Raptors on Sunday. It’ll be the first game between the clubs since Gasol was traded to Toronto in February 2019 — a move that helped the Raptors win last season’s NBA championship.

Gasol said facing Memphis would be emotional.

“I got there when I was 16 years old. It was my first time out of Spain,” said Gasol, who still owns his Memphis home. “I started high school there as a teenager and left as a father of two kids. … My ties to the city and my roots go pretty deep and my love for the people there, what they mean and the franchise, it’s forever.”

Gasol helped Memphis make the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons including the 2013 run to the Western Conference finals. He’s the Grizzlies’ all-time leader for minutes played, field goals made, free throws made and attempted, rebounds, blocks and triple-doubles and is second in points — 49 behind Mike Conley.

The Raptors were supposed to have played back-to-back games against Memphis this season, going there on March 28 and then playing host to the Grizzlies March 30. Those games were called off due to the season suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Obviously it’s a little bittersweet that we couldn’t play in the city of Memphis, to get that love and feel that Iove from the fans,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said. “But I’m sure he’ll be happy to see some familiar faces and a lot of the people that he spent a lot of time with over the years.”

Jose Ramirez Likely to Defend Title Against Viktor Postol in August

Could the third time be the charm for Jose Ramirez’s challenge bout?

A fight between the 27-year-old Mexican American unified WBC and WBO light welterweight titleholder and Viktor Postol, his WBC mandatory challenger, will take place the last week of August, according to Top Rank president Todd duBoef

Jose Ramirez,

The bout will be broadcast live on an ESPN network.

There’s no exact date yet for the fight, according to duBoef, but Top Rank is working with the sports network to add the bout to its programming calendar.

“We’re being as flexible as possible with ESPN,” duBoef said. “They’re going to see how the NBA schedule comes out, the MLB schedule, all the other sports that are supposed to be back in August. They’re formulating their schedule.

“We’re basically telling [fighters], ‘Hey, you’ll be this week in August. You’ll be this week in August.’ Then we’re honing in on a date.”

Ramirez-Postol was originally scheduled for February 1 in China, and then May 9 in Fresno, California. Both times the fight was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramirez last fought on July 27, 2019, when he stopped Maurice Hooker in six rounds to unify the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles. 

Postol, who once held the WBC 140-pound belt, last fought on April 27, 2019, scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over Mohamed Mimoune.

Tony Romo to Compete in Fundraising Golf Tournament at the Dallas Area’s Maridoe Golf Club

Tony Romois ready to swing his club for a good cause…

The 40-year-old Mexican American former Dallas-Cowboys-quarterback-turned-NFL-commentator is set to take part in a 54-hole fundraising tournament involving a handful of Dallas-area pros and top amateurs.

Tony Romo

The golf tournament will take place this week, with entry fees earmarked for the caddies at Maridoe Golf Clubin Carrollton, Texas.

Golf Channelfirst reported the event, and Alison Morrison, managing member at Maridoe Golf Club, confirmed the details of the tournament to ESPN, with 18 holes to play Tuesday through Thursday, mostly by members of the club.

The event, called the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational, was conceived only a little more than a week ago, Morrison said, and quickly turned into a sellout that required the club to turn away potential players.

“We’re a caddie-only club, and our caddies have not been working because of COVID-19,” Morrison said. “We thought, why don’t we have a little bit of a match, so to speak, sharpen our blades, put on a 54-hole, social distancing event. Leave the pins. No rakes in bunkers. Let’s play for them, basically. And within a day, I had 24 members who said yes.”

The event will feature 72 players, who each pay $250 to enter, with those fees going to the club’s caddies. A separate pool is being raised as a purse for the pros who compete in the event, with Morrison expecting portions of any winnings to also go to the caddies.

The club has remained open during the coronaviruspandemic, but there will be strict rules in place, including the various social distancing guidelines that are in effect around the country. The driving range has been converted to a short, par-3 course where players can warm-up — but they will not be permitted to arrive more than 30 minutes before their tee time.

The players will compete in threesomes but are required to carry their own bag or use a pull cart. No caddies will work the event, except as walking scorers in each group. Players will not turn in scorecards.

Three-time major champion Jordan Spiethis a member at Maridoe but won’t be able to compete, Morrison said, though she expects him to attend.

Among the pros who are in the field are Viktor HovlandScottie Schefflerand Harry Higgs. Former NBAguard Deron Williamsis also listed among the entries, as is Romo.

The event will be separated into three flights by handicap, including an elite flight in which the various pros in the field will compete for a small purse.

“We believe confidently that we can do this and have a great event and show that this is a fantastic sport to enjoy in these times,” Morrison said. “We hope others embrace it, as well. This is bigger than shooting a good score.”

Texas is scheduled to be the location for the first official PGA Tourevent in June when a revised schedule has the Charles Schwab Challengeat Colonial in Forth Worth, June 11-14. The tournament is to be played without spectators.

“Maridoe embraces the social-distancing responsibilities and is particularly suited to meet all the necessary criteria to have a safe and healthy tournament,” the club’s owner, Albert Huddleston, said in a statement. “This was a beautiful opportunity to contribute to the Maridoe Samaritan Fund and help those caddies who have been affected.”