Jackie Robinson’s Basketball Days featured on NBA TV – Feb. 10

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Posed batting of Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Robinson - BL-3102-93 (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Preceding the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade vs. the Golden State Warriors and All-Stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant on NBA-TV Sunday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. will be “Beyond the Paint” —the network’s magazine-style show hosted by Matt Winer at 5:30 p.m.

“Beyond the Paint” is a special one hour-long new episode that features four extraordinary stories. The premiere brings awareness to issues, shares noteworthy historic facts and the rewards of perseverance gained by individuals in their passionate pursuit of basketball.

One of the stories offers an interesting sports theory during February—Black History Month—for the sports enthusiasts that appreciates multi-sport or all-around athletes. It’s the segment on the first African American to play in Major League Baseball — Jackie Robinson. The story revisits the Baseball Hall of Famer’s athletic achievements in basketball to highlight the potentially extraordinary career we could be reading about today instead of his baseball career.

It’s presented through historic records, photos, videos and interviews. One of those interviews is with the Chicago Crusader Newspaper’s own columnist, Dr. Conrad Worrill. He is the Professor Emeritus of the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeast University in Chicago.

A MUST SEE for sport enthusiasts is the upcoming NBA-TV show on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. with a Black History Month segment dedicated to the legacy of Jackie Robinson. The show features an interview with the Chicago Crusader Newspaper’s columnist, Dr. Conrad Worrill, pictured above.

Conrad Worrill’s father, Walter F. Worrill, was a child when his family migrated to California from Covington, Georgia the same year as the Robinson family, who migrated from Cairo, Georgia. The Worrills and the Robinsons ended up in the same Pasadena neighborhood.

When show producers contacted the John Muir High School that Jackie Robinson attended, Dr. Conrad Worrill’s name was recommended as someone that could offer additional insight into Jackie’s life and athlete career.

In sharing how the two families came to know one another, Worrill said he is the godson of his late father’s best friend — Mack Robinson. Worrill described his father’s lifelong friendship with Mack Robinson, the older brother of Jackie Robinson and how it led to a friendship between two families spanning several generations. “Through the relationship of Mack and my father, I became intimately knowledgeable of the great contributions of the Robinson brothers to athletics in America,” said Dr. Worrill.

According to Dr. Worrill, Mack Robinson, who was also a great athlete persuaded his younger brother, Jackie Robinson to play  all sports.

“Many people have observed that Mack was a tremendous influence on his younger brother’s interest in athletics and inspired him to become the great all around athlete he became. In other words, without Mack there would have been no Jackie,” said Worrill.

The features of the episode airing Sunday, February 10, at 5:30 p.m. include:

Arlee Warriors – Just north of Missoula, MT the Arlee Warriors are in search of a third straight state basketball title.  But the team also has a higher calling as they try to raise awareness about the issue of suicide in the Native American community. Winer takes us inside the team and explores the issues they face in their community and what they’re trying to do about it.

Jackie Robinson’s Basketball Days – Jackie Robinson would have just turned 100 years old this year. His baseball prowess and social impact are well documented, but “Beyond the Paint” tells the story of how the four-sport athlete could have just as easily pursued a basketball career.

Anthony Ianni Profile – In 2009, Anthony Ianni transferred from Grand Valley State to Michigan State, where he would go on to become the first Division-I athlete with Autism. Ianni’s loving family helped him overcome his childhood diagnosis to succeed on and off the court in college.  Now a high school coach, motivational speaker, and husband and father, Allie LaForce has Ianni’s story.

Pau Gasol, Classical Music Fan – Veteran Spurs’ big man Pau Gasol quit medical school in Spain to enter the NBA Draft, not a typical basketball path. Gasol also breaks the mold with his musical taste, as well, and as Shaun Powell found out he is as big of a fan of Opera as he is of Classical Music.

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