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Dominique Wilkins - NBA Legend Tags: sports entertainment dominique wilkins nba legend word life production new quality entertainment featured blogs

One of the NBA's true marquee players for more than a decade, Dominique Wilkins earned the nickname "Human Highlight Film" with a plethora of spectacular individual plays dating back to his college years at Georgia. A member of the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1983, the high-flying 6-8 forward was been named to seven All-NBA teams and nine consecutive All-Star squads and is a two-time winner of the NBA Slam-Dunk Championship.

In 1986 he won the NBA scoring title with an average of 30.3 points per game, and in 1992 he set an NBA record by sinking 23 free throws in a game without a miss. He's the Atlanta Hawks' all-time franchise leader in both scoring and steals.

One of only 12 players to score over 25,000 points in his NBA career, Wilkins returned to the NBA in 1996-97 after one year in Europe and led the San Antonio Spurs in scoring with an 18.2 average at the age of 37. He left the NBA ranked seventh on the all-time scoring list with 26,534 points and 10th in career scoring average at 25.3 ppg.

Born in Paris, France, where his father was stationed while with the Air Force, Wilkins attended high school in Washington, North Carolina. The older brother of NBA player Gerald Wilkins, Dominique attended college at Georgia, where he averaged 21.6 points over three seasons. It was his acrobatic exploits there that earned him the nickname of the "Human Highlight Film."

He entered the 1982 NBA Draft after his junior year and was selected by the Utah Jazz with the third overall pick. He refused to sign with the Jazz, however, and was dealt in September, 1982 to the Atlanta Hawks for John Drew, Freeman Williams and cash. Wilkins was an instant hit for the Hawks, averaging 17.5 ppg as a rookie. He came back in his second season with an average of 21.6 ppg, starting a remarkable streak in which he would average above 20 points per contest for 11 consecutive seasons.

Wilkins was instrumental to the Hawks' success in the late 1980s as the club recorded 50 wins in four straight seasons from 1985-86 to 1988-89. During that span he poured in more than 30 points per game twice, and for the four years combined he averaged 29.1 ppg. In 1988 he also scored 29 points in 30 minutes of action in the All-Star Game. In the postseason he averaged 31.2 points and despite the Hawks narrowly missing out on reaching the Eastern Conference Finals after losing to the Boston Celtics by a mere two points in Game 7 of the conference semifinals, he ganied more respect as a result of his epic battle with Larry Bird.

In the early 1990s, while the Hawks were slipping from a 50-win team to a .500 ballclub, Wilkins evolved from a pure scorer into a more all-around contributor. In 1990-91 he grabbed a career-high 9.0 rebounds per contest, and he topped 3 assists per game that year for the first time. Nearly injury-free for most of his career, he suffered a season-ending rupture of his Achilles tendon midway through the 1991-92 campaign.

Some thought the injury might end Wilkins's career, but the 32-year-old bounced back in grand fashion the next year, averaging 29.9 ppg to finish second to Michael Jordan for the league scoring crown while maintaining his solid all-around play. That same season he became the 17th player in NBA history to rack up 20,000 points.

Midway through the 1993-94 season -- Wilkins' 12th with Atlanta -- the Hawks shocked their fans by trading their all-time leading scorer to the Los Angeles Clippers for Danny Manning. Wilkins became a free agent after the season and signed with the Boston Celtics for 1994-95. Although he was the Celtics' leading scorer, his average of 17.8 points per game was his lowest mark since his rookie season.

The summer following the season, Wilkins, unhappy with his role on the rebuilding Celtics, signed to play for Panathinaikos Athens of the Greek League. He averaged 20.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in 14 games for Panathinaikos and led the team to the European Championship for Men's Clubs in 1996. Wilkins was named the MVP of the European Final Four in Paris.

Before the 1996-97 season, he returned to the NBA, signing a contract as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs, who were seeking to add bench scoring. Wilkins gave them more than they could have hoped for, leading the team with an average of 18.2 ppg in 1996-97 and also contributing 6.4 rpg. However, after one season, Wilkins once again went overseas, this time signing a contract with Teamsystem in Italy for the 1997-98 season.

He returend to play his last season in the NBA during the 1998-99 campaign alongside his brother Gerald with the Orland Magic. In only 27 games, he averaged just 5.0 ppg and 2.6 rpg but will always be remembered as one of the game's most exciting players.

Source: NBA Encyclopedia

Dominique Dawes-also known as 'Awesome Dawesome is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time Tags: dominique dawes gymnasts sports entertainment word life production feature blog

Born on November 20, 1976, in Silver Spring, Maryland, Dominique Dawes began taking gymnastics lessons at age 6. She participated in the Olympic Games as part of the U.S. women's gymnastics team in 1992, 1996 and 2000, winning a team medal each time. In 1996, Dawes's team won Olympic gold and Dawes won an individual bronze medal—becoming the first African American to win an individual Olympic medal in women's gymnastics. She retired from gymnastics after the 2000 Games.

Early Life

Dominique Margaux Dawes was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, on November 20, 1976. When she was 6 years old, she started taking gymnastics lessons with Kelli Hill, who remained Dawes's coach for her entire gymnastics career. At age 9, Dawes would write the word "determination" in crayon on a mirror in order to prepare herself for gymnastics meets—an attitude that would pay off as she moved on to higher levels of competition.

Gymnastics Career

With her amazing tumbling moves, Dominique Dawes was a force to be reckoned with in gymnastics. In 1988, she became the first African American to make the national women's team. Dawes also joined the 1992 U.S. Olympic artistic gymnastics team, which won bronze in Barcelona. At the National Championships in 1994, Dawes won all-around gold, as well as all four individual events (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise). She was the first gymnast to win all five gold medals there since 1969.

Dawes again made the cut for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. Thanks in part to Dawes's outstanding performance, the U.S. team, nicknamed the "Magnificent Seven," won gold in Atlanta—becoming the first U.S. women's gymnastics team to do so in Olympic history. Dawes had been hoping to win an individual gold medal as well, and was devastated when a step out of bounds and a fall during her floor routine placed her out of medal contention during the all-around competition. She did win an individual bronze medal for her floor performance, however, which made her the first African American to win an individual medal in women's gymnastics.

In 2000, Dawes came out of retirement to make the U.S. women's gymnastics team for a third time. At the Olympic Games in Sydney, the team placed fourth. But when a Chinese competitor was later found to be underage, China lost its team medal, moving the U.S. team up a notch, to bronze, a full 10 years after the Olympics. This also made Dawes the first U.S. gymnast to be a member of three separate medal-winning gymnastics teams.

Life and Career After Gymnastics

Dominique Dawes retired from gymnastics for good after the 2000 Olympics. Outside of competition, Dawes's career has varied from motivational speaking to a one-time stint on Broadway, appearing as Patty Simcox in Grease. She has worked to encourage young people to be active, serving as president of the Women's Sports Foundation and as part of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Active Schools" campaign. Dawes also became co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition in 2010.

Dawes, who entered the USA Gymnastics' Hall of Fame in 2005, has inspired an untold number of girls with her success. But it wasn't until she watched Halle Berry win an Academy Award (Berry was the first African American to win a Best Actress Oscar, for 2001's Monster's Ball) that Dawes fully realized the power of the example she had set.

Dawes remained involved in gymnastics by providing coverage for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She was able to see Gabby Douglas become the first African American to win an individual gold medal in the all-around competition in 2012, and was thrilled that another generation of girls would be able to look up to Douglas the way others had looked up to her.

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/dominique-dawes-21196279?page=2

 

 

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