More on this later, but I’ll let the video walk you through. A vast improvement, in my opinion.
February 13, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Pep Band’s new tambourine player has no musical background, but he’s quickly become one of the most inspiring members of “The Peppas” a boisterous troupe that churns out inspired songs. His name is Ellis Bingham, and although he can barely talk, outside of a handful of words, he’s never spoken with a louder voice – the sound of his spirited, rattling tambourine – than now.
You can find Bingham at Rams games seated in his motorized wheelchair – decorated with a VCU flag and bumper sticker – at floor level, left arm jutting skyward, gleefully shaking his tambourine as The Peppas gyrate their way through another raucous performance.
Known to his bandmates as just “Bing”, Ellis has cerebral palsy, a disorder caused by damage to the cerebellum in developing brains. People with cerebral palsy can face a wide range of motor control disabilities. For Bing, that means a number of physical and speech impairments, including the inability to walk. He can’t sit up without assistance and speaks mostly through a voice computer.
While he’s been faced with those obstacles throughout his life, the 22-year-old Richmond native and his mother, Anna Bingham, have rarely accepted those limitations at face value.
Anna calls Bing her “miracle”. Born 16 weeks premature, Bing weighed just 1-pound, 7.5 ounces at birth and could nearly fit in the palm of Anna’s hand. He spent the next four months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at MCV. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which occurs more frequently in premature births, when he was about a year old.
“You go day by day,” Anna says of those challenging early years. “If I knew everything at the beginning that I knew at the end, it would have been too much. You take it day by day. I think your attitude is really important, as well as educating yourself and honestly believing in your child and believing he can do anything.”
December 28, 2013
We did it again. We let “That Animal” loose in New York. The VCU Basketball team was playing Boston College Saturday night at Barclays Center, and that’s all well and good – the Rams won 69-50, by the way – but when you get the Rams, you get the whole experience. You get the VCU fan base, a lovable battalion of college basketball rapscallions that want nothing more than to take over the arena. You get The Peppas, VCU’s unstoppable Pep Band, one which can change an elevator music atmosphere into an AC/DC concert in the time it takes you to fire up your iPod. You get, “That Animal.”
If recent history is any judge, it seems That Animal – outside of turning the Stuart C. Siegel Center into a garbage disposal, blades of sound and pressure spinning everywhere, bearing down on the opposition – there’s nowhere they’d rather be than in New York, assuming control of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Don’t think people don’t notice this stuff.
I should quit my job and just follow VCU everywhere. Their fan base is the best.
— Jeff (BPredict) (@BPredict) December 29, 2013
— Brandon Alness (@VCUBA5693) December 29, 2013
Donohue: “…that was a pretty dominant VCU crowd out there…” #LetsGoVCU
— Around The Horns (@VCUHorns) December 29, 2013
Just had fan who has been at Barclays Center all day say there are more #LetsGoVCU fans here than St Johns & Columbia fans combined.
— Greg Burton (@hardlyworkin950) December 29, 2013
November 7, 2013
‘Twas the night before Havoc, and all through the stands,
Workers were prepping for the return of the Rams.
Players’ uniforms hung neatly in lockers with care,
In hopes that hoops soon would be there.
The fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of turnovers danced in their heads.
And the Rowdies in their t-shirts and Pav in his horns,
Began dreaming of a new season born.
When out on the court there arose such a ruckus,
They sprang to their feet see what ‘twas the fuss.
Away to the arena they dashed, their arms, they were flailing,
Threw open the doors and leaned over the railing.
The scoreboard cast a soft, warm glow on the refinished wood,
And gave luster to racks of basketballs that stood.
When, what to their wondering eyes should see afar,
But a Ram mascot and a team of all-stars.
November 2, 2013
Score: VCU 45, Cal (Pa.) 23
- VCU shot 54 percent (15-of-28) from the field and forced 11 Vulcan turnovers on the way to a 22-point lead. The Rams outscored the Vulcans
-Rob Brandenberg led VCU with nine points, while Briante Weber added eight. Doug Brooks and Treveon Graham added seven.
-The Rams limited Cal to 26 percent (8-of-31) shooting, including 3-of-19 from three.
-Despite the new rules, VCU committed just five personal fouls in the first half, compared to 13 for the Vulcans. The Rams’ first hand-check foul came on JeQuan Lewis at the 12:34 mark.
- While not usually notable for every school, it’s worth mentioning that the Rams went to a 2-3 zone midway through the first half. Kept it on for a handful of possession.
-Freshman Brooks was impressive, running down a steal at midcourt and knocking down a three from the right wing. He had seven points in the half.
-VCU used a 13-0 lead midway through the first half to push their lead to 28-7 and built on from there.
- Cal (Pa.) missed its first seven field goals and did not score until an Arman Marks 3-pointer from the left wing at the 15:23 mark of the first half.
- Brandenberg and Weber combined for 15 of Rams’ first 17 points.
VCU starters: Terrance Shannon, Juvonte Reddic, Treveon Graham, Rob Brandenberg, Briante Weber.
First subs: 17:40, Burgess/Johnson for Brandenberg/Reddic.
Tidbits: Jarred Guest in street clothes. Will not play while still recovering from a dislocated ankle. Has been back at practice for a few weeks, however.
FIRST HALF BOX
November 1, 2013
Yesterday, I asked you to send me your VCU-related Halloween pictures. What did I learn? You guys sure love dressing up your dogs, mostly. But thank you to all of you who sent in photos. I am slightly disappointed I did not receive any photos of kids dressed as “Mini-Shaka”. That’s something we’ll all need to work on for next year. Anyway, here’s a collection of photos people sent in, as well as other images with a VCU-slant in some way or another. Hopefully it’s good for a chuckle before hoops season kicks off Saturday.
More evidence of VCU Volleyball’s festive Halloween practice:
That was good, but according to this San Diego State video, we still have plenty of work to do.
October 24, 2013
With basketball season just around the corner, media coverage is ramping up. The Rams have been in the news a lot recently. Here’s a sample of some of the recent clips from around the Interwebs.
- VCU’s Terrence Shannon was on “Hardly Workin’” on ESPN 950 yesterday afternoon. Overall, a solid interview with some good insights from the fifth-year senior: http://stationcaster.com/player_skinned.php?s=97&c=786&f=2010773.
- The other day, Shaka Smart was asked about VCU’s No. 15 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll. He indicated the Rams’ showing has deep roots: http://wtvr.com/2013/10/22/smart-says-vcu-ranking-has-deep-roots/.
- CBS released its list of Top 20 “Under the Radar” Freshmen. Spoiler alert, there’s a VCU Ram on this list: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24128140/college-basketball-preview-top-20-undertheradar-freshmen.
- NBC Sports – “VCU’s Havoc to top New-Look League: http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/24/2013-2014-season-preview-atlantic-10-vcus-havoc-to-top-the-new-look-league/.
- The Atlantic 10 Conference held its Women’s Basketball Media Day Tuesday at the Richmond Coliseum. The Times-Dispatch’s Vic Dorr says youth will be a trademark for VCU this season: http://www.timesdispatch.com/sports/college/basketball/youth-will-be-rams-trademark-during-a–women-s/article_21907c26-de6b-546d-bf16-3e80f7ca83b7.html.
- VCURamNation.com poster and shadowy superfan District Baller has been compiling the published votes of Associated Press voters to get a feel for what the Rams will be ranked on Oct. 31: http://www.vcuramnation.com/forums/threads/preseason-ap-poll-oct-31st.12082/page-11#post-320415. List of votes after the jump.
October 16, 2013
Baseball, Field Hockey, Golf, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Men's Tennis, Track & Field, VCU Athletics, Women's Soccer, Women's Tennis Andrew Wells, Justin Orenduff, Lindsey Vanderspiegel, Nicole Barry, Paul Kostin, Tim Lampe Leave a comment
Folks, the Fall 2013 edition of The Ram Report is now available online. Check out profiles on Men’s Soccer goalie Andrew Wells, Women’s Soccer Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel, former first round draft pick Justin Orenduff and Field Hockey’s Nicole Barry, who had an interesting summer internship, plus a bunch of other good stuff. Click the cover below to read it all.
October 1, 2013
Baseball, Field Hockey, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, VCU Athletics, Volleyball Charlotte Bobcats, Cincinnati Reds, Eric Maynor, John Daly, Larry Sanders, Mark Berman, Milwaukee Bucks, MLB, NBA, Roanoke Times, Sean Marshall, Troy Daniels., Washington Wizards Leave a comment
Happy Shak-tober, VCU fans. This month is good for many things, among them (in no particular order): foliage, NBA training camps, candy corn, postseason baseball, marzen, candy corn, Atlantic 10 Conference races and, finally, candy corn. How does VCU Athletics fit into all of this? I’m glad you asked, even if you didn’t.
RAMS IN CAMP
NBA training camps are underway, which means three former Rams are in action, each with a different task in front of them.
Troy Daniels is in Asheville, N.C. with the Charlotte “soon to be Hornets” Bobcats. Troy earned a camp invite after playing on the Bobcats’ summer league squad in Las Vegas. Now would be a good time to remind Michael Jordan that Charlotte was 27th in the NBA in 3-point shooting last year, and Troy Daniels (feel free to use the Around The Horns-approved #TreyD3 hashtag) hits threes in his sleep. If he was a dinosaur, Daniels would be a triceratops. If he was a TV station, he’d be ESPN3. If he was a stadium, he’d be Three Rivers.
Trust us, Daniels was born for this. We recently slowed down some film of Daniels shooting at training camp and captured his expression right at the moment he’s about to catch and shoot. Check it out:
August 20, 2013
There was a famous banner that made the rounds during Larry Sanders’ VCU career that read, “Larry Sanders has a posse.” Well, now he can afford one.
Sanders, who had one year remaining on his original rookie contract, officially signed a multi-year extension with the Milwaukee Bucks – who drafted him 15th overall in 2010 – on Tuesday. Terms have not been disclosed, but multiple outlets have reported that the extension is for four years and $44 million, and incentives could push it to as much as $48 million. Alex Boeder of “Bucks Beat” wrote a nice piece on why that’s a good thing for Bucks’ fans.
If you saw Larry Sanders the first time he stepped onto the floor at the Verizon Wireless Arena in 2007, your first impression would likely have been something like, “well, he’s tall.” Discovered in Fort Pierce, Fla. by then-assistant Tony Pujols, Sanders had been playing organized basketball for only a couple of years, and was, without a doubt, raw. It was tough to throw the ball to Sanders in the post because he wasn’t very good at catching it, and when he did, he wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it. But for all the things he hadn’t been taught, there were so many skills he possessed that you can’t teach.
Sanders was starting halfway through that season and eventually averaged 4.9 points and 5.2 rebounds on an NIT squad. He averaged 11.3 points and 8.6 rebounds as a sophomore and became a viable sidekick to Eric Maynor. The performance of those two in the 2009 CAA Championship Game, Maynor lobbing to Sanders (18 points, 20 rebounds, 7 blocks) for dunks, Sanders blocking everything in sight, was an eye-opener for fans and scouts alike.
At that stage, it was pretty clear Sanders was going to end up in the NBA someday. After a junior season in which he led the Rams in scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg), Sanders entered the draft. He wasn’t a finished product by any means, but his draft stock was soaring. In a league with a dearth of centers, Sanders’ combination of length and athleticism was coveted. After two occasionally frustrating seasons in Milwaukee, Sanders broke out last season and averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He’s just 24, and he’s starting to come into his own. The Bucks were smart to sign him now, rather than take their chances after the 2013-14 season.