Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘basketball’
Posted: November 2nd, 2012

Members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team—which earned a record number of golds for women—from left: Missy Franklin, swimming; Gabby Douglas, gymnastics; Kayla Harrison, judo; Allyson Felix, track and field; Carli Lloyd, soccer.

These awesome women made gold more than an accessory at the Olympics.

Glamour magazine’s 2012 Women of the Year issue, photographed entirely by 114 women, hits newsstands and homes Nov. 6.

It’s a celebration of women — in sports and everywhere else.

Speaking of great and golden women, Gannon University and the Erie Insurance Arena will host the NCAA Division II Elite 8 women’s basketball championship tournament in March 2014.

WOOHOO and congrats to my tennis bud, Gannon University President Keith Taylor on one great achievement for Gannon University and Erie.  Read all about it here. The Gannon women’s basketball team went to the Elite 8, a few years ago.

Read more about the current Gannon women’s team here.

If you remember — some other local women brought big crowds to Erie in 2011, when Mercyhurst and Erie hosted the NCAA Division I Women’s Hockey Championship tournament.

Golden girls are all around us! Go girls!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 25th, 2012

I never limited what my kids ate, and I never forced them to exercise. I never freaked over TV time. We kept a computer in full view of everyone, and they used it. They all had TVs in their rooms when they were old enough to buy them. We went for nightly or daily walks when they were little. They were never overweight.

I was lucky. We lived across the street from a park, had a basketball hoop in the driveway and plenty more within blocks of the house. We had soccer nets, hockey nets, and we played a lot of outdoor games and sports including tennis. They played organized sports and intramurals  at school. They all shoveled snow. We rarely sat still except for homework.

It’s childhood obesity awareness month and WebMD says one out of every five U.S. kids is overweight. WebMD attributes the problem to lack of physical activity and bad eating habits. We need to stop this. Now is the perfect time to get your kids into additional activities — at school, at home, the neighbor’s place or a neighborhood park. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Get a basketball hoop. It doesn’t have to be a $500 hoop. We’ve had portable hoops and more — for $130 to $200. Check some out here. You can often find them at garage sales and in the classifieds. We just gave our last one to the neighbor kids. You don’t have to play the traditional game. Play PIG, HORSE or Around the World. An hour will disappear, and everyone will have used stomach, arm, shoulder and leg muscles. And had some calorie burn.
  2. Don’t offer snacks at night. I had a friend who religiously gave her kids a snack and a glass of milk every night before bed. Every night. I asked if her children were so hungry that they asked for snacks every night. The kids never asked — the mom just offered. That conditions kids to eat at night and creates a really bad habit. I’m not saying hungry kids don’t deserve a snack at night, but at our house nearly everyone ate a pretty good dinner. They never made snacking a habit unless they had practice or a game and had burned off some calories. I’ve seen countless articles where folks said they just stopped snacking at night to lose weight.
  3. Get a family hobby. Try table tennis, swimming, a nightly walk around the neighborhood, the mall or anywhere that keeps everyone moving. Sitting doesn’t burn calories.

As a hefty kid, I know that eating isn’t always related to being hungry. Sometimes it’s boredom and just knowing food is around. When kids are busy, food isn’t such an important item.

Pam Parker is the mom of three and stepmom of three. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Timesand House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: September 3rd, 2012

    A friend of mine’s son, a state champ in tennis, went from a good player to a state champ after changing his diet to get through grueling tournaments. Diet is more important than you think. Ask successful athletes in tennis, football cross country, basketball, volleyball, soccer, track or any sport what helped them achieve greatness, and many will tell you they learned to eat right.

    As a mom of many athletes, I’ve seen kids eat candy bars and Swedish fish before track meets and still perform well, but in the long run, athletes who go the distance commit to good nutrition, and that means protein and carbs. Here’s a link to KidsHealth advice.

    5 things to know about athletes and nutrition:

    1. Is your kid taking creatine? It is a supplement, and if your kid is into this, read this article about the importance of nutrition and hydration. I’ve seen kids take everything from protein powder to excess vitamins. With the Internet, everyone seems to be an expert on nutrition, but supplements are not a good idea and not meant for kids under 18. If you have a concern about your teen’s nutrition, ask a doctor — not a friend.
    2. Protein bars work for some folks as a protein source, but many are loaded with preservatives and sugar alcohols. My kids didn’t have a problem, but protein bars give me horrible stomach aches. Peanut butter on half of a whole grain bagel was my daughter’s pre-run meal before every cross country and track meet. She was cross country runner of the year in our district, and her track team won states two years in a row. Many tennis players — national and local — credit protein and carbs for keeping energy levels up without the carb crash that can occur if you are performing in an all-day or all-weekend tournament.
    3. Tournaments often have pizza and fast food readily available, and don’t fall for it. A lot of kids can’t handle dairy — in the form of cheese, yogurt or milk — before an event. Save dairy for after the event or hours before it.
    4. Hydrate with water. For most people, sports drinks are not a necessity, but water is. Kids must listen to coaches about hydrating, or they will cramp. I see it every year in football — a kid misses an entire game because of cramping. Our bodies need to be hydrated for days in advance of an event. Here’s a great article on dealing with cramps from LECOM.
    5. Kids don’t always listen to parents or coaches. Kids are kids, and some (like some of mine ) have to learn the hard way. They may get caught up in the latest fad diet but forget that it can have consequences. My son tried Atkins while playing football, and discovered a total loss of energy. Fortunately, a trainer talked him out of it. Visit your family doctor and/or a registered dietitian if your son or daughter is out of sync with sports and diets. Here’s a list of registered dietitians in the Erie area. And remember as kids grow, their nutritional needs change. The days of pre-gaming on Swedish fish and candy bars don’t make the grade at the varsity level.

    Pam Parker, a tennis player well acquainted with muscle cramps, is the mom of three and stepmom of three — all athletes.  She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: August 27th, 2012

      Kickoff Magazine from the Erie Times-News available at Country Fair

      School’s in and sports start. It’s time to look at what we can and can’t do for our kids.

      First, remember schoolwork is the important thing. While sports might get the major focus because of intense practices and game days, you have to be the guiding force.

      Student athletes must keep up, or you will all regret it. I’ve been there and done that. Don’t let your students fall behind — and don’t do the work for them.  Teach organization skills and get a tutor early — don’t wait until it’s too late. Plenty of kids are available as tutors and will work around your athlete’s schedule.

      Encourage, but don’t let your kid belittle other kids’ abilities. I reminded mine that everyone improves over the summer. Kids who work hard will excel.

      Don’t let sports consume your lives or your conversation with your kids. Stay grounded. Be a volunteer, and help out your team. But don’t let that become a contest for you, your kid or other parents. I’ve seen parents argue over who raised more money in 50-50s right in the middle of a crowded football game.

      If you are divorced or separated, vow to remember school and school sports are not a battleground. Be a parent — it’s all about making sure your kids are successful in school. Here’s an article on how to set aside disagreements and focus on making your kids’ school year the best it can be.

      Enjoy the season. It will fly by, and you’ll be chatting up memories like me!

      Pam Parker is the mother of three and stepmother of three — all involved in football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, cross country, track and field, volleyball and more. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: July 11th, 2012

      If you have a stash of trading cards, make sure to hang onto them, or sell them. A recent story in the Erie Times-News discussed a collection worth millions. Read about it here. The rare series of baseball cards was dated around 1910.

      It’s not just baseball cards that have value. At our house, we have football, baseball, basketball, hockey and, yes, Pokemon cards. Most of the valuable cards were cashed in for college educations around here, but we never hit the jackpot. And there are jackpots to hit.

      Anyone who remembers Pokemon — and has the cards, popular in the 1990s — will want to read this article.  It describes the 10 most valuable trading cards. A Pokemon Pikachu Illustrator is worth about $20,000. It is rare, but other cards are worth anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

      I remember we spent a lot of time collecting cards when my boys were young. Over the years, they bought and sold them. Even local ENT Dr. Jack Anon got into trading cards with the kids. He bought them and gave them away — making a lot of friends. Before you toss a box of cards — check out the value. Who would have guessed that Pokemon would have big value decades later?

      Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: June 20th, 2012

      This is an old, out-of-focus picture of my boys, Ryan Eckert, at left, and Howie Eckert, at right. And that’s me behind them — the Christmas tree is behind me. Yes they have matching shirts (my daughter Kelly bought them), but when it comes to sports — they disagree on matching up teams.

      We have had legendary battles between the Green Bay Packers (Ryan) and San Francisco 49ers (Howie). Howie assured me this Miami Heat versus Oklahoma City Thunder will not reach that proportion. Only because it will all be over pretty quickly — unlike football season which begins in August and ends in January, or is February? They have been watching the NBA Finals together, and it brings back a lot of memories for me. This is the first time they have lived together for a long time, and it’s right here at home.

      Hoops has always brought my kids together. They’ve played together and watched one another play since they were tots. They all played in the driveway, in grade school, at MYAA, Lakewood Park, in basketball camps, middle school, high school, and a game still gets going in front of the house on occasion.

      If your kids play, enjoy every minute.

      Pam Parker, mom of three and stepmom of three,  is an award-winning writer and editor for Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: April 25th, 2012

      It’s the time of year middle schoolers are faced with the challenge of choosing a high school. It’s an emotional time for kids — be understanding. Here are five things to consider:

      Private versus public — Private schools cost more than $6,000 a year for tuition. That’s $24,000 for four years, and that does not include any of the activities, uniforms or fees. Loan opportunities exist for private schools, but if college is in the future, more loans will follow. Have a frank family discussion about how this impacts your family. Children need to know we love them and support them, but financial reality must be part of the equation. Consider all the what ifs. Here’s a link for how to review schools http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-the-Right-High-School.

      Big versus small. In our community, McDowell High School has more than 500 students per grade level. All of our kids went there, and the size was never an issue. Our kids were involved in dozens of activities, camps, baseball, soccer, volleyball and more where they interacted with other kids from the region — they knew a lot of kids. Here’s a link that discusses private schools, charter schools and home schooling. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-to-choose-a-private-high-school.html

      Be the voice of reason. Guide, but don’t push. For example, some kids naturally lean toward vocational education, but others don’t. Similarly, some kids want to be at the top of the class striving to be the best in honors classes and the works, but others don’t want the stress. Athletes might want to make a school decision based solely on sports. But if your athlete gets hurt, will the school decision still be the right fit? Don’t get stuck on maintaining a family tradition just because it’s a tradition. Every kid is different, and schools do change from generation to generation. Here’s a link that helps you analyze 33 different aspects of high schools. http://www.chooseyourfuture.org/choosing-a-high-school

      Location. Getting to and from the school can be a deal breaker for parents and students. After-school and weekend activities mean plenty of return trips to the school for the fun stuff. Be realistic about how much time it takes to make the trip and if the school is on an accessible city bus route.

      It’s an emotional decision. Listen to your youngsters. The high schools they choose will impact future decisions. My daughter attended a large high school and decided that she wanted an even bigger school for college. The boys were the opposite. They thrived in a small college environment — every kid is different.

      Finally, keep in mind, these are kids — they will change their minds, and they need us to understand. I have one kid who attended a large public school and a small private school — all in four years. We all make decisions and change our minds. You have to do what works for you and your family.

      Pam Parker, mother of three and stepmother of three — all over age 20 — is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: April 11th, 2012

      If you need a reason to smile today, check out the Varsity faces of winter.

      It’s been a few years since our kids were on varsity football, basketball, track, cross-country, wrestling, lacrosse and baseball teams, but seeing the smiling faces of kids supporting each other and celebrating brings back memories — good memories of teamwork.


      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: March 28th, 2012

      Kudos to Kayla McBride of Notre Dame. Again! Erie’s Kayla McBride, a Villa Maria Academy standout,  had 16 points in defeating Maryland with a score of 80-49 last night in the Raleigh Regional final. She sank two 3-pointers in perfect style.

      Notre Dame meets University of Connecticut on Sunday night in Denver. This will be the fourth time the two teams have played this season with ND taking three out of the four contests. Read the full goerie.com story from Associated Press.

      Notre Dame lost last year in the finals of the Final Four, but McBride did not play in that game.  The other NCAA Women’s semifinal includes Baylor (with 6-foot, 8-inch Brittney Griner) against Stanford. She dunks.

      Womens basketball will pull in big TV ratings this weekend.

      Posted in: Uncategorized
      Posted: March 27th, 2012

      A few weeks ago, I watched obscure Arlington High School girls basketball team, that had only 75 girls in the entire school, win the Ohio Division IV state championship.

      It gets better. Three sisters on the team, Amelia, Alivia and Anessa Recker, are three-fourths of a team of quadruplets. It was the team’s first trip to the state championship and they beat a team that had been to the state championship four times.

      It gets better again. A week later, their brother, Thayne Recker, and the boys team headed to the state semifinals but lost 46-37.

      The school has about 615 students and is located about 50 miles south of Toledo.

      Here’s a link to the NPR story. Here’s a link to the ecourier story. It includes pictures of this fearsome foursome.

      It hasn’t been easy street for parents Scott and Deidre Recker, a former college basketball player at Heidelberg University in Ohio. Anessa had several critical brain and back surgeries over the past six years, but she recovered.

      A Cinderella story worth retelling.

      Posted in: Uncategorized