Inspiring Athletes

Lance Berkman experiences a renaissance in St. Louis

After spending most of his career in Houston (where he is still revered), Lance Berkman headed to New York for a half-season stint with the Yankees in 2010 before signing a free agency deal that landed him in St. Louis to play for the Astros’ N.L. Central rival Cardinals. It’s been a strange site to behold.

Even stranger, however, has been the first baseman turned right fielder’s unexpected resurgence. Berkman’s numbers had been tapering off over the past two or three seasons mostly due to minor injuries here and there. But now, the 35-year old looks more like his 25-year old self. After the first 55 games, Berkman had 15 home runs, 45 RBI’s and equally impressive batting average (.324) and slugging percentage (.621) numbers.

Click here for a look at one of Berkman’s impressive at-bats from last week:

Ray Lewis takes orphaned boy under his wings

He may be one of the fiercest defensive players to ever play the game. He may also be one of the most maligned (if not misunderstood) characters to emerge from the NFL ranks. But despite the public perception, Ray Lewis may just have one of football’s biggest hearts.

Case in point, Lewis has made a special connection with a 10-year old named La’Shaun Armstrong who was left orphaned when his mother drowned herself and three children by driving a van into the Hudson River on April 12th of this year. The Baltimore Ravens linebacker, along with former NFL cornerback Reggie Howard recently invited Armstrong to a fundraiser for their organization United Athletes Foundation. The event’s proceeds will in part go to create a relief fund for the boy’s mentoring, counseling and tutoring.

Armstrong was the sole survivor of the tragic incident. He escaped through a van window after the vehicle crashed into the water and was rescued by a passing driver. Inspiring Athletes is pursuing an interview with Lewis to discuss this story. In the meantime, you can read more about it here.

Dwight Howard mobilizes volunteer force in tornado-riddled Southeast

It’s hard to miss a guy like Dwight Howard. Being 6-11 will make you stand out no matter where you go. But imagine the looks the Orlando Magic center got while spending quality time helping the victims of the April 27th tornado that ravaged Alabama. Howard spent June 2nd and 3rd, along with fellow NBA player Josh Powell, on behalf of his D12 Foundation.

Howard assisted Habitat For Humanity in Birmingham one day before heading to Tuscaloosa where he donated $10,000 to the city’s Disaster Relief Fund and hosted a gathering for victims and volunteers. Check out the video below to hear Howard talk about the experience:

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Join Inspiring Athletes tomorrow for an interview with Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zach Duke.

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