If you want to instill some peace in angry, hot-headed inner-city youth, have them, like, grab a board and become a mellow dude riding the waves. That's the idea Maurice "Maui" Goodbeer came up with while surfing the South Beach shores after his brother's death in 2003. Goodbeer had delivered his slain brother's eulogy and promised his family he'd find a way to reach out to inner-city kids and help reduce the violence. The organization he launched, Streetwaves Foundation, mentors at-risk youth from Miami's inner cities and introduces them to the soul-and-sport lifestyle of surfing. Maui's goal was to create "stewards of the ocean," focusing the kids' energy on the holistic effects that surfing could bring to their lives. So every Saturday, he rounds up his troops from local youth centers and takes them out for free lessons. It has gained such good vibes that Streetwaves is up for a much-needed Pepsi Refresh Project grant. The group also needs volunteers to pick up the kids, drop them off, transport equipment, boost them into a wave, and help get the word out. Streetwaves has even tugged the heart of Brooke Hogan, who was spotted on the beach in early May helping instruct students.
The Miami Dolphins brass has shown a habit of holding back when it comes to big-name free-agent signings. Their philosophy seems to be spreading the wealth at different positions rather than giving one big check to one player. But this off-season, when Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Karlos Dansby became a free agent, the Fins pounced on him like Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch. Yes, they went against their own philosophy but, in doing so, filled a huge void in their defense. In his six seasons in the NFL, all with Arizona, the 28-year-old Dansby has recorded 553 tackles, 25 sacks, 10 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns. He posted 109 tackles, a sack, and an interception last season and has built a reputation for being a big-time play-making machine. He immediately bolsters the Dolphins' lackluster linebacking corps and gives Miami a free-ranging defender who can rush the passer as well as make plays in the middle. The Dolphins made sure Dansby, possibly the best NFL free agent this off-season, visited only Miami, and they immediately signed him to a five-year, $43 million contract, making him the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL. So much for spreading the wealth. But sometimes you have to break with tradition if you're going to stop sucking.
American Top Team Doral
Do you find yourself watching UFC fights on pay-per-view, envisioning yourself in briefs decorated with the flag of your native country, with blood dripping down your face and an award-winning case of cauliflower ear? If so, you might be clinically insane and/or interested in knowing that at American Top Team Doral, any guy or girl can take their first step in becoming an ultimate fighter. The name that sponsors nationally recognized fighters such as Thiago "the Pitbull" Alves and former WEC featherweight title-holder Mike Brown opened its doors about a year and a half ago. The gym now allows brave run-of-the-mills to take classes in Brazilian jiujitsu, Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts alongside individuals who kick ass for a living. Step into the long, massive, open space covered with mats, punching bags, and a fairly intimidating octagon for a range of classes that feature matched-up throwdowns. ATT is headquartered in Coconut Creek, but many wannabe fighters get their foot in the door at the Doral location. And if you start kicking some amateur ass in class, the ATT Doral owners might eventually offer to sponsor and schedule you in fights. So if you're fearless, want to get in ridiculously good shape, and don't care too much for your facial aesthetics, get your martial arts mixed at ATT Doral. The gym offers first-timers a free one-week trial. Prices are $190 a month for unlimited classes or $140 for two classes a week.
Apologies to Tony La Russa, Joe Girardi, and Joe Torre, but the best manager in baseball last year wore teal and black and spent his summer afternoons at the place previously known as Dolphin Stadium. Yeah, we said it. Fredi Gonzalez doesn't have any World Series rings under his watch, but in his short tenure, he has already proven to be the Robert Rauschenberg of Major League Baseball managers, taping together pop art masterpieces out of rusty cans and the lowest payroll in the majors. Don't believe us? Do a little simple math. Take last year's Marlins team salary — $36,813,000 — and divide it by the number of wins they picked up last year — 87, almost enough for a playoff berth. The Fish, by that reckoning, spent a little more than $423,000 per win, by far the lowest in MLB. In other words, they got the most bang for their buck in the Bigs — and Fredi, a local Cuban boy who earned the manager's seat through years of trolling the minors, is the reason why. Best local sports coach? Bah! Try best cap'n in all baseball.
Scratch DJ Academy
Every Miami club kid has had the fantasy of spinning records with one hand in the air while a sea of bodies sways to the beats. You know the one — the dream where everything is in slow motion and your favorite celebs just can't get enough of your set. Well, at the Scratch DJ Academy in the Design District, any music junkie can train with professional DJs to whip that fantasy into reality. Envisioned by the late Jam-Master Jay of Run-D.M.C., the DJ-school concept began in New York City in 2002, and Scratch brought its turntables to Miami three years later, moving into the Design District in November 2009. All of the instructors are pro DJs with lesson plans for six-week semesters, giving the classes a legitimate college feel. The methods have been honed to cram what used to be years of training into a single course. It seems to be working. The school has produced some of Miami's slickest DJs and even has a deal with nightclub Love Hate to help get gigs for Scratch's up-and-comers. Wednesday nights at the South Beach lounge are dedicated to the musical styling of the most impressive students. And every DJ at Scratch says all you need to start spinning is a love for music — and maybe some type of rhythm and the $300 to cover a semester.
There were plenty of talented young players on last year's Miami Hurricanes squad, but they still have a few years to prove they're worthy of such a prestigious award. In fact, we hope they win something that makes even a "Best Of" mention seem small. One of the most surprising players of last season, though, was senior linebacker Darryl Sharpton. Remember his interception and 76-yard touchdown against Duke? That was perhaps the biggest highlight of a fine season. He led the team in total tackles with 106, put in a career high of 15 in the Champs Sports Bowl while the rest of the team slogged, became the first Cane to break 100 tackles in a season since Tavares Gooden in 2007, and took home the final two ACC awards for Defensive Lineman of the Week. Like a fine wine, his career with the Canes got only better with age. And, oh yeah, he just happens to be the nephew of Rev. Al Sharpton.
When the Florida International University women's volleyball team took on Sun Belt Conference archrivals Western Kentucky University last October 2, all eyes were on Golden Panthers outside hitter Yarimar Rosa. The five-foot-ten Puerto Rico native watched as one of her teammates slapped the ball toward her. Rosa jumped up and pummeled the ball with her fist, sending a line drive over the net. A Western Kentucky player flailed at the ball, sending it out of bounds. Rosa's teammates howled and applauded another kill for the senior, who ended her FIU career as the school's all-time leader in career kills (2,083) and career digs (1,053). She guided the Golden Panthers to an overall 32-4 record and 17-0 campaign in the Sun Belt. The team won its second straight SBC regular-season title and finished second in the SBC Championship. Rosa became the first FIU athlete to be named an All-American four times and was named the Sun Belt's player of the year. A long-haired blonde with an infectious smile, Rosa began playing volleyball when she was 5 years old. In 2003, she became the youngest player to participate in the North, Central America, and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Olympic Qualifying Tournament. "I just have fun," Rosa says. "When I play volleyball, I'm just happy." This past February, Rosa was the first pick in the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino lottery draft.
In his first five years as a pro, Miami-born Haitian brawler and reigning WBC welterweight champ Andre "the Beast" Berto posted an undefeated 25-fight record, clear-cutting his way to the top of the toughest division in today's fight game. His reward: a January 30, 2010 megabout against surefire Hall of Famer and WBA titleholder "Sugar" Shane Mosley. It was Berto's big shot. At only 26 years old, the Beast had earned the right to fight a legend. But then disaster intervened. On the morning of January 12, a devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake razed sections of Port-au-Prince and killed more than 200,000. Eight of Berto's family members were among the dead. His sister Naomi and niece Jessica were declared missing. So Berto called off the matchup with Mosley, traveled to Haiti, found his sister and niece alive, and spent the next month assisting with relief efforts. After an 11-month hiatus, he returned to the ring April 10, meeting journeyman Carlos Quintana at the BankAtlantic Center. Through seven rounds in Sunrise, the punch stats were nearly even. However, from the first bell, it was obvious Berto was landing the bigger blows. And eventually, he broke Quintana down, scoring a brutal TKO at 2:16 of the eighth round. The win gave Berto his big shot back. And it's now inevitable: By the end of this year, he will finally fight one of the world's elite welterweights: Mosley, Mayweather, or Pacquiao.
King of Diamonds
Alex Markow
Ode to a boxing queen:Brown-Sub's hook crushesDollars rain inside the ringAt Monday night fights
There are fighters. And there are head busters. Count Luis "Baboon" Palomino in the latter category. As a member of Team MMA Masters, out of Overtown, the Peruvian mixed martial artist puts on a gritty performance every time he steps into the octagon. The five-foot-six, 150-pound fighter relies on his quick athleticism and awesome punching power. If he catches his opponents with one of his left or right hooks, it's over. Since going pro in 2006, Palomino has amassed a 12-6 record, with seven knockouts. As a teenager, he grew up between Miami Beach and South Dade during an era when teen gangs wrecked havoc across the county. Palomino didn't affiliate himself with any colors, but he still had to use his fists to defend himself from bangers in his neighborhood. "It wasn't easy," he recalls, "especially when you don't have 10, 20 guys backing you up." And in the world of MMA, a little showmanship is necessary, which Palomino doesn't shy from. Witness all the trash-talking he and his last opponent, Jorge Masvidal, engaged in. The two fought to a split decision at this past February's G-Force Fights-Bad Blood 3 at the American Airlines Arena. G-Force owner and former Miami Heat player Glen Rice praised Palomino. "Palomino stepped up and got his respect," Rice said. "His performance was a tribute to his hard work." MMA Masters coach Cesar Carneiro promises Palomino will one day be a world champion. "No one is going to stop him."

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®