RAINIER BEACH, Wash. – He’s been in the NBA for ten years and is a three-time Slam Dunk champion.
But when Nate Robinson isn’t playing for the Denver Nuggets, he’s focused on wings.
Specifically, wings and waffles – the specialty of his new restaurant in Rainier Beach.
“My mom had a salon next door while we were growing up, so this was destiny,” said Robinson’s younger brother Anthony Stewart.
While his brother plays basketball, Stewart helps run Nate’s Wings and Waffles with their mother, grandmother, siblings and cousins.
“My nickname is actually ‘Chicken,’ my mom’s called me ‘Chicken’ since I was a little kid,” Stewart laughed. “We need somebody else in the family named Waffles and it will be all right.
Nate’s may be the first restaurant in Washington to specialize in the chicken and waffle combination. Their dishes are made with organic poultry breaded in special seasoning, and garnished with house-made syrup.
“It’s just that whole sweet and savory thing, the salty chicken goes perfectly with the crunchy waffle and maple syrup,” said co-owner Darren McGill.
The owner of food truck “Happy Grillmore,” McGill purchased the business space on Rainier Ave. S and 57th Ave. S a year ago, but it sat empty for months. After meeting Robinson through a mutual friend, they realized they shared a dream of opening a restaurant.
Within two months, Nate’s Waffles and Wings was open.
The first day of school can be tough. But for students at Rigler Elementary, the first day came with a surprise and some much needed supplies.
Thanks to the Schoolhouse Supplies “Tools for School” program, students at Rigler received backpacks filled with notebooks, folders, paper, pencils, scissors and erasers courtesy of Moda Health and Damian Lillard.
“We live in a community that has a high number of low socio-economic status among parents,” said Sara Gandarilla, principal at Rigler Elementary. “So the supplies helps the students get what they need to eliminate any barriers in their education. That’s why it’s so important that when the community comes and gives whatever they can, it really helps the kids. It takes a huge burden off the families.”
A summer of training with USA Basketball has paid off for Toronto Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan. Despite receiving a DNP in Team USA’s 112-86 exhibition victory against Puerto Rico on Friday night, DeRozan made the final cut for the 12-man roster that will head to Spain on Saturday in preparation of the FIBA World Cup.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team,” DeRozan said. “This is what all my hard work is for and I’m glad that it has paid off.
“I look forward to continuing to put in the work and doing whatever I can to contribute to the team’s success and bringing back gold.”
After DeRozan did not see game action in two of the team’s three exhibition games, he had to wait until late Friday night to find out he had survived the final round of cuts. A first-time All-Star this season, the 25-year-old DeRozan posted a line of 13 points, six assists, five rebounds and a steal to in a 105-62 exhibition victory on Wednesday. He shared leading-scorer honours with former Raptor Rudy Gay.
DeRozan also led the team in scoring in the Team USA scrimmage that was held in Las Vegas three weeks ago and his performance with the team was praised by head coach Mike Krzyzewski in advance of Friday’s contest.
Another opportunity, another impressive performance. As DeMar DeRozan continues auditioning for a roster spot with USA Basketball, he gives the coaching staff plenty to think about whenever he sees the floor.
After serving as the team’s leading scorer in the scrimmage held in Las Vegas three weeks ago, DeRozan didn’t receive any playing time in a USA exhibition game against Brazil. Rather than allowing it to get him down, he made the most of his 23 minutes in Wednesday night’s 105-62 exhibition victory against the Dominican Republic.
Francisco Garcia and James Feldeine led the Dominican Republic with 14 points apiece.
DeRozan discussed the meaning of this opportunity during Team USA’s July training camp in Vegas.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me because I kind of represent my country and the country of Canada. I get to show off the two countries that root for me. It’s always fun just to be mentioned in a pool of players that are able to make your country’s team and represent them. It’s a great honour.”
From the moment the Toronto Raptors drafted DeMar DeRozan, coaches and teammates raved about his work ethic. Through four frustrating years of team struggles and scrutiny, DeRozan attacked every offseason, kept working and believed it would pay off.
After inking a four-year, $38 million contract extension in 2012 he heard the critics. People questioned the team’s decision to reward a young player who, up to that point, hadn’t been able to elevate his team to the postseason. Opting to keep his focus on the things he could control, the contract brought DeRozan more attention but didn’t change his approach.
Things clicked for DeRozan last season. A veteran on a Toronto team that had been through what he called “damn near 60 players” over his tenure, his teammates trusted him to be their guy. With point guard Kyle Lowry in his ear encouraging him, the 25-year-old swingman put together the strongest effort of his career. Most important, the Raptors had a winning season.
Being named an All-Star for the first time was a huge honour for DeRozan, but the highlight for him was helping to get the Raptors to the playoffs after a five-year drought.
“I think his focus level [is different],” Houston Rockets star James Harden said during USA Basketball training camp. “He’s not getting sidetracked by the small things anymore. He has one goal and that’s to be the best player he can be and he’s done a great job of it. He’s matured and he’s definitely a great player, an All-Star.”
Both Los Angeles natives, Harden and DeRozan have known each other for years. Getting to spend time together on the sidelines of Las Vegas Summer League or suiting up at the Drew League in L.A., the two have remained close since being drafted in 2009.
“That’s like one of my best friends,” Harden said. “We’ve grown together. He’s doing so well in Toronto now. I’m definitely proud of him. He’s out here now at USA Basketball with me and we’re just two guys form the same city trying to make it.”