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Shooting ‘Hoopz’ at Uncle Herb’s Key to the City Classic in Metro Detroit

Photo Credit: Courntey Lewis

Photo credit: Courtney Lewis

The “God Father” of basketball and athletics for Romulus, MI, “Uncle Herb” Buckley, a Detroit suburb native, has given the youth the “keys” for productivity on his first annual “Uncle Herb’s Key to the City Classic” event. This event was to successfully guide children involved in athletics to come together, enjoy the game of basketball, and diminish crime in the Romulus community.

Uncle Herb’s Key to the City Classic took place at Fernandez Park in Romulus, which held hundreds of student athletes, former athlete acquaintances of Buckley, and lifetime supporters of his selfless hard work in the community. Uncle Herb has been assisting others in reaching their potential in athletics and has dedicated 30 years of his life to coaching and mentoring the children of Romulus. He discussed that his future plan for The Key to the City Classic is to possibly bring motivational speakers, more college athlete graduates, and of course more children out to enjoy a monumental game of basketball and to show others that “It takes a community to raise our children. Sometimes as adults we forget that we were kids. Instead of pushing them away to the streets, we need to pull them in and let them know we’re here to work with them through anything. We need to show the youth we care, and whatever matters to them, matters to us.”

Photo Credit: Courtney Lewis


The first annual Key to the City Classic welcomed Romulus High School girl’s basketball coach and mentor Rola Emanuel, who’s been under the wing of Herb Buckley. The well known local Detroit dance group “Believe 3” was represented by child prodigy Unity and this poised, talented young lady blew the crowd away with her dance moves and charisma while shooting hoops along the court. At 12, Unity has big visions and goals to be a professional dancer, actress and singer.

Photo Credit: Courtney Lewis

Image-1Not only did Buckley have supporters in the community, but Detroit native, former reality TV star of “Flavor of Love” and “I Love Money,” Hoopz was also in favor of Herb Buckley’s dedication to give back to the passion of basketball within this community. Being a former basketball star and student at John F. Kennedy High School in Taylor where she attended, Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander made an easy, genuine connection with the children at the Key to the City event.

How has being a reality star changed your life?
“It has changed tremendously! Flav told me the second I started the show it would. I was young and I didn’t know what he meant but I do now! I went from venturing out to everybody wanting a picture with me and yelling my name everywhere I went. It was bittersweet.”

What are you currently working on?
As for my show ‘It takes a sister’ there won’t be a season 2. It gives me time to start on some other things like the app I will be launching ‘Survival of the fittest’ and my fine wine line. I wanted my app to be something like mentally and physically challenging at the same time, just as it was when I was on I love money. The expected launch for both will be this fall ‘16.

Is there someone special in your life right now?
No, I am single! If love comes, it comes, but until then I’m not forcing anything. My main focus is me right now and getting to know more of myself.

What is your advice you have for the Romulus girls basketball team at Uncle Herb’s Classic?
Stay adamant, if basketball is something you take seriously then chase it. God will always lead you in the right path and during that stay true to yourself and continue to be active in events around the community.

You’re definitely in shape. What are your workout regimens?
I’m athletic so I always find different activities to do and I love outdoor activities. My schedule doesn’t allow me to make time for the gym so I make sure I stay active no matter what.

What type of teen were you?
I was always a defender and a leader. At lunch in high school you would never see me cliqued up in a group or anything, I was always with the people who weren’t as ‘accepted’ in the social seen. I was ok with that. I always did my own thing.

You played basketball in high school. How long did you play? Do you still play? Did you ever want to play professionally?
Basketball was my outlet! I always knew it was something I loved and wanted to do. It still is my first love. I went to JKF in Taylor and after that I went to Henry Ford Community College to play ball until my coach quit then I really didn’t know what was next then. There were times I used to fall asleep crying wondering why basketball didn’t work out for me! During that time I dated someone who played overseas in Italy, I went with him then I eventually started playing again! After that I went straight to LA, knew a few close people there, then I auditioned with this production company..had no idea what it was for lol Then after I came back to Michigan I got a call from the production company and they wanted to fly me out for a ‘dating show’! So next thing you know I was back in LA, moved into this big mansion with all these girls waiting for someone to walk through the door..we had no idea it was going to be Flav.

Where do you currently reside?
Knoxville, Tennessee

Any advice for someone trying to pursue their dreams?
God will direct you in your path. Believe you’re going to get to where you want to be. Know where you want to go. Just believe that one day it’ll happen. Let go and let God.

Last but not least, what is your favorite quote?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results” -Albert Einstein
“You can’t keep doing the same thing all the time and expect something different. Try something new.”

1 Comment

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