Ernest Hooper, Assistant Sports Editor

Ernest Hooper

Assistant Sports Editor

When I look in the mirror every morning, I realize I like the guy looking back at me. Don't get me wrong. The man in the mirror comes with flaws. He needs to eat less, exercise more and try not to get so caught up in his own thoughts. But I still like him. I like having a wife willing to put up with all my flaws after nearly three decades of marriage. I like that God has blessed me with three children -- two sons and a daughter -- who have grown to become great young adults. I like that every morning I awaken excited about journalism, the awesome opportunity to connect with readers in ways both big and small. I love coffee, but serving Times readers represent my true caffeine. Most of all, I like that guy looking back at me -- all of his loves, all of his memories and all of his weird personality traits -- because he's still pushing to do more, be more and learn more. Nothing matters more than looking in that mirror and appreciating the man who looks back at me because that drives me to be better.

Clearwater’s Keith Thurman vows to end Manny Pacquiao’s career

Keith Thurman speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in New York. Thurman and Manny Pacquiao are scheduled to fight in a welterweight world championship boxing bout on Saturday, July 20, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
The man known as “One-Time” promises a win in the July 20 bout between the welterweight champions in Las Vegas

Gerald McCoy is leaving the Bucs. What’s his legacy in Tampa Bay?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) looks up toward fans after saying a prayer on the field before the final game of the season. (BRONTE WITTPENN | Times)
Last summer McCoy said we’d miss him when he’s gone. Now that he is, here’s a look at his legacy.

Is it time to go on the defensive to preserve equality?

In this May 17, 1954, file photo, George E.C. Hayes, left, Thurgood Marshall, center, and James M. Nabrit join hands outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after justices declared in the Brown v. Board of Education decision that separate but equal schools for black children were unconstitutional. Three years after that ruling, President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatched federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., to escort nine black children as they integrated Central High School. The 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine's enrollment is Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. [Associated Press]
To think we might revert in any way to a dark passage in our history should unnerve every American.

Gala gives a boost to Lee Roy Selmon’s legacy of mentoring

Claybra Selmon, center, greets attendees at USF's BullsFest, held Saturday in the West Club Lounge at Raymond James Stadium. The gala benefited the Selmon Mentoring Institute. JOEY KNIGHT | Times
BullsFest, backed by the Bucs, raised funds for USF’s Selmon Mentoring Institute

Bucs break from off-season workouts for students’ ‘Field Day’

Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead sprints with students during the 2019 Jr. Bucs Field Day at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, FL. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jordan Whitehead, Vita Vea head up the list of players engaging elementary school students