The Rebirth of Ginn & Topics

I haven’t written on here for a while, but life changes and so will Ginn and Topics.

Before, this blog was to continue my writing. I was a sports writer since I graduated college, and I had covered tennis and boxing in my last newspaper job. This was a way to keep up.

It was also a way to indulge in another passion, music. I had gone to a lot of concerts and had a lot of photos to share as well.

I’m still going to do that.

But I’ve started to do marketing and content creation. So this will also be a space where I will show some of my videos and talk about the clients I work with.

The last project I worked on was the Palm Springs Health Run and Fitness Expo. I was brought on to help with social media and create video content. Above, you’ll see the wrap up video. Below is the first promotional video to launch our campaign.

The race featured a 10K and 5K runs, a 5K walk that was part of the United Way program, and a 1K fun run for kids. If you want to learn more about it for next year, go to

The promoter of the event is Jeff Hocker of Hocker Productions. He told me the numbers were up around 30 percent or so. I’d also encourage you to listen to Jeff’s radio show on every Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. It’s a health and wellness show, so you’ll get a lot of great information.

The promotional video to launch our campaign

Indio’s Ruben Rodriguez wins debut, Javier Padilla fights to a draw at Carson



Ruben Rodriguez’s fight against Roland Padilla on Aug. 26 at the Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif. Photos: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions


By Leighton Ginn

Indio fighters had a mixed night at the Stub Hub Center on Saturday night as Ruben Rodriguez won his professional debut by second round knock out in a super lightweight bout.

“I’m glad that I had my debut win be a knockout. Considering that I was really nervous, I’m satisfied with my performance,” Rodriguez said of his victory over Roland Padilla (0-3) from Los Angeles. “I got to start my professional career on a Miguel Cotto undercard, and that is really crazy to me, and is a great way for me make my way up in boxing.”

Rodriguez was the first of a 10-fight card that was headlined by Cotto’s fight against Tokyo’s Yoshihiro Kamegai.



Javier Padilla’s right against Ricardo Arias on Aug. 26 at the Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif. Photos: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions


Fellow Indio boxer Javier Padilla fought to a draw against Mexico City’s Ricardo Arias in a four-round super bantamweight fight.

Despite the minor setback, Padilla remained positive.

“I’m not very happy with the way the judges scored the fight, but I know that this is a learning experience,” Padilla said. “I should have used my reach a lot more, however, I just like to fight from the inside. He was tough, and kept smothering my punches. I’m ready to get back into the ring.”


— Quotes provided by Jenna Dresner of Mercury. Photos by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions



How Tom Brady’s Facebook post is spreading awareness for Krissy Kobata, who needs a bone marrow to live

UPDATE: Chloe Bennet of  “Agents of SHIELD” had also jumped on board by Tweeting out the original post and some useful information. Bennet Tweeted out the post about an hour after Brady’s post.

Chloe Bennett on Team Krissy


On Tuesday morning, the original post reached over 1 million people.

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By Leighton Ginn
Krissy Kobata is a Los Angeles woman in need of a bone marrow to save her life, but the search for a match is complicated by her mixed-race heritage.
But awareness for Kobata’s search got a huge boost from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
The Asian American Sports Journalist page posted about Kobata’s search. Kobata is a friend of agent Don Yee, who has donated money for a scholarship to the group’s Sports Task Force, which is part of the Asian American Journalist Association.
Soon after the AAJA convention in Philadelphia last month, Yee requested from the group of sports journalist to see if they could spread the word.
Sean Jensen, a former NFL writer and author of the Middle School Rules series of books, posted on the group’s Facebook page with a link to a story he wrote at
Jensen also purchased a boost. As the main administrator of the page, I shared the post in several Asian-American pages.
Awareness was a key because it’s difficult to find bone marrow matches for Asians, and the fact that Kobata is half Japanese and half Caucasian.
As of early Monday morning, the post reached 51,805 people, with people sharing comments on how get tested through Be The Match’s website

I had shared this news with Ohm Youngmisuk, an NBA writer and frequent guest on “The Jump” and “SportsNation” about the post.
He shared the news with Yee.
Yee is a sports agent and his top client is Brady.
By 1 p.m.  Monday, Brady’s official Facebook page had shared the post. About 10 hours later, the post had gone from 51,805 to 832,437.

There’s been 4.6K likes or reactions, and 160 comments in 10 hours on Brady’s page.

To learn more about Krissy and her fight, you can go to her page at

Random advice for Coachella 2017



By Leighton Ginn

Twice last year, just waiting in line to get into Coachella, I saw two girls passing out. Going in. During the day.

Now that’s a bummer way to start your Coachella. So here’s a few advice for Coachella from one long-time attendee.

Stay hydrated

This is a desert. And while the punch line is, “It’s a dry heat,” it can sneak up on people. Case in point, the girls who passed out waiting to get in. Drink a lot of water, Gatorade, coconut water, whatever. Chug a lot before you get in.

Beer does not count. If you want to drink, I’d advise doing it later in the day.

Wear lots of sunblock

I think this goes without saying, but the sun really does burn out here.

Late night food options

If you aren’t camping, and you’re starving after the headliners, this valley doesn’t have a lot of late night options. But there are two areas that have places to go and eat.

On the corner of Simon and Highway 111, you’ll find an In N Out, which last year was open until 3 a.m., giving you plenty of time to get there, even with the nightmare of trying to get out of the parking lots.


I haven’t gone there lately, but the 5 Guys Burgers on Washington and Highway 111 was open late too during one Coachella.

If you go further up on Washington, past the I-10 bridge, hit a right on Varner. Between the Arco and Chevron gas stations, there’s a Castaneda Mexican Food restaurant that has a great variety of Mexican foods. A lot of my friends love the carne asada fries.


Also on Washington, on the corner of Country Club, there’s a Subway that’s open 24 hours. You won’t exactly be able to see it off the street.

Back on Varner, next to Castaneda’s, there’s also a Winchell’s to satisfy your sweet tooth.


And around the valley, you’ll find your typical fast food places.

Bring a bandana

Coachella gets dusty. I mean really dusty. And the valley can get really windy, so if you have allergies, this can be a nightmare.

Even if you don’t have allergies, the dust can really be a pain. And it gets worst if you’re Weekend 2. So remember to bring a bandana to cover your face.

Bring your own TP

Ladies, the porta-potty’s are a nightmare. Now, Coachella has added an actual bathroom facility between the food area and the tents. But those get really crowded. And let’s just say sometimes resources can run out in inopportune times. Better safe than sorry.

And I know people want to eat healthy, but easy on the fiber, especially on Sunday. Those porta-potty’s get bad. Save the fiber for after Coachella.

From losing in first round of qualifying a year ago, Elena Vesnina wins first BNP Paribas Open singles title

3-19-17 Vesnina 2


A year ago at the BNP Paribas Open, Elena Vesnina lost in the first round of qualifying to wildcard Julia Boserup in straight sets.

This year, Vesnina defeated five seeded players, including three players who won a combined 11 Grand Slam singles titles.

One of those players was two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova as Vesnina rallied for a 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 victory Sunday in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open.

“Tennis is awesome, I can say,” Vesnina said. “I think that my example is the good kind of self-belief, good kind of vibe for all players. All other girls on the tour who think, ‘Oh, my God, this is the end of the world, end of my career,’ I lost first round of quallies, what can be worse than that?

“I think nobody could pick me at the beginning of the tournament that I could win this title. Me, also. I couldn’t pick myself.”

Vesnina was speaking with the BNP Paribas Open championship trophy during her press conference when she had a Oscars moment.  The men’s final between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka was coming to an end and officials had to interrupt the press conference to take the trophy away.

Because it’s the only trophy, and they needed for the awards ceremony, it had to by whisked away.

But things got off to a bad start as she dropped the first set. Set point was determined on a net cord.

“It was such a heartbreaking moment for me,” Vesnina said. “I was, like, ‘Oh, my God, I was fighting so much. We played set for more than an hour, This is how it’s gonna end?'”

Kuznetsova capitalized on the momentum shift as Vesnina struggled with unforced errors. By the fifth game, Kuznetsova had a 4-1 lead and appeared headed to her first BNP Paribas Open title after two previous runner-up appearances.

“I just thought that I had to stop doing so many mistakes,” Vesnina said. “I have to stay a bit longer on the center cour. I was not thinking that I will win this match in that moment, to be honest. I was just thinking that I want to stay longer. I just want to fight. I don’t want to give it back so easy.”

After losing at the BNP Paribas Open, Vesnina began to turn things around in Miami, as she went through qualifying and reached the third round, beating Venus Williams along the way.

Vesnina built up enough momentum, and at the All England Club, she reached the semifinals of Wimbledon.

At this year’s tournament, Vesnina had several tough matches, including Shelby Rogers in the second round. Vesnina was winless against Rogers in two meetings.

“I think the turnaround of my tournament was when I beat Shelby Rogers,” Vesnina said.

The wins would only get bigger. Vesnina would Timea Babos in the third round, and then stun Angelique Kerber, who will be the No. 1-ranked player in the world on Monday. She followed that up by beating Venus Williams in the quarterfinals.

Prior to Sunday, Vesnina had a different kind of success at Indian Wells as she was a five-time doubles finalist, winning the title in 2008, ’11 and ’13.

But Sunday’s win was special in its own right.

“This means a lot. This is the biggest title for me in singles. Biggest title and the biggest final I ever played,” Vesnina said. “It’s going to take the big part in my heart.”


Jack Sock continues his good vibes at BNP Paribas Open, this time in singles

3-17-17 Jack Sock

By Leighton Ginn

INDIAN WELLS — With a kick serve that stayed out of Kei Nishikori’s sweet zone, Jack Sock advanced to his first ATP 1000 semifinal with his 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory Friday at the BNP Paribas Open.

“Kick serve especially on these courts is deadly for me,” Sock said. “So that was a big part of the game plan for me today going in. If Kei is hitting the ball in the strike zone, he is going to beat pretty much anyone in the world and can on any given day.

“For me, it was all about trying to get him out of that slot and let him not be taking balls at his hip and waist and dictating play. So the kick serve for me today was crucial, first and second serve, and that’s what I used it a lot.”

The Sock-Nishikori match started at 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day, and Sock said the conditions played into his strategy, based on what he saw from fellow American John Isner.

“I think every player knows, everyone that watches knows the day and night difference and how lively the ball is, how much it gets up on these courts,” Sock said. “There’s a tremendous difference. I saw when John was playing the other night, from day to night for him is an eight-inch difference on his serve.”

Sock will face four-time BNP Paribas Open champion Roger Federer in Saturday’s second semifinal. It is Sock’s best showing in singles, but he’s also had success in doubles at Indian Wells, having reached the finals the past two years.

He won the doubles title in 2015 with Vasek Pospisil. The duo combined to win the Wimbledon title as well.

Also in 2015, Sock reached the fourth round of singles at the BNP Paribas Open before getting knocked out by Federer in straight sets. In his previous three Indian Wells performances, Sock never won a singles match at the BNP Paribas Open.

But it was more than just the results that made 2015 a turning point for Sock.

Prior to Indian Wells, he had pelvic surgery that knocked him out of the start of the 2015 season, which turned out to be a blessing.

His brother Eric suffered pneumonia and Lemierre’s syndrome a bacterial infection in the throat. With complications, Eric had to move to ICU and was on a ventilator. He nearly died.

Eric survived, and Sock dedicated that 2015 run to him.

It also changed Sock in significant ways.

“There were definitely a lot of things going on outside of tennis,” Sock said. “I think it helped me grow outside of tennis, outside of the tennis court, which has helped me in these past few years.

“I think that’s why my results have trended in the right direction. I have realized, yeah, I love tennis, it’s my career, you know, it’s my job, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. But since his illness and everything, it’s kind of helped me take a step back and realize life is bigger than tennis, for sure. I think it’s helped me enjoy every moment out there, as well. It’s helped me relax on court a little bit.”

Venus Williams couldn’t turn it around, falls to Elena Vesnina in quarterfinals

3-16-17 Vesnina

By Leighton Ginn

Elena Vesnina has been following Venus Williams closely, so she knew there could be trouble in that third set of the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinal on Thursday, based on history.

“I saw previous matches that she was down with match point with a set point, and I was like, ‘Uh-Oh, it’s coming back again. I’m going to be another victim of Venus,'” Vesnina said laughing. “I don’t want. I want to win this. I want this match.”

Vesnina was able to hold off Williams, despite down love-40 on her serve in the final game, holding on for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory to advance to the semifinals. She will face Kristina Mladenovic, the lowest seed in the semifinals. No. 3 Karolina Pliskova will face No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the other semifinal.

In her post-match press conference, Williams alluded to having an injury issue that had slowed her up.

“I would just like to be healthy just like the next human being,” Williams said. “You beat your body up in sport, and I want to play these big events. I don’t want to be at home watching. It’s frustrating either way, not to be 100 percent or to watch at home. Which one do you choose?

“I chose to be here. That was my choice. I gave it my best today, and I’m looking forward to playing her again, hopefully healthy and 100 percent, and will have an opportunity to really show what I can do in these kind of matches.”

Vesnina noticed that Williams didn’t seem like herself early in the match.

“In the first set, it was a little bit unexpected,” Vesnina said. “When I was up 3-Love in the first set, she was missing some easy shots. She looked tired and slow on the court. Then, all of a sudden, she started moving around, hitting great shots, winners from all over the place.”

In Friday’s semifinal, Vesnina knows she’s got a tough match against one of the hottest players on tour. And after her quarterfinal win, Vesnina had a doubles match to play.

“It’s going to be difficult match, but on the other hand, it’s very exciting to play the semifinal match here in Indian Wells,” Vesnina said.





Kristina Mladenovic defies past to reach BNP Paribas Open semifinals

3-16-17 Mladenovic

By Leighton Ginn

Judging my her previous four appearance at the BNP Paribas Open, it would be a stretch to predict that Kristina Mladenovic would make a deep run at Indian Wells.

And on Thursday, it seemed unlikely that she would get past Carolina Wozniacki, a former champion and No. 1 player that she had never beaten in three previous meetings.

But this isn’t just any tournament for Mladenovic.

She beat Wozniacki, the 2011 BNP Paribas Open champion,  3-6, 7-6, 6-2 to reach her first semifinal. Earlier in the tournament, she beat No. 4 Simona Halep, the 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion.

Coming into the tournament, Mladenovic had won a title in Russia and reached the finals in Acapulco right before coming out to Indian Wells.

“It feels great, obviously. It’s a lot of matches and it’s like the longest kind of string of winning matches I had so far in my career, and it feels great,” Mladenovic said. “Every day I go out there on the court, in the gym practicing, it’s for moment like that. So I’m not getting too excited. I’m just super satisfied that I am on that kind of stages right now and trying to use my chances.

” Yeah, I’m enjoying my time on the court, and very happy.”

Mladenovic will face Elena Vesnina, who beat Venus Williams 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday.

Until the first set Thursday, Mladenovic hadn’t lost a set in the tournament. With the victory, Mladenovic will crack the top 20 for the first time in her career.

To get to the semifinal, Mladenovic took a big gamble in the second-set tiebreaker by coming in to serve-and-volley.

“Because every time I would serve good on the backhand, she would go very deep and return well,” Mladenovic said. “I was, like, ‘Okay, let’s just be creative here.’ And it paid off, and it gave me a chance to fight in the third set. I think the third set was the best game of today for me.”




With a new coach and a new outlook, doubles champion Vasek Pospisil upset No. 1 Andy Murray in singles

3-11-17 Vasil Pospisil


By Leighton Ginn

INDIAN WELLS — Vasek Pospisil said comparing his doubles title at Wimbledon and Saturday night’s upset of No.1 Andy Murray is something he can’t really do.

But he can say that beating Murray 6-4, 7-6 is a high point of his singles career.

“Obviously to beat the No. 1 player in the world is incredible,” Pospisil said. “I mean, it’s the biggest win of my career, and I’m just thrilled right now.”

In order to get into the main draw, Pospisil had to play through qualifying. But since the off season, Pospisil made several necessary changes after struggling throughout 2016.

With the work he put in, Pospisil began to feel the drive that he was losing during his difficult 2016.

“I had a tough year last year for many, many different reasons. I feel the last couple months I really found my hunger and my motivation to be back on the court training hard again,” Pospisil said. “I have been very pleased with that, more than anything, the last few weeks, the last couple of months.

“I felt like a big result was coming, because I believe in my abilities, but just kind of had to put the pieces together again.”

One of his additions was Mark Woodforde, the doubles great who lives in nearby Rancho Mirage.

While Woodforde was one-half of the Woodies, one of the winningest doubles team that is in the Hall of Fame, Pospisil liked that Woodforde was a top singles player as well.

“He has a lot of wisdom and he’s been around for many years,” Pospisil said. “I felt like he could help me kind of discover more about my game and how I want to play. He’s been a great addition, and I’m very pleased with the progress that we have made so far.

“Obviously everything takes time. So the first couple months we were still learning a lot about each other, and now it seems that things are going the right direction.”



No. 1 Andy Murray faces lots of questions, has few answers after another early loss at BNP Paribas Open

3-11-17 Andy Murray


By Leighton Ginn

Andy Murray didn’t have many answers for upstart Vasek Pospisil’s game, or for reporters following his 6-4, 7-6 loss in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. It was the third time Murray, who is the No. 1 player in the world, has lost his opening match at Indian Wells.

“I don’t know exactly why it is, because in practice here normally I play pretty well,” Murray said of his struggles in the California desert. “And then some years I played well. Some years  it just hasn’t quite happened for me. I don’t know exactly why that is. I don’t know if it is the conditions here. I really don’t know why I haven’t played my best here over the years.”

But Murray did have a good idea of why he struggled Saturday night against Pospisil as he had problems with his serve and was broken repeatedly.

The start of the year hasn’t gone well for Murray. He had also lost to Misha Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open, who plays a serve-and-volley game similar to Pospisil.

Murray didn’t think the style of play was a problem.

“My results in my career have been fantastic against serve-and-volley players, so, you know, maybe it’s something I need to practice a little bit more,” Murray said. “I have never really practiced playing against serve-and-volleyers in my career. But when I have come up against them, it’s normally been a game style I have enjoyed playing against.

“Today, it wasn’t so much the serve-and-volley that was the problem. It was my own serve, rather than not sort of getting enough opportunities when he was serving. So I think that was more the problem tonight.”