Central Michigan University(NEW YORK) — Stephan Wilson, a recent college graduate from Michigan, said he is having a hard time finding the right gift for his mom, Sharonda Wilson, for Mother’s Day.Stephan, 23, has good reason.He and his mom were awarded their college degrees on the same day last weekend. Neither of them knew it was going to happen.The ultimate surprise came together in just a few short hours when a classmate of Stephan’s at Central Michigan University saw on social media that his mom planned on skipping her own college graduation in order to attend Stephan’s.Sharonda Wilson was set to graduate last Saturday from the Flint, Michigan, campus of Ferris State University.The classmate of Stephan’s, who works in the president’s office, told Central Michigan President Bob Davies about the situation Saturday morning, just a few hours before Stephan was set to graduate.Davies called the president of Ferris State University and was able to get permission for his school to confer Sharonda Wilson’s degree, according to Ari Harris, assistant director of communications at Central Michigan University.Just a short time later, Davies called Sharonda Wilson down to the stage at graduation, surprising both her and her son.“I had no clue,” Stephan told “Good Morning America.” “My mom is a selfless person. She didn’t give [missing her graduation] a second thought and I didn’t either.”Davies told the graduates during his commencement address, “Always remember that someone — or several someones — made a difference in your life that empowered you to be here today.”Stephan earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in music theater from Central Michigan and his mom, a mother of four, earned a bachelor’s of science in business administration from Ferris State.“I wouldn’t have been [at graduation] without her. That is the honest truth,” Stephan said. “My mother loves school. I have not been a big fan of school for my whole life.”“She has definitely been my biggest support, biggest cheerleader and to see her be recognized along with myself was priceless,” he said.The moment was so priceless that Stephan said his “mind goes blank” when he tries to think of a Mother’s Day gift for his beloved mom.“I can’t imagine anything else that would top what happened to us a week before Mother’s Day,” he said.However, Stephan may be able to give his mom the only gift many moms want for Mother’s Day: the chance to hug him in person. He left immediately after graduation to go on tour with the Central Michigan University Chamber Singers but is returning home on Mother’s Day eve.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nelson DeMilleThis bestselling author will speak about and sign his latest novel in the John Corey series, Radiant Angel, which takes readers into the heart of a new Cold War with a suspenseful, clock-ticking plot that has Manhattan in its crosshairs. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. May 28.Book SigningJake Bussolini, author of The Last Chapter – The Facts About the Last Days of Grumman, will host a lecture and book signing. The former Grumman senior vice president shares the fascinating inside story of the 1994 acquisition of the company by Northrop. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org Free. 7 p.m. May 28.The Empty HeartsFeaturing members of The Cars, Blondie and Chesterfield Kings, this supergroup features Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Clem Burke, two-time Grammy nominee Elliot Easton, bassist Andy Babiuk and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Wally Pamar. While fans view these icons as celebrities, the band members themselves are simply friends who bond through their love of rock. Bruce Springsteen’s The E Street Band member and Sopranos television star, Steven Van Zandt, handpicked the band’s name while collaborating with Babiuk. The Empty Hearts combines many lifetimes of musical experience, while sharing an admiration for the bands that made them become musicians in the first place. From American roots rock ‘n’ roll to 1960’s British Invasion, The Empty Hearts cover a wide range of genres, creating music that is nostalgic and retro but sounds brand new at the same time. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $10-$25. 8 p.m. May 28.Lynyrd SkynyrdIconic and legendary American rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, has been popularizing the Southern-rock genre for more than 40 years. Their signature songs “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird,” along with powerhouse performances, have allowed the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers to remain worldwide cultural icons. Lynyrd Skynryd is still standing and keeping the music going, furthering their legacy, retaining the respect and enjoyment among fans, regardless of generation. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $50.50-$60.50. 8 p.m. May 28.The ProducersOpening night for the local run of this hysterical musical is not to be missed. The story follows Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom who concoct a ridiculous scheme to make millions on Broadway by promoting a whopping failure, a musical about Hitler. But the jokes on them. Runs through July 12. John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport. engemantheater.com $69. 8 p.m. May 28.Fetty WapAlmost two years ago, W. Willie Maxwell II, known as Fetty Wap, took an interest in music. Since then, Kanye West has introduced the young rapper at his Roc City Classic show, alongside Big Sean, Travi$ Scott, Pusha T and 2 Chainz. His single, “Trap Queen,” has become No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 13 on iTunes. Wap makes his influences clear in his music, combining rap with melodies and trap instrumentals, paying homage to Gucci Mane, Project Pat and more. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20. 9:30 p.m. May 28.Lady AntebellumSince the band formed in 2006, musicians Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott have been writing and performing chart-topping Country hits such as “Need You Now,” “Just a Kiss” and “Bartender.” Come see the trio perform their greatest hits as part of their “Wheels Up” tour while they celebrate the release of their latest album 747. With opening acts Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Jones Beach State Park, Ocean Pkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $32.50-$62.25. 7 p.m. May 29. PhantogramOriginally known as Charlie Everywhere from upstate New York, Phantogram combines street beats and psychedelic pop. Their popularity interestingly is a result of word-of-mouth versus social media. The band has generated an enthusiastic crowd, one you’ll definitely want to be part of this summer. Son Little opens the show. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50-$42. 9 p.m. May 29.Get the Led OutGet the Led Out, The American Led Zeppelin, strive toward differentiating themselves from other Led Zeppelin “tribute” shows. While a typical tribute band will impersonate live performances or add their own influence on songs, Get the Led Out has one mission: to bring the studio recordings of Led Zeppelin to life on the big concert stage. The band does this with six members, rather than four, to recreate and perfect Led Zeppelin’s studio recordings live. Fans of Led Zeppelin rejoice: you are not only among talented musicians, but fellow fans who share your passion. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $25-$40. 8 p.m. May 29.Songs in the AtticDavid Clark will be joined for “One Night Only” by past and current members of The Billy Joel Band. Special guests will include: Liberty DeVitto (drums), Russell Javors (guitar) and Mike DelGuidice (also from “Big Shot” on vocals and piano). A night of Billy Joel music like none other. Special guest openers: The Slim Kings, featuring Liberty Devitto. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $39. 8 p.m. May 29.FyaWorksThe first band to play Treme’s summer reggae series every Friday night will be FyaWorks, who will musically transport the audience from Long Island to the island of Jamaica. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 9 p.m. May 29.New York Pet ExpoThis pet expo is bringing fun products and activities to LI for all kinds of pets. All well-tempered animals are welcome to attend, and pet owners are encouraged to stop by and see the giveaways and sales at the Expo. Even non-pet owners are welcome to participate in the animal adoption fair. This will be a great day to spend with your favorite furry, feathery, or scaly family members! Perhaps the Press‘ elusive Mr. Peter Chin will bring a few of his family’s whiskered, snuggly beasts to this mammal spectacular! Or perhaps not! Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale. nassaucoliseum.com $9 adults, $8 seniors/military, $4 kids ages 6-11, kids under 5 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 30.Fingers Metal Shop LiveIf you dig local legendary metal radio show “Fingers Metal Shop” on WBAB, you will absolutely LOVE this weekly live metal session that showcases metal, of course, in all its glory, noise and chaos, from national and native purveyors. This week’s assault is led by head-bangin’ hellraisers Misery Kills with Share The Burden, Dead Day Rising and Lost Legacy. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $10, $13 DOS. 8:30 p.m. May 30.Acoustic ConcertLI’s top acoustic performers will present their very best original tunes, melding the realms of country, folk, rock and blues. Clarion Hotel, 3845 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Ronkonkoma. LongIslandMusiciansNetwork.com Free. 5 p.m. May 30.’70s Soul JamFeaturing a lineup of legendary soul and R&B musicians that includes The Stylistics, Delfonics, Manhattans, Chilites and The Main Ingredient with Cuba Gooding, Sr., father of actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr. Experience the 1970s and rejoice with the people that made the decade so memorable, as each group performs their most popular hits. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. May 30.Ottmar Liebert & Luna NegraThe German-born “Nouveau Flamenco” guitarist, Ottmar Liebert, leads his band, Luna Negra. His music, consisting of pop song structures, is complimented by traditional flamenco music and subtly placed jazz. On top of five Grammy Award nominations, the songwriter/producer has had 10 of his albums certified platinum in the United States. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $50-$55. 8 p.m. May 30.Dance With Me Presents: Summer InvitationalDancing with the Stars Mirror Ball trophy champion Tony Dovolani will be hosting the annual Summer Invitational 2015. Presented by Dance With Me dance studios, the event will include Professional, Administrative, Amateur and Professional/Amateur competitions. There will be solo performances and lectures from guest judges Alla Kocherga, Serge Onik and Ilias Vinikovskiy on the program. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $55-$119. May 30, 31.Portugal Day ParadeThe 1.5-mile parade route will head east on Jericho Turnpike, south on Roslyn Road, east on Westbury Avenue to Union Street and end at Wilson Park in Mineola, where Bairrada Restaurant will be hosting its 2015 Portugal Day Festival. Special attractions include Portuguese pop singers, folklore dancing, philharmonic and marching bands and other lively entertainment. Mineola Portuguese Center, 306 Jericho Tpke., Mineola. Free. 11 a.m. May 31.Long Island LitFestThe inaugural Word Up: Long Island LitFest, a day of live, non-fiction readings is a unique celebration of words to be held at Castle Gould. The festival is broken down into three, one-hour reading sessions with breaks in between for book sales and autographs. The keynote reader is the legendary Dick Cavett, who will present essays from his latest book Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks. Sands Point Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. TheSandsPointPreserve.com $20. 1 p.m. May 31.Pitbull / Kelly ClarksonPitbull and Kelly Clarkson combine the English and Latino songs of the suave rapper with the upbeat pop and rock of the 2002 American Idol winner. Heat up the summer with songs like the internationally acclaimed hit “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Heartbeat Song.” They’re headlining 103.5 KTU’s KTUphoria, which features Jason Derulo, Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert, Prince Royce, Shaggy and more. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Jones Beach State Park, Ocean Pkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $25.50-$123.50. 6 p.m. May 31. Phil FiretogHailing from Massapequa Park and citing John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Toad The Wet Sprocket and As Tall As Lions as his influences, The ‘Toggler celebrates his CD release Portrait Songs, alongside local songbirds Matchbox Twenty tribute band Bright Lights, Ghost Pressure, Melissa Rorech and Trees Hate Everything. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $10. 6:30 p.m. May 31.CANCELLED: Body CountIce-T’s Los Angeles-based hardcore band will tear up the stage. Opening the show are death metal Long Island natives Suffocation and Tension. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com 24.50-$44.50. 7 p.m. May 31.Suzanne VegaYou know her from her timeless array of hits, including “Luka,” “Tom’s Diner” and “Caramel.” This is a chance to experience the acclaimed songstress, who melds eclectic folk with poetic lyrics and seemingly endless passion, up close and personal. Not to be missed! Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $47-$188. 8 p.m. May 31.—Compiled by Kaitlin Gallagher, Chuck Cannini, Nicholas Semelak, Kyla Stan, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III
Facebook Twitter Google+ It’s become almost an expectation that Syracuse teams under Dino Babers will produce a 1,000-yard, dominant inside-outside receiver. In essence, a true No. 1. Though Jamal Custis (906 yards) missed that statistical mark last year, his two predecessors atop SU’s wideout depth chart — Steve Ishmael in 2017 and Amba Etta-Tawo in 2016 — surpassed it. Every week, they could be counted on to soak up more targets than their colleagues and turn those targets into more catches, yards and touchdowns, too. Trishton Jackson is next in Babers’ wideout pipeline. Through six games, the Michigan State transfer seems on his way to joining the lineage of top-flight receivers at SU.“Just an every down receiver, can play everywhere,” Jackson said of what constitutes a No. 1 wideout, “Certain formations, can play in the slot. Can be out there, always on the field running routes, blocking for the running backs.”Jackson has been all those things for Syracuse (3-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) midway through its season. He leads the Orange in catches, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and target share — the percentage of SU’s passes that are thrown to him. But Jackson, by his own admission, isn’t yet a true No. 1 receiver. That’s because, he said, he’s still working to become a better leader off the field and perfecting the off-the-field trappings of being an elite wideout. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think I’m definitely on the right track,” Jackson said. “Definitely some things I need to clean up to be the actual No. 1 receiver in our offense.” Comments Playing catch upInfogramThree weeks ago, Babers wasn’t ready to anoint Jackson as SU’s No. 1 receiver. When asked this Monday about Jackson’s outsized role in Syracuse’s passing game relative to other receivers, Babers demurred. “I don’t look at it that way,” Babers said. “With the success that Trishton’s having, I wouldn’t be surprised if he started getting some double coverage down the road.”Jackson has been on the other end of 57 (26.5 percent) of Syracuse’s 215 passes this season. That is testament enough to his case as the Orange’s paramount pass catcher. While Jackson’s had more than a quarter of SU’s passes thrown his way, the next closest player is Taj Harris, who sits at a 15.3 percent target share. Harris has as many targets as Jackson has receptions. Pile on Jackson’s statistics midway through the season — 499 receiving yards, 33 catches and six receiving touchdowns — and the stat sheet paints a clear picture. This season, Jackson’s caught touchdowns running fly routes, hooks, posts, slants and even took a smoke screen for a touchdown against Western Michigan, gliding away from three defenders. On that play, Jackson turned on the line of scrimmage at the snap, moving to the screen pass Tommy DeVito delivered. He turned upfield with no blockers in front of him, split the cornerback and linebacker before stiff-arming a WMU safety into the turf and sprinting down the sideline for a score. “He can do a whole bunch of things that almost forces the defense to have two people on him,” DeVito said. “I can throw the ball to him on the line of scrimmage and he’s going to make a play, take it to the house.”Corey Henry | Photo EditorBesides using his speed and lateral quickness to blend into Syracuse’s screen game, Jackson assumes a more traditional downfield role of an outside receiver. Earlier in the WMU game, Jackson tracked a deep ball from DeVito over his left shoulder, slowed his feet and adjusted to the location. The redshirt junior let the hit from a defensive back propel him into the endzone while he secured the catch. There’s little doubt Jackson possesses the athleticism, size and skills necessary to be an inside-outside, every-down receiver. But Jackson’s booming production hasn’t equaled a booming offense for the Orange. Against North Carolina State, when SU’s offense managed to cobble together 10 points, he had his highest single-game target share of the season: 15 targets, 38.5 percent. And that’s not to say Jackson’s usage is detrimental by nature. He received 30.6 percent of SU’s targets a week before against Holy Cross, a game the Orange won by 38. Ultimately, Syracuse isn’t necessarily scheming as bluntly as “get 86 the ball” so much as looking at individual matchups on each play, Babers said Monday. Syracuse views Jackson as an advantage in most one-on-one matchups with cornerbacks and DeVito has targeted him accordingly.But, to Babers point, a defensive audible or double team on Jackson can change who is the No. 1 target on any play at any point. That doesn’t change the underlying truth: Syracuse’s passing game runs through Jackson. “A lot of the time that’s the matchup that we get,” DeVito said. “For some reason they like to have some guys covering him and we really like that matchup.”Max Freund | Staff PhotographerBut Jackson said he needs to do more off the field before he considers himself in that light. Almost every player spoke to a different level of intensity in practice this week, more focused film sessions and better player-to-player accountability across the board. Jackson was among them. “I think that’s where Coach Babers wanted to see me improve,” Jackson said. “And I think I’ve been improving in that.”Syracuse is at a critical point in its season. With three wins and a balanced back-end of the schedule in play, the Orange’s season depends on how it responds from a gutting loss to North Carolina State. Jackson should maintain his pace, currently on target for 998 yards by the end of the season, but if he succeeds with his improvement then maybe he can be a stabilizing force in a flailing offense. And if Jackson cements himself as the alpha in SU’s passing game and helps drag the Orange to a bowl, no one will ask who Syracuse’s No. 1 receiver is. Published on October 16, 2019 at 11:04 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham