SIMPLY JESSICA: Omar Miller travels to grand slam tennis tournaments

Omar Miller was looking to attend a tennis tournament in Miami. The tennis enthusiast called a friend of his in the tennis world.

Miller was on a break from shooting HBO’s “Ballers.” He plays Charles Greane, an NFL player who is searching for his next career. Miller’s friend asked him on the phone what was he currently doing in the lifestyle space.

He knew that Miller had hosted a travel series on Esquire Network. Miller sees exhaustion as the only downside to traveling.

“It’s tough to be all over the world because flights are long,” Miller said. “The up side is the rewards are through the roof. You get to see multiple cultures and how people live. I adopt pieces of the different cultures that I visit into my own life. It makes me a more layered person. There is a growth that I get out of traveling that I really love.”

The meeting led to Miller’s latest television show, “Advantage Omar.” Miller goes on the road covering the destination highlights of all four Grand Slam tournaments via the Tennis Channel.

Tennis has four events that take place in different parts of the world. The first event starts in January with the Australian Open.

The French Open is in Paris in June. In July, Wimbledon takes place in London.

The U.S. Open is in late August and early September in New York.

Miller jumped at the chance to create something innovative. He wanted to show tennis in a fresh manner for a younger audience.

“I hope that people will understand the value of travel,” Miller said. “The world is a big place and there are more things that connect us than divide us. I hope that as people watch my adventures that they are motivated to travel. I hope that I encourage people to try new things and to get out of their comfort zone in their daily lives.”

Omar Miller has a new television show, ‘Advantage Omar, on the Tennis Channel.
(Courtesy photo)

Miller is not quick to pin down a memorable place that he has traveled to. He is quick to tell me to be more specific with my question.

“I’ve had wonderful memories traveling all over the world,” Miller said. “I need a more specific question than that to be able to answer you. I just had a memorable trip in Paris.”

“Advantage Omar” is scheduled to have 20 episodes in it.

The show debuted in early June.

“You should expect more exploration as I present the best of London and the best of Paris through the eyes of someone who likes to take the non-traditional route,” Miller said. ”I like to try different stuff and show you what a trip with me is like. If you’re interested in seeing how a celebrity and a sports fan travels then you will be able to see that in the upcoming episodes. There will be a lot of adventure, cool personalities and celebrities. I am excited about this to be honest.”

In addition to “Advantage Omar,” Miller does a video and audio podcast called the “O-Zone.” It showcases celebrity opinions on sports from different cities. It airs on LeBron James Uninterrupted channel.

Season three of “Ballers” will premiere on July 23.

“‘Ballers” expands into multiple cities,” Miller said. “The show has gotten bigger. People will be interested to see what will unfold this season with all the different characters as they balance daily life.”

You can visit the following link to see Advantage Omar: http://tennischannel.com/search?find=advantage

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.

 

SIMPLY JESSICA: Donovan Carter discusses his role on HBO’s ‘Ballers’

Welcome to the magical world that exists in the NFL. The players make tons of money, date pretty girls, drive fast cars, live in fancy houses and help their families with money.

It would be a dream come true to be in the NFL.

What could be almost as thrilling as being in the NFL?

You could play a NFL football player on HBO’s TV show “Ballers.”

Donovan Carter was in Miami to shoot the first episode “Ballers” opposite Dwayne Johnson when his mind went blank leading him to forget his lines. He was now in the clouds.

It was up to Johnson to bring Carter back to Earth.

“Everything just hit me at once,” Carter said. “It wasn’t until Dwayne said to me, ‘You are good and we believe in you’ that I snapped out of my trance. It was such a surreal moment.”

In 2012, Carter graduated from UCLA with a degree in history. He had been playing football since he was a 9-year-old boy growing up in the San Fernando Valley with dreams of going into the NFL after graduation.

His dreams of going to the NFL did not work out.  He was cut. Carter was depressed about it.

The 25-year-old football player was determined to find another way to live out his dream of playing in the NFL.

“Spencer is a big brother to Vernon on the show,” Carter said. “He tries to keep Vernon from making the same mistakes he made in football with his friends.”

Carter brings his football expertise to the role.

“Vernon is struggling in a lot of ways,” Carter added. “He needs to learn to take care of himself. He’s taking care of his family and friends. He is young and immature, but making grown-man money. He needs to grow up and learn that money doesn’t last forever and neither does football.”

Carter did a few football commercials before his acting role.

“I went to acting classes prior to shooting,” Carter said. “I am familiar with football but not with the terminology of acting. I had to look the part so I worked out.”

It is contagious hearing Carter talk about football.

“It is a collection of things that I like about football,” Carter added. “I like the comradery and the team spirit. The other guys on the team become like brothers to you.”

It is the life lessons that Carter treasures about football.

“I enjoy the discipline that football gives you,” he added. “It teaches you a good work ethic and it teaches you to work hard. It allowed me to travel and meet new people. No one is better than anyone. But in sports, people put you on a pedestal which makes you feel superior.”

He was born in Washington, D.C., so his favorite football team is the Washington Redskins. He moved to Atlanta with his mother when he was 2. Then at 8, he moved to North Hills.

Carter has a humble spirit about himself.

He pushes past any fears he feels on a daily basis.

“Ballers” began shooting in November 2014.

“The first episode was challenging because I had to get past my fears and all the butterflies,” Carter said. “There is no ego on this show and that is what I enjoy the most.”

“Ballers” is shot in Miami. Carter had never been there.

“I wake up everyday thanking God that I have a job that I love to do,” Carter said. “My relatives work, but they do it to pay the bills. I love what I do and I’m excited about going to work. The whole experience is amazing.”

Carter has things in common with Vernon.

“I’ve gone through many of the same things as Vernon,” Carter said. “You get a lot of money fast. No one can teach you how to experience that. You have to go through it and learn life lessons and make mistakes. There is no blue print. There is no way to learn. You hope you will make the right decisions but if you don’t then you have to learn from it.”

He has one grandmother left that he hopes to spend as much time with her as possible. He is passionate about raising awareness on autism for children.

“I am passionate about being a good person and treating people like you want to be treated and loving everyone,” Carter said. “We need to make the world a better place.”

He describes himself as a funny and silly guy who loves to have fun and enjoy life. He loves playing dominoes, going to the movies and the beach and hanging out with friends.

“You get a blessing by being humble,” Carter said. “I’m a man of my faith. You have to work hard, be easy to work with, never complain and be a team player.”

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.