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The journey to the Final Four, Houston edition

    There is the big dance in college basketball that comes around every March, and this weekend I was given the opportunity to take a sneak peak at the ballroom.

    The U.S. Basketball Writers Association annually holds a seminar called “Full Court Press,” which gives sports-writing applicants the opportunity to cover events leading up to the NCAA Final Four. The opportunity allows aspiring writers to attend press conferences, media interviews, attend practices and watch the Reese’s College All-Star game. Writers were asked to develop a story based off interviews conducted during the day.

    There are not enough words that a 19-year-old can say to describe the national sports media scene. Everywhere there were teams of journalists from all the major publications, who were working and producing their content. There were countless numbers of cameras that hopped from media room to media room and captured film of the practices. And, above all, the numerous media outlets gave the grand impression of how professional these different publications run at and all the different possibilities in the field of sports journalism.

    My friend Hector Quintero once asked me, “if you see a pack of buffalo running toward you, what do you do?” I replied with some analytical strategy, like evading the buffalo or hiding from them, to which he disagreed, saying, “in life, we must run with the buffalo.”

    Instead of simply recording interviews in front of the different players and coaches, my inhibitions forced me to be attentive and ask questions during the interview. Questions led me to the discovery that Malachi Richardson of Syracuse had been receiving mentoring by previous program standouts, helped me unveil the inseparable bond that Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige of the Tar Heels had, and prompted a 20-plus minute conversation with my favorite shooting guard of all time, ex-Indiana Pacers standout and basketball analyst Reggie Miller. All of these were used in some form of media to produce.

    While this was an experience that any sports die-hard would fan girl over, it also served as a manner of growth for me. Dana O’Neil of ESPN gave a talk to all of the members of the competition in regards to ethics, strategies and tips as a sports journalist, and she stressed how important preparedness is when going to an interview. If I had not done research prior to the event, I would have sounded unknowledgeable in my articles, so that advice will be utilized from now on in my writing.

    Jim O’Connell of the Associated Press gave a narrative piece of advice that I will hold dear during my journalistic career forever. His story was how he was reluctant to write a story about children playing hockey outside, but when his editor snapped some sense into him, he did the story whole-heartedly and got a beautiful writing piece out of it. The moral of O’Connell’s story was to always give an assigned story attention as if it is the most important thing in the world because if the effort is not there, then the reader will not be either.

    As I retreated home and took my tux off from the college basketball big dance, the growth and experience will remain with me forever.

    Adrian Braoddus may be reached at [email protected].

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    About the Contributor
    Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
    Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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    The journey to the Final Four, Houston edition