Next time I do one of these, I'm ditching my sport coat and going with a polo. I understand my co-worker's reasoning to continue looking professional, but with an 80* high today (not bad for outdoor weather), it was close to a sauna in the Woodbury gym. My body matters too, lol.
Tracy Buford clicked very well. She's a quick learner in the art of broadcasting, although a little surprised when I got very excited at the end of the 17U championship. We got into some bar talk, but mixed it throughout the commentary. I know the players like to win AAU tournaments and improve for next high school season (or college for the older teams), but they also looked like they were having a little fun out there. I wanted to reflect that.
Regarding the games, North Tartan used a big run early in the 1st half against the Lady Suns to get up front and stay there, winning their game soundly 71-59. North Tartan's Sari Noga of Parkers Prairie had complete control over the defense of the Suns, lighting up from behind the arc and scoring some inside buckets too. She could make a name for herself before her high school career is over.
Paul Hill's NC Heat won a thriller over the Metro Stars 19U team 51-49. The Metro Stars used a man-to-man and forced a lot of missed shots in the 1st half, appeared to have control of NC Heat's zone defense, but buckled when the Heat switched to a half-court press late in the 2nd half. Having Tayler Hill and Megan Nipe as teammates doesn't help matters for opponents; Nipe did well in the 1st half while her good friend Hill did the same in the 2nd. NC Heat was down by 8 with 1:47 to go. Hill responded with 6 points on two three-point plays in 29 seconds to make it a one-possession game. She added a three-pointer and two more free throws in the final seconds while Courtney Boylan of the Metro Stars missed a critical free throw. With the game tied at 49 with 26 seconds to go, Hill held the ball and held back pressure for the final shot, where Katy Leick scored the winning basket at the buzzer. The Metro Stars may have been a little too relaxed and may not have anticipated NC Heat staying in there despite trailing by three possessions late, but it was a great primer for both teams for the summer and their return to school.
One surprise was the lack of time between games. Warm-ups are only five minutes, but I didn't expect halftime to be three minutes. I don't make the rules, but that puts a lot of pressure on a broadcast crew to make changes quickly and get back in there. The players are probably accustomed to it, but it's amazing how quickly the games go. I may try to attend some pool play games next time or obtain rosters of perennial contenders for better preparation and coordinate a better area for the broadcasters. Where we were was out of the spectators' way, but it was a little tiring to be standing for two games to clear the guardrail. However, I figured there would be some obstacles as this is a much different process than a high school game. I could also use a statistician for these as there isn't enough time to get scores and other stats. I'm better at picking up scoring runs now, but that would help dissect the game even further. I have much to learn about AAU.
On the positive side, I think this was the first time I completely winged an open and got through it without any mistakes in the middle, a sign that I'm maturing and developing as an announcer/reporter. Granted, this wasn't my first basketball game, but having general practice does help. As my co-worker Heinz says, you can't do this once and expect to be perfect.
Time to make my sign for ESPN's broadcast of the Twins-Yankees game tomorrow; it falls on my birthday. Even with all my work, I'm psyched about this. I rarely get to have this much fun on my birthdays, but that's another story.
A vs. AAAA All-Star game to be broadcast this week, I'm shooting to have AA vs. AAA done by the end of this week.
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15