I still have yet to view the post-season show, and I still have a few hurdles to clear as far as slowing down and being more conversational (I think having additional people might help that aspect as fewer things will rush through my head). Initially speaking, I was far more comfortable being there than I was last year, even without Heinz leading the way. It was a bit of a hindrance as far as interviews go (I was hoping to get Centennial on the way out), but I guess you can call me committed. I had gone through too much to just say forget it. Despite our bare bones equipment, we made it work. I also successfully recorded the AAA and AAAA games to my computer, so I'll be using as much footage as I'm allowed from 45.
St. Michael-Albertville won what will be their only state title in class AAA; they're moving up to AAAA next season by beating a Minneapolis North team who was rather young; many players still have yet to attend high school. 63-50 was the final. North is scheduled to go to class AA, but they're requesting to stay in AAA, so we'll see what happens. In any case, at some point, the experience can be overwhelming for players who aren't old enough for driver's education. North looked lost after jumping out to a quick start and could never find that spark in the second half. St. Michael-Albertville wasn't supposed to be there either as the unofficial 7 seed (they were technically unseeded) and ended up as the surprise of the tournament. However, North may return to the powerhouse they were at the beginning of the decade.
Things finished as expected in class AAAA, but the final score was closer than expected. Minneapolis South won 68-61 over Centennial with 47 points coming from Tayler Hill alone. Hill was the only player to score double-digits for South, except they didn't lose this time. Megan Nipe scored 22 points for Centennial, but this game was won from the free throw line. South was 25-30 (83%) while Centennial was 17-26 (65%) from the charity stripe. For those who think free throws aren't important (they generally don't provide many points by percentage), they really do make a difference that can't be attributed to how the other team plays. Hill tied the all-time tournament record for points in a single game and easily broke the all-time single season scoring record. She finishes her dream season with 1,053 points. More astonishing is that Hill didn't score below 20 all season. Not even Sadiqah Jihad fouling out or Tyisha Smith leaving the game due to a knee injury would stop South from winning what was supposed to be theirs last year, the class AAAA state championship.
You'll see us again at the All-Star series, but looking back now, some goals I will try for next season (should I return) are:
1. Create an emergency plan in case one of my co-workers goes AWOL for three weeks and fails to respond to any form of communication. I almost got burned today.
2. Expand the coverage area. We went to Becker, but it was to televise a game featuring Minneapolis South. You may see us head for the Lake Conference or Suburban East as St. Paul looks rather weak for 2009-10.
3. Focus on just play-by-play, whether I call games solo or with a partner.
4. Find a few more faces who are willing to call games with me. The sources I have now are reliable, but they're often swamped with basketball schedules of their own (coaching that is). Guess you can't take people away from the thing they love most.
5. Be more careful when conducting interviews with college players. I almost landed in hot water, but cleared up the issue before it boiled.
Exhausting as it was, and frustrating, I'm glad to close the book for 2008-09. You'll see the post-season show soon. I don't expect to televise AAU this summer given the logisitical concerns, but you never know.
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