Welcome to the NCAA: Student Sports Journalism

The NCAA Final Four this past weekend has flooded the news, and I had the chance to have a firsthand encounter in the eye of the storm.

Kylee Golden, Columnist

This past Friday I got the chance to be a part of a program called Full Court Press, where I got to go to the Final Four events in addition to a seminar put on by Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and also USBWA president, Nicole Auerbach of USA TODAY, Jim O’Connell of the Associated Press and former USBWA president, and Bill Hill, assistant managing editor of MLB.com.

The day started off with going to get my press pass at the media entrance. I arrived a little early, and then once the gate opened at 8:00 a.m., we were escorted to an open room where we were able to talk to and ask the sports journalists questions. This lasted for about an hour and a half. After our time with the journalists, we were able to go explore and attend any events needed for our articles.

My first stop was the South Carolina Breakout Session. This was where journalists were able to interview a player by himself. There were five rooms with a different player in each. I was not interested in writing about South Carolina but I still learned a lot from the other reporters. I ended up going to every breakout session for all the teams, just to get the full experience.

After each team had their breakout session they would go to the big press conference which included all five players and their head coach. We were not allowed to ask questions during this time since it was important that the larger reporters had time to get all of their questions answered. As this finished up, the team went back to the locker room to get changed and then went out to practice on the court for about an hour.

The practice was open to the public, but since I had the media pass, I was able to go down to the court and be up close. As I was watching the practice for North Carolina, I saw Grant Hill, a retired basketball star who has played for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers. He was kind enough to take a picture with me, which was was a huge deal to me.

By the end of the day, I was confident that I was going to work hard and try my best to become a successful sports journalist similar to the many great writers I had met. After getting many helpful tips from professional writers I am determined to follow their advice in order to become a successful sports journalist.