March Madness: Bucknell vs. UConn

Tuesday, I wrote about the thriller that was ODU/Butler. Today's story is a different team who suffered the same fate, but with a score not nearly as close. As an American alum, it was good to see another Patriot League team live and in the big dance. But it's tough when that team has to go up against a Bronx baller named Kemba Walker who led his team with 18 points and 12 assists. Even though UConn ran away with the game pretty early, photographing the Bucknell Bison was just as exciting. Shout out to the Patriot League champs, but it would have been a different story had American gotten past Lafayette.


Way Back Wednesdays: The Common Denominator

When I figured I'd take a shot at a career in photojournalism, I interned at a small newspaper in Washington DC during my last semester in college. The community oriented, bi-weekly paper was called The Common Denominator run by publisher Kathy Sinzinger. It was a small operation held together by her, maybe one or two staff writers, a couple of interns and contributions from political cartoonists and a couple of freelance photographers.

Although I had no idea what I was doing or how to cover a news event, it was a great experience. I didn't even know what a good news photo was supposed to look like because all I'd studied in my photo-j courses were Pulitzer prize winning photographs from war-torn countries and images of natural disasters. There was nothing like that going on in DC. Well maybe there was, but I wasn't covering it.

I don't remember what this particular story was about, but on April 16, 2005 I was assigned to photograph some students in a science lab at the recently re-opened McKinley Tech High School. I walked in feeling like a real photojournalist with my Canon Rebel XT and my 18-55mm kit lens. Spent about 30-40 minutes in science class and came away with this. Front page, baby. Too easy.

Seriously though, The Common Denominator and Kathy helped publish my first photo essay on boxers Lamont and Anthony Peterson and she introduced me to former head coach of Coolidge High School football, Jason Lane. And we all know how much I love Coolidge. So, shout out to community newspapers.


March Madness: Old Dominion University vs. Butler

One of the first games of the 2011 NCAA basketball tournament ended with a buzzer-beater at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. Last year's runner-up, Butler University, took out the Old Dominion Monarchs 60-58 after a last second put-back by senior forward Matt Howard.

This assignment from Old Dominion was my first ever NCAA tournament game and I walked around the arena while the place was fairly empty, soaking up the atmosphere. I noticed that the venues that host the NCAA tournament are interestingly devoid of any sponsors or advertising and are transformed into large, blue velvet arenas complete with blue carpet, blue drapes and blue NCAA logos. The only other color/logo allowed was that of the red cups with the Powerade emblem. Next time you watch a tourney game, I challenge you to look for any in-arena ads.

The occasion seemed like a good time to break out the good old floor remote. Although this camera angle elicited a LOT of crap, I was able to get a few good frames but nothing terribly exciting. I was also angling to get some great access to the team, but apparently NCAA rules state that no one is allowed in the locker room before the game or during half time. It's not like I was passing out $100 dollar bills. Shout out to ODU's seniors, that was a tough way to go out.


St. John's Basketball: City Title Champions

The best thing about photographing championship games is the emotion of the players right after. I often plot to figure out the best place to be to capture that emotion well before the game is over. It all happens very quickly and is usually over before you know it. I must say...I totally missed it this time.


DeMatha Basketball: City Title Champions

DeMatha returned to the City Title game for the third straight year and eventually took their third consecutive championship after beating Theodore Roosevelt 52-50 at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. People inquired about the downfall of DeMatha basketball after their 50 point loss to St. Anthony's earlier this season on ESPN. Yet, here they are again winning games and collecting trophies.

I don't have much analysis to contribute about the game, but I do like that each team came out with their solid color away uniforms. Vibrant.


Way Back Wednesdays: Nation Nightclub

Remember that club over on Half St. SE? Near the Wendy's that also used to be there? Yeah, it was called Nation and while I haven't been over there in a while, I'm pretty sure it's now a parking lot for Washington Nationals' games or a building full of condos.

On February 10, 2006 Heavy Syndication artists (Broadway, Blayz, Deuce and Sabrey) all opened for Fort Minor. They even had my man Jordy (dreads) manning the merch table.


WCAC Girls Basketball Champs: St. John's

And for my last basketball post of the day, St. John's posing for pictures after they took the title with a 62-54 victory over Good Counsel.

St. John's Girl Basketball

Bishop McNamara vs. Gonzaga WCAC Boys Semifinal

Gonzaga advanced to the final game beating McNamara 80-63. McNamara guard Marcus Thornton (24), equipped with the purest of jump shots scored 35 points including eight three-pointers. But the real story was the ankle injury to super sophomore Kris Jenkins (2) of Gonzaga. As a result, he couldn't play during the championship game that Gonzaga eventually lost.

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Eastern vs. Roosevelt Boys DCIAA Basketball Championship

This game was pretty exciting. Roosevelt Rough Rider guard Ezell Starks put in a layup at the buzzer to break a 60-60 tie with Eastern High School. The Rough Riders will represent the public schools in DC's City Title game which pits the public school champ versus the private school champ.

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St. Mary's Ryken @ Gonzaga Basketball WCAC Quarterfinal

The end of February and the beginning of March usually kicks off the high school basketball championship season. I shot a few of those games.

In a game that was closer than the score suggests, Gonzaga beat St. Mary's Ryken 65-48. Ryken's missed free throws were the story of the game. Read a blurb about it here.

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25th Annual Black History Month Swim Meet

Every February, the Department of Parks and Recreation here in Washington DC hosts an annual swim meet inviting kid swimmers from all over the country to compete. This year, I had the pleasure of documenting the goings on at the Takoma Rec Center. I spent most of the day getting splashed and trying not to bump little kids into the pool. Amidst the chaos, I also happened to snap a few good frames. Word of advice to parents of swimmers, you will never ever be cold in a natatorium.

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25th Annual Black History Month Swim Meet