Posts tagged "maya moore"

Media Summit yields more than 100 interviews

During the 2012 U.S. Olympic Media Summit, media members were split up into print and broadcast groups, as was our class.  I went to the broadcast side, where we would get Olympic athletes of all different kinds ushered in and out of our room over the three days. Unlike our partners on the print side, we were much more jammed for time. As opposed to bringing all of the writers to the athlete, they had to bring the athlete to the broadcasters.  This meant we had a time limit—six minutes—from when they walked in to when they walked out. This provided an incredible challenge. It usually took about a minute to get the athlete all wired up and get the cameras focused. All of a sudden we were down to five minutes.We shared the room with the Armed Forces Network and WebMD.  The AFN crew needed a personal message from the athlete to the troops and then for the athlete to do a station ID. This took about two minutes,  meaning we and the WebMD folks had a whopping three minutes, whether it was with a hopeful for the final spot on the gymnastics team or U.S. Soccer star Alex Morgan.This meant our questions had to be from the cream of the crop, and it was tough to get them to give us information. This also meant we had to be prepared.  We couldn’t simply ask questions to gather information about an athlete’s background. We had to know the background or else we would run out of time before we even had a chance for a quality question.On average we would get two questions from the athlete. Sometimes we lucked out and got three, other times only one, and occasionally if running late, we wouldn’t get a question at all.  There were about 50 broadcast media, and as you can imagine, “BSU at the Games” wasn’t a top priority (although the fact that we were a priority when ESPN, NBC and Sports Illustrated were within shouting distance was more than humbling).

A common question we would ask is, what does wearing the red, white and blue and representing your country mean to you?  It was incredible hearing all the different answers.  Responses ranged from “it’s pretty cool” and “it’s an honor” to having the athlete nearly in tears.

Often we were able to quickly research the athlete when they walked in the room and find an interesting angle for our story.

For example, Wallace Spearmon is the U.S.’s top runner in the 200 and has beaten Usain Bolt. But what we were able to dig up was that in 2008 he won a bronze medal only to moments later have it taken away due to being disqualified for stepping out of his lane.  As you can imagine, even four years later, he still is emotional about it.

We also found stories of a swimmer who had heart surgery and was forced to keep a defibrillator on site whenever she swam because doctors said her heart could give out at any time.

We heard stories of athletes growing up in poverty to make it, stories of athletes who were caught in drug scandals and have turned their lives around, stories of Paralympic athletes who lost limbs in the military and still compete at the highest levels of their sports.

It was an incredible process over the three days that saw us interview more than 100 athletes. Some personal highlights, of course, were the big names like Nastia Luikin, Maya Moore, Wallace Spearmon and, my personal favorite, Alex Morgan (guys reading won’t be asking follow-up questions as to why she was my favorite interview).

Coming to Dallas I was a bit apprehensive that I didn’t have enough material for London. Now we have so much material and so many story possibilities that we’re going to have to cut out some very good stories.

Be on the lookout for these interviews on the website.

Pat Boylan  |  Sports Reporter

@patboylanbsu

Rising women’s basketball star credits Indy legend

By Pat Boylan | BSU at the Games

When it comes to women’s basketball, you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger name than Maya Moore.  Moore was the 2009 John Wooden award winner for best women’s college basketball player and took two national championships at Connecticut.

Moore credits a lot of her individual success to Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings.

“Tamika has been a role model of mine growing up,” Moore said.

Catchings will take part in her third Olympic Games this July playing for USA Basketball.  She’s been a face for WNBA for a decade and has been in six WNBA all-star games.

It will be the first Olympic Games, on the other hand, for Maya Moore, who is excited to work with Catchings and the veterans she grew up watching.

“Tamika is a tremendous leader and has helped me out in so many ways on and off the court. She’s really taken me under her wing,” Moore said. “Growing up a lot of people compared my game to Tamika’s, which to me was the ultimate compliment.”

Catchings’ veteran leadership will be key to the United States’ success in London this year. Catchings is the oldest player on this year’s team and is tied for the most Olympic experience.

As Catchings molds Moore and the rest of the team for future generations, they’ll also be looking for a gold medal this year, which would be five in a row for the Americans.

Women’s basketball begins its competition in London on July 28.

Pat Boylan is a junior telecommunications major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Pat and the BSU team at @patboylanbsu@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Quick hits from USA Women’s Basketball press conference

By Brandon Pope | BSU at the Games

Coach Geno Auriemma and May Moore discuss the Women's Basketball team's chances for gold at the summer games.

Youth movement

With five newcomers on this year’s national team, USA Women’s Basketball Head Coach Geno Auriemma had to orientate a new bunch of young Olympians in Friday’s Training Camp in Seattle.

“In three days I think we’ve accomplished a little bit,” Auriemma said. “We’ve learned a little bit too. We got our philosophy out there.”

The team had its first scrimmage on Saturday. Auriemma expects the intensity to pick up as the days draw closer to preliminary competition.

Geno’s crew  

Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore will be competing in her first Olympic Games in London. She joins six other former University Of Connecticut Huskies.

Moore, the youngest player on the roster, says being on the National Team is “a dream come true.”

“I think if you look at the roster top to bottom, it’s unmatched,” Moore said. “It’s all the players I grew up with: Taurasi, Catchings, Sue Bird … players like that. It’s really a dream come true.”

As an Olympic newbie, Moore has stepped back and watched the veterans guide the team, learning the ways of top world competitors.

“I try to take it all in. I’ve got some great players to learn from,” Moore said. “And when my number is called and Coach Auriemma puts me in, I want to make sure I’m bringing energy and doing all the little things necessary to win games.”

Where’s Britney Griner? 

Baylor basketball star Britney Griner has been all over the national headlines. She dominated opponents with her tremendous size and athleticism. Her college basketball career concluded with a national championship win with the Baylor Bears. But the nation’s leading rebounder and shot blocker is nowhere to be found on the 2012 Olympic roster. Auriemma said it was Griner’s decision not to be a finalist.

“She was part of the group we were going from, but she took herself out of the pool and asked not to remain eligible to be selected for the Olympic team,” Auriemma said. “It’s unfortunate for Britney, but at the same time this team is an incredible team that not enough people  know about or pay attention to.”

Had Griner not taken herself out of consideration, Auriemma says her chances were “pretty good.”

Brandon Pope is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering fencing, volleyball and basketball for BSU at the Games. Follow Brandon and the BSU team at @bpopeizdope@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.