In a Friday morning piece from The Players' Tribune, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum writes about a seminal moment in his pursuit of a journalism career, when a Lehigh University coach asked him how serious he was about really going for it.
...our assistant coach Ryan Krueger came up to me one day after practice and asked, "Hey C.J., how serious are you about this journalism thing?"
I was a journalism major, and I also worked as an editor at The Brown and White, Lehigh's student newspaper since 1894.
"Dead serious," I told him.
"Well, I have this friend. He does some broadcasting. What if I had him come up to Lehigh and talk to you about the business?"
A few days later, this guy walks into the gym with a briefcase. I recognize him right away. It's not just some local guy. It's longtime NBA broadcaster Tim Capstraw.
McCollum goes on to discuss how he was always involved and interested in media, in one facet or another, even bringing up BlazersEdge's favorite sports personality, Bill Simmons.
Media has always been my thing — whether it's reading Zach Lowe's in-depth NBA columns, or checking out what the analytics community is doing with data visualization and heat maps, or listening to Bill Simmons's podcast. (Why were you trying to get me traded to the Cavs though, Bill? I heard that episode. Come on, man!)
As tight-lipped as athletes can be today, it's more than a little refreshing to see someone openly communicate with their fanbase. Regardless of the format that they choose to communicate through. To read the entirety of McCollum's piece and his other musings, you can find them, here.
Side Note: If you are not familiar with The Players' Tribune here's a quick blurb from their 'about' section.
Welcome to The Players' Tribune, a new media company that provides athletes with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words. Founded by Derek Jeter, The Players' Tribune publishes first-person stories from athletes, providing unique insight into the daily sports conversation. Through impactful and powerful long and short form stories, video series and podcasts, The Players' Tribune brings fans closer than ever to the games they love.