I had never really been a hoops fan before this year. Sure, I knew who LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Diana Taurasi were, I liked March Madness and made brackets to compete against coworkers, and by nature of attending graduate school had to know enough about basketball to write about it. The first basketball game I attended in person was a Washington Wizards game against the Atlanta Hawks as an assignment for a sportswriting class this year.
After graduating from UMD in May, I got an opportunity to cover basketball in Israel. This was an all-expenses-paid trip funded by a donor who wanted coverage of a tournament, and we had full editorial control. Ball was life for two weeks, we were the only reporters there, and it was the experience of a lifetime.