Journalists attend Final Four festivities

Zach Zeman, Luke Mathwig, and Kailyn Pedersen at court side at the Full Court Press.

Brendan Amaris, Staff Writer

The 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four took place at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The day before the semi-final games, Full Court Press, the Final Four Media Day took place. Knight Errant writers––Brooks Carver, Luke Mathwig, Kailyn Pedersen, Jack Shields, Harry Madden, Brendan Amaris, and Zach Zeman––had the unique opportunity to attend the event as journalists.

The students meet at US Bank Stadium at 8 A.M. on Friday, April 5. The program started with a panel discussion with four professional journalists: Rachel Blount (a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune who has covered 11 Olympics), Pat Borzi (a contributing writer for MinnPost, The New York Times, and ESPNW), Glen Crevier (a former Star Tribune sports editor and past president of the Associated Press Sports Editors), and Dana O’Neil (a senior writer for The Athletic and past USBWA president).

It’s crazy you know; I never thought I would be able to sit and be this close to the court for such a big event; it’s very cool.

— Brooks Carver

The journalists discussed demeanor, different ways to tell stories, how to establish unique writing skills, as well as many other helpful journalism tips. “It was a really good experience; it was very interesting listening to what they talked to us about in the world of journalism,” Shields said.

After the panel, the students were somewhat set free for the day. Full Court Press provided press passes for the students which allowed them to go down on the court, watch all of the press conferences and go to the individual player break rooms.

After a cancer-charity event, each Final Four team had a press conference before their open practice. The BSM students got to sit courtside for the practices as well as go in and listen to the press conferences. The individual player break rooms were smaller and easier for reporters to get their questions answered. While one team practiced, another would be split between the media room and the break rooms. The students got to pick and choose which practice they watched and which interviews they attended. “It’s crazy you know; I never thought I would be able to sit and be this close to the court for such a big event; it’s very cool,” Carver said.

All of the top TV networks were there, and the BSM students even had opportunities to talk with a couple of famous broadcasters and analysts. “It was really cool how close we were to everything and everyone; we saw Ernie Johnson from TNT Players Only; we saw Dan Patrick, Jay Bilas, and some other top sports journalists. Ernie Johnson even came up to us, and we got to talk with him for a little bit. Overall it was a really great experience,” Sheilds said.

After all of the team practices and press conferences, the College All-Star Game took place, and the BSM students were right up where the courtside announcers sit to watch the game. “It was really fun; I took a lot of pictures to make my brother jealous,” Madden said.