By Andrew Kim
When I think about sports, sports are more than physical activities that occur for entertainment purposes, keeping people healthy, and building character. Sports serve as one of many crucial elements of everyday life that keeps athletes, fans, and society energized, emotional, motivated, and inspired in life. When journalists report on sports stories, they share the same passion with sports fans and athletes. That’s the main reason why I am a communication major here at PUC with plans on becoming a sports journalist so I, too, can share my passion and enthusiasm of sports I follow on a daily basis. In addition, I knew to continue to build towards my future path, I needed to gain experience in learning and writing about sports. That all was reaffirmed when I joined the staff of the Campus Chronicle, PUC’s student-run newspaper.
The first time I heard of the Campus Chronicle here at PUC was during my first week as a freshman, when I visited the Chronicle offices at the Campus Center to gain an idea of what the organization was like and how they reported on story ideas on a weekly basis. It was not until the following year as a sophomore, where I spent my freshman year attending meetings but not proposing any sports stories then, where I decided to write my first sports article, which was about NASCAR and a racing event that recently occurred. Because of my childhood obsession of NASCAR, I knew a lot about NASCAR and I thought writing about it for the Chronicle would be perfect enough for me to do on a regular basis. Little did I know I had a lot more about sports writing and reporting to learn.
There were mixed emotions after my NASCAR article was published in the following Campus Chronicle edition. Part of me was happy with what I wrote and published for the first time for the Chronicle, but there was another part of me that felt like the Chronicle would not be overly excited about me only writing about NASCAR on a continuous basis. I knew for my next assignment, I would have to learn more about other sports. That was when I decided to learn about the PUC Pioneers, the college’s sporting teams from volleyball to basketball, and familiarize myself with their code of language, names of the athletes, the rules of the game, and what highlights to mention when writing.
I decided my first PUC Pioneers article I would write about would be a preview edition for the Pioneers heading into the 2017/18 season. I visited the Pioneers website and analyzed the Pioneers’ stats from last season, among which included how many games they won or lost and how close they came in making the Cal Pac tournament. I then turned my attention to the roster to know who represents the Pioneers in what sport, mention any newcomers to the Pioneers family, and break down the schedule for the upcoming season. Researching online and communicating with key Pioneer staffs that included coaches Greg Rahn and George Glover along with Brittany Brown, the athletics director, provided for me a clear background on sports that included basketball, volleyball, and cross country. After turning in the article, I felt both relieved and pleased with my first completed task as a Campus Chronicle sports writer, but also knew that this was only the beginning.
The next task I took, when writing about sports for Campus Chronicle, occurred on January 15, 2018, where I participated and reported my first Pioneers men’s basketball home game against UC Santa Cruz. Throughout the first half of the game, I kept track of the number of points made by each team, who contributed to scoring a point, and thought it would be a piece of cake. Then, someone gave me an official report sheet that covered the shots and stats of each player. By the time the game ended, I left with mixed emotions, one feeling happy for the Pioneers winning the game and having a lot to recap and write about the game, but also disappointed and felt I came unprepared and did not know what some of the stats meant. On the bright side, the game provided a general overview of what specifics, stats, and top plays to cover throughout an event and the importance of writing based on my knowledge of sports. The first game encouraged for me to participate in more games to familiarize myself with the Pioneers’ environment and the significance of their endless fight in making championship runs as underdogs. The more I went, the more I came back having more to write about the Pioneers and their top highlights from each game, along with including interviews with coaches and featured athletes. Even in times where I did not travel out to a Pioneers game, I spent a majority of my spare time following sports, both at PUC and out in the world, chronologically and familiarizing myself with what to cover or mention as a sports journalist.
Working for the Campus Chronicle as a sports writer has and continues to be a great learning experience. For starters, I am more familiarized with the PUC Pioneers and know more about their accomplishments compared to not knowing anything significant about them on my first day as a PUC student. Looking at the big picture, being a Chronicle sports writer provides for me a general view of the work sports journalists and broadcasters cover across the globe along with the resources, code of language, and overview they need to familiarize themselves with before, during, and after an event. Learning about different types of sports has lead me more in analyzing how to write and report on sports stories in a way where I can share the same enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion about sports.