When I was chatting with the Penn State men’s basketball reporter last week an idea of his came up in our conversation. The Coaches versus Cancer game was hitting close to home this year for one of the players. D.J. Newbill, a starter for the team, lost his mom in September to cancer. To preview the event the reporter was talking to Newbill about what this game and the foundation that raises money for cancer means to him. In honor of his mother Newbill has “Meme” tattooed on his neck. I knew I had an image from a previous game that might show the tattoo.
When I found the image I realized the way he shoots he blocks some of the letters and it’s difficult to get a clean shot of the tattoo while he was in a game. I suggested we try to set up a portait, and maybe have him bring a picture of his mom to accompany the story.
Today I got a few minutes to meet up with Newbill before practice in the auxiliary gym at the Bryce Jordan Center. He didn’t have a picture of his mom, but did have the gray uniform the team will be wearing for the special game. With limited time I tried my best to focus on the tattoo and how this Penn State hoops game will be different than some of the others.
When I arrive to sporting events I’m mostly focused on the action, but some games have added elements. The PSU men’s basketball game earlier in the week had some pregame drama with two of the visiting teams players. Today’s game I was keeping my eye for cool feature photos since it was the THON hoops day, with all money from ticket sales going to help the fight against pediatric cancer.
But as the game started I recognized a familiar face sitting court side, former Penn State president Graham Spanier. Spanier hasn’t been seen at a Penn State event since he fired from the school and charged after being connected to the Sandusky scandal. I snapped a bunch of photos of him throughout the game, and was surprised when other photographers hadn’t noticed him. Being on top of the events and people in this community is one of the important things for any journalist, and helps to catch things that can turn into new stories.
Back to the game action…
With less than a minute to go, and Penn State trailing, they had several fouls called in their favor. They missed the majority of those shots and fell to the cornhuskers.
Tonight Penn State men’s basketball hosted Michigan State.
During the afternoon reports started to surface that two of Michigan State’s key players got in a fight at the Nittany Lion Inn, the hotel on campus where the team was staying. Due to the fight, which resulted in a some property damage, the two, who are roommates back in East Lansing, wouldn’t be playing in the first half. As I watched the players interact during the first half on the bench, they laughed together and encouraged their teammates, so the fight must have easily blown over.
I always enjoy watching the coaches during the game, especially big name ones like Tom Izzo, who was calm through the first half. During the second half Penn State coach Patrick Chambers emotions were up and down, with several seconds that he buried his head in a towel.
When Payne entered the game for the second half, he made up for the half that he missed.
Penn State’s Marshall led the team with 29 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Spartans won, 81-72.
Last night I covered the Penn State hockey team take on the United State’s Under 18 team. Excitement was high in the crowded ice pavilion as the teams battled through the first and second periods.
Towards the end of the second period Penn State’s goalie made a great save to the dismay of the USA team. I quickly flipped through the photos and thought I had a decent photo of the save. When the period ended I loaded several photos to my iPad and found the following image among the series. I was very pleased with all the elements that play into the photo, including the shooter watching as the puck heads towards the goal, and his teammate getting ready to celebrate as the goalie splits to make the block.
Tonight the Penn State Lady Lions took on Northwestern in their Big Ten opener. They trailed most the game but pulled out a win in the last minutes, 73-69.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Looking back at 2012 it was exciting and important year to be photographing in Centre County. January brought the hiring of new football coach Bill O’Brien, and shortly there after the passing of legendary coach Joe Paterno. The winter and spring were full of ups and downs throughout the county and many exciting high school sporting events. The summer brought the Sandusky trial which drew national media for several weeks. When fall arrived many were focused on the new era of Penn State football.
I covered a lot in those 365 days. Check out the Centre Daily Times for some of my favorite photos from the year, in addition to galleries of my co workers favorites.