One of the goals I had for this site when I launched it was to be not only a news hub for anything related to basketball in Michigan, but to also be a place that truly attempts to capture the voice, motivations and experiences of athletes themselves. The best way to do that is to simply invite any interested high school, college or current or former pro athlete with connections to the Michigan to write guest posts here about their experiences.
I don’t have a set criteria for what I’m looking for — I’m interested in hearing from athletes who want to write, in their own words, about any of their experiences in the game. Here are a few possible topics, though, that could be interesting:
- Pro athletes who play in foreign countries and would like to communicate those experiences — assimilating into new cultures, seeing the world, overcoming language barriers with teammates and coaches, how you stay in touch with family/combat home sickness, etc.
- College athletes on how they balance school/basketball, how the game speeds up compared to high school, the types of individual drills or work they do to improve their games or how they adjust to the travel schedule in college compared to high school. There are a few college bloggers out their already — Josh Bartelstein blogs for the University of Michigan and players from Western Michigan, Michigan Tech and Albion all blogged during the summer about those teams’ European trips. Those are all great examples of interesting columns written by athletes.
- High school athletes on the college recruiting process, on playing multiple sports and shifting to basketball season and on how high school basketball differs from AAU ball and what it takes to adjust to both are all interesting topics if anyone wants to write about them.
We’ve already had one of these posts — former Mott and current Lawrence Tech player Anthony Sisson wrote about Mott’s experiences en route to a national championship. Here’s a brief excerpt:
I was just dying to get out there one last time, and I did. With two minutes left coach subbed me in and it meant a lot to me to be on the court for the final time in a Mott uniform. As soon as that buzzer sounded and the game was over I couldn’t even express how I was feeling. Our team is used to winning all the time, but being able to win that last game and win a championship, there’s nothing you want more in sports than to just stay in that moment. I guess it made me look back to all that this team has been through, and how we may have been doubted by some in the beginning of the year because of all the talent we lost from last year. To become the best team in country is just a thrill. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget and couldn’t have experienced it with a better group of teammates. We all became like brothers through this journey, sometimes we fought and argued, I’ve had my share in that, but at the end of the day we’re still a family and this championship is just the outcome of this team’s determination and commitment to putting hard work day in and day out.
Why write for BallinMichigan? First and foremost, it’s a good opportunity to expose yourself and your team to a statewide, basketball-hungry audience.
From the standpoint of a professional athlete playing in a foreign country, it’s a way to give your fans back home a glimpse into what you are doing overseas, how you keep busy and how your season is going.
For college athletes, particularly athletes from smaller schools that don’t get much coverage in traditional media outlets, it’s an opportunity to connect a name and a face to your program, to explain to people what is great about basketball at your school or in your conference and a chance to expose basketball fans to different teams or levels of basketball they might not be familiar with.
For high school athletes, it’s just another chance to get your name out in front of the public, to show your knowledge of the game, how coachable you are and give college coaches a look at your personality.
Regularly getting guest posts from athletes would be a great addition to the content here and I’d love to hear from any athletes who are interested, or from coaches, athletic directors or sports information directors who think they might have good candidates on their team who would like to give it a try. Like I said, it’s good exposure for both the athlete and the team, and it’s a chance to give other aspiring basketball players a glimpse at what it takes to make it to different levels of the game.
Anyone interested should e-mail patrickhayes13(at)gmail(dot)com for more details.