Home > sports > Unity: The Story Part 2

Unity: The Story Part 2

Although Sheila Brooks was the single most important person to meet, I had the very good fortune of meeting some of the high profile sports journalism figures in the game.

At the career fair I had the opportunity to meet Stuart Scott. For about 45 minutes Scott candidly conversed with two other aspiring sportswriters, Spanky, and me. Scott was particularly impressed with Calvin’s presence at the convention, as he is just entering his senior year of high school, but in general took an interest in the conversation with the four of us. By conversations end, he offered us his contact information, and more importantly an ear to listen.

On a stroke of chance, my uncle, cousin and I stumbled upon a baseball forum that Unity had partnered with the Chicago White Sox and Major League Baseball to produce. The event featured Kenny Williams, General Manager of the Chicago White Sox and Minnie Minoso, the first black player for the Chicago White Sox.

The setting for the event was very intimate and low key, so when Williams walked in, I was able to introduce myself and congratulate him for robbing the Mariners for a trade back in 2004 in which Freddy Garcia (along with Ben Davis) was sent to the White Sox for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Mike Morse. Sidenote: If a front office is willingly robbed, is it robbery?

Minoso, delivered a speech about the importance of embracing people for who they are and not the color of their skin. Later on, as he enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, he spoke to Spanky and me for about fifteen minutes about his life and his work as a black Cuban.

Over the course of the MLB event, I got to meet several writers/broadcasters I have looked up to including, Michael Ray Wilbon, David Aldridge, and J. A. Adande. I love DA and J.A., but meeting Wilbon was everything I expected and more. When I grow up I want to be like him LOL.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Justice B. Hill, senior writer for MLB.com, Ruben Luna, Sports Editor for the Detroit News, and Coley Harvey, a sportswriter a the Telegraph in Macon Georgia. Each individual had something of great value to impart to a young wannabe sportswriter who has yet to really make a splash in sports writing. I always have felt like you can never know too many people, a philosophy which was reinforced by meeting journalists from the beat writing level to the mega TV stars of widespread fame.

Very little time during the convention was devoted to interaction with students, so I jumped at the opportunity to go to a student forum on Saturday. There I got to meet a few journalism students from around the country and get some new ideas, such as a place to study abroad, an idea to help charter a student NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists), and some ways to get NABJ @ UK to be one of the award winning student chapters.

At the request of the magnificent Sheila Brooks I got to attend the NABJ Hall of Fame Banquet and the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards. Both events celebrated great accomplishments of individuals and groups working to inform the people. Most people would have looked at it as a free food, but I saw a glimpse of what I need to be working towards… and I got free meals.

Unity ended with a night of parties including NABJ’s Kick off to Tampa ’09 party. I’m not much of a partier so I won’t judge the overall shindig. But I will take this opportunity to say that Funkmaster Flex may be one of most respected DJ’s in hip-hop, but he can ruin a party. He dropped songs (starting them and stopping them) repeatedly, played only small portions of songs, and missed some of the songs people love to hear at parties. Still, it was Funk Flex, and I was at a party he DJed so I ain’t too mad. I also got to meet Kevin Frasier, formerly of ESPN currently of Entertainment Tonight at the party.

In general it was fun to get to be around family with Uncle Joe and Calvin who attended the conference. I also got to spend some unexpected time with Aunt TaRessa and my cousin Mariah. It was nice.

Overall I would say I’m satisfied. But, I still haven’t recovered from flying out so early on Sunday morning without sleep… and I missed Barack L. Maybe next time.

Salute

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  1. Gabriel
    08/07/2008 at 9:05 am

    You keep missing O. I think it is weird because you have devoted so much of your summer to his camp. Just stalk him and get it over with.

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