I have a new favorite NBA player and his name is C.J. McCollum.
The truth is that I hadn’t given him much (any) thought before reading this today. In the space of 10 minutes I found inspiration from what I would have told you was a very unlikely source.
I urge you to read or at least scan McCollum’s piece in The Player’s Tribune. (We talked about The Player’s Tribune before. It’s an outlet for professional athletes, free from the meddling of the media. They do some cool stuff.)
In his piece, McCollum tells us that he has interests beyond basketball. While that should be obvious, it’s easy to forget that about pro athletes. McCollum, it turns out, is a media junkie.
If that were all, it would be interesting but not fodder for The Kicker. What I like about what he has done is that he created something from nothing to further his interest. He found a high school willing to participate. Spoke to students and got a bunch of them interested in covering an NBA game as journalists. He hooked them up with press passes and staged a realistic press conference just for the students during which he and an assistant coach answered student questions. The kids then wrote stories and one was judged a winner. …
To make it even better, The Player’s Tribune published a bunch of their photos as well.
What an idea. What a frickin’ idea.
The thing that is special, the takeaway for us, is that here was a guy who took an interest in something and then got others involved. He could have just written about his interest in journalism. He could have just fired off a tweet. But he spread his obsession. And I guarantee there is a classroom full of kids in Portland who will never forget it. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if one or two of those kids now plans to pursue this new interest in college.
We live in a time in which media and the access to it is transformative. Let’s be a part of that.