Ugly Basketball.

"Members of the Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College men's basketball teams fight for a rebound during a 'Pride of Maryland Tournament 2011' opening round game Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland."

"Members of the Johns Hopkins University men's basketball team collide during a 'Pride of Maryland Tournament 2011' first round game at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland Tuesday, November 15, 2011."

I love shooting sports, but basketball is among my least favorites. There’s something about dark, yellowy lit gymnasiums that just doesn’t do it for me. 

At its roots, it’s not as pure of a game as other sports are. Often the only thing you see through your lens are clusters of bodies falling on top of one another, or, if you’re shooting from the baseline, bodies falling on top of you. Visually, I prefer sports with simple, clean lines and great light. You’ll get a sense of what I mean if you click here or here.

For me, those are refreshing to look at after the types of events I’ve been covering lately. 

Regardless, I shoot basketball when I need to, and I can make some good images when I do. I covered the opening round of the annual Pride of Maryland tournament at Goucher last Tuesday, and I liked these two as a pair. They show the uglier side of basketball. 

During lockout, NBA players kick off Under Armour tour in Baltimore.

"Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings (left), Memphis Grizzlies point guard Greivis Vasquez, and #9 overall 2011 NBA Draft pick of the Charlotte Bobcats Kemba Walker await the start of an exhibition game to kick off the Under Armour 'Are You From Here?' tour at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland Monday, November 7, 2011."

I shot the kick off event for Under Armour‘s “Are You From Here?” tour yesterday at the St. Frances Academy school in downtown Baltimore. The tour is designed to promote NBA players’ engagement with the community while the lockout prevents them from playing. 

On the tour are Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, Derrick Williams, the #2 overall NBA Draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kemba Walker, the #9 overall 2011 NBA Draft pick of the Charlotte Bobcats, and Grievis Vasquez, former University of Maryland star and current Memphis Grizzlies point guard. 

I’ve shot basketball before, but I’ve never seen guys move like these NBA players can. Their movements are ridiculously quick, even in a pick-up exhibition game like this one. Their athleticism is freaky. 

This was a fun event which I enjoyed shooting, despite the horrible lighting in the school’s gym. It made shooting action really tough, so I focused more on the candid moments like this one. 

Goucher Men’s Basketball: Smiles on Senior Night

 

"Donté Brandon, a Guard on Goucher's Men's Basketball team, is greeted by a young relative during a pre-game ceremony honoring the team's four Seniors Saturday, February 12, 2011."

When our own Senior Day comes around later this semester, I want it to end with a win so we can have as good a time as the Goucher Men’s Basketball team seemed to have during their recent victory over Drew University. Here’s the full story which ran with another one of my photographs.

But despite the solid victory, most of my images from the night focused on the four Seniors and their families instead.

I need to improve my shooting technique when it comes to using flash, and I think it shows here. The coloring is off, but I still think it tells a great story.

Midnight Madness Y’all.

 

 

"The Men's Basketball team huddles together after being introduced at Midnight Madness in the Sports and Recreation Center at Goucher College Thursday, October 14, 2010. The annual celebration marks the beginning of the Men's and Women's Basketball season."

 

“ALL I GOTTA SAY IS MIDNIGHT MADNESS Y’ALL,” said one of my friends as he awaited the start of Midnight Madness his freshman year. I’ll never forget it.

We still joke about how excited he was, but it is always quite an exciting event for Goucher athletics.

In the other three years that I shot the celebration, I made sure to get the things I had to get: the dance performances, the inter-squad scrimmages, and the slam dunk contest to name a few.

But this was my last Midnight Madness, so I realized I wanted to focus on something much more important: emotion.

While I was there I felt for the Seniors on the two teams who were doing this for the last time as well. I think images like this say much more than ones of free throw shooting contests.