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Vol. 52, No. 3 • March 2015 • .pdf version
USBWA awards ceremony moving to Monday luncheon
By JOE MITCH
For the first time in nearly three decades, the USBWA will hold its annual awards function at the Final Four at a luncheon rather than a breakfast.
The luncheon will be held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis on Monday, April 6, starting at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the national championship game. The luncheon will follow the news conference to announce the latest inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, also held at the JW Marriott.
The move away from a breakfast to a luncheon was spurred in part by a desire to attract more media and others to the event, hoping that a later start time will be more appealing than an early morning breakfast.
The USBWA agenda for the luncheon will remain the same as the breakfast. The USBWA will hand out awards for most courageous to Austin Hatch of Michigan; the Katha Quinn Award for service to the organization to Tom Jernstedt, formerly of the NCAA; the Rising Star Award recognizing journalistic excellence by USBWA members under the age of 30 to Michael Cohen of the Memphis Commercial Appeal; and the Ray Marquette Award to Dana O'Neill of espn.com for her leadership as president of the USBWA this year.
Two members will be inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame: Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Bryan Burwell, posthumously, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The USBWA will also present a Lifetime Achievement Award to sports photojournalist Rich Clarkson, honoring him for 60 years of covering the Final Four.
A short business meeting will follow the awards presentation. Plaques will be presented to the top five finishers in five categories in the best-writing contest; Dana will give a president's report; and new officers and board members will be elected for the coming year.
SPONSOR RECOGNITION: The USBWA wishes to thank the corporate sponsors who have supported the organization through the years.
ESPN has been with the USBWA the longest of any sponsor, since the mid-1980s serving primarily as the main sponsor of the USBWA awards event. ESPN also sponsors the back cover of the annual USBWA membership directory.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is the main sponsor of the USBWA's best-writing contest and also serves as a sponsor of the awards luncheon.
Recent sponsors include the National Association of Basketball Coaches and USA Basketball with full page ads in the membership directory.
Access Sports, a non-profit charitable organization based in Oklahoma City, also supports the USBWA by honoring the USBWA's player, coach and freshman of the year recipients at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards dinner the week after the Final Four in Oklahoma City.
USBWA FINAL FOUR DINNER: Former USBWA president Bill Benner, now a senior vice president for corporate, community and public relations for the Indiana Pacers, will host the association's past presidents and current officers and board of directors at a dinner on Thursday, April 2, at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. Benner served as president of the USBWA when he was a sportswriter for the Indianapolis Star in 1998-99.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR NEWS CONFERENCE: The recipient of the USBWA's Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Trophy will be announced at the Final Four on Friday, April 3, at Lucas Oil Stadium, at a press conference starting at 10:15 a.m. Oscar Robertson, a two-time USBWA player of the year recipient when he played for Cincinnati, will appear at the press conference. The trophy will be presented to the winner at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards dinner in Oklahoma City on April 14.
SPORTSWRITING SEMINAR: Past USBWA president Malcolm Moran, director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University, will serve as moderator of a sportswriting seminar at the Final Four for high school and college students. The seminar will take place on Friday, April 3, at 9 a.m. at the Lucas Oil Stadium and will precede the player of the year press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium.
USBWA SCHOLARSHIP: Applications are now being accepted for the USBWA's college scholarship for the son or daughter of USBWA members. The scholarship is $1,000 annually for four years and is open to students currently in college or planning to attend a junior college or four-year institution in the fall.
To qualify, students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester in college, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, demonstrate academic excellence and show achievement in citizenship and leadership in a community service. The deadline to apply is May 1.
Applications are available on the USBWA website at USBWA.com.
Lodge Notes: Himmelsbach moving to Boston: Adam Himmelsbach, a sports columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journalist for the past two and one-half years, announced that he is moving to the Boston Globe to cover the Boston Celtics.
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