Students rub shoulders with Division I athletes, coaches, and faceless children

June 18, 2014

The six students covering a girl’s basketball camp at the Bank of Kentucky Center faced an extra challenge. They couldn’t photograph the camp participants’ faces.

“You can interview me or any of the staff here,” explained Russ Rose, one of the coaches running the camp. But, because of privacy concerns, the organizers did not want the video to identify the campers.

The high school students – Alyssa Burchfield, Natalie Neace, Nate Weyman, Emma Reed and Augusta Battoclette — headed out on the ball court looking for footage that would show the action – without showing the faces.

It did not start out well.

The students stood in a clump 20 feet away from the athletes and coaches of the camp, sticking out as an obvious protrusion of the group in their efforts to remain inconspicuous. The game clock was counting down until lunch time, giving the students a constant reminder of how little time they had to get the footage and information they needed.bballvigntte

And the journalism students had to get closer to them if they wanted to get good footage, or any chance of the interview they needed.

Emma, a Highlands High School student, was the first to take initiative, and her early lead in asking Coach Rose for an interview noticeably put him at ease for the remainder of the time. Emma also went on to interview Sarah Kinch and Rianna Gayheart, two members of the NKU women’s basketball team, thereby breaking a critical communications barrier.

After that, the students started to freely move about the gym, gaining confidence and losing their fear of approaching their subjects and sources.

Natalie, also from Highlands, found that she could make effective b-roll by filming the feet of the children as they dribbled a ball. Nate, from Bishop-Brossart, used what he had found earlier on Coach Rose’s Twitter to ease into a conversation with him.

With 30 minutes left until they had to return to Griffin Hall, all of the students were dispersed throughout the Bank of Kentucky Center, asking players for interviews and finding creative ways to get their b-roll while maintaining the privacy of the camp’s children.

Alyssa, Nate, and Augusta grew more fearless, and climbed into the bleachers to get a bird’s eye view of the arena and the camp.

As the buzzer grew close to sounding, Coach Rose approached the group.

“Did you guys get everything you needed?” he asked, adding that the journalistic experience seemed valuable for all involved.

“It’s good for the athletes to go ahead and experience being interviewed,” he said.

 

-By John Flaherty

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