Dream Live Ball

By: Brittany Graham

basketball

One Memorable March

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March is by far my favorite month of the year. For the obvious reason of nonstop college basketball. But, it’s also full of magic, believers, underdogs, buzzer beaters and the time of year where heroes are born and as long as there’s still time left on the clock, anything can happen. Anything. 

A New Perspective

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For me this March was unlike any other experiencing the madness from a different perspective through my new job as digital media correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.  It was something that before could only existed in my dreams. 

Being able to work the Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball conference championships with an all access credential around my neck, enjoying the game from press row was nothing short of amazing. Growing up I always attend these tournaments with my dads teams at Oklahoma State, but attending ALL 19 games in a 10 day span both women’s and men’s was an entirely new experience that I will forever be so grateful for.

Add in the fact I conducted post game interviews with some of my favorite athletes was rush itself and feeling that can’t quite be explained. It was awesome y’all. 

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Let The Games Begin

The beauty of March and why I love college basketball so much is because as long as there is a game to be played, you still have a chance. And sometimes that’s all you need, a chance. 

Before the start of the tournament most of us had no clue UMBC or Loyola-Chicago even existed(I did but many didn't). But weeks later these two programs stole our hearts all because of the opportunity to play. UMBC pulled of history by being the first team in men’s NCAA tournament history to beat a #1 seed. Not only did they beat Virginia, a team that many people had winning it all. They beat the dog crap out of them. As for Sister Jean and the Ramblers made it all the way to the Final Four knocking off Miami, Tennessee, Nevada, and K-State to get to San Antonio. Well done fellas, and as Sister Jean would say..."Worship, Work, WIN." 

I live for the stories, upsets (as long as my time isn’t on the receiving end of it 🤞🏽) and getting all the feels for everything that happens with athletes and coaches beyond the actual game itself. The emotion the game brings that can’t really be explained, but through your TV screen you can just feel it. That’s what I love about March, it’s all about the feels y’all.

And let's NOT forget about the women's game and the unsong hero in Arike Ogunbowale leading Note Dame to the women's championship with two clutch shots at the buzzer in both games 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽. Nobody gave ND the slightest chance to win down with a short bench for the majority of the season, and going up against an undefeated UCONN team. But all they needed was each other and the opportunity to play, and the rest history.

Cold blooded girl 🤫

Final Four Bound

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This year my squad made it back to the Final Four and because it was less than four hour drive south of Dallas, you already know ya girl made the trip. It was also a mini family vacation, because, well you know that’s just how life works when you’re in a basketball family. Nick was there too at the NABC Convention as a part of the Iowa State staff, so it’s always nice when the entire family is together in one place. Especially on a warm spring night in San Antonio eating Mexican food on the riverwalk 😋.

It brought back so many memories of my childhood, being a coaches kid in March missing school living the dream and just being part of a team. Despite the L to Nova it was still an amazing end to my college basketball season. My mom and I spent the weekend walking around, being in the crowds, people watching, checking out all of the merch at the vendors, taking pictures and making mems💞📸.

We all went to both semifinal games and it was an amazing atmosphere being among nearly 70,000 college basketball fans in the Alamo Dome. To my surprise we got lower level tickets in the KU section behind the bench, and it was lit🔥(besides the Villanova 3’s🤦🏽‍♀️). 

Until Next Szn

March like always was full of surprises, flights, traveling, pictures, upsets, emotion, full of college hoops and unforgettable moments. I’m not sure what I will do with myself until next November for the start of the 2018-19 season😫. But this was by far the most memorable March and basketball season of my life. So blessed to have experienced all this season brought me.

Current mood without college hoops until November...

My Best Life

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Big 12 MBB Media Day

Big 12 MBB Media Day

The past two months have been nothing short of exciting, and I’m still trying to figure out just exactly how I got here🤷🏽. By here I mean living my dream and fulfilling the vision God placed my heart many years ago. It’s been almost two months since I started this new chapter and new adventure as a Digital Media Correspondent for the best conference (and also my favorite😉), The Big 12. Since then, a lot of you have been asking more about job, life, what exactly I do, and how the transition has been changing my career.

Life😎

Let me first start off by saying that I am truly blessed🙏🏽 to be living my best life right now. I mean it when I say that life is treating me well😌. I’m living in the city I have wanted to live in for so many years now with my amazing parents that I get to see and spend time with each and everyday. When I first started this whole adult thing I was living in Rome, GA coaching at Berry College. I hardly ever got to see my family and by hardly I mean once a year for 4-7 days during Christmas break. So you can see why I appreciate seeing their faces every morning to start my day.

Work🎥

As far as work goes, it’s been such an amazing learning experience so far. I feel like everyday I’m growing and learning something new. I’m constantly challenged, creating, thinking and making content to cover all of our Big 12 sports teams. I'm learning new editing techniques, all about cameras, lighting, back end of websites, social media strategies, and so many other cool important things.  

This time last year I was following around THE Jacqlyn Poss filming, editing, producing my own short web series and now here I am a year later making in day life media day videos with Devonte’ Graham and Trae Young, two of the best players in the Big 12. It’s so surreal…

 
 
 
 
XC Championship!!!

XC Championship!!!

I just wrapped up my first season covering cross country and it was an absolute blast. Coming from a basketball background I of course new nothing about XC, but that quickly changed as the season progressed as checking the polls and rankings became a part of my weekly routine.

After working the XC Championship and attending my first ever meet, I must say it way more exciting than you would ever think. These athletes are so skilled and discipline to take care of their bodies and run so many miles at such a fast pace. It was just crazy to see it live in person, and I highly suggest that every sports fan should definitely check out a XC meet, it was awesome.

It's also been a very new and weird experience for me being in front of a camera. I can't say I enjoy it just yet, but it's been good for me learning to get out of my comfort zone. It takes me a very long time to get my words right and I feel SO uncomfortable seeing, watching, and hearing myself on videos, can you tell I don't like it?🙅🏽🙈 But again, I'm growing and getting better each time I film and that's all I can ask for💙

#awkward😳⬇

I also spent the past month doing on campus visits with Big 12 women’s basketball teams (Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Iowa St. & Kansas St) interviewing coaches and student-athletes about the upcoming season. The moment it all sunk it for me in terms of how far I have come was interviewing my former coach at Texas Tech(Coach White, she will always be Coach White even though she is now marrieS LOL). However, many years ago now I was once a sophomore college basketball player at UMKC. A soft, timid, scared, lazy sophomore college basketball player at UMKC that lost her scholarship. At the time I was devastated but all the years later being told off was the best possible thing that could have ever happened to me. Besides, looking back now I would have got rid of me too #NOTlying...

With Coach White❤️️

With Coach White❤️️

For so many years I held so much anger in my heart towards my old coach for not renewing my scholarship and not believing in me as a player. I was so afraid to even think of seeing her face to face as the years passed, and now here I am sitting in front of her asking the questions for an interview. It was the coolest thing ever. I’ve grown, changed, and matured so much and a major reason why will always be my experience at UMKC. Had it not been for those moments, I would have never had the opportunity to years later be interviewing my old coach who I have nothing but love, support, and respect for. 

As you can see, life has been keeping me busy, I’ve been loving every minute of it and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

This is just the beginning, I promise to keep you updated.

-Brittany

Click right for more pictures...➡

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LaBrittany Ball???

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So unless you've been living under a basketball rock the past several months, then I'm sure you know all about Lavar and his "boys" as Lavar likes to call them. Lonzo,  LiAngelo and LaMelo aka, Zo, Gelo and Melo. 

Since the college basketball season ended and Lavar gained more and more attention and relevance from the media many people have formed their opinion about Lavar and his family of superstar basketball players. I avoided the foolishness of getting into the conversation, that is until now. 

Recently Lavar and his Big Baller Brand family released their own reality show which is currently four episodes in that airs live on Facebook on Sunday's. 

I'm hooked and I'm a fan. Watch here...

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Before watching the short 13-18 minute series like most of the basketball world I thought Mr. Ball was a fool, a complete annoying idiot to say the least (🤷🏽Sorry Lavar, just my honest thoughts). But after watching all seven episodes I'm starting think🤔 it would've been pretty cool to be the big sister of the Ball boys, and have Lavar market me and my talents (on and off the court) to the world.

Since starting the series, “Ball in The Family,” I have gained a new found respect for Lavar and his boys. My initial question during the blow up of the Big Baller Brand, was where is the mom and how does she fit into all of this chaos? Tina aka the mom, suffered a severe stroke towards the end of basketball season last spring that left her partially paralyzed with a bad speech deficient forcing her to learn how to walk and talk all over again. During this process Lavar was by his wife’s side every step of the way as the series shows him leading her through both speech and physical therapy. Lavar was pictured in a different light much more nurturing and caring making sure all of Tina’s needs were met.

Aside from seeing the compassion Mr. Ball has for his wife, the family show will also see how much love and support he has for his boys. I think it’s kind of cool how much he believes in their ability to play basketball, while at the same not making excuses for their short-comings. He’s the first one to keep it real with them and let them know when they’re not putting in the work to reach their goals.

If anything, my new perspective on Lavar Ball is just a businessman with a plan trying to put his kids in the best position possible to succeed. So, with that being said it only makes me wonder if Lavar temporarily adopted me and devoted his life to my short-lived division one basketball career how much further I could’ve actually gone being pushed by his crazy self? Secondly, once my career ended having him then promote the crap out of my videos? Yeah, I totally wouldn’t mind being LaBrittany Ball taking on the role of the older Ball sister if it meant my name would be know backed up with that type of support system.

But, let’s be real I could never be a Ball sister but my point is if you really sit down and think about Lavar Ball he’s actually a really amazing father and husband. His plan to gain a following and attention for his sons and Big Baller Brand worked like magic and spread like wildfire. He will always be himself, a loud, confident, and outspoken when it comes to his opinions. But that should never be overshadowed for the platform he created for each of them and their family. It’s something that’s never been done before and I have to credit Lavar for taking the calculated risk. You can't be mad or hate on someone's hustle and for that reason I hope BBB and the Ball's continue to take their family's sucess to new heigts. 

Although I'm not exactly made out to be a Ball, I can't lie I would love to go out to LA and spend and take on the role of LaBrittany Ball for a few days. Lavar if you're reading this hit me up!!!

 

I'm Trying to Get IT.

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Finally... a video that explains and someone that gets it. I've been describing myself as weird for years and could never fully put into words why. No mater what it is you're grinding for, basketball, another sport, your professional career,  this a video posted on Jimmy Butler's Insta' made by Phil.DoitAll anyone can relate to. (Please excuse me for the language in advanced, voice of Tyrese Gibson)

"It's time to stay focused. It's time to decide fuck clubs, fuck partying, fuck trying to fit in, and socialize, rubbing elbows with everybody so people can stop calling you weird. Why are you so anti social? Because I'm trying to get it. Why are you staying on the basketball court so much? Because I'm trying to get it. Why are you out there practicing in the hot sun when ain't nobody else out there? Because I'm trying to get it. These clubs, these parties, all this shit ain't going nowhere. The more weird you are, is a reflection of how committed you are to focusing on your shit, molding and shaping and developing your ideas and your craft so when it's time for you to make your rounds you gon' fly. The life that I live, I deserve this life because I work my ass off to get it."