I’d be lying if I said Montclair State’s women’s basketball program wasn’t one of my favorite things. It’s all I talk about during the season, and I’m sure I’ve annoyed people here at The Montclarion by bringing the team up so much. My family has come out to the games, and I’m sure my dad and I would be season ticket holders if that was a thing for DIII sports.
But it wasn’t always that way. I had watched a grand total of zero women’s basketball games before coming to Montclair State as a transfer student. I wrote the sport off. I thought, “they don’t dunk, they aren’t as fast and the game isn’t as interesting, so why bother?”
I could not have been more wrong, and I’m glad I learned that lesson as soon as I came here. My first article, ever, was a profile on Head Coach Karin Harvey and that entailed going to my first women’s basketball game. Even in a 36-point blowout victory against New Jersey City University (NJCU), my thought process changed from “why bother?” to “this is still basketball, they’re good and it’s fun.”
Just one month later I was on a plane to Grand Rapids, Michigan to report on the team in their first NCAA DIII Final Four appearance. I was only a journalism student for two months but, there I was, doing halftime interviews and asking questions in a melancholy post-game press conference after a loss.
My growth as a reporter is directly tied to my time covering Montclair State’s women’s basketball team. It propelled me to an internship with The Star-Ledger, with the help of Kelly Whiteside, and gave me space to improve as a writer and reporter. I look back at my articles from the Final Four run two years ago and cringe – just a little bit.
Every moment I spent covering the women’s basketball team was fun and never felt like work. The feeling was never “I have to write a women’s basketball article” and it was always “I get to write a women’s basketball article.” I’m thankful to both the team and this paper for this experience that I’ll remember forever.
My first and last article here will be about the women’s basketball team. I wouldn’t have it any other way.