Normally, I am the one who tells these long winded stories at the end of the year, but more than any other year in the history of BSO, this has been about the ability of not just myself but my staff to establish themselves are true journalists.
So, here is what they had to say about their time with BSO and the things they have covered and experienced over the past 12 months.
Glenn Erby (@thacover2)
Covered: 8 Boxing events, James Ihedigbo Hope Africa Event, NFL Network NFL.com Media Day, First Episode of Crowd Goes Wild, NBA Draft Week Fashion Event, Bernard Hopkins Media Workout, Danny Garcia Media Event Workout and Shaq O’Neal Shaq Soda Media Event.
Interviewed: Mikey Garcia, Adrien Broner, Brandon Rios, George Foreman, Don King, Tavoris Cloud, Fernando Guerrero, Austin Trout, Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford,Bernard Hopkins, Antonio DeMarco and James Ihedigbo.
I’ve learned so much in the past year working for BlackSportsOnline, and have had the most fulfilling year in my professional career. I couldn’t ask for a better boss or mentor. I’ve learned how to conduct myself as media, the hard work that goes into perfecting my craft and being a credible journalist that readers media professionals alike can respect. I simply look forward to 2014 and continuing to bring up to the minute sports news and information to our loyal readers.
Kel Dansby (@keldansby)
Covered: 9 boxing events, 7 MMA events, 3 celeb golf events, 1 celebrity basketball tournament, 1 movie premier. Interviewed 8 boxers (4 of whom are world champions).
This year BSO has allowed me to do things most journalist only dream about. I’ve covered events in 4 states and at almost 2 per month. I’ve learned that hard work truly pays off and that sometimes all it takes is to be in the right place at the right time.
When I took the BSO position I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in with what the staff had established and how’d I’d add something special at the same time. A year later I’m grateful to be known as a go to guy for fighting information and have firmly established myself as a respected journalist.
When I first began working for BSO someone referred to it in my presence as a “Gossip” blog. I’ve never forgotten that and I’ve made sure to show in every one of my articles how well polished we are as journalist here at BSO.
Black Sports Online isn’t a blog or a website, it’s a movement, and I think in 10 years it’ll be seen as the site that gave some of the best young black journalist their start.
Phil Jackson (@philWOTG)
Covered: K9 Brundage vs, Ishe Smith at Masonic Temple in Detroit & NBA Draft Combine in Chicago
The knowledge I’ve gained working for BSO and being mentored by Robert has changed my life in multiple ways. From giving me the tools to make my own money, to putting me within 5 feet of NBA execs like Mitch Kupchak and head coaches like Mike D’Antoni, this past year has been amazing and some of my dreams have come true. I think the best thing about writing for Blacksportsonline, is the family atmosphere. I think when you treat your employees with a certain amount of respect and care, they go above and beyond to make sure they’re getting the job done in a satisfactory fashion. Robert understands that, and it’s part of the reason why he’s the best boss I’ve ever had. Not to mention a very good friend.
Natasha Paul (@SportsTalkTLady)
Covered: Cotto vs Rodriguez
Working with bso has taught me how to be impartial in the world of sports despite of my former allegiances. Instead of looking at the game as a fan, I look at it more analytically. I’m also more knowledgeable of everyday happenings for obvious reasons but the different stories are really interesting.
Ashley Nicole (@girllovesports)
Covered: 2 boxing matches, 1 UFC match, Bernard Hopkins Interview, NFL Draft Event, Local radio show appearance & Manny Pacquiao Interview.
In my first full year with BSO, I’ve done everything from boxing to the NFL. The versatility in my job is tremendous, and the experience gained along the way has prepped me for the future. I’ve met many important people on my 2013 journey, and have marketed not only the site, but myself and my brand. Slowly but surely, I feel that in some way I’m changing the perception of young women who cover sports for a living. Being taken serious as credential media, and always getting to travel to different sports events has been a dream come true. The transition from being a fan who knew sports, into a young woman who covers it has been a privilege and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Simone Bridges (@SimoneOnSports)
Interviewed: Brandi Chastain, Tamika Catchings & Brad Smith
Even though I have only been a part of the BSO team for a few months, I have learned a lot of valuable information. As a huge sports lover one of the hardest things for me was learning how to separate the journalist in me from the fan in me. Just like you I grew up watching and cheering for certain teams but as a sports journalist I never want that to be known to the reader and I never want to come off as biased towards a specific team. BSO helped me understand the importance of reporting the facts and not getting caught up in my own personal love or hate for a certain team and as a result this will help my credibility as a serious sports journalist.
Vashti Hurt (@VashtiHurt )
Covered: NCAA Tournament, Kentucky Derby, 3 Nascar Races, State Farm Champions Classic, Grey Cup, ACC Football Championship, Belk Bowl and Orange Bowl.
As I completed my first year with BSO last month, I can honestly look back and say this has been the best time of my life. It’s truly a blessing to be able to do something you love for people who appreciate your work. The greatest lesson I’ve learned through this (and it’s so cliche’ but so true) is to follow your passion and you’ll never feel like you have to work a day the rest of your life. As a journalist, my professionalism and staying true to myself as a writer, is more important than anything else. Like it or not, honesty is always respected and people can spot a fake from a mile away. I love the BSO readers for their encouragement and continual support. Watch out in 2014 as every year continues to get better than the one before.
Greg Smith (@g_twitty)
Interviewed: Phil Steele for the Capital One Mascot Challenge and Cecil Martin for the Allstate Good Hands Mural.
Back in July I made a decision to take sports journalism from a hobby of mine to something more. The last five months have flown by and I have learned so much about what it takes to improve in not only my own writing but helping to grow the BSO brand. The coolest thing I experienced this year was interviewing Phil Steele who is always a “bucket list” interview for college football writers. The biggest takeaway from 2013 for me is that if I continue working hard, it will be recognized and rewarded.
As we move into 2014, I look forward to continuing to grow and entertaining all of you while keeping you on top of all things sports.
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
Getting hired by BSO has changed my life dramatically. As a college student at Lincoln University, I was always praying an opportunity like this would surface. I’ve now been employed with BSO for roughly four months. BSO has enhanced my professionalism and writing dramatically. It’s also taught me to seize every opportunity you get in life.
My experience with BSO has been a crazy one. They say your life can change in a year and being with Rob and BSO I can faithfully say that. Like I said i been rocking with Rob for about a year and a half and in that time Ive done some amazing things from participating in games to even meeting some influential people. Ive become more aware of my presence on twitter and I’ve seen a growing fan base who keeps up with me and my accomplishments. I never knew that people would be drawn to me or even rock with me they way they have since Ive joined BSO, but yall have and out of EVERYTHING I’ve done, thats has to be my greatest accomplishment, gaining friends. I’ve grown to know some amazing people worldwide and you guys make sports and conversation fun.
BSO has been one of my greatest decisions I’ve made in a while besides finding the goodness of Simply Lemonade! Thank you guys so much for engaging and laughing with me this past year. Hopefully we have many more to go.
Robert Littal (@blksportsonline):
Covered: Super Bowl, NBA All-Star, Final Four, NFL Draft, ESPN Draft Party, 2 NBC Sports TV Appearance, SpikeTV Appearance, 2 Primetime NFL Games (MNF & SNF), 2 NBA Games, ESPN Media Day, Warner Bros Grudge Match Screening, NFL Kickoff Party Host, BSO Rise Above Media Networking Event, 2 JET Magazine Featured Stories, NABJ Speaker, 4 Boxing events, 100+ radio appearances and 30+ interviews.
I couldn’t leave without saying something. I could not be prouder of my staff for their contributions. You will rarely find an independent website, that isn’t owned by a corporation to have covered over 75 live events as credentialed media and interviewed over 75 sports and entertainment personalities.
Not bad for a site that allegedly never talks about sports…..
We wrote over 14,000 articles that were read by over 25 million people in 2013.
Always remember that I do this for the people. As someone who knows how hard life can be, if we can in any way bring a little joy, entertainment and smiles to your faces, we have done our job.
If you were wondering the Vice President of BSO, EL contributed absolutely nothing this year.