It’s been over a year since I posted on here, so I thought it would be fitting to write about the recently crowned NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors will always have this really poetically wonderful place in my heart. It was because of that team that I learned that writing was something that I was not only passionate about, but that it was something that I might be kind of good at. I don’t know if all those who would consider themselves writers have that moment where they just know that writing is what they want to do, but I did.
My story started in the fifth grade. My elementary school was hosting a contest and the winner would win two tickets to the next Warriors home game. At that time, it wasn’t necessarily sports or basketball that I was passionate about, I think my main motivation was just that I wanted to write something. And I also just wanted to win something. The contest was that you could submit an essay detailing the reasons why you should win the pair of tickets. So I entered.
I wrote an essay about how much it would mean for my dad and I to be able to go to a game just the two of us and spend some time together. I wish I still had a copy of that essay somewhere. Content-wise, all I know is that I wrote it from my huge ten-year-old heart. I didn’t expect to win, but I had fun writing it.
We had our next assembly where the whole school came and sat cross legged on the Pine-Sol scented gym floor, and I was whispering back and forth with my friend when the time came for the principal to announce the winner of the contest.
I was awaiting the winner announcement as I looked around to see who might get the honor, when they announced my name. I. Won. My mind went blank with shock because I really didn’t think I would win. The principal announced my name one more time, and I stood up after being gestured to the front of the crowd. And right then, they asked me to read my essay in front of the school. So I did. And that was when I knew I wanted to write. It was the first time I felt like I was good at something.
And my prize was going to the Warriors game with my dad.
Flash forward 8 years later, and the Warriors would once again become even more artistically important to me.
I walked into the 2400 building on my first day of college, and I found my way to the Express Student Newspaper lab. I stepped in the room and instantly found my second home and easily some of the most influential mentors and teachers I had ever had.
My first semester, I was very focused on trying my hand at feature writing with hopes of having a career in music writing. But as I got to know the advisers, I was taken under the wing of Marcus Thompson II, who at the time was the beat writer covering the Warriors for the Bay Area News Group. I read all of his stories. I listened to him talk about his writing process and his job. It sounded wonderful, and I thought I would try my hand at it. Enter my sports obsession. And my first column.
I fell in love with writing about sports, and I had the best teacher for doing so. I wrote about baseball, I wrote about basketball, I wrote about sports pop culture. I wrote profiles about school athletes, including a pair of basketball players who had fled to Livermore for refuge from Hurricane Katrina. Through sports, I fell in love with writing once again. I went to the Warriors Media Day as part of a field trip for Marcus’ news writing class. Our end goal was to come up with a story from the day.
While others crowded around the star player tables with the “real” journalists, I spent my time talking to a few D-League players, and I found my story. Marcus had a Warriors representative read through all of our submitted stories, and the winner would get this beautiful leather embossed binder with the Warriors logo.
And once again I won. And I once again was taken aback.
After college, I took a different route. I switched up from journalism to public relations. It was a great decision for me because I love working with media. And just a few months ago, I landed my dream job (not sports related, even though I dabbled in that field of PR too!). I am a book publicist now – which if you know me at all, you know it is a perfect fit for me. I am a book hoarder, and now that I work in books I think that it is socially acceptable for me to have as many books as I do.
Guess where my dream job is? You guessed it. Oakland.
And just a little over a month after I moved in my Warriors won the championship for the first time in 40 years.
Full circle? I think so.