Two IUPUI Students Heading to Spain to Cover FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

IUPUI Sports Capital Journalism Program students Frank Bonner and Ryan Gregory, from left, are covering the 16-nation FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, Spain. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The lineup of major sporting events covered by IUPUI students in the Sports Capital Journalism Program reads like a sports journalist’s bucket list: Olympic Games, Final Fours, Indianapolis 500s and the College Football Playoff.

It’s a list no other college program can match, and another spotlight event will be added this week as two journalism students fly to Tenerife, Spain, for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. Teams from 16 nations, including the two-time defending champion U.S. team, will compete Sept. 22-30 to determine the world’s best.

Ryan Gregory, a junior from Fort Wayne majoring in sports journalism, and Frank Bonner, a graduate student from Indianapolis studying sports journalism, are making the trip along with Malcolm Moran, director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program. They’ll be writing stories primarily for USAB.com, USA Basketball’s official website, working from press row and interviewing players and coaches at arguably the biggest event in the sport.

“A lot of countries focus on this tournament more than the Olympics, because basketball can get overshadowed there. For this event, the whole focus is pure basketball,” Moran said.

“We’ve had students who have covered women’s basketball games in the Olympics, but this is the first time we’ve done the World Cup.”

The Sports Capital Journalism Program is part of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Students who take part in the program’s remarkable range of top-shelf sports opportunities have their expenses completely covered, which also differentiates IUPUI’s offering from many other schools.

The students will arrive in Spain with plenty of experience covering events. Gregory has covered the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Fever and Indy Fuel, as well as the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships last year at the IU Natatorium. Bonner, before entering the sports journalism graduate school program, was a sports reporter at the Columbus Republic for two years.

“We have two seasoned veterans, and that’s important because there are going to be logistical challenges, your patience is tested, you’re dealing with all that — and you’re dealing with it somewhere else in the world,” Moran said.

The event can be a challenge for students, with the time commitment of nearly two weeks, including games and travel, in the heart of the semester. But the students’ professors are supportive of the trip, and there is time for classwork between games.

There’s plenty of studying to go around, as FIBA rules are different from what American fans and journalists are used to. The court is slightly smaller, timeouts can only be called by coaches and teams may inbound the ball without an official first touching it, similar to throw-ins in soccer.

“I want to be familiar with the tournament itself before learning the players,” Gregory said. “I feel like those details will come.”

Moran, who will travel with the students as an advisor and editor, covered the creation of USA Basketball nearly three decades ago while writing for The New York Times. He also wrote extensively about U.S. women’s team coach Dawn Staley and assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti when they played in college.

The U.S. women’s team is vying for its third consecutive gold medal, a feat it has never achieved in the Women’s World Cup.

Crispus Attucks 1955 championship basketball team reunites to dedicate new court

1955 Crispus Attucks Anniversary CelebrationSixty years ago this spring, while there was still overt public school segregation in Indianapolis, the Crispus Attucks High School basketball team won the Indiana state basketball championship.  More than just a basketball game, the event was a milestone for the African American community in Indianapolis and for the city.  As you may know, the 1955 Crispus Attucks team included Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson along with several other great players.

What you may not know is that the students who attended Crispus Attucks and lived in this part of town used to play pick-up basketball on an unpaved field, nicknamed the “Dust Bowl”, the site of which is on the IUPUI campus between Michigan Street and Lockefield Gardens.  Recently, IUPUI built a basketball court on that site and our students now play there for fun and recreation.
On April 1st, marking the 60th anniversary of the Crispus Attucks championship, the new basketball court on the old “Dust Bowl” site will be dedicated. This will be followed by a reunion and panel discussion with the players from the 1955 championship team, including Oscar Robertson.
Sponsored by Sports Journalism at the School of Liberal Arts, the National Sports Journalism Center, the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management, and the IUPUI Division of Student Affairs.