January 30, 2012

BKC: Cal defeat Stanford 69-59

Headed over to Haas Pavilion for my fifth day in a row of shooting basketball as the California Golden Bears faced off against the Stanford Cardinal.

The game was part of Coaches vs Cancer where the coaches wear white sneakers for cancer awareness.

I thought I'd join the cause and wear one of my favorite pairs of white shoes. As I've been tweeting my feet via instagram to try and get people interested in the events I'm covering... I find more are interested in my shoes haha, oh well!

Cal came out and battled against their rival.

Both the plays and the mascots.

And though Jorge Gutierrez pretty clearly did indeed foul Josh Owens on this play...whups

Coach Mike Montgomery wasn't entirely happy with the officiating on some other calls.

Cal and Stanford went neck and neck for awhile with Cal eventually breaking away for the clear win.

Holding the ball in the final second, Brandon Smith faked like he was going to drive for the basket, but contained himself and the game ended 69-59 for a Golden Bear victory!

January 29, 2012

BKW: Stanford defeat Cal 74-71 in OT

Headed over to Maples Pavilion for the California Golden Bears against the Stanford Cardinal.

Statistically, with Stanford being ranked #4 in the nation and Cal unranked, you would think Stanford would have easily blown past Cal. Especially considering it's nearly the same team which last year ended Connecticut's NCAA record winning streak, but with one more year for the dynamic duo sisterhood of Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike to play together, and the team had one it's last 72 games at home.

But statistics don't mean much when you are pairing an upcoming young Cal team against their rival.

When players make clutch three point shots, normally Tara VanDerveer is expressionless and will just sit on the bench and make a small comment to an assistant coach. But boy she was animated as her team was threatened to fall in what would have been a crazy upset.

But Cal was definitely animated as well with the whole bench calling out to their teammates on plays!

Cal gave Stanford a run for it's money... and as we know, that's quite a lot of money!

With Stanford not quite knowing how to handle freshman stunner Brittany Boyd flying through their defense.

And some brave playmaking by Layshia Clarendon... Cal sent the game into overtime!!

Ultimately Cal fell to Stanford 74-71 as Chiney Ogwumike scored a career high 27 points. But boy, what an exciting game!! Definitely a game that makes me proud to be a Cal alum!

In the aftermath of the game, both coaches spoke on being proud of their players, but emphasized the bigger picture - or lack there of.. why was this game not televised!?! Women's sports never receive as much coverage as mens, but in a rival game, one team ranked #4 in the nation, and the other threatening to upset them... let's get some cameras on these female athletes!!!

January 27, 2012

NBA: Thunder defeat Warriors 120-109

Headed over to Oracle Arena for the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Golden State Warriors.

I was super excited because this was my first Warriors game. Before I was even photographing for Cal, I would bring my lil Canon Rebel and a consumer grade 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 and absolutely ZERO knowledge of what I was doing, and would shoot the games from the stands. Though I'm embarrassed to share these raw/horrendous (and they are the best of the takes) images, I hope it will serve something to show how much your life can change in 5 years, and that dedication, hard work, believing in yourself, support of family and friends, and a number of other sappy catchphrases - can put you in places you once only dreamed of!

Pretty cool to see some of the guys in the background of the pictures who at the time were "photographers in the background" and now are my friends!

Speaking of which - a huge thank you to Ben Margot who shoots for AP. As I was getting to the game, trying to find media will call and circling around Oracle Arena, I ran into him walking from the parking lot. I caught up to him and asked him where media will call was, and he let me follow him into the media entrance, waited for me while I picked up my credential (he has season credential) showed me where the media work room was, where the food was, introduced me to some of the regulars and even though he had no need to until the game started, walked me through the underground hallways to the court so I could get some pre game shots. Basically sparing me from looking like a lost puppy dog roaming around. Though on the whole I'll admit, myself included, photographers are a strange breed, they are also really cool people!

Oh, did you want some actual photos of the game? ;-)

Though the team is pretty much all new from when I was shooting from the stands - Monta Ellis and Andris Biendrins are still around.

But there's a lot of new and exciting faces like Stephen Curry. Who apparently just wears his mouthguard for looks.

And David Lee, who the other team liked so much they hugged (aka fouled) him

I was excited to see Kevin Durant for the Thunder who are leading the NBA right now.

With the help of Russell Westbrook.

Thunder proved to be too much for the Warriors as they came away with a 120-109 win.

Allowing Nick Collison to laugh off the comments from heckling fans.

I laugh at myself because I claim I have to take cheerleader photos because my editors request them, which is true.

But I can't use that as my excuse because I definitely didn't have editors in '06 shooting from the stands... and I was still taking their picture!

I also laugh because I spotted Raiders owner Mark Davis courtside. In faded jeans, white shirt and tennis shoes, he sure doesn't dress the part of a millionaire.

And I guess some things never change!