The following article was written by #18353 Matt Giles for the upcoming Spring Camp Dudley News
“Basketball has always been my obsession, but I was especially manic during the five or so years I worked at Camp Dudley. Whether it was recruiting rankings, or coaching moves, or halfcourt sets, I followed everything related to the bouncing leather ball.
“So when Joe Mantegna, the head coach of Blair Academy, then (and now) a top high school program in New Jersey, dropped by Westport to run a few sessions for basketball majors in the summer of 2005, I was stoked. It wasn’t that I had questions for the coach — I had many of those — but I more wanted to pick his brain about recruits, and what he thought of various prospects like Peyton Siva and Lance Stephenson (this was pre-Google’s omnipotence in all corners of the web, so I really had to deep-dive into the fan forums and grainy VHS tapes to expand my knowledge). After I graduated college and started freelancing, I realized this obsession could be something I could possible make money from.
“I started working as a fact-checker for ESPN the Magazine, and in my free time, contributed college basketball content for the magazine (my first piece was on Chicago State’s David Holton, a 5-foot-8 point guard who led the country in scoring). That gig led to further writing opportunities — with 350-plus Division I schools in the country, there are a lot of players with a lot of interesting backstories — and I now write for the New York Times, Deadspin, NBC Sports, the Washington Post, Vice Sports, and FiveThirtyEight (among others, and along with my full time job as an editor at Popular Science). That passion, fostered during those days as a Dudley Leader in Columbia and Wesleyan, has continued to fuel a career that I never envisioned.”
With the NCAA Tournament just around the corner – Check out some of the great basketball articles Matt has put out recently!
Five Weird Teams To Watch In The NCAA Tournament – FiveThirtyEight.com
Stephen F. Austin Are Ready To Be The Bad Guys Of March Madness – Vice Sports
The Nuns Who Love Chris Mullin – The New Yorker
Taking Their Game to the Highest Level – The New York Times