Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: Maloney's interview with Ewing High's boys hoops team

TRENTON -- This is where the sportswriter in me screams to emerge.

Kevin Maloney, who was the ace sportswriter at the Trenton Times for 6 years before layoffs ended his tenure there, has been a Trentonian freelancer since last fall. He does a great job with his game stories and features and videos. He knows sports -- and he knows Mercer County and Bucks County sports like Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder knows how to give away the future of the franchise just to get the No. 2 pick. But Cam Newton did prove a lot of things last year with the Panthers, and Robert Griffin III is Newtonesque, so I think RGIII, the Heisman Trophy winner from Waco, will prove to be worth everything the Skins gave up to the Rams, who made out like kings in the deal. 

But I've digressed.

Ewing's Blue Devils are playing for the New Jersey Group II state title Sunday at Rutgers against Pascack Hills. Where's the Aflac duck to say Pascack? It's the second year in a row Shelly Dearden's squad has made it to the title game. The Blue Devils have made it this far despite losing The Trentonian's 2011 Player of the Year, 5'10 guard Darryl Griffin, to injury before the season began. That says a lot about the team. A team coached by Shelly Dearden, a woman. She's a Ewing grad who became the first girl in Mercer County history to score 1,000 points. Years later Dearden led Ewing's girls varsity to a state title. If Ewing's boys win the crown, Dearden would become one of the few women in the history of American high school sports -- the only one? -- to be head coach of state-champion boys and girls varsity basketball teams. So my critique for Maloney is this: I would have found out if, indeed, Dearden is the first woman on the brink of history and asked her a few questions about it. I would have asked the players to explain why she has been so successful and what it means to have a woman as your head coach. Former UCLA guard Natalie Nakase is the head coach of a pro men's team in Japan. I wonder if Dearden has aspirations to coach in the NBA.

Kevin Maloney did a great job of 1) getting Dearden and the starting 5 to come to the Trentonian TV studios for the interview 48 hours before the big game and 2) engaging all of them. Kevin is going places in this business. He's got the natural good looks and a great charisma made for TV and radio. And, he knows his sports.

Production-wise, I made a slideshow of photos of Blue Devils in action this season for the screen-in-screen. Maloney brought a video of the semifinal game, which I downloaded. But they were in a strange format, even when I renamed them with an .MP4 tag. Maloney wanted me to play the final 4 minutes of the game and have Dearden and the players explain exactly how the Blue Devils scored the final 10 points of the game to beat Willingboro 49-40. I could tell Maloney was disappointed that the video didn't work. So was I, Kevin.

Below is the Trentonian TV interview of the Ewing hoops team in full.