On Sunday, August 28, the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am League championship game was held at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club in Seattle. My buddy Rashaad helps coordinate the league and had asked me a few weeks prior if I wanted to shoot games for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, my weekends were jam-packed, and I regretfully declined. However, one of my good friends would be playing in the championship game, and I just so happened to have a free afternoon. Without a second thought, I trekked to the gym schlepping my camera gear jusssst in case Rashaad needed me.
Before I get into describing this shoot, let me first say that it is HARD to edit down photos from 1,250 to 200. (Facebook albums max out at 200 so that was my goal.) It took me a week, and I still ended up with 603 pics that I kept to provide Rashaad, but only 200 are going online (which you can see on the Tara Brown Photography facebook page). It’s a struggle for me to edit down sports photos because unless it’s blurry, out of focus, or framed horribly wrong, each shot is so dynamic and unique or captures the sequence of a play that I don’t want to tell it goodbye. Catching movement in athletics provides glimpses of moments, angles, actions and reactions that the naked eye often can’t conceive. That being said, I’m a hoopaholic. And when I also happen to know people who are playing, I’m bound to use my camera as a machine gun and blast through a memory card like it’s ammunition. Who can blame me? It’s so fun.
I just want to provide a few personal comments about some of the players that I got to photograph this day. I knew a handful of them, so it was particularly enjoyable to shoot the game. Ike (#10 black) is one of my good friends and one of my co-ed hoops teammates. We were actually introduced through Justin Dentmon when he told Ike about our photo shoot. Donald Watts (#4 black) was my fave Husky back when he played for UW. And of course, Nate (#3 green) is a Husky icon, and exciting to photograph because he talks, gestures, and flies, making for lively photos. Whenever I see him play it reminds me of when I met him at the IMA the day before I tried out for the women’s basketball team and he offered a few encouraging words. (For the record, I didn’t make the team…but this was something on my bucket list and I’m grateful for the experience.) Nate’s cousin AJ (#8 green) and I used to hoop together, too. Josh (#9 green) is one of the first people I remember seeing play at the IMA. I was in awe of him – this tall, muscular man with a strong court presence and a quick smile has always been nice to me, even when I was just a lil’ freshman. These connections made me particularly interested in capturing my friends in their element.
And then there’s Jamal Crawford, the man behind this entire league, and certainly a leader when it comes to keeping basketball present in Seattle. I went to a huge house party at Jamal’s about five years ago with one of my girlfriends who knows him. He has an outdoor court, so my friend and I proceeded to play 3-on-3 with some guys. I remember sinkin’ a deep 3 as Jamal walked by, and he commented on it and said that he recognized me from the IMA. Funny how the little things stick with you, yeah? Anyway, here’s to basketball and sports photography. Enjoy!