By Samantha Pell | Cronkite News GLENDALE - While there have already been a lot of big shots taken inside University of Phoenix Stadium during the NCAA men's Final Four, the most important shot for CBS television viewers comes from way outside - well beyond the basketball floor.
Throughout the Final Four, Bob Fishman, lead director for CBS's NCAA basketball coverage calls those television shots from the CBS Sports production truck located outside the stadium. It is the 35th time Fishman has directed a Final Four broadcast.
Fishman directed his first Final Four in 1982, when only seven cameras were used. This year, 32 cameras are set up inside the stadium, catching every possible angle of the action.
'People ask me all the time, what do you mean you have 32 cameras?' Fishman said on Thursday. ''Isn't there one camera, and it's all remote control?' and I say, 'Think about what you just said. How do you think shots change?' '
In this year's production, CBS is experimenting with new technology. The network has cameras ringing the upper concourse to highlight people. Additionally, there are new high-speed cameras embedded in the basket support stanchions for a new perspective of the game.
Inside the production truck, Fishman sits in the front row, focusing on eight main cameras in the middle, while keeping track of the others in case he wants a different shot.
'You have to keep up with the technology,' Fishman said. 'Do I need 32 cameras to direct a basketball game? Of course not. But it makes great replays. We are always under the gun. Officials now review a lot and it can be annoying at times, but it's just part of the job. That's why (there's) so much equipment, because of the nature of the venues now.'
And while there may be new elements in the broadcast this year, Fishman's favorite part of the job remains the same.
'It's the part of it that, you just don't know what is going to happen,' Fishman said. 'It's unlike anything else. But it's not just the games, it's the emotions, it's the great finishes that we've had over the years.
'It's a thrill of sitting in that chair and knowing that whatever you choose for people to see, which one of the cameras that you have is the right one to choose, and there is something thrilling about that.'
Fishman never actually played basketball growing up and didn't know much about the sport in general. So when he got his first basketball job in 1981 leading up to the 1982 Final Four, he had his work cut out for him.
'It was daunting at first,' Fishman said. 'I had to learn the sport, I had to learn the pace of the game. Every game is different. Some teams run, some teams press, some teams play half court. But again, it's just about the love and the drama of doing live television. There's nothing like live TV and there is very little live TV left anymore. Just news and sports.'
Fishman said he had a love affair with sports that began when he was 8.
'I grew up in the Caribbean, in the Virgin Islands, so my only contact was through radio,' Fishman said. 'Back in those days I was a huge (Los Angeles) Dodgers fan, listened to Vin Scully at 4 o'clock in the morning re-broadcasting games, and that's when I got the bug. But like most kids my age I wanted to be the next great baseball announcer.'
That dream, however, didn't pan out.
'I realized I wasn't so good when I got to college,' Fishman said. 'I focused on broadcasting courses and when I started writing scripts and blocking shots and actually directing small little projects, I kind of had an affinity for it and that's what I wanted to do.'
Fishman began his career in 1972 as a production assistant for CBS News. While a production assistant, he got to work on the evening newscast with Walter Cronkite and with Dan Rather on '60 Minutes.'
'My first directing job was the Apollo 17 (launch),' Fishman said. ' (It was) the nighttime launch at Cape (Canaveral) because the director who was assigned to it was ill. I was the only other member of the Directors Guild on site so I was the guy who ended up in the chair directing Apollo 17 and that's how it all started.'
After his time in news, Fishman made the move to CBS Sports as the director for 'The NFL Today' and then directed his first Final Four in 1982 at the New Orleans Superdome.
But in 1990, Fishman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He missed the Final Four that year while in a New York hospital. It was the only Final Four he has missed since 1982.
'It was never about I was not going to make it,' Fishman said. 'I had the right kind of disease, and I knew I was going to come back, but I was very depressed missing that Final Four. Getting well was the first priority.'
After Fishman got a bone marrow transplant that saved his life, he started the 'Bone Marrow Foundation' in 1992, which is headquartered in New York. The foundation gifts money to families who need help with the financial costs of getting a bone marrow transplant.
'There was never any doubt about, 'Am I going to step away and not do this anymore,' ' Fishman said. 'It's not like I was dying or anything, or I was going to die. It took me to another path in my life with the foundation that we started, but I was always going to come back.'
Fishman celebrates his 68th birthday today, the off day between Saturday's national semifinals and Monday night's championship game. His wife and two sons have joined him for the celebration in Arizona.
'You know what I say to people who say how old are you going to be? I say 'old enough,'' Fishman said. 'But the truth of the matter is when you have a bone marrow transplant and you have a brand new immune system, I'd like to say that I'm 26 because it was 26 years ago.
Walter Hodge selected the top Virgin Islander playing abroad in last week's games - 5 days ago
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Here is the weekly review of the top performing U.S. Virgin Islands players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an international point guard Walter Hodge (183-86). He led ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket to a victory over the closely-ranked JDA Dijon in the French ProA in Saturday night's game.
Here is the weekly review of the top performing U.S. Virgin Islands players, who play currently abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an international point guard Walter Hodge (183-86, college: Florida, currently plays in France). He led ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket to a 1-point victory over the closely-ranked JDA Dijon (10-18) 74-73 in the French ProA in Saturday night's game.
Hodge was MVP of the game. He recorded 19 points and added 4 passes in 24 minutes on the court.
ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (14-14) is placed ninth in the ProA.
It's Hodge's first season with the team.
Hodge has relatively good stats this year: 13.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 5.7apg, 2FGP: 55.8%(82-147), 3FGP: 41.7% and FT: 79.5% in 28 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican.
Hodge is currently a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international forward Ivan Aska (201-90, college: Murray St., currently plays in Greece). He led PAOK to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Lavrio (11-15) 82-65 in the Greek A1 last Wednesday.
Aska recorded 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
PAOK Thessaloniki (14-12) is placed fifth in the A1.
This season Aska has relatively solid stats: 10.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 2FGP: 51.2% and FT: 71.4%.
He is another player who holds two passports: U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican.
Aska is in the roster of the U.S. Virgin Islands senior national team.
#3. The U.S. Virgin Islands player who performed third best last week abroad was an international center Frank Elegar (208-86, college: Drexel, currently plays in VTB United League). He led his Russian team Enisey to a victory against the tenth-ranked Avtodor (7-16) 97-92 in the VTB United League on Sunday night.
Elegar had a double-double by scoring 12 points and getting 11 rebounds. He also added 3 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals (was perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line) in 31 minutes.
Enisey Krasnoyarsk (13-10) is placed sixth in group A.
It was his team's fifth consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the VTB United League Regular Season. And that game will be critical.
Elegar has reliable stats this year: 13.8ppg, 9.4rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 67.2%(88-131) and FT: 72.3% in 20 games.
He has both U.S. Virgin Islands and Guyanese nationalities.
Elegar is also a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands senior national team.
#4. Center Craig Williams (206-89, college: TCU, currently plays in Japan) could not help Orange Vikings (27-27) in their last game on Sunday. Despite his very good performance the fourth-placed Orange Vikings (27-27) were edged 75-73 on the road by the second-ranked Dragonflies in the West group.
Williams was the top scorer with 30 points. He also added 6 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
Williams' stats this season are: 13.4ppg, 8.3rpg and 1.6apg.
He is also U.S. Virgin Islands national team player.
One more player who has never been selected to any of national teams, but has U.S. Virgin Islands passport:
#1.Marcus Georges-Hunt (196-F-94, agency: Pensack Sports, college: Georgia Tech, currently plays in NBA) managed to help Orlando Magic in a victory against the Detroit Pistons (36-45) 113-109 in the NBA last Wednesday.
Georges-Hunt scored only 4 points in 10 minutes.
The Orlando Magic has 29-53 record this season.
The Regular Season already ended in the NBA.
This year Georges-Hunt averages: 2.8ppg and 1.8rpg in five games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: U.S. Virgin Islands and American.
Other top U.S. Virgin Islands players, who play abroad:
SEATTLE - Game matchups for the 2017 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam were announced Tuesday by tournament directors. Eight men's and eight women's Division-I college basketball teams will compete in the 18th annual Paradise Jam held Nov. 17-25, 2017 at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The men's tournament, held Friday, Nov. 17 through Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, features Colorado, Drake, Drexel, Houston, Liberty, Mercer, Quinnipiac, and Wake Forest. Te... [read more]
SEATTLE - Game matchups for the 2017 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam were announced Tuesday by tournament directors. Eight men's and eight women's Division-I college basketball teams will compete in the 18th annual Paradise Jam held Nov. 17-25, 2017 at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The men's tournament, held Friday, Nov. 17 through Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, features Colorado, Drake, Drexel, Houston, Liberty, Mercer, Quinnipiac, and Wake Forest. Teams will compete in a bracket-style tournament over the four-day event.
Mercer will tip off against Liberty in the opening game of the 2017 men's Paradise Jam. Drexel and Houston face each other in the second game of the afternoon session, before Quinnipiac and Colorado compete in the first game of the evening session. Drake and Wake Forest will conclude opening-day action in the final matchup of the day.
Losing teams will compete in their second game the following day, Saturday, Nov. 18. Winning teams will have a one-day respite, before facing off in the semifinals, Sunday, Nov. 19. All teams will return to the UVI Sports and Fitness Center, Monday for the championship round. The seventh-place game will open the final day of competition, followed by the fourth-place game, third-place game, and championship game to crown the 2017 men's Paradise Jam champion.
The women's tournaments will take place Thursday, Nov. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. The tournament fields includes Butler, Drexel, George Washington, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The women's tournaments feature two four-team divisions competing in round-robin play for separate tournament championships.
Butler, West Virginia, Drexel, and Virginia Tech will compete in the Paradise Jam Island Division. Vanderbilt, George Washington, Wisconsin, and Syracuse will compete in the Paradise Jam Reef Division.
The opening day of the Island Division will feature Butler vs. West Virginia and Drexel vs. Virginia Tech. Second-round matchups include West Virginia vs. Drexel and Virginia Tech vs. Butler on Nov. 24. In the final day of the Island Division on Nov. 25, the Bulldogs will face the Drexel Dragons and West Virginia will face the VT Hokies.
Vanderbilt and George Washington will tip off the women's Reef Division, Nov. 23, followed by Wisconsin vs. Syracuse. In second-day action George Washington will face the UW Badgers and Syracuse will face Vanderbilt. The 2017 Paradise Jam will conclude Nov. 25 with Vanderbilt vs. Wisconsin and George Washington vs. Syracuse.
Game times and viewing options will be announced at a later date.
The 2017 Paradise Jam features nine alumni teams, including four past Paradise Jam champions on the women's side. Five men's teams, including Drake, Drexel, Mercer, Quinnipiac, and Wake Forest, have previously competed at the Paradise Jam. Four women's teams, including Syracuse, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, have each previously competed and won the Paradise Jam.
The 19th Annual Sun Stroke All V.I. Hoop Classic kicks off Saturday, April 15, 2017. There will be a Celebrity Basketball game beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Ronald Charles Gym at St. Croix Central High School. There will be a Women's High School All Star game at 6:30 p.m. and a Men's High School All Star game beginning at 8:00 p.m. The Celebrity Game will be highlighted by Brandon Royal of this year's NBC The Voice, Paebak along with other Virgin Islands artists and media personalities. T... [read more]
The 19th Annual Sun Stroke All V.I. Hoop Classic kicks off Saturday, April 15, 2017. There will be a Celebrity Basketball game beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Ronald Charles Gym at St. Croix Central High School. There will be a Women's High School All Star game at 6:30 p.m. and a Men's High School All Star game beginning at 8:00 p.m. The Celebrity Game will be highlighted by Brandon Royal of this year's NBC The Voice, Paebak along with other Virgin Islands artists and media personalities. The Special Guest of the evening will be the return of 2005 Pro Bowl Selection and Crucian Hanik Milligan. This tournament has been successfully used to showcase the best high school basketball players in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands since it's inception. This year Sun Stroke has solicited the services of Max Ivan of D1Nations from Arizona to provide professional evaluations of the players that could lead to scholarship opportunities. In addition to Saturday night's activities there will be an Open Run at noon in the presence of Mr. Max Ivany for talented underclassmen that were not selected to the All Star game and players just out of high school at noon. This emphasizes the purpose of the event which is to provide talented basketball players an opportunity for athletic scholarships. The event is also loads of fun so in that vein the Miami Heat Mascot Burnie will be performing and there will be giveaways from the tournament's primary sponsor Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. This event has also highlighted the biggest names in VI music as well as the best basketball players in the territory. Two of the best young bands on St. Croix in Hypa Aktiv and In-Stylez will work together to entertain the crowd in the post game Jam Session that ends at midnight. The band that gets the crowd most involved gets a bonus. Admission for this event is $10. EVERYTHING is covered by the event organizers at no cost to the players and coaches. The event is sponsored in part by Tim Duncan, adidas, The Department of Education, Banco Popular, Bates Trucking, United Sporting Goods and Sun Stroke Promotions. This year's High School All Star selections include:
St. Croix Women's Selections Jendeyi Williams, St. Croix Central High Rashanika Williams, St. Croix Central High Jahnyra Donovan, St. Croix Central High Ah'Zyah Lake, St. Croix Central High Sydney Fleming, Good Hope Country Day Parissa Terrell, St. Croix Educational Complex Sedeja Fieulleteau, St. Croix Central High Shanyce Horsford, Educational Complex Breyanna Roberts, Educational Complex Shania Barnes, Central High Coached by: Head Coach Donald Bough, Central High
St. Thomas Women's Selections Jahnia Simmonds, Ivanna Eudora Kean High Nailea Nicolas, Ivanna Eudora Kean High Delma Baron, Ivanna Eudora Kean High Shauliqua Fahie, Elmore Stoutt High (Tortola) De'Jah Vigilant, Charlotte Amalie High Tecoya Martin, Ivanna Eudora Kean High Rhea Benjamin, Charlotte Amalie High Taylor Robinson, Antilles Replaced by Da'Jah Vigilante, Charlotte Amalie Taria Southwell, Charlotte Amalie High Laresha Martin, Eudora Kean
Coach Derek Heyliger, Eudora Kean St. CROIX Male Selections Shakeem Alcindor, Educational Complex Zion Jones, Central High Kahdeem Horsford, Educational Complex Ashoy Simmonds, Central High Christian Rassmussen, Good Hope Country Day Jakeem Auguste, Central High Diante Brooks, Good Hope Country Day Trejon Ali, Central High James Richardson, Educational Complex Darian Dowling, Home School Replaced by Kimani McIntosh, Central High
Coach Earl Baker, Good Hope Country Day St. THOMAS Male Selections Devon Freeman, Eudora Kean Akil Greig, Eudora Kean Dwayne Lynch, Charlotte Amalie Emari Howe, Eudora Kean Replaced by Terrell Lake, Charlotte Amalie Cam Newton, Antilles Clail Dieudonne, Charlotte Amalie Issa Tatem, Charlotte Amalie Lestin Wiltshire, Elmore Stoutt Ty Massaquoi, Gifft Hill Joshua Farell, Antilles Head Coach Boyd Todman, Charlotte Amalie
Rashidi Clenance Sun Stroke Promos/Win Mill Sports Bar
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