U.S. Basketball Writers Association 2017 BEST WRITING CONTEST
WINNERS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001
1. Mike Sielski, The Philadelphia Inquirer: A heart-breaking story of the closing of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, told through the story of Sister Mary Alan Barszczewski, who had dedicated her life to the place. A textbook example of how to use a smaller story to understand a larger one.
2. John Feinstein, The Washington Post: The author of "Season on the Brink" takes another look at Bobby Knight and comes away shaking his head.
3. Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo Sports: One of the reasons people enjoy NCAA sports is the athletes' emotion. This is a powerful look at the emotion carried by Jordan Bell, Oregon's 6-9 forward.
4. Jesse Newell, The Kansas City Star: Pointing out how, no matter how well-coached a team is, the game often comes down to a split-second decision made on the court by someone else.
5. Gary Parrish, CBS Sports: Parrish examines his personal relationship with Bob Huggins, one of college basketball's most complex characters.
1. Kevin Armstrong, New York Daily News: Bob Hurley, who coached at St. Anthony's in Jersey City, N.J., visits the gym that's not been turned into a music hall. A creative storytelling device for an emotional story.
2. Luke Winn, SI.com: A look back at the road Gonzaga took to the championship game. It started with a midnight hike and could end up changing the basketball program forever.
3. John Feinstein, Washington Post: The plane for the Michigan traveling party slide off the runway and into a ditch on its way to the Big Ten tournament. But the real story is how they figured it out.
4. Brian Hamilton, SI.com: Northwestern's first NCAA tournament meant a lot to a lot of people.
5. Jason King, Bleacher Report: North Carolina's championship win puts the shine back on one of the NCAA's most successful programs.
1. Jesse Newell, The Kansas City Star: Jessie Traylor, father of Kansas forward Jamari Traylor, awaits a commutation of his life prison term on drug charges. This piece, built on the petition placed before President Obama, lets the letters, facts, and the effort tell the powerful story.
2. Pete Thamel, Sports Illustrated: Some good reporting with sources who sometimes don't want to talk. While a recent NCAA investigation has hit recruiting at the college basketball level, Thamel takes a look at the high school level.
3. Luke Winn, SI.com: A deep dive on Gonzaga's post game, which made the team an NCAA title contender.
4. Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News: Three Chicago-born members of the University of Dayton basketball team have all been touched by gun violence and have all found a haven in Dayton.
5. Kevin Armstrong, New York Daily News: The closing of St. Anthony High School meant the end of its heralded basketball program.
1. Mirin Fader, Bleacher Report: "Mo'ne Davis calls for the ball." This is the girl who captured America's attention when she threw a shutout in the Little League World Series. Now, she's playing basketball, the sport that could be closest to her heart. Fader gives us a well-written picture of a girl who, national attention aside, just wants the ball.
2. Shawn Krest, WRAL Sportsfan: A deep dive into how a Tar Heels tradition played a role in the 2017 title.
3. Andrew Kahn, espnW.com: Meet Sister Jean, the chaplain of the men's basketball team at Loyola in a well-crafted feature.
4. Kevin Armstrong, New York Daily News: A descriptive piece about Villanova's Jay Wright and the  program he thrives inside.
5. Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo Sports: Colorado's Derrick White uses the back door to enter a Division I program and, perhaps, even the NBA.
1. John Feinstein, Washington Post: An emotional piece about Towson's John Davis who was wounded in a drive-by shooting and emerged with a powerful attitude and outlook.
2. Kevin Armstrong, New York Daily News: An observational piece about New York City when, with the NCAA tournament approaching, it becomes the center of the basketball world. Nice description.
3. Mike Sielski, Philadelphia Daily News: A compelling feature on the St. Joseph's play-by-play voice and his father, suffering from Parkinson's, and how they treasure the time they have left together.
4. Scott Gleeson, USA Today: One twin has cancer. The other remains healthy. A well-told story about how the two are helping each other.
5. Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant: The secret to UConn's success? How Geno Auriemma learns, then implements what he's learned. The specific examples are what make the story work.
WINNERS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001