ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Mark Skol Jr., a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin,
has been named the winner of a $1,000 scholarship from the
States Basketball Writers Association.
Skol was selected from a group of more than 50 students that
attended "Full Court Press," a sportswriting seminar at the NCAA
Final Four. He will receive the Larry Donald Memorial Sportswriting
Scholarship, named after the founder and editor of Basketball Times
and the only two-time president in USBWA history.
Skol, from Clear Lake, Texas, covers off-season football for
The Daily Texan. He also writes about the Chicago Bears for the
website Pro Football Spot and covers Texas sports for Texas Student
Television. He has covered high school football for KVRX Sports
as a play-by-play announcer and analyst and hosts "Mark My Words,"
a sports talk program.
His involvement with sports journalism began two years ago when
he wrote about the Little League All-Star team that included his
brother Pete. His goal is to cover sports in Chicago.
Skol's winning entry examined the role played by Syracuse junior
Tyler Roberson, who was criticized harshly by Orange coach Jim Boeheim
during the season but emerged as an important factor in his team's
run to the Final Four.
"Mark looks where other reporters won't or don't," said Kevin
Robbins, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Journalism at the University
of Texas at Austin. "He didn't go to the stars at Syracuse. Instead,
he found Tyler Roberson, a player who knew struggle. Struggle animates
sports stories and makes them relatable to all of us. Mark has a
sense for that. It's why his work is memorable and lasting."
The competition was organized by the USBWA and the Sports Capital
Journalism Program at IUPUI. "Mark's story established a sense of
context that was rare among the entries," said Malcolm Moran, the
program's director. "His writing and reporting showed an attention
to detail and reflected an understanding of the game far beyond
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. For more information on the
USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch