Vol. 57, No. 3 February 2020 .pdf version
Mike Waters: Final words from a transitional presidency
Malcolm Moran: Worthy discussion: analytics' place in sports writing, USBWA
Retiring NABC exec wins Katha Quinn Award
Toney's journey leads to Most Courageous Award
Most Courageous Cox sisters battle Type 1 diabetes
World-Herald beat writer is USBWA's Rising Star
Kansas duo highlights Player of the Year watch list
Join the USBWA or renew your membership

World-Herald beat writer is USBWA's Rising Star


Bookmark and Share  

Omaha World-Herald sportswriter Chris Heady has had a meteoric rise in his journalism career.

His accomplishments are exactly why he was recognized with the 2020 Rising Star Award, given annually by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to a member under the age of 30 who shows great promise as a college basketball writer.

Heady joins an elite group recognized for this honor, including Sam Vecenie and Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic, Myron Medcalf of ESPN and Laura Keeley of the Raleigh News & Observer.

Heady said that when USBWA president Mike Waters delivered the good news, it was hard to believe.

"Mike left a message on my phone while I was recording a podcast, and when I saw I had a missed call from a New York number and a 28 second voice mail, I was curious," Heady said. "He told me in that voice mail he had some 'good news,' and that's when I put two and two together. I was floored and so grateful, especially when you look back at past winners and the work that they have done over the years. I'm still pretty baffled on how I was about stack up to those names, but I'm so honored and so thankful to the USBWA for the recognition."

Heady's first got into journalism in high school. Wanting to be just like his older brother, Heady joined his local high school newspaper in his hometown of Kansas City. Heady grew particularly fond of reading and writing human-interest stories during his high school years.

Later into his high school career, Heady had the opportunity to attend the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim, Calif. The people he connected with and the speakers from that conference still leave a lasting impact on Heady.

The keynote speaker at that year's convention was renowned Los Angeles Times journalist Steve Lopez.

During his address, Lopez told the audience to disregard all statistics about limited job opportunities for students pursuing a career in journalism.

"If this is what you love to do," Heady heard Lopez tell the audience, "don't worry about the statistics." Those words have not been lost on Heady.

Inspired by Lopez's remarks, Heady continued toward his dream of becoming a journalist. Heady enrolled at Nebraska in 2012 to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Heady never considers himself a sports reporter, rather a reporter who covers sports. In his years at Nebraska, Heady interned for several publications like the Lincoln Journal Star, the Daily Nebraskan and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Heady also wrote for the Life section in USA Today for a few months after graduating from Nebraska.

Heady found his way back to Lincoln, Neb., when the Big Ten website Landof10 called with an opportunity to cover Nebraska football and recruiting.

He jumped at the opportunity and moved back to cover his alma mater.

One year after taking the job at Landof10, the door would later open at the World-Herald to cover Nebraska football and basketball.

Since starting at the World-Herald in 2017, Heady has covered many significant events in Nebraska athletics.

Some of Heady's favorite work during his time at the World-Herald includes covering the events leading up to former Nebraska head men's basketball coach Tim Miles' dismissal and a look into the life of current head coach Fred Hoiberg.

Both present and former writers at the World-Herald have glowing remarks for Heady's work. Lee Barfknecht, a former writer who spent 40 years at the World-Herald, called Heady a very diligent, detailed reporter that has a bright future.

"He really cares about the business and cares about journalism," Barfknecht said.

Tom Shatel, another colleague of Heady, said the Rising Star winner is as good a young writer as any he's been around. Shatel went on to say that Heady is a great example for a modern-day beat reporter, citing Heady's ability to not only write but report through other forms like video and podcasting.

"The award was made for a guy like Chris. He really embraces the sport and everything that comes with it," Shatel said.

Josh Ayen is a graduate assistant with the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI in Indianapolis.

February 2021
December 2020
June 2020
February 2020
January 2020
November 2019
May 2019
March 2019
January 2019
November 2018
May 2018
March 2018
January 2018
November 2017
May 2017
March 2017
January 2017
November 2016
May 2016
March 2016
January 2016
November 2015
May 2015
March 2015
January 2015
November 2014
May 2014
March 2014
January 2014
November 2013
May 2013
March 2013
January 2013
November 2012
May 2012
March 2012
January 2012
November 2011
August 2011
May 2011
March 2011
February 2011
November 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
November 2009
May 2009
April 2009
February 2009
November 2008
May 2008
April 2008
February 2008
November 2007
May 2007
March 2007
February 2007
November 2006
May 2006
March 2006
January 2006
November 2005
May 2005 (.pdf)
March 2005 (.pdf)
January 2005 (.pdf)
November 2004 (.pdf)
May 2004 (.pdf)
March 2004 (.pdf)
January 2004 (.pdf)
November 2003 (.pdf)
May 2003 (.pdf)
March 2003 (.pdf)
January 2003 (.pdf)
November 2002 (.pdf)
January 2002 (.pdf)
November 2001 (.pdf)