Vol. 55, No. 1 • November 2017 • .pdf version
• Vahé Gregorian: Progress amid game's setbacks
• Joe Mitch: Guback donates $100,000 to USBWA
• NCAA memo urges better seating, access
• Armstrong dominates USBWA's best writing contest
• Dean Smith Award honors Dayton's Donoher
• Michigan State, UConn head preseason polls

Armstrong dominates USBWA's best writing contest

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Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News placed in four categories in the USBWA's Best-Writing Contest, including first place in spot news/game stories.

Armstrong also placed in moderate-length features (second), magazine-length features (fourth) and enterprise (fifth). His winning story is about legendary coach Bob Hurley's return to the gym where his teams practice that has been turned into a music hall.

More from the USBWA:
• Best Writing Contest results
• NCAA memo (.pdf)
• Renew your membership

"Hurley nods," Armstrong wrote. "He is 69, white haired and the winner of more than 1,100 games. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he grows nostalgic regarding an old gym in a gentrifying city. He is aware of the performing arts space being refurbished here in White Eagle Hall, the three-story edifice with faces of Polish luminaries looking down on whirring traffic. He recalls wall-to-wall battles upstairs, no frills, no fouls, a four-point line on the court, bingo cards flying and the raised decibels of his aria, a combination of sneakers squeaking and Hurley squawking."

John Feinstein of the Washington Post placed in three categories, including a first place in moderatelength features for a story on Towson player John Davis, who was wounded in a drive-by shooting. Feinstein finished second in columns and third in spot news/game.

Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star both took firsts while placing in two categories apiece.

Sielski won in column writing for a story about the closing of St. Anthony, told through Sister Mary Alan Barszczewski and was third in moderate-length features.

"In 1980, Sister Alan took over as St. Anthony's athletic director, and shortly thereafter, Hurley learned that Hudson County's association of athletic directors called a meeting at a bar, in an attempt to intimidate her," Sielski wrote. "She showed up early. It was all Hurley needed to know about the stout little woman, barely over 5 feet tall, a fire hydrant in a habit.

Newell finished fourth in column writing and won in enterprise reporting, for a story on Jamari Traylor's father's petition for clemency.

"There's only one problem: His request is one of 13,000 still pending with the Office of the Pardon Attorney," he wrote. "‘It's a needle in a stack of needles," attorney Carl Folsom III said. "And the time is running out.'"

Mirin Fader of Bleacher Report took first place in magazine-length features for her story on Little League star Mo'ne Davis' quest for a Division I basketball scholarship.

"Six years later, Davis is the ankle-breaking, dime-dropping point guard for the Monarchs and still fearless as she develops into a Division I hopeful," Fader wrote. "Much like during her Little League run, she is the only girl on her team."

Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated and Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports were also multiple place-winners.

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