JSZ Blog: Even the Story Teller Has a Story
To the players, coaches, parents, and fans out there. To the readers, followers, and viewers of our content. To those who have supported Shore Sports Zone over the past three years, and to those who are new. Jersey Sports Zone is officially here, and I would like to welcome you to this new and exciting company, and say how thankful I am to have you along for the ride. I would like to introduce myself, and tell you about my passion and plans for this new venture. I have always been the “behind the scenes” guy, my focus being on on finding and telling the stories of others. Editing, creating, and mixing, piece by piece, video by video. None of which ever really included myself. But, even the story teller has a story. Right? I remember a cold January afternoon in Neptune, New Jersey. I was an eight year old boy, gripping my father’s hand as we headed into the gymnasium for the Scarlet Flier’s annual Holiday Jubilee. We grabbed what seemed to be the only available seats in the building. Just as I settled into my seat and picked up my head, there was a flash across the gym. A player had stolen the ball, sprinted down the court and rose into the air, throwing down a rim rattling acrobatic dunk like nothing I had ever seen before. I turned to my father and asked “Who is that!?” He simply replied “That’s J.R.”. That player of course being NBA Champion and Cleveland Cavalier Guard JR Smith, who at the time was a long and lanky 11th grader at Lakewood High School. There was no internet fame, or multi million dollar contract yet, but you certainly wouldn’t know it by being in his presence. There was an aura around JR, and it was an entirely fresh experience for me. He was a star. I knew it, every fan in the gym knew it, and most undoubtedly, JR Smith knew it. That “aura” is not a requisite of greatness, but the great ones usually have it. It’s when a player can walk into a room full of people that know nothing of him or her, but know immediately that he/she is someone. From that point on, I was hooked, I wanted to find more players that captivated audiences, drew crowds by the thousands, and ticket lines so long that my legs would ache by tip off. My father and I began traveling the state, tri-state, and eventually all over the Northeast. Attending showcases, tournaments, and games featuring the best players in the country. Every season was a new start, a chance to discover another star, and the opportunity to years down the line say ‘I was there when..” I was there when LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony squared off as high schoolers, dazzling college and pro scouts while drawing ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd in Trenton. I was there to see many of DaJaun Wagner’s unfathomable and entertaining state record 3,462 career points. I was there at Rutgers in 2011, for what some considered the game of a life time, No. 1 St. Patrick’s vs No. 2 St Anthony. A sold out National Championship prizefight, disguised as a Non-Public B North Final. Bob Hurley’s Friars getting the better of Kevin Boyle’s Celtic’s en route to a perfect 33-0 season and Hurley’s 26th State Championship. Then came 2013, I wanted a way to document my experiences at these events. The amazing players and moments deserved to be archived and shared. I began filming the games I attended, sitting in the stands with my iPhone, anxiously awaiting an exciting play or exhilarating slam dunk. The footage certainly wasn’t award winning. It was out of focus, not in frame, and a bit shaky. I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was doing, but it seemed to be working, and I was loving every minute of it. Video by video, my views, followers, and subscribers began to grow. This was all thanks to the amazing players I covered. I would like to name a few that helped me me along the way; Mike Gesicki, Karl Towns Jr., Isaiah Briscoe, Ben Simmons, The Ball Brothers, Leondre Washington, Bryan Antoine, and Scottie Lewis. The names, games, teams, and moments could be listed on and on. All of which have contributed to where I am today. Bringing high definition highlights to all of you, and telling the stories of New Jersey’s best athletes. Providing exposure and shining light where it belongs. From an iPhone, to a Best Buy CamCorder, to a full on professional camera that I use today. The evolution and progression has been steady. Self teaching, and practicing. Perfecting my craft to the best of my ability. Nothing was planned, only discovered along the way. Art is truly about finding a way to express yourself, and video is my way of doing that. The camera is my paint brush, this laptop is my canvas. Creating something special and sharing it with others is what I love to do. This is what I will continue to do with Jersey Sports Zone and I cannot be more thrilled about it. Whether it be a simple game highlight, or a long form documentary. Shining a light and providing exposure for young athletes and their dreams, the only way I know how to. Rich Chrampanis had asked me put something together to get people excited about our new company. I chose what only came natural to me. Here are some of my favorite and most memorable basketball moments from the last few years. Enjoy and Thank You for your time! Alexander Lorenzo Videographer/Producer Jersey Sports Zone ATTENTION ATHLETES We want to give you a space to tell your story. We take great pride in providing positive promotion of high school athletes. Throughout the year, we’ll ask athletes from all sports to contribute their own blog entries to learn what it takes to succeed on and off the field. If you want to be a part of the JSZ Blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jersey Sports Zone is coming
Shore Sports Zone is growing. Rich Chrampanis shares the news of the evolution of SSZ to Jersey Sports Zone, debuting this fall NOTE: jerseysportszone.com is up and running! Our site has every video, article, photo and archive from Shore Sports Zone along with new content from across the state. Our new app is available for free download by clicking HERE It begins in a viewfinder of a camera and becomes a highlight and often times it morphs into something that goes beyond the score. Exactly 3025 videos ago, I put my eye in the viewfinder and shot highlights of the first game at Shore Sports Zone. The website was literally a blank canvas and while I had optimism that people would watch our videos, the response of the Jersey Shore was overwhelming from day one. The genuine enthusiasm and excitement for our brand is the fuel that has driven Shore Sports Zone to new heights. It’s why I wanted to share with our loyal audience first that Shore Sports Zone is growing. Jersey Sports Zone will debut this fall as we expand our coverage across the entire state of New Jersey. While the SSZ logos fade away and the Jersey Sports Zone brand emerges, the most important message that I want to convey is that we aren’t going anywhere. We will continue to be front and center covering Shore Conference sports just like we have been for three years. Simply put, the store has gotten bigger and we have a few more aisles for people to choose video content. As someone who spent the majority of my career on television, the past three years has confirmed that there’s been a major technological shift in the way that people consume media. I have been in more meetings over the past six months than I have in my entire life and in the constant analysis of what makes us tick, the answer is simply the student athletes we cover. It’s a calculated risk, but time and time again, the athletes of the Shore Conference proved that by simply being present at as many games as possible, they would provide poignant moments. It happened all the time, boys and girls, and in every season on the school calendar. I am reluctant to reminisce, because it can be perceived that our coverage on the Shore is going away (that won’t happen!), but it’s the significant moments of the Shore Sports Zone era that have inspired Jersey Sports Zone. When Freehold Township’s Julian Kislin and Max Halvorsen put us on the worldwide map as the #1 play on ESPN SportsCenter, people outside of Monmouth and Ocean County learned about who we were. Discovering the future stars of college and pro sports is about to come front and center with the athletes we’ve covered in recent years. I was reminded of this during a kind Facebook post by Edy Almein, the father of former Saint John Vianney quarterback and current Boston College signal caller Anthony Brown. “Mr. Rich Chrampanis knew (Anthony) got nervous with the camera in his face and he kept the camera in his face until he felt comfortable. I appreciate that a lot.” Rest assured that we will continue to talk with athletes on camera and get them to perfect the sound bite and to always build up teammates and coaches. In the coming weeks, we will begin to introduce our brand new website and APP that will become the ultimate video portal for our high quality highlights, features and stories. When it comes to our new team, I feel like I’m coming off the bench for the Golden State Warriors. I’m excited to introduce our leadership and new multimedia journalists in the coming weeks. I will begin to personally visit with each and every one of our incredible Shore Sports Zone sponsors and ask them to join us at our new home. We continue to get excited at the prospect of bringing sponsors on board who have the vision to allow us to dispatch cameras across the state and keep our content free for everyone to enjoy. Highlights, game balls and banquets will continue to be an essential part of Jersey Sports Zone. With a new staff comes new ideas and the chance for us to begin to produce long form stories and new and innovative features. For the better part of 20 years, I have taken great pride and joy in documenting the unique path that high school athletes have forged both on and off the field. Which is why I find it fitting that it is the athletes of the Jersey Shore who have forged my path. Jersey Sports Zone is going to make a profound impact on athletes in every part of the Garden State. And the foundation of this new venture is each and every one of you. The best way I can possibly say thank you is to get my eye back in the viewfinder and continue to capture the moments that will be shared with families and communities for many years to come.