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!
Jersey Sports Zone
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