When you're a sports photographer, every sport is a different experience. For football, you usually try to stand near the middle of the field and get shots from the side. With volleyball, you try to get pictures from the side as well.
However, when photographing Maryland women's basketball's exhibition against Goldey-Beacom, I realized that basketball is an incredibly unique sport to photograph.
Usually, photographers sit on one side of the court, not on the sides or near the middle. Right next to the hoop, camera in hand, I was hoping and holding my breath that I wouldn't get hit with a basketball or end up with an injury if a collision happened. Thankfully, I was only hit by a ball once, and I don't recall a time during the game where I was not watching through my camera.
With basketball, there aren't many breaks. There is no stoppage in play. It keeps going back and forth, and you always have to be ready and you have to be fast. There are girls flying down the court and throwing the ball toward the hoop with all the power they have. It's challenging to shoot, but it is a lot of fun. It also gives you a completely different perspective of the game when you're courtside.
Instead of screaming and shouting, you hear communication, supportive speech and... laughs. What I saw out of this Maryland team is not what I expected from a basketball team. The whole game, every girl had a smile on her face and maintained a positive attitude. They were not silent for one moment, worked together, shared the ball and scored 127 points. Wow.
Brenda Frese is also one of the greatest coaches I have ever seen. She barely sat down during the game. She was always standing up and communicating with the players during the game. When a stoppage comes, or a player is subbed out, she talks to them, and the conversation is always a positive one. The way she looks at each and every Maryland player just shows how much she cares not just about basketball and the team, but about the players as people. She treats them as she would her own children. It is truly amazing to watch.
As the players sit on the sides, they cheer on their teammates playing, and they share jokes and communicate before going out there. That way, they know exactly what to do.
Overall, I am excited to see this team in action this season. There is not one player who isn't a joy to watch. They have a certain chemistry, one where they are all friends and know how to communicate and play not just as a team, but as a family.
However, I do have a favorite player, and it's not Kiah Gillespie, though she is a freshman like myself who lead the team with 22 points today. Trust me, she's still amazing to watch, and she can definitely play ball. I'm all in on Kristen Confroy. She is great when it comes to defense, and she is so fast and makes amazing plays that set up Maryland for many opportunities to score.
Though Goldey-Beacom is not a conference team, this win is still a good projection for the season. 127 points and a serious, positive attitude all game is what I hope to see out of this team every four quarters.