NBA All-Star Weekend was a Full Circle Moment for Miles Johnson
Sports Editor Miles Johnson reflects on his NBA All-Star Weekend experience.
By Miles Johnson, Sports Editor
It was fitting that I was born in Cleveland and it’s the same city where I started my sports journalism career. It was an honor to be invited to report on NBA All-Star Weekend by Professor Ron Thomas on behalf of the Morehouse Journalism in Sports, Culture and Social Justice program. My time in Cleveland was an experience I will never forget.
One thing I learned during All-Star Weekend was how reporters interject themselves to ask questions. Reporters have mastered the art of knowing when an athlete has finished talking so they can immediately squeeze in their question.
I was having trouble with this initially. I tried to ask Chris Paul, one of the best point guards in NBA history, a question for several minutes, but the professional reporters around me kept talking over me. I purposely wore my Morehouse shirt so that Paul could notice me, and in fact he did.
I spoke up and said, “Chris, Miles Johnson journalism …” and I got cut off again. However, this time Paul saw that I had gotten interrupted and told the reporter to “hold on one second.” Then he pointed to me to let me ask him a question.
I was ecstatic when Paul answered my question about the positive impact highly rated high school athletes could have on HBCU athletics by attending our schools. He ended the interview by shouting out Morehouse and the Maroon Tigers. It showed me that he doesn’t advocate for HBCUs because it’s a trend, but he genuinely cares about them and their students.
The HBCU Classic between Howard and Morgan State was one of my favorite events of the weekend. The game gave off an HBCU atmosphere. They had the cheerleaders, the band, and they even played “Swag Surfin’ ” during one of the timeouts.
A platform like the HBCU Classic will encourage top high school recruits to look at HBCUs rather than the typical predominantly white institutions we are accustomed to seeing them choose.
But what put the icing on the cake was having breakfast with Spike Lee, a co-founder of the Morehouse journalism program. When Professor Thomas informed me and my fellow Maroon Tiger sports reporters Corey Guy and Taylore Gills that Spike wanted to treat us to breakfast last Sunday, I couldn’t believe it. The breakfast was amazing as Spike ’79 recalled stories from his Morehouse days. I never thought I would have the privilege to have this sit down with one of the world’s great filmmakers.
Spike even gave me some NBA All-Star gear.
NBA All-Star Weekend was a dream come true and I couldn’t have expected for my experience to be so fruitful. I look forward to improving as a writer to be in these spaces again and I look forward to what Morehouse’s Journalism in Sports, Culture and Social Justice program has in store for its students.