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Star Tribune Jr. Reporter | Joining The 'Big Dogs' At The Wolves Game

by Timberwolves.com

This is a story by a ThreeSixty Journalism student in partnership with the Star Tribune from Jan. 27, 2020 at Target Center. 

By Aaliyah Demry
ThreeSixty Journalism Reporter
Irondale High School Senior

Little ol’ me walking into Wolves territory... Of course, I was nervous and didn't know what exactly to expect. I just had to take this big moment and make the best of this experience. 

Initially walking down to the media room and receiving our press passes, I felt legit. I'm thinking to myself in my head, 'I'm finally with the big dogs.'

One of those big dogs was Chris Hine who is a Star Tribune Timberwolves reporter. Earlier in the day before heading to the big game, we spoke with Hine, and he gave us some tips and what to expect and what being an NBA reporter looks like. This took lots of the uneasy feelings off of my shoulders.  

Seeing Hine in the press room made me feel a little more comfortable seeing how calm, cool and collected he was. There were other news reporters in the room, of course, there were also many photographers and videographers.  

Joanna Stang, who is the partnership activation manager for Timberwolves, introduced to us to many of the various jobs on the Timberwolves public relations team. It was really nice to see all the jobs you can land revolving around communication, which goes to show how important communication is.

Stang also introduced us to some really special people . . . the Timberwolves players! Because of our press credentials, we were led to the players locker room to do some interviewing.  

Surprisingly, when I first walked into the room it didn't smell like sweaty socks and shorts. It smelled more like a nice spa found somewhere on the island. The players were blasting their playlist to get ready for the game featuring songs like Young Thug ft. Gunna “Hot.”  

Walking toward each of the player’s lockers, you could see how different each player was from another. Some lockers were filled with clothes all over the place, while others were neat and clean.  

One of the biggest things I noticed was how stylish and huge the player shoes were. Star Karl-Anthony Towns, a center for the Wolves, has the biggest feet on the team, size 20.

Many of the players wore Kobe Bryant shoes in honor of his tragic death the day before, while Josh Okogie, a guard for Wolves told me he wears Kobes every game.

For me it was very awkward talking to the players. I didn't want to seem star shocked, but I have to admit these players are human and just like any other stranger it is hard starting a conversation with them. Especially when I’m 5’1’’ looking at each player who is more than 6-feet can be very intimidating. Overall, I enjoyed the company of the players I got to speak, and they were a joy to meet. 

Later in the night during halftime, we had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with Erik Nelson who is Executive Producer of Digital Content for the Wolves. He went on to tell us what’s like having his job producing digital content, social media, and all the new things in store the Timberwolves have coming up in the future.  

In my future, I wouldn't mind doing what Nelson does for a living. From the way he talks, you can tell he really enjoys what he does.

To end the night off right, I enjoyed it with my brother, father, and my fellow ThreeSixty Journalism family, sitting in a suite above the court. Watching the three minutes of the game was intense. As the Sacramento Kings got closer and closer to the Wolves lead, people in the crowd began to get tighter and tighter to their seats.  

Unfortunately, the Wolves lost to Kings in overtime with a final score of 133-129. 

Even though this was a big loss for the Wolves, it was a major win for me to have this experience.

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