If there is one thing people should know about Shelbretta Ball, it is that she is not a quitter. The doctors might have told her she couldn’t play on the basketball court, but that definitely did not keep her from staying on it. Once declared medically ineligible to play for the University of South Carolina basketball team early on in her freshman year, Ball wasted no time hanging her head. She jumped on the opportunity presented by Coach Dawn Staley to host her own segment on the “Dawn Staley Show”, a show edited and shot by Gamecock Productions.
‘What started as Brett taking a flip camera and reporting on the road trips then became a feature we call “Ballin’ With Brett” once the “Dawn Staley Show” started last season,’ said Marissa Kenney, Assistant Director of Gamecock Productions. The idea of “Ballin’ with Brett” is to feature the staff of the womens’ basketball team and to have Brett interview different members. ‘Her show became a hit right away and when we learned the team was going to NCAA Tournament, we traveled with the team and shot two episodes of “Ballin’ with Brett” daily, including post-game interviews after the big wins over Eastern Michigan and Purdue.’ said Kenney.
“At first, I went into it just to occupy my time and to find a way to stay around the team. Once I started doing it though, people started saying I was good at it and I felt like was good at it. I liked doing it; I enjoyed every shoot that I did and even though I never really thought about doing it before. It really grew on me,” said Ball. Although her switch from playing basketball to reporting about the sport has been far from easy, Ball has managed to remain positive. “The transition was tough because I felt like I was forced out of playing basketball. I didn’t choose to quit, but the aftermath started to be okay and I really started to like it.”
Ball seems to be transferring all of the effort and energy she once utilized on the court to her new position, hosting “Ballin’ With Brett.” Jumping into the world of reporting as a Criminal Justice major left her with a lot to learn. “I felt like I was going in circles and making the same mistakes during my interviews on my show,” said Ball. Instead of letting the hurdles stop her, she became determined to take her new circumstances and improve herself. In the middle of the show’s second season, she sat down with Diana Koval, USC’s assistant media relations director to figure out what she could do in order to be better. She also sought help from the directors at Gamecock Productions. “We coached her for on-camera and this year she's made great improvements by studying her female ESPN and WNBA announcer idols and applying what she discovers to her own reporting,” said Kenney. The changes not only helped the show, but also changed Ball herself.
“It was in the middle of season two when I stopped doing it just to be around basketball and started doing it because it became my passion,” said Ball. From that moment on, she became determined to be the best on-screen reporter she could be. Beginning to see beyond the on-screen sector of the journalism world, Ball sparked an interest in what all it takes to make a show happen. Figuring that learning to edit and work behind the camera would improve her on-screen skills, Ball then joined the Gamecock Productions team. “This year she also showed more interest in how to edit and shoot. It’s something she has no previous knowledge about, but she's a fast learner and grasped Gamecock Production's office workflow easily. We could show her how to do something once or twice and she's able to comprehend it and do it right away on her own,” said Kenney.
Kenney has remained impressed with Ball’s work ethic. Despite all she has gone through, Ball has never once failed to show up humble, positive and ready to work. “Brett is always camera ready - smiling and laughing and chatting with her guest to help ease them for the camera. She's very critical of her on-camera appearance and how she acts on camera, so she's always critiquing and taking notes about how to act, hold the mic etc,” said Kenney.
Although Ball has had several opportunities to give up or not put much effort into her show, she lives by a motto that advises her to do otherwise. “Never let your situation determine your destination. I remember my mom always had us read this attitude quote that says attitude can change your life and life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. That would be my message to anyone, injured or not,” said Ball.
Being a woman of faith, she also relies on her favorite Proverbs verse that encourages even when a person does not understand the 10% of things that happen to them, they must trust God with the other 90% of how they react to it. “Are we going to go into a slump or are we going to help that next person that may fall into our footsteps?” asks Ball.
Her determination and positivity has not been lost on those around her. “Brett's willingness to adapt to change and always take on a new project effects our office in a positive way. All our students and staff know of her medical condition, so to see her take something that was so negative in her life and turn it around to create what could be a potential career for her is an inspiration for us all,” said Kenney.
Ball hopes to help those in similar situations as her own by eventually hosting a show that focuses on injured athletes, giving them a platform to tell their stories. She is even interested in starting off behind the camera or editing, knowing the importance of both jobs.
Look for previous seasons of “Balllin’ With Brett” on gamecocksonline.com. Season 3 will premiere during USC’s next basketball season.
Image Source: Madisyn Kellough
Ninety percent of the time that I tell my friends I’m headed up to my office, it’s followed by, “Garnet & Black has an office? Where?” At this point, I’m pretty certain they’re convinced I’m lying. Arguably the Narnia of USC’s Student Union, the Student Media wing lies behind a deceivingly small glass doorway adjacent to the Carolina Styles Hair Salon. Yes – there is a hair salon in Russell House.
The first door you’ll encounter on the right is that of the Student Advertising office. Here you’ll find most of the Student Media “bros.” This is where a team of hand-picked students work to make sure the rest of us can afford to do what we do. In and out of the office on sales calls, the ad representatives are usually the better dressed of us, often sporting business casual blazers and pencil skirts. This is good news to us because if it were up to me in my Under Armour spandex post-workout, we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to print this fourth issue.
Next you’ll stroll past the faculty offices of Business Manager Kristine Capps, Advertising Manager Sarah Scarborough, the Director of Student Media, Scott Lindenberg and Creative Director Edgar Santana, who are all generally friendly faces (depending on the severity of whichever insane crisis we students conjured up that day). If Student Media were a human body, these people would comprise the system in charge of breathing (note: I’m not a science major).
Split into two spacious rooms for production and news, the Daily Gamecock staffers work literally around the clock to produce the fine reading material you peruse every morning during your Einstein bagel breakfast or extended bathroom break. With plenty of student shenanigans to cover daily, writers, editors, photographers and designers can be spotted at every school event, yet few know where the publication all comes together. Bringing in $550, 000 of revenue each year, DG is the Godzilla of Student Media segments.
Tucked away in a room slightly larger than Harry Potter’s with a lot of fancy equipment I can’t begin to comprehend, is SGTV, or Student Gamecock Television. With shows like Capital City Sports, XTOX and Talk of the Town, SGTV produces much of the broadcast materials shown on USC’s Campus Channel 4. Having won several awards, this team of talented students is always camera ready to snag interviews with campus celebrities and peers seeking their very own 15 minutes of fame.
I won’t spend much time painting a picture of Garnet & Black’s space for two reasons: One, if you’re reading this article, you’ve got a pretty good grasp on our finished product (pun intended) and two, since you probably imagine our office being run much like the one in Devil Wears Prada with plenty of high-fashion and Starbucks, a room full of Mac desktops and old yearbooks will probably be a little disappointing to you.
Lastly, tucked away at the end of the hall is the magical music haven known as WUSC. Operating almost as its own separate entity, student DJ’s can be seen coming and going between the hours of 8 a.m. to... well, 8 a.m. With live programming run nearly 24/7, WUSC can be heard blaring campus-wide in cars, headphones and dorms on 90.5 FM. Whether you love opera, jazz or rock and roll, there’s something for every music connoisseur on this station (unless, of course, you’re looking for hits off the iTunes top 100 list).
No matter what your calling is, there’s something for nearly everyone up in Student Media. Although we may look the part, in reality most of us have no idea what we’re doing, so don’t ever feel shy about stopping by. Even in the wee hours of the night, there’s likely some poor nocturnal soul to keep you company up here.
By: Tierra Edens
Do you ever wonder why more students aren’t talking about their visit to President Pastides’s house on the Horseshoe? Although many of us pass by the historic home daily, I always imagined that showing up unannounced would result in being carried off by security guards in suits. As long as I’ve been a student here, the president’s house always seemed off limits. I made it my mission to get behind those doors and check out the Pastides’s digs for myself.
After scheduling an interview with Mrs. Pastides, I arrived at the house and rang the doorbell. Before entering, I was asked to identify myself so I announced my name, affiliation with Garnet & Black and my appointment with the First Lady to Lisa, the house manager. She escorted me into the living room and offered me tea and cookies as I awaited Mrs. Pastides.
As I sat, I noticed that the living room was immaculate. It reminded me of a former time period but with a modern southern feel. Glancing around the room, I observed a piano thoughtfully placed in the corner, family photos, hanging portraits on loan from the Caroliniana Library, and a corner near the front window filled with photos of well-known figures President Pastides has met during his time at USC. I also recognized the marble-topped, oriental coffee from the online virtual tour.
Minutes later, Mrs. Pastides floated down the staircase, greeted me with a warm smile and immediately made me feel welcome. We then embarked on my own personal tour, starting with the second floor. On the second level, one of the first things I saw was the chair John Paul II sat in when he visited the president’s house in 1987. Also on the second level was the Reception Room, which Mrs. Pastides remarked offers the best view of the Horseshoe along with the Faculty Awards. Professor Book Publishing Receptions are held in this room during Christmastime and she invites local children to come and hear holiday stories as she reads aloud.
The remainder of the three-story home is full of high ceilings, original windows from its development in 1854, winding staircases, well-decorated rooms, and wooden floors. It’s a dream home; but if you aren’t sold yet, next we ventured to Mrs. Pastides’s pride and joy - her garden.
Outside the house (during the winter) are rows of kale, collards, cabbage, asparagus and arugula. These delectable veggies are sometimes used for on-campus events, and at the end of each school term, the excess is often donated to the Harvest Hope Food Bank. Also, for those with a green thumb interested in growing their own garden, there are twenty raised beds alongside the Pastides’s garden that faculty, staff and the Outdoor Recreation club can use to cultivate their own vegetables.
When I asked why the president’s house doesn’t offer regularly scheduled tours, Mrs. Pastides explained that she and President Pastides host over 200 events a year and are always breaking down or setting something up. Many of these events do involve students, including those selected for the Presidential Ambassadors Program. Ten to fourteen students apply and are chosen to help out with the events Mr. and Mrs. Pastides host throughout the school year. They help greet guests, making them feel at home and are an integral part of the welcoming atmosphere.
If you have the opportunity before you graduate, I strongly suggest you make a visit to the president’s house. The landscape, vegetable garden, stories and, most of all, the company and hospitality make it well worth it. Mrs. Pastides said it herself, “Anybody can ring the doorbell. Come and ring the doorbell.
In the Daily Gamecock last week, an announcement was made that USC is currently raising funds for a replica of our proud mascot, Cocky, that will be shining in gold. The statue would be located on Gibbes Greene near the Pickens Street Bridge, a common passing area for students and visitors.
Though it is a great way to add both tradition and spirit to our prestigious campus, let's be real for a moment: This statue doesn't do much for the ongoing problems that we still have financially and academically. USC hopes to debut this statue Fall 2013, but dorms have yet to be renovated, parking is a little over the word "ridiculous", and tuition is constantly rising; something that many students are greatly concerned with.
The article in the Daily Gamecock also mentions how the statue would make an attractive tourist spot for visitors, but what it fails to do is bring up the fact that some of those same visitors are prospective students. Those potential future students need a place to stay that is suitable and pleasant for them. With the high levels of admitted students, housing could pose an even bigger problem in the future for all of us. Something like this takes a lot of time management and planning. Even if the idea of a statue for Cocky has been in the woodworks for a while, obviously the current problems of USC are not.
I'm not saying that a Bronze Cocky wouldn't be rad, but we know USC is a wealthy-enough university that has everything known to mankind. Before we go buying diamonds and Big Macs, can we at least pay attention to the more important expenses first? Ones that could benefit the current student body and future generations to come?
Carolina vs. Clemson. It’s a rivalry almost as old as the ages themselves. Well, no, not really. Just as long as both of the colleges and the game of football have existed. But it sure feels like these two universities were made to butt heads with each other.
The big Thanksgiving football game is just the beginning of it. The Carolina vs. Clemson Blood Drive occurred this past week, as well as the Donate Life Duel and the Tiger Burn held before the football game, along with #28 on the Bucket List: “Visit the Clemson campus wearing a USC shirt.”
There’s no end to the rivalry. It’s almost ingrained in our very lifeblood. We occasionally get crass and crude. We get angry, even bitter. We fight to the very end of that football game tooth and nail. And it’s wonderful. Winning something just isn’t as fun when you don’t have someone who can really compete with you for it.
But this Thanksgiving break I have to go home and deal with this rivalry like I never have before.
I come from a family…of Clemson fans. Yep, a whole bunch of people who wear those garish colors of their own volition. And up until this current year, I was one of them.
I was a staunch supporter of the orange and purple, standing my ground and supporting my team like no other. That’s just how I was brought up. Wearing little cheerleader outfits with the Tiger paw on the front on game days, bright orange ribbons in my hair. I never thought any different.
My sister attended, and received her degree from Clemson. She’s a proud alumni who screams at the TV during football games, especially during this particular showdown, and she also has a bathroom plastered in Tiger paraphernalia..
It was naturally assumed that I would go to Clemson University. And even if it wasn’t Clemson, I don’t think my family ever thought that I would end up at USC of all places. All it took was one campus tour to realize this was the college for me.
I’m not saying that Clemson isn’t a wonderful school, I went to my fair share of summer camps at both institutions, but something never felt right in regards to going to college there - it just wasn’t what I needed.
There were mixed emotions among the family. My mother told me that I had to do what was best for me, my father was begrudging about having to give money to a school that wasn’t Clemson, and my sister…I think she stopped speaking to me for a few days.
USC felt right, felt like home, a feeling no other school initially gave me.
My sister and I are back on speaking terms. She yells at me every time I pick up something even remotely garnet colored for my nephew to wear. I glare at her whenever she says something ironic about eating chicken fingers. I refuse to enter the aforementioned Clemson bathroom and she sneers at every time I wear a “Beat…” t-shirt in her vicinity.
But now…now…I have to face the very worst of the repercussions due to my decision to attend USC: gameday with my sister. Good thing we have a long couch, considering we will be sitting on opposite ends of it, wearing every bit of collegiate wear that we own, eyes glued to the TV, our respective IPods poised to play our school’s fight songs, and armed with Tiger and Cocky stuffed animals to throw at each other with each point gained.
We may have a rivalry, but just like how it brings about great things through donations and drives at both of the schools. Sometimes competition can bring the absolute best of you instead of always the worst.
One thing I do know for sure though…this upcoming gameday?
It’s going to be fun.
Image Source: http://www.independentmail.com/photos/galleries/2010/apr/24/area-players-nfl-draft/29257/