I broke the story? Really? Here’s how the Felton story went down

tylerWatkinsRoamingMy day started out fairly normal. As I was preparing for the first TV broadcast of the day at the Beach Ball Classic, I began researching the two teams scheduled to play, Mullins and Northland.

Mullins featured Jalek Felton, the nephew of Raymond Felton. Jalek is a top 10 nationally ranked sophomore and is an offensive beast on the court.

Normally, I’ll speak to each head coach about their team as I prepare to do the play-by-play for the game. In this instance, I sauntered over to the area that the Mullins team sat awaiting their game. It was just before halftime of the previous game, and the Mullins team was relaxing in the stands.

I took a few minutes to speak to Head Coach Jimmy Vereen. As I was wrapping up, I asked about Felton’s status with the University of North Carolina. I normally ask about any player that is being highly recruited. Felton had been wearing Carolina Blue colored shoes and a Carolina hoodie in the Convention Center all week.

Coach Vereen said that he didn’t know and that it wasn’t his place to speak for Felton. So, I asked him if I could speak to Felton. He agreed and one of the players was dispatched to find Jalek.

When Felton came over, the coach introduced me and I informed Jelek that I would be doing the TV play by play. I asked him his status with the Tar Heels and he responded “I’m going there.” My next question was whether they had offered him a scholarship. He responded that they had and that he had verbally committed to the Heels. After being asked if they had indicated that he would have to work his way in or would have an immediate impact, Felton said they told him that he would come in and play immediately.

I thanked him for his time and went about my business. Just before going on air, I was asked if Felton had indeed told me that I could mention it on air. I responded that I had told him who I was and he said he was committed, so I was going with it.

The camera was turned on, the cue was given and I opened the broadcast welcoming the viewers to the 34th annual Beach Ball Classic. I then immediately went into talking about Felton and his commitment.

Honestly, I was really unaware that it wasn’t known that Felton was going to UNC until it was mentioned to me just before airtime.

The game and broadcast went fine. I gave up my seat to the next broadcast crew and took a seat along press row. That’s when I discovered that my words were quickly traveling through the world of the internet. ESPN was on the story, CBS sports, Fox Sports, the list goes on and on. Apparently, I had just broken the news of the day. It must have been a REALLY slow news day.

As I went through the stories, of course no one gave me credit for breaking the story, except one organization. Van Coleman of The Basketball Channel, one of the biggest names in basketball recruiting, made the classy move of giving credit, where it was due, even if I didn’t have any idea of the weight of my words. Here’s a link, if you’d like to read about it.

http://tbcnets.com/top-5-sophome-headed-north-carolina/

As the day went on, I discovered other breaking stories. But, this one seemed to rule the day. I may not have broken the internet, but I’ll always be able to say that I broke the story of Jalek Felton committing to the North Carolina Tar Heels. And, just for extra measure, here’s the link to the video of me doing it live, on air, nationwide. Feel free to skip ahead to the 4:45 mark to hear announcement.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/57067696

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