Eight Questions with College Basketball Editor/Author Ray Mernagh

B.J. CepedaContributor IMarch 4, 2008

Basketball Times (Eastern Basketball) contributor, Pittsburgh Sports Report Editor, and the author of a college basketball book.

How would you like to have these under your name.

I know one guy that does. His name is Ray Mernagh.

His book is called 1 Chance 2 Dance- A Season Inside Mid-Major Hoops in Mid America. He also writes his own blog on his website www.hoopwise.com, where you can also buy his book. I recently got in touch with Ray to ask him some questions.


B.J:  Why the MAC? There's plenty of other conferences to choose from isn't there?

R.M: I chose the MAC for my book for two reasons: I grew up watching the league and the coaches agreed to give me total access. Folks can buy the book here http://www.hoopwise.comif they want to get an absolutely unfettered and raw look at life inside of 12 "mid-major" basketball programs. I've also written about the BCS conferences, plus the NBA and NFL.


B.J: What got you interested in journalism?

R.M: Probably the writing I did in college got me interested in it.


B.J: How long have you been writing/editing?

R.M: Since 2002—I think that's the year I had my first published article in Basketball Times or Eastern Basketball.


B.J: Who are your influences when it comes to writing?

R.M:Ralph Wiley was a big influence (RIP). Marty McNeal from the Sacramento Bee is an excellent beat writer who I admire. Gary Smith from SI excels at what would be my dream job, writing features for a major magazine.


B.J: Who's the most famous person you've ever met?

R.M: Probably Magic Johnson. I was about 11 years old when he patted me on the head at an ALL-Star game in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was pretty much speechless.


B.J: Who's your favorite college basketball team?

R.M:My favorite all-time teams are probably the Michigan State team that won it all with Magic and Greg Kelser and the Fab Five teams with C-Webb and Jalen Rose. I can't say I have a favorite now because I'm an unbiased observer but I've been known to throw things when Pitt loses.


B.J: Describe your journey to the editor at the Pittsburgh Sports Report? What college, and any local small jobs you worked at?

R.M:I graduated from Pitt around '02 and just started writing for anyone who would let me. PSR gave me a shot after i'd done several pieces for Basketball Times and Eastern Basketball.

Eventually I became their "basketball guy" and they named me an editor. They've also given me the opportunity to write about race and culture as it relates to sports—see my article on the racial significance of Mike Tomlin's hiring, and look for a future piece about athletes and guns.


B.J: Any advice to young aspiring journalists?

R.M:Just write as much as you can. Take pride in crafting your stories and most definitely try to get published/paid as much as you can! Make sure you love it though because it's a tough gig


B.J: Thank's Ray!

R.M: No problem, Peace!