July 1st, in leap years, signals the midway point of the entire year. Which means that this crazy 2020 is only halfway over with. We get asked daily if we think there will be a season, and the short answer is always “yes”! In honesty, we don’t really know what to expect for this season. All we can do is prepare like there will be a full season, and approach the challenges as they come. We already were taken away from having a true postseason to end the 2019-2020 season, so whatever the NAIA and it’s institutions feel is the right move in keeping everyone safe, we will live with. For now though, we will remain positive and optimistic about having a FULL 2020-2021 basketball season!!
We appreciate everyone giving us some time away from the site. Like we have mentioned in the past, the site grew a LOT faster then we were expecting it to, so we were learning on the fly. We still won’t be perfect at running the site, but we feel like the classes we took will help us progress forward, and help to make things look more clean! The fact that we had to take a few online WordPress classes, is an awesome feeling, because it means that you all care about the information we put out! We ended the 2020-2021 season averaging around 3,000 views per day, which is still mind-boggling. We had some big things planned for the rest of the DI and DII Tournaments, including some live coverage. Unfortunately, things ended in the blink of an eye. We were left spinning our wheels on what to even post, as we felt for every player, especially the Seniors who were still alive and competing in the National Tournaments.
The 2020-2021 season will be the first one with one NAIA basketball division. We will be releasing plenty of information over the next couple months on the merger, as we have decided to take an optimistic approach to us having a full season in 2020-2021! One of the most exciting things, as we look over our notes, is the amount of big time players who are returning for this season. The talent at this level is always much better then outsiders believe, and this year won’t be any different. For us, the season, no matter what it looks like, can’t get here fast enough!
New Additions to the Team
Part of the fun of seeing NAIA Hoops Report grow is adding new team members to the site. When we are looking to add new team members we always give priority to NAIA students or alums! We believe in keeping things in-house, and want people who will cover the NAIA with the same love and passion as we have! We are glad that Jake, Tad, and Harry will ALL be back to help the site this year, but we are always looking for opportunities to grow as well.
One of our biggest weaknesses that we wanted to address for this year was our graphics. We know that our graphics needed a big overhaul, and well there are so many talented graphic design people in the NAIA for us not to have better graphics on the site! With that we are pleased to add two new additions:
Cooper Davis – Mount Marty University
Cooper is a junior pitcher at NAIA Mount Marty University in South Dakota. He is an avid basketball fan and goes to all of the home games, and travels to many away games. He is using his skills in graphic design to try and help spread the word about how great being a part of the NAIA is. Cooper has done a great job already by helping us get a jump start to our League Review Series. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @CooperDavis25
Brian Ricke – William Penn University
Brian is a grad assistant at William Penn University. On the side he does a lot of great graphic design work. He approached us a couple months ago with a great idea that he wanted to take the lead on (More on that later). While he wants to continue to coach after he earns his Master’s Degree, he does do a lot of freelance graphic design work. Feel free to contact him on his Twitter @BrickVisuals.
We also are always on the look out for young writers who are looking to grow their resume, and portfolio’s for their future. We will be adding a couple more writers down the road, but as mentioned last week on Twitter, we are pumped to have one on board already:
Jeremy Wright – Freed-Hardeman University
Jeremy is a senior, public relations/marketing major at Freed-Hardeman. He also does radio commentary for the FHU Men’s and Women’s basketball games. He is an aspiring sports writer, and will do a great job in helping to cover the Mid-South Conference this year!
New Features for 2020-2021
- Part of growing the site, means looking at the landscape, and figuring out ways to enhance the site in areas that are popular across other levels of college athletics. With that in mind, we are excited to announce that we will be adding both a NHR Magazine, and The NHR Podcast for this upcoming year.
NHR – The Magazine
We will be releasing 3 online magazines.
- NHR- Preseason Report
- NHR- Mid-Season Report
- NHR- Championship Preview Report.
This idea was the one that Brian Ricke at @BrickVisuals DM’d us about a few months ago. He had created an online magazine for one of his projects when he was at University of Northern Iowa as a Manager for the men’s basketball team, and thought it would be something we could use at the site. While we will continue to have great content on the site, each magazine issue will have unique features within them. We are excited about this addition to the site, and can’t wait to launch our first issue in the Fall!
The NHR Podcast – Coming Fall 2020
We are a little late to the game on the Podcast scene, and we have a lot of friends in the NAIA world who have great Podcasts already! This is something we have been asked to do from several different coaches and the content we have in place will help us coexist alongside of our friends who put out great info in their Podcasts as well. We are finishing up the artwork for the Podcast as we speak, and we will be releasing our content and schedule in late July or early August! This is something we are absolutely pumped about adding to the site, and look forward to conversations and content that will be put out on the podcast!
We are excited for these new additions, as well as all of the articles that will be coming out the rest of the Summer. This site means so much to us, and we are thrilled that it exploded in year one. Now it is time to continue to take it to new heights, and we believe we have found some ways to do that. While we will adjust and mold to whatever the 2020-2021 season brings us, the NAIA Hoops Report will remain your #1 source for NAIA Hoops information!
xUnfortunately, I will be watching online as I had to get back to work for a project deadline.
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