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Students get ESPN-like experienceBy Oliver Forde
Broadcasting is sometimes known as a "hurry up and wait" profession.
This term was never more evident than when a group of UNCP broadcasting students worked on a series of NBA TV productions of the Fayetteville Patriots’ home games.
Walking onto the floor of the Crown Coliseum can be intimidating.
The Fayetteville Patriots’ logo sprawls across center court. Thousands of empty seats wait to be filled for the night's game.
The broadcast students watched the crews of Robert Warren Mobile Productions and NBA TV set up the cameras, cables and microphones they would eventually be using.
When the game was only minutes away from tip off was when UNCP's contribution really began.
Each group member manned different positions as commentators, camera workers and cable-pullers.
Chris Frease, who worked several positions, described his experience as "a natural high."
"It was definitely more fast-paced than some of the stuff I've done at WNCP," Ryan Kelly, a cameraman for all three broadcasts, said.
"I am glad I've already gained some experience in our broadcasting department because I would have been lost. I really think not just anybody can hop on a camera and do a good job. It just won't look good," he said.
After the games, the crew would gather around the control room to watch bits of what they had accomplished.
The group said they were impressed and awestruck with what they had just helped to create.
"I swear it looked no different from what you would see on ESPN,” instructor Mike DeCinti said. “There were so many different shots and replays and graphics flying on the screen. I'm really proud of how it turned out."
DeCiniti congratulated the crew members on a terrific show after every game.
Over the three-game span covered by WNCP, the Patriots went 2-1.
They defeated the Albuquerque Thunderbirds 106-89 on March 31, but the score was basically reversed the next night 103-88.
Fayetteville defeated the Roanoke Dazzle in a 121-114 scoring fest on April 7.
The game against Roanoke served as the final home game for the Patriots as well as "Fan Appreciation Night" where fans were treated with a performance by the Los Angeles Lakers cheerleaders.
Despite the two wins, Fayetteville remained in last place in the NBA D-League, ending their season with a record of 16-32.
The Patriots won’t be a part of postseason play, as only the top four teams advance to the playoffs.