Beyond the Box Scores

The best moment so far

By: Jamie McCracken
By: Jamie McCracken

In year one, there was hard to find anything better than the first sample of eastern Kentucky high school basketball.

My one year anniversary at WYMT will be on Tuesday, May 20.

I have thought about all of the fantastic moments I had in the 365 days I have been part of the WYMT family – the late night jam session in the sports office on my birthday night (thank you for buying those speakers, Josh), the first time I had the opportunity to anchor Sports Overtime, the instance where I accidently got lost deep in the woods of Jackson County trying to cover a high school basketball game but ended up covering a bad vehicle wreck and all of the chances to cover Kentucky basketball.

But really, there are hundreds of moments and I wanted to narrow it down to one – the best.

I could not do that.

However, the one experience I keep coming back to and the one I always end up telling my family, friends and anyone I meet who wants to know about my job, I tell them about covering my first true eastern Kentucky high school basketball game.

The Knott Central-Cordia game at Cordia was an experience I will never forget. It gave me my first taste of Region 14 basketball.

Sure, Knott ended up romping Cordia by 15 points (79-64), but what a thrill-ride.

I knew as soon as I had to park a mile away and walk over a bridge and up some muddy, grassy, rocky hill that smelled like a mixture of sewage waste and chlorine from the rain, I was getting myself into something wild. As soon as I got to the door and saw a piece of cardboard with the words “Sold Out” in a black Sharpie bold print, I was like, ‘This is crazy, yo!’ Plus, there was a tiny window on the door, but I could not see anything but the back of someone’s head.

I got into the game and could not leave.

When we cover any type of high school game – albeit football, basketball, baseball or softball – we typically stay until we think we have enough to fill 40 seconds to a minute (longer if it’s for Sports Overtime) of highlights.

This was one of those instances where I had all of my highlights in the first quarter, but I could not leave.

The raucous atmosphere, high level of play and pure excitement gave me chills throughout the game and the rest of the right … even when I was trying to sleep in my apartment. I loved it. And honestly, I think that’s when I started to get a grip on how fun this specific job can be at times.

While there are memories made every single day at this place and out in the field, this was something special.

This was a moment I will cherish.

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