Kate Makes Inquirer Print Debut
And now here in Detroit on the morning of Game 2 of the WNBA Finals, the Guru is pleased to break a bit of news to the blog readers here of an event that occurred in Friday morning's Inquirer back home.
A year ago, Kate Burkholder, a resident of nearby Marlton, N.J., who was getting ready to return to the Rutgers campus as a sophomore as well as a budding sportswriter at The Daily Targum, the campus newspaper, she perhaps could not envision that 12 months later she would make her print debut in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Heck, for that matter, the Guru was just someone she noticed the Rutgers "regulars" on the beat was someone they were busy hitting up with a bunch of questions at the previous NCAA tournament opening round at Connecticut when the Scarlet Knights and Temple were both in the same bracket trying to get to the Regional in Philadelphia.
As fate would happen, as last season hit mid-stride, Ms. Burkholder gravitated under the Guru's journalistic wing at a time he was thinking about where future writing talent might exist.
He discovered such a phenomenon when he happened to venture into the Targum to check a comment from coach Viv that he managed to miss during one of her famous, lengthy, postgame answers to a short question.
It so happened that Kate's story had the comment he was looking for, but in reading the copy, he was so impressed with the style that he sent her a short note saying as much.
She responded several days later with a phone call to say "Thanks."
Events ensued from there and most of you all know of her writing debut on the blog at the Final Four in Boston and also a quick gig of what was then known as, before the sale of the newspaper chain, as the Knight Ridder Tribune campus wire that goes to 300 high school and college campuses.
That entity still exists, by the way, under the new ownership of the wire.
All the while, the Guru made the mangement types, who are responsible for his main pay check, of her work in the event there might be some future opportunities in the home office in either the Guru's Inquirer world or in other sports beat in the department, as well as our internet entity.
As the summer began, we took her on the WNBA tour, when she felt like it (Hey, it's summer, you know), and she continued to produce excellent material while elevating to a level way above the campus genre.
Trust me, the Guru has spent half the time here in Detroit receiving greetings from writers, broadcasters, and WNBA executives to relate (which, when she reads this, I just did).
We even managed to help her land her first paid free-lance gigs for a couple of articles in Women's Basketball Magazine, and those folks also were impressed with her efforts.
Which brings us to this week.
Kate had already scheduled a visit to Guru headquarters for Tuesday to say "hello" to a few people and a communication was supposed to transpire Monday afternoon setting up her arrival time.
However, the Guru received an urgent phone call from the home office in late morning asking if "Your protege can give us a Rutgers football piece".
And so a call was made to Ms. Kate, with the greeting, "This is your moment." At the time, she happened to be on campus a week ahead of time getting her living quarters ready for the winter.
Due to her schedule, she wanted to do it, but had to check, and the Guru said there was still time and he'd relay that.
In the ensuing two minutes after the call, a bell went off inside her head, and the Guru received another call of acceptance and he gave her the numbers to talk to the editorship in sports.
Meanwhile, the visit went well across the board, the story has been written, and if we know what we are doing technologically, here is the link to it at Philly.com since it only ran in our Jersey section, but it is perhaps the first of many.
(If the link doesn't work, we'll cut and paste the copy in a few hours.).
And thus, the predictions you folks at Rutgers made on the message board last winter has come true.
What is not, true, sadly for some of you, is that "Straight from the Yo's mouth at practice Thursday," she is not involved in the Rutgers search for Sue Wicks' replacement as an assistant coach and had never had a discussion, at least that's what the Guru was told.
And in other Rutgers news, which seemed to be slow to transpire back there, Tasha Pointer, who helped lead the Scarlet Knights to the Final Four in 2000 in Philly, has been hired as an assistant at Xavier, which, by the way, is the host for this season's Atlantic Ten women's tournament.
So, applaud Kate. Applaud Tasha.
And later Friday night, we return you to regular coverage of the Finals here, probably our last appearance at the tournament, since the Guru has been requested to ready the elements for Geno Ariemma's induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame next weekend.
He is a Philly guy for those of you who might wonder why the special interest.