I’m a writer and journalist who has contributed to news organizations including SlateVICE, Men’s Journal, The ClassicalWired and the PBS show Frontline/World. I received master’s degrees in journalism and international affairs from UC Berkeley. Originally from Seattle, I now live in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City with my wife.

My first book, The Hustle: One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White, was published in 2011. It’s the true story of what happened to the members of an interracial basketball team I played on as a kid in Seattle in the mid-1980s. Given that I had no idea how to write a book when I started, and that some of the guys were quite hard to find, it took me eight years to finish. Thankfully, it got a good reception.

I’m now at work on a new book about the culture and business of Mixed Martial Arts, following a group of elite fighters through the ups and downs of their careers.

I’m primarily interested the ways people find meaning in our fragmented culture. I prefer to do “immersion” reporting, spending as much time with a person or group as a possibly can, experiencing day-to-day life as they do.

Below are links to some of my work:

Mixed Martial Arts:

Jorge Masvidal’s Miami (Fightland)

Jeff Monson Gets Naked in Russia with a Guy in a Bear Suit (Fightland)

A Prospect in Iowa (Fightland)

The Good Fight (Fightland)

A Different Take on the Prince of Peace (Fightland)

Talking Business with Tyron Woodley (Fightland)

Selected journalism

Most journalism is of little interest a day or at most a week after it’s published. The pieces linked below are a few that I think remain worthwhile.

Rwanda: After the Genocide – Heavily reported piece on the country’s attempts to pick up the pieces ten years later. I frequently think about the experience of reporting this piece and the people I interviewed (Frontline/World).

Roma v. Romania – The long legal aftermath of a night of anti-Gypsy violence in post-Communist Romania (Legal Affairs).

Charles Taylor’s Long Goodbye – The Liberian warlord faces justice (Slate).


The Crossover: A Brief History of Basketball and Race, from James Naismith to LeBron James

Blog Posts


Revisiting Larry Bird and Magic Johnson

Michael Jordan and the Global Fame Machine

Appreciating David Halberstam’s Breaks of the Game

Culture and Society:

Interview with Ari Kohn: On Life after Prison

Cornel West on the Socractic and Prophetic Traditions, the Blues, and Democracy

Interview with Hudson Taylor: Fighting Homophobia in Athletics

Jim Genia on New York’s Underground MMA scene

A few music links:

Johnny “Guitar” Watson, “Mister Magic”

Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, “The Lady is a Tramp”

Skip James, “Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues”

Motörhead, “The Hammer”


If you want to get in touch, please use the e-mail link on this page or drop me a note through Facebook or Twitter.

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