BIO

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).

E-book

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

Blog Posts

Basketball:

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”

Contact

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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