A note of gratitude to the readers
Thank you all greatly for following an exciting season of coverage on an upstart platform that never had any guarantees.
I always thought the program needed more attention it got. I still feel that way. I also hope I filled that gap a bit and gave Georgia women’s basketball a smidgen of the coverage and recognition that it deserves.
Now, I don’t know where to begin in saying thank you.
I took on this journey of starting a newsletter in the midst of a ravaging pandemic. I wanted to do more than what newspapers called for in the grind of a season that isn’t Georgia football. This women’s basketball program has one of the richest histories at the university, and not many have given it much of a chance in recent years. I remember looking back at archives and seeing reporters travel and cover every one of Andy Landers’ games, and I wanted to tell the story of this era under Joni Taylor.
I launched the site and it blew up with people hopping on board. I couldn’t believe the initial impressions and how many people were excited to see my work consistently on the program. We had such a fun ride. This team was darn good. It made history more than once, and the Lady Bulldogs Report was there for every step. This newsletter never missed a game and traveled to most — from the middle-of-nowhere College Station, Texas to the sub-zero weather of Columbia, Missouri.
You guys, the readers, were there through it all. You wanted all of the latest scoop. You challenged me to be deeper and better in my storytelling. You gave me the joy of interacting on a daily basis through live threads, tweets and emails (many of which were about whether Kaila Hubbard will return, and I’m still unsure). For that, I am super grateful. All because I found people who not only cared about the program, but also my coverage.
It meant the world to me for people to support me through it all, too. Without fail, at least one of you readers and Fast Break Club members would come up to me and say “Brandon! Keep up the great articles!” I probably nodded, smiled through my mask and said “Thank you,” because I was at a loss for words. It meant so much more to me than a simple response. It kept me going through life’s challenges over recent months.
I can’t go without thanking Joni Taylor, her coaching staff, Ryan Leonard and sports information director Tray Littlefield. They made me feel welcomed. They accepted criticism. They were honest. They cared about coverage. They always checked in on me — the person — to make sure everything beyond my byline was OK. Their gestures meant everything to me.
To the players, mainly the ones who spoke with me a lot: Jenna Staiti, Gabby Connally, Que Morrison, Mikayla Coombs and Sarah Ashlee Barker. You guys made this endeavor a true joy. I wanted to tell your stories at every chance I got. All of you young ladies are incredible people, and thank you all for trusting me and making the job a fun one.
I’m not sure what is next. I graduate from the University of Georgia in December — yes, we’re taking the slow route to graduation and I am not ashamed. I want to keep this newsletter going, but I will no longer be charging for it. I’m unsure what the volume of stories will be as I’m now freelancing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (including the WNBA draft coming up, so stay tuned there for Atlanta Dream coverage) along with The Telegraph.
But none of this would’ve been possible without your support, financially and with all of the outreach. This is not a goodbye, but rather a benchmark and a cap on a fun season of coverage.
For it all, thank you. I will see y’all around.