Cavs Win - Ohio SPJ Awards Best Sports Reporting
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the 2016 NBA Champs after beating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7. The finals series was more emotional than most national championships, representing the return of native son James and the breaking of one of the longest “curses” in professional sports – 52 years since a championship for any of Cleveland’s top pro teams. The championship series was a fierce battle - the Cavs are the only NBA team to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals - and the last game was a nail-biter to the end. WKSU’s reporting team covered stories in Cleveland and Akron, giving listeners a big-picture look at the complete region as men, women and children shed tears of joy and relief.
WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia was in Akron at LeBron James’ alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, for the final game. Bhatia speaks to long-time friends and fans of King James in a sound-rich sports feature. When LeBron and the Cavs arrived home triumphant, Kevin Niedermier covered what was expected to be a large crowd at a downtown Cleveland victory parade. More than 1.3 million happy people filled the city center, stopping traffic with the celebration. The party did not end there and Tim Rudell followed LeBron to his hometown for Akron’s own hero’s welcome.