Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dionte Christmas, the Philly B-Ball star hopin' for the NBA

photographs © Michael T Regan Photography, 2009

While I continue to work on a series of portraits that won't be published until the fall and aren't "blogable" at the moment, I stumbled upon this enjoyable shoot that I can share. I recently photographed NBA prospect Dionte Christmas, Temple's sharp shooting guard who led the A-10 in scoring for three straight years. James Beale explores Dionte's story going all the way back to when he couldn't make the team as a youngster. Read it in City Paper HERE. He showed up an hour late and his phone went straight to voicemail which left me wondering if this was going to be one of those shoots. He was humble and very respectful towards the photographic process. Athletes can be a mixed bag. Dionte, however, was accommodating to numerous ideas and excited to collaborate. It's inspiring to work with people who understand the value in what you do. The only strange moment came in the beginning when he called me "sir." I felt like turning around and looking behind me. Sir? I thanked him for the formalities but told him I prefer "Michael." He smiled and we got to work.

"Now, back in McGonigle Hall, Christmas keeps rising up and the shots keep falling down. If this skill impresses the right team and he ends up a first-round pick, great. If he doesn't (and he might not), he could end up playing for a minor league team or overseas in Europe.

For Dionte, you don't get the feeling that would be the end of the world. He'll have a degree, his family and the opportunity to make good money playing basketball somewhere. This is an opportunity he seems to appreciate. Christmas signs countless autographs after Temple home games because he remembers how seeing pros motivated him when he was young. And instead of wearing some cocky number on his back — say, 23 — he wears his 22 to honor Aaron Whitaker, a late friend of his who urged him to enroll at Temple. For Christmas, being a professional basketball player is a cool possibility, rather than a foregone conclusion or a fatalistic only hope"

1 comment:

Jon said...

Nice. Like the back story on this.