Journal's Geoff Grammer wins national basketball writers award - Albuquerque Journal

Journal’s Geoff Grammer wins national basketball writers award

The Journal’s Geoff Grammer interviews then-UNM men’s basketball assistant Brandon Mason in an undated photo. Grammer will be honored with an award presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association during the upcoming Final Four in Houston. (Journal file)

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association on Wednesday announced Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal is the recipient of the 2023 Jim O’Connell Award for beat writing excellence.

Grammer will be presented his award at the USBWA’s annual awards luncheon at the Final Four in Houston on April 3, the day of the National Championship game.

In a news release announcement of the award, the USBWA noted:

“Grammer has covered University of New Mexico basketball for the Journal since 2012, where he has distinguished himself not only with his coverage of the Lobos but the Mountain West Conference. While comprehensively covering what might as well be a professional team in that market, Grammer has also been thrust into the disastrous season at New Mexico State, his alma mater.

“Over the course of his career, he’s been an early adopter of beat tactics that are now commonplace, from podcasting to the use of advanced analytics to frame and develop stories. In 2022, he was named New Mexico Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.”

Grammer is the fourth winner of the O’Connell award, named for the longtime Associated Press basketball reporter who died in 2018 and presented to “a journalist who has demonstrated consistent outstanding reporting and meeting the USBWA’s code of ethics while covering a college basketball beat.”

Previous winners include Emily Giambalvo of the Washington Post, Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard and Terry Hutchens of CNHI Sports Indiana. At the 2019 Final Four in Minneapolis, Jim O’Connell’s wife, Anne, and sons James and Andrew, received a plaque recognizing that the award was named for the man known among coaches and fellow sportswriters as “Oc” (pronounced “Ock”).

Grammer is a native-New Mexican who was born in Santa Fe, graduated from Alamogordo High, earned his college degree at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and lives in Albuquerque with his family, including wife Jennifer West and daughters Jaedyn, 13, and Amelia, 3.

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