Sam Amick '00 (Journalism)
Amick follows the basketball beat
Little did sportswriter Sam Amick know that when he took on the Sacramento Kings beat in 2005 that he would become such an authority on coaching strategy—the strategy behind picking them that is.
“My relatively short tenure on the beat made me an unofficial expert on covering coaching searches,” says the former Sacramento Bee reporter.
Soon after Amick joined the Bee, Kings management declined to re-sign Rick Adelman, hired Eric Musselman, fired Musselman after only one year, then brought in coach Reggie Theus.
Amick found himself traveling back and forth to owners Joe and Gavin Maloof’s Palms Casino in Las Vegas, “pulling every trick in the book” to try to find out the names of the Kings’ coaching candidates.
“There have definitely been times when Vegas felt like my home away from home,” he says. “I remember taking one flight from Sacto to Vegas where I wound up sitting next to the candidate I was heading out to cover.”
Amick got his reporting feet wet lakeside, as a student covering Sac State’s women’s rowing team for The State Hornet.
“Looking back on it, I got a kick out of something I didn’t know would be so much fun,” says Amick, recalling how the coach had to walk him through the day’s competition. “That was a real positive first experience—to try to take something not a lot of people know about and make it interesting.”
After graduating he wrote as an intern for The Stockton Record. He later joined the Bee’s regional section Neighbors before being hired onto the sports page.
He now reports on the NBA on a national level for USA Today, tracking player and coach movement and staying on top of breaking stories.
“I try to stay on top of it all before a game starts,” he says. “To see who’s mad they aren’t getting the ball enough…”
Although he picks up a lot of frequent flyer miles covering teams all over the country, Amick is grateful to still be in Sacramento.
“I feel lucky to get this kind of a job in the town where I started,” he says.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2008 edition of Sac State Magazine.