BGN Awards: Favorite Athlete to Cover

This summer, the staff at BlueGoldNews.com is looking back at West Virginia's 2014-15 athletic season and choosing the best of the best. In our third of 14 installments over the next few weeks, we are talking about our favorite WVU athletes to cover.

Unlike the last few days where our awards have been voted on by our readers after we made our picks, today's section of the BGN Awards will be more about us reflecting on what happened this season that the fans don't get to see.

As media members, we get the great opportunity to get to know these student-athletes and coaches and learn what they're like away from the game just as much as when they're out there competing. And the more you get to know a player, the more you come to enjoy getting a glimpse at what they're really like and how they handle successes and adversity over the course of a season.

That's why today's topic found our staff debating something that we all tend to talk about quite often when we're talking with one another from time to time. Of course, with it being our favorite player to cover, there are several ways to interpret it. For some it's about entertainment value, or maybe it's about the level of professionalism. But these are our thoughts on the players we enjoy speaking with the most at West Virginia this season.


Kevin Kinder: Chad Donato

Donato admittedly hit a chord when he expressed worry about how he came across in interviews, worrying that his answers weren't good or that he didn't sound polished. No worries for this corner -- his honest and direct assessments of his performances and West Virginia's play are very refreshing in an era of canned answers. He's unfailingly polite, credits teammates, and takes a candid look at his pitching, whether he was on top of his game or had a bad outing. Honorable mention to football's Kyle Rose, who also doesn't pull any punches and lets you know exactly what he's thinking.

Michael Carvelli:Daxter Miles

There is a certain level of confidence around Miles that you usually don't get with most freshmen, and that's what really made him stand out. From the first time we got to speak with him, he was outgoing and carried himself like an upperclassman. Anyone who gave him flack for his comments before WVU's Sweet 16 game against Kentucky hadn't heard him speak much before. His confidence in himself came through in any interaction you would have with him, and hopefully that doesn't change during the rest of his time at West Virginia.

Matt Keller: Averee Fields

There might be no better combination of academics, compassion, athletics and human interest than Fields. A highly intelligent, well spoken, incredibly driven individual, Fields' list of academic accomplishments (Academic All-Big 12 First Team, Haier Student-Athlete Achievement Award, Capital One Academic All-America Second Team, Capital One Academic All-District 2 First Team, Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, etc., etc.) is rivaled only by her volunteer hours with and love for her fellow man. A magna cum laude graduate in sociology with a minor in psychology, Fields' first love is social work. She has spent countless hours involved with many organizations around the Morgantown area, namely Stepping Stones in assisting and teaching those with special needs. Fields also excelled on the court, where she was team captain and garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. Perhaps her biggest moment was a nearly coast-to-coast, last-second jumper to beat No. 5 Baylor as a junior and secure a portion of the Big 12 regular season title. She;s insightful, inquisitive and has among the most warmly genuine and generous souls of any player in school history. She will certainly be missed.

CJ Harvey: Daxter Miles

Daxter Miles was easily my favorite athlete to cover. He always brought an immense amount of energy to our conversations. You could feel his confidence even as a freshman. He made the mistake of calling out John Calipari's Wildcats before their Sweet Sixteen matchup, but Miles will never be one to shy away from the camera.

Greg Hunter: Clint Trickett

Preseason, midweek, postgame, West Virginia’s senior quarterback was always surrounded during every interview session. I’ve seen a lot of others grow tired to the media horde, answer the same innocuous questions over and over and over. I understand it is tiresome, but that goes with the territory of being a leader on the team. Through good times and bad, Clint stood up and answered all the questions asked of him, never ducking out, staying as long as a reporter needed. I respected that greatly.

Tony Dobies: Jordan Thompson

For the last few years, he’s always been on the top of my list of football players to talk to. He’s a smart kid, funny guy and knows how to give an answer. One of the most underrated things when you’re a reporter is having an interviewee that can tell a good story, and Thompson does that better than most.


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