This Saturday on ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm (10 a.m., ESPNU; 11 a.m. & 8 p.m. ET, ESPN), Robinson’s story is told in a video feature that Friend narrated and Jonathan Sweet produced. It is expected to air in the 11 a.m.-hour of College GameDay on ESPN.
Above, see another exclusive excerpt from the 5-minute, 44-second piece.
Below, read Sweet’s thoughts on the feature.
FR: What challenges did you face in producing this feature?
Sweet: As with most features, the biggest challenge is usually getting the access you need to tell the story. Tom Friend did an amazing job convincing Kansas and Thomas Robinson to tell his story. He also did an excellent job interviewing him. Biggest hurdle was probably getting access to [Robinson’s] little sister, Jayla. She’s extremely young, so it’s always a sensitive matter when you’re trying to film someone of that age. I had to gamble a little bit by taking a camera with me to Madison Square Garden for the Kansas versus Kentucky game back in November. I’d heard from a source that his sister would be there watching the game. I then spoke with Angel Morris, a close friend of Robinson’s, who said it’d be OK to film him and Jayla embracing after the game.
FR: How was Robinson to work with, considering the sensitive subject matter?
Sweet: He’s a really nice kid. Very humble. Besides the interview, he worked with me on two posing shoots: one inside the Kansas basketball arena and one in their weight room. That really helped us in post edit so we didn’t have to rely on family photos as much. It gave us some more visual options.
FR:Tom mentioned how much of a role KU’s director of basketball operations Barry Hinson plays in Robinson’s life. How was Hinson to work with?
Sweet: Hinson was very passionate about Robinson’s story and a very emotional guy.
FR: How much has changed from the time you released the trailer in November to the finished feature? continue reading…