Hi, I'm Patrick and It's Nice to Meet You

By Patrick Maks on July 14, 2014 at 8:30a

Unsure of myself and who I wanted to be, I started my journey in journalism three years ago because I liked writing and the notion of sitting behind a desk the rest of my life made me sick to my stomach.  

So I emailed one of my favorite writers, ESPN’s Wright Thompson, for advice. I asked him to show me a path, a road to take me where I so desperately wanted to go.

This was his response: 

“There is no path. If you have the combination of talent and churning work ethic, the pay will open up in front of you. It's a cliche, because it's true: cream rises. Of course, so does hot air. That's where that talent and drive come in. The talent is a question you'll have to answer for yourself, and with the help of people you trust. There's no denying that a certain amount of what it takes to make it is something you're born with. You'll need to be honest with yourself about that. (That said, don't ever let anyone kill your dream. Only you know when it's time to find a new one.) There are things you can do to improve: read. read a lot. read the great magazine stories, and read the best practitioners of sports journalism today, read a lot of fiction, and find the person you'd like to be like and then read them. Then ... work. Work your ass off. If the person next to you is working harder, they will make it and you wont.”

The first thing about this is, even through email, Wright Thompson is a better writer than I ever will be. The second thing is understanding how those words became a pillar to lean on in the very up-and-down world of being a sports journalist. I have them printed out on my desk at my apartment. 

Three years ago, without a map of where I wanted to go, without a plan, without really any idea of where this whole writing thing would take me, I’m honored and excited to call myself the basketball beat writer for Eleven Warriors.

I really don’t like talking/writing about myself, but I suppose a formal introduction is in order.

So here’s a little about me: I’m 23 years old and about 14 of those years have been spent in Central Ohio. I was born in Seattle before moving around to Chicago and Indianapolis. In 2000, my dad’s job brought my family to Columbus and I fall in love with this city more each day.

For me, becoming a reporter started at Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern. The first team I ever covered was Tom Ryan’s wrestling squad in 2012 — the same year Logan Stieber won his first national championship. Next was the men’s lacrosse team. Next was spring football and the infancy of the Urban Meyer era. A few months later, I was hired as the paper’s assistant sports editor. After that, I took over as the sports editor. Last year, I worked as the beat writer covering the Buckeyes for the Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports network.

Here’s some more about me: I’m extremely passionate about journalism. It’s why I do what I do. I grew up around sports and I like sports, but they aren’t what motivate me — being a good journalist does. It’s why I’ve made it my goal to write truth, or at least do my best to write truth. Sometimes truth is good, sometimes truth is bad. Sometimes truth is a story about the relationship between Joshua Perry and a little boy who he’s never met. Sometimes it’s about stuff that’ll make you uncomfortable. I like writing both kinds of stories. That's journalism. 

I'll be covering football, basketball and recruiting, but my focus will be on hoops.

Eleven Warriors is an amazing website and an amazing platform that keeps getting bigger and better. I am sincerely thrilled to be a part of this. Feel free to email me at patrick@elevenwarriors.com or follow me on Twitter. Thanks for hearing me out. 

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