A Happy Week for the Aase Family

This was a week that will be long remembered for the Aase family and for the Austin High School basketball program, as my son Joe and nephew Tom, both two-time all-conference players returning this year for their senior seasons, accepted scholarship offers to play college basketball.

Austin hasn’t had a scholarship basketball player since 1999, so having two players accept offers in one week is quite a milestone. And it’s pretty cool that I’m related to both of them!

Joe committed to Davidson College (read about it here and here), while Tom is going to the University of Sioux Falls.

It’s great to have these decisions made, so the boys can focus on their high school season. With three starters returning from last year’s state tournament team, Austin is hoping to make some noise.

More Video Fun: The Alley Oop

In follow-up Social Media 220: How to Customize Your YouTube Player, in which I showed how to tailor your users’ experience of the embedded YouTube player using this tool, here’s a fun personal video.

Last night the Austin Packers basketball team, on which my son Joe and nephew Tom are starters, had the largest margin of victory for an Austin basketball team in at least the last decade, as they cruised to a 74-19 win against winless Faribault. The starters played less than half of the game, but here’s the highlight taken from the four-minute compilation, as Joe took a beautiful Alley Oop pass from point guard Zach Wessels for a dunk:

If one of the rules for getting more video views is to have the video start fast and grab attention, jumping in at the middle lets you do that while keeping the rest of the video for context. And if you watch the whole thing starting from the beginning you’ll see that Tom almost had a similar dunk at the 1:19 mark.

We’re proud of how well the boys play, but more importantly how they play…as a team. And it’s pretty neat for my parents to be able to watch their grandsons on the same court, in the community where our family has lived for more than 40 years.

Now if I could just get Joe to update his Twitter avatar. 😉


Flip Video of High School Sports

The Flip video camera, which SMUGgles know I like a lot, does a reasonably decent job of capturing video of sporting events, as long as they’re in a relatively small venue.

Here’s video I shot last night, of my daughter’s high school basketball team in their home opener. They won the game 68-40.


If you click through to view the video directly on YouTube (instead of embedded), you can choose “Watch in High Quality,” which is a significant improvement.

Maybe for the next game I’ll try a tripod with the Flip. I really like how it saves time in digitizing though, as compared with shooting miniDV and having to import the tape. Being able to just copy the files to the hard drive and import into iMovie instead of playing an entire tape to digitize and import cuts the production time roughly in half.

Here, for comparison, is a video I shot last year with a Panasonic MiniDV camera. I’m not sure what my encoding settings were (probably not very good), but the video I shot with the Flip seems to compare favorably with this:


Given its relatively non-existent zoom (it only goes to 2x, and that’s a digital zoom, not optical), you need to be pretty close to the action to get decent game video with a Flip. But given its speed and ease of use, I think the quality is acceptable (provided you keep your finger from creeping into the viewfinder.)