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.

Why I’m glad I’m not at SXSW

Watching some of the tweet stream, I’m sure I would have really enjoyed being in Texas for South by Southwest. But I’ve had a lot of fun this week watching basketball, including Wednesday night when my son Joe, a high school freshman, got his first game action with the varsity team in the first round of the Section 1AAA Minnesota High School Basketball Tournament. Here’s a snippet of his play:

Joe isn’t the guy who nailed the three in that sequence; that was Connor Gunderson, a senior who scored his 1,000th career point in the last regular season game.

Joe only has 998 to go.

Tonight the Austin Packers, seeded third, travel to second-seeded New Prague for the semifinal. I would definitely feel badly if I were missing it. I’ll have to rely on @EdBennett and others for the #SXSW and #SXSWi scoop.

Update: The Packers made a valiant run at it, but came up just short after falling behind by about 20. They cut it to 5 but couldn’t quite make it.

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.)