ValleyoftheSuns welcomes aboard three staffers; new forum set to launch Oct. 18

Posted by on October 12th, 1:03 pm

This offseason has brought plenty of change to ValleyoftheSuns through the re-designed site complete with player profiles, salaries and a schedule.

Today I’m proud to announce the final additions of the offseason as I officially bring on State Press (ASU) football writer Tyler Emerick as a staff writer, Suns blogger Kyle Fleeger to run a soon-to-launch Suns forum (more on that in a bit) and former collegiate advertising manager Jessica Porter to help sell some ads.

While only a sophomore, Emerick brings the experience of a reporter currently covering the visiting football beat for ASU’s school paper. He comes highly recommended after making the ASU gymnastics team interesting to read about last year, and as a former college sports editor, trust me, that’s not easy to do. I’m excited to see what Emerick can add to ValleyoftheSuns, and yes, this means your name must be either “Michael” or “Tyler” to write for this site.

“I have decided to take my talents to South Mountain and write for ValleyoftheSuns,” Emerick said in a press release. “I am excited about the opportunity and to team up with such great talent around me.”

Fleeger, who runs SunsDebate.com, has been begging me for a writing gig with ValleyoftheSuns ever since I brought Lockman aboard a year ago. I feel like his limitless passion for the Suns and many years of experience as a speech and debate coach will make him a natural fit leading the ValleyoftheSuns forum, which will launch on Oct. 18 at http://valleyofthesuns.com/forum.

The forum will host game threads, statistical analysis, lineup debates and of course discussion on all the latest Suns news and rumors. I have always aimed to make ValleyoftheSuns a community, and I think the forum can go a long way toward continuing that goal. I hope many of you frequent commenters really make yourself at home on the forum and become leaders on the board.

We’ve internally debated the idea of a forum all summer, and ultimately I think it’s worth it. I hope this forum is a place where Suns and general NBA fans can come together to discuss smart basketball topics and take the stories written on ValleyoftheSuns to another level through this debate.

“My main goal for the forum is for Suns fans to have a place to voice themselves day or night,” Fleeger said. “I want to help create a space where opinions about the Suns and statistics can evolve into facts, and good argumentation.”

Porter will help me sell ads, as ValleyoftheSuns enters Year 3 seeking advertising partnerships with local businesses with a basketball angle.

This year we also plan to delve deeper into the video world, with Mike Schmitz serving as our video breakdown guy as you started to see over the summer, and I plan on continuing to expand my knowledge of advanced stats to reach conclusions on what these numbers are telling us about the Suns.

Like the Suns we are still working out how all our pieces will fit together here at ValleyoftheSuns, but with Schmitz, Lockman and web guy James Constable being joined by Emerick, Fleeger and Porter, it’s safe to say quality depth won’t be an issue at ValleyoftheSuns any more than it will be with the real Phoenix Suns.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: TrueHoop Network

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris Coffel // Oct 12, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    This is exiciting news. The forum should be lots of fun!

  • 2 Steve // Oct 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Good luck getting “good argumentation” about “smart basketball topics” on an internet forum. Can’t wait to see that.

    Exciting news though. That will really liven up the site, I think.

  • 3 Michael Schwartz // Oct 12, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    @Steve I hear you on that, and it’s why I’ve gone back and forth on the virtues of a forum all summer. Perhaps that pursuit is unrealistic and I fully expect some Lakers trolls and a few arguments that unfortunately go beyond basketball, but we’re going to do our best to have the board live up to that standard!

  • 4 Milee // Oct 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Congrats on all the new hires.

  • 5 Jen Maldonado // Oct 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Way to go, Kyle! Best wishes for a wildly successful forum!

  • 6 Ann Webster // Oct 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Congrats on what should be a great forum. Can’t wait to debateKyle Fleeger on Suns stats! I heard he lives and breathes the Phoenix Suns. Good luck to all three new staff members.

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