For the first time in my life, I was fired.
Well, that’s not actually true. I wasn’t fired, per se. I was laid off. There’s a difference, but semantics aside, today, for the first time after a decade of covering college basketball, I am without a job.
So let me tell you about myself.
My name is Rob Dauster. My writing career began way back in 2008.
I had just graduated and I was looking for a way to stay connected to the sport I played while doing what I thought was the thing you were supposed to do after you graduate: Sit at a desk, pretending to love the 9-to-5 office life.
I did not love it.
I spent eight hours a day answering phones. To pass the time, I launched a site — Ballin’ is a Habit. When it got to the point that I was looking forward to going to work just to get the chance to write a blog, I realized it was time for my come-to-Jesus moment. I quit my job, I started bartending to help pay the bills and I set out to try and make it in media.
In the time since, I’ve made some incredible memories, covered some incredible games and created a lot of content that I am incredibly proud of. I’ve covered every Final Four since 2009. In 2012, in the final days of running Ballin’ is a Habit, my partner and I embarked on a 21-day, 15-game, cross-country roadtrip. In 2015, I launched the College Basketball Talk podcast, which grew to be one of the top-rated college hoops podcasts on the internet. In 2019, I got my first chance to work as a sideline reporter on a college basketball broadcast. That same season, I worked my first game as a color commentator. In the fall of 2019, I won my first award, coming in third in the USBWA’s writing contest for magazine-length features for this story. In 2020, I was named the co-host of a weekly college basketball television show. Weeks later, I was given my first opportunity to work as a studio analyst, when I was scheduled to do every pregame, halftime and postgame show for NBCSN’s broadcast of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Ten minutes before we went live for the very first segment, the country was shut down by the coronavirus.
Five months later, I was laid off.
It was supposed to be my big break.
Instead, it was the beginning of the end of my time with the company that gave me my first job.
Like any breakup, I’m not really sure what’s next. I don’t know what I’m going to do long-term. But I don’t need a long-term answer in the moment. I just need something for the right now.
And for the next three months, this is it.
Welcome to The Rebound.
What is The Rebound?
Exactly what it looks like: A place for you to get your college basketball fix.
It will be the only way for you to read any of the college basketball content that I create leading up to the start of what I hope will be a college basketball season.
What will that content look like?
The only season preview content you’ll need to read. Who will be good this year? Who will not? What can we expect from certain potential star players?
Features and profiles of the biggest names in the sport, like this profile of Chris Beard or this deep dive into who Cole Anthony is. Or maybe human interest pieces, like this story on the community reaction to an assistant coach who saw his house burn down, or this profile of a Division III head coach who produced as many Division I head coaches as Mike Krzyzewski. I can’t promise they will all win awards like — like this story, on a player battling depression before and after discovering his best friend’s body — but I’ll try my damnedest to make it worth your while.
Exclusive interviews with coaches, players and the biggest names in college basketball media.
Why should you subscribe?
If you’re here, you’ve gotten a taste of what I write and the content I create in the past.
If you would like that in the future, you’ll need to subscribe.
Twitter is a cesspool.
I use it, because I need it to be able to do my job.
But I hate it.
One goal of this project is to build a community where we can enjoy watching college hoops together, embracing the positivity and leaving the nonsense of social media behind.
In the meantime, tell your friends!