James FranksSports Visual Journalist, Phoenix
James Franks expects to graduate in December 2021 with a master’s degree in sports journalism. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sports communication from Bradley University.
The Arizona Fall League, which features top prospects from around baseball, returned to the Valley after a one-year absence because of the pandemic and it brought some familiar faces home.
PHOENIX - After taking a season off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Arizona Fall League came to an end with the Mesa Solar Sox capturing the title. The Solar Sox were led by their pitching in the championship game as Caleb Kilian threw six perfect innings.
TUCSON - Vance Johnson’s past includes struggles with alcohol and prescription pill addiction after he witnessed domestic abuse growing up. Now, the former University of Arizona and NFL star is committed to sobriety and wants to help others facing substance abuse issues.
PHOENIX – MLB owners approved a plan to provide housing to eligible minor leaguers starting in 2022. But that’s not the only issue MLB needs to address.
YUMA – With 26 players from around the globe, an unlikely success story has emerged in Yuma. The men’s soccer team at Arizona Western College has found great success and is playing in the NJCAA Division 1 National Championship.
TEMPE – The ASU wrestling program kicked off its final year at Desert Financial Arena with its annual Maroon & Gold scrimmage. With fans back in the stands, the Sun Devils hope to lean on their seven All-Americans to claim their first NCAA title since 1988.
TEMPE – With 13 international players on a 31-player roster, Arizona State’s women’s soccer program has mastered international recruiting like no other program in the Pac-12 Conference. Coach Graham Winkworth’s team represents 10 countries on five continents.
PHOENIX - Ann Meyers Drysdale, Andre Ethier and the late Paul Westphal were among the inductees in the latest Arizona Sports Hall Of Fame class.
PEORIA – When given the task of building the girls badminton program, Ironwood High School coach Brett Stafford had to do so from the ground up. His commitment to his program has shown through in its success and growth over the past decade.
ASU soccer captain Alexia Delgado moved away from her parents at 13 to pursue her dream of becoming a soccer player. Now in Tempe, the Mexican international has found a place she can call home.
PHOENIX - Arizona Rattlers players offer insight for college football players and athletes on how to navigate name, image and likeness legislation and share what they would have done if they could have pursued deals in college.
TEMPE - The Sun Devils are going into hostile territory when they travel to Utah Saturday night. The Utes have been historically great at home and they look to extend their home win streak.
PHOENIX - Diana Taurasi has the ultimate chance to walk off into the sunset. Her fifth Olympic gold medal, being named the WNBA’s GOAT, welcoming her second child, and now two wins away from a fourth WNBA title, the stage is set for a Hollywood ending. But is this really the end, or just another chapter?
PHOENIX – With help from players all over the planet, such as Lucy Johnson and Nicole Douglas, the ASU women’s soccer program is developing an other-worldly culture.
PHOENIX – The Phoenix Mercury played its first two playoff games at arenas belonging to college teams. A look at why as the team prepares to play the Las Vegas Aces at Footprint Center with a chance to punch a ticket to the WNBA Finals.
TEMPE - Three member of the Coyotes Curling Club in Tempe decide to chase their Winter Games dreams and wound up in an Olympic Trials series competition.
PHOENIX - Heading into tonight’s single-elimination playoff game on a three-game losing streak can sometimes be a red flag. But for the Phoenix Mercury, this streak is nothing short of a red herring.
GLENDALE – The Arizona Coyotes enter the 2021-22 season with a lot of noise outside the locker room. However, the team is excited and optimistic they can surprise those doubting the team around the league.
PHOENIX – Arizona residents Mike Wright, Andy Holloway and Jason Moore created “The Fantasy Footballers,” a podcast that has been streamed more than 36 million times and has over 263,000 YouTube channel subscribers.
PHOENIX - In keeping with tradition, Chandler High played an out-of-state football power and the five-time defending state champions prevailed, beating Colorado’s Cherry Creek High 17-7 in a game both high school titans used as a measuring stick.
PHOENIX - Music is the driving force behind Mercury's motivation. A peek behind the scenes shows how music has helped shape the identity of the WNBA team.
PHOENIX - After winning league MVP, Drew Powell’s season ended on a sour note with a loss in the United Bowl. Powell acknowledged that despite a great year, he wasn’t able to get the job done when it mattered most.
PHOENIX - Coping with the losses of a player’s younger brother and the team’s former captain in the past four months, the Central High football team now uses the field as its sanctuary.
PHOENIX - With sports gambling officially legal in Arizona, professional teams celebrate partnerships with Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel and Barstool Sportsbook.
PHOENIX – Since 1992, the Arizona Rattlers have maintained a strong and loyal fan base through league changes and a pandemic. The “Snake Pit” gives the Rattlers a unique edge and excellent home-field advantage through playoffs.
PHOENIX – Online Sports betting sites open Saturday, moving one step closer to the launch date for sports betting in Arizona on Sept. 9.