Josh Bootzin
Josh Bootzin jaw-sh boot-zin (he/him)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Josh Bootzin expects to graduate in December 2023 with a master’s degree in sports journalism. He receive bachelor’s of arts degrees in statistics and creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 and hopes to build a career in data journalism around proficiencies in statistics, print journalism and a love for sports.

Latest from Josh Bootzin

Can Griner & Co. turn Mercury’s season around behind back-to-back wins?

PHOENIX – After a 2-11 start, the Phoenix Mercury are 4-4 in their last eight games and 2-0 since the All-Star break. Is tanking officially out of the question for the streaking Mercury?

Breanna Stewart, Napheesa Collier launch Unrivaled league to revolutionize WNBA’s offseason play under prioritization clause

LAS VEGAS – Former UConn teammates turned WNBA stars are looking to investors for a new 3-on-3 league in Miami during the WNBA offseason. The idea is a direct response to the WNBA’s prioritization rule and a growing fear of traveling to play overseas.

Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier unveiled their game-changing women's basketball league, Unrivaled. The former UConn teammates aim to reshape the offseason landscape for WNBA players. (Photos by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Brittney Griner a star among WNBA All-Stars in emotional return

LAS VEGAS – The WNBA dedicated last year’s All-Star Game to Brittney Griner during her imprisonment in Russia. This year, Griner grabbed the spotlight on and off the court as the entire WNBA community celebrated her presence and upbeat attitude in the national spotlight.

Save the date: Phoenix awarded 2024 WNBA All-Star Game

LAS VEGAS – Get ready, basketball fans. Among the news to come out of WNBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas was the announcement that the Mercury will host next year’s midseason event at Footprint Center.

How #WeAreBG campaign helped bring home Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Mercury are the trailblazers for generating popularity and building a voice for women’s basketball. In partnership with Wasserman, the #WeAreBG campaign is one of the many ways they shine brighter spotlights on their players and their sport.

Protesters gather at state Capitol to challenge Tom Horne’s anti-dual language rhetoric

PHOENIX – Protesters gathered at the state Capitol Thursday to challenge the attacks by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne’s on Arizona’s dual language programs.

Protesters gather outside the state Capitol Thursday to draw attention to Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne’s criticism of dual language programs. (Photo by Josh Bootzin/Cronkite News)

Out of retirement: Charli Turner Thorne joins Mercury staff as assistant coach

PHOENIX – One year and a few months after retiring from ASU women’s basketball, coach Charli Turner Thorne is already back in the women’s basketball world, signing on as an assistant for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

The Mercury have added a familiar face as an assistant: former Arizona State women’s basketball coach Charlie Turner Throne. She joins her former assistant, interim Mercury coach Nikki Blue. (Cronkite News file photo)

A new Big 3 era: Bradley Beal excited to contend for championships with the Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX – Bradley Beal addressed the Phoenix media Thursday for the first time since being traded to the Suns. He spoke on playing in meaningful games, playing with teammates Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton, and how healthy he feels.

After playing with the same team for 11 years, Bradley Beal said he is looking forward to playing for the Phoenix Suns. “I feel refreshed, I feel rejuvenated. This is an exciting moment for me. This is an awesome team.” (Photo courtesy of Phoenix Suns)

‘Playing with fire’: Brittney Griner discusses WNBA travel, All-Star bid

PHOENIX – Despite missing the entire season, Brittney Griner was named an honorary starter at the 2022 WNBA All-Star game. This year, after being named a starter, she will have the opportunity to be there in person.

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was named a starter in the 2023 WNBA All-Star Game to extend her streak to nine consecutive selections – one shy of the league record. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury turn page with new interim coach and outlook after Vanessa Nygaard’s dismissal

PHOENIX – Injuries and chemistry issues have dropped the Phoenix Mercury to last place in the WNBA at 2-10. The first organizational response has come in the form of Vanessa Nygaard’s firing.

The Phoenix Mercury enter Tuesday's game against the Dallas Wings riding a five-game skid after Saturday's loss to the Seattle Storm. On Sunday, Nikki Blue replaced Vanessa Nygaard as interim coach. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Inside Shey Peddy’s speedy recovery from Achilles rupture, return to Phoenix Mercury

PHOENIX – Shey Peddy ruptured her achilles during the 2022 playoffs but has made her on-court return for the Phoenix Mercury after a shorter-than-average rehabilitation process.

Phoenix Mercury guard Shey Peddy made her regular-season debut on June 2 after suffering a ruptured Achilles in the 2022 WNBA playoffs. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Mercury’s early-season woes continue as Brittney Griner injures hip in loss to Seattle Storm

PHOENIX – The severity of Brittney Griner’s injury isn’t known yet, but it’s clear the Mercury have room to improve from a 2-6 start to the season. Which areas are hurting them most?

The Phoenix Mercury trail most of the WNBA in key statistical categories on defense. The team's defensive numbers could dip even lower after Brittney Griner's injury in Tuesday's loss to the Seattle Storm. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Fighting the heat: Arizona officials petitioning for federal aid in extreme heat situations

PHOENIX – Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Rep. Ruben Gallego are petitioning for FEMA to declare extreme heat a major disaster and taking measures to curb the number of heat-related deaths in Arizona.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Rep. Ruben Gallego address media questions on the proposed Excess Urban Heat Mitigation Act outside Phoenix City Hall. (Photo by Josh Bootzin/Cronkite News)

Quite Frank-ly, Vogel checks every box to take Phoenix Suns to championship level

PHOENIX – Frank Vogel addressed the Valley for the first time Tuesday in an introductory press conference as new Suns coach with GM James Jones.

Frank Vogel won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 and was twice named an NBA All-Star Game coach. (Photo courtesy of Phoenix Suns)

Stars in the Valley? Phoenix City Council favors hosting NBA, WNBA showcases in near future

PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council will be working with the Suns and Mercury to place bids for the NBA and WNBA for hosting future All-Star games after a unanimous vote during Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Phoenix last hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 2009, when Footprint Center transformed into a stage for the league's biggest stars. After the Phoenix City Council's 9-0 vote Wednesday to support its return, the showcase could return in 2025. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Sug-ar on top: Phoenix Mercury’s Sutton turning heads in WNBA return

PHOENIX – After being released by the Washington Mystics in 2021, Sug Sutton spent two years working her way back to the WNBA. Now, she is taking advantage of every opportunity to stand out with the Phoenix Mercury.

Phoenix Mercury guard Sug Sutton has excelled in her first WNBA season since 2021, averaging 12.3 points off the bench through the first three games of the regular season. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Mercury earn first win behind vintage Diana Taurasi double-double

PHOENIX – Diana Taurasi turned back the clock to record her first double-double of the season and lead the Phoenix Mercury to their first victory in a 90-81 win against the Minnesota Lynx.

Diana Taurasi, right, and Brittney Griner combined for 41 points in the Phoenix Mercury's first win of the season Thursday against the Minnesota Lynx at Footprint Center. (Photo couresy of Phoenix Mercury)

Home free: Brittney Griner’s emotional embrace completes long return to Footprint Center

PHOENIX – Brittney Griner’s first home game since 2021 didn’t disappoint, exhibiting a dominant performance in front of a record crowd. The Mercury fell to the Chicago Sky 75-69 to drop to 0-2 this season.

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner said she was nearly brought to tears Sunday at Footprint Center in her first regular-season home game since being released from a Russian prison. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)