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TucsonCitizen.com’s Javier Morales wins first place in Arizona Press Club contest

Javier Morales

TucsonCitizen.com blogger Javier Morales won first place Saturday night for metro sports reporting at the Arizona Press Club awards dinner in Phoenix.

Morales won for his series of stories last summer on former Arizona basketball player Coniel Norman, who had been missing for several years before resurfacing publicly in July at a homeless shelter for veterans in Detroit.

Here are the stories:

July 16: Ex-UA prolific scorer Coniel Norman, feared lost, found living in Detroit

July 17: Struggling ex-UA star Coniel Norman eager to start new life in Detroit

July 19: Healing process begins for Norman

Morales also caught up with Norman’s former teammate, Eric Money, at the Arizona basketball team’s season-opener. This story also was submitted to the contest:

Nov. 14: Money: Stats tell story of where he and Norman stand among UA guards

Morales’ stories won against entries from the state’s biggest newspapers and other media outlets.

Morales, a former sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Republic, is the founder of the website WildAboutAzCats.com, which is devoted to University of Arizona athletics. (His website is down right now as he moves to a new host.)

He was one of the original members of the TucsonCitizen.com Sports Network, which began in the fall of 2009 with the help of grant money from J-Lab to study networked journalism/citizen journalism.

Although the grant money recently expired, Morales and the other sports bloggers have stayed on to write at TucsonCitizen.com.

Perhaps “bloggers” isn’t the correct word. Some in the traditional media might try to throw that around as a derogatory term. But no matter what label you put on it, there is plenty of first-hand, original and sometimes exclusive information being dispensed at the TucsonCitizen.com Sports Network.

And we’re proud to have Javier as part of the team.

All along, we’ve known — and the Arizona Press Club recognizes — that Morales is a top-notch reporter, a valuable resource for Wildcats fans everywhere.

Don’t miss out. Follow the TucsonCitizen.com Sports Network on Facebook.

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