TORONTO, ON., APRIL 17, 2020 –– Toronto Maple Leafs photographer Mark Blinch was awarded a World Press Photo award for capturing the incredible moment when Kawhi Leonard sunk the the winning basket against the Philadelphia 76’ers to take the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA Championship final.
Kawhi’s shot was the was the first Game 7 game-winning buzzer-beater shot in NBA history. And we all know what happened after as the Toronto Raptors went on to be the first team based outside the USA to win the NBA finals.
Mark Blinch’s ‘Buzzer Beater’ won first prize in the category of Sports Singles. Blinch told CP24 that is “a huge honour to win this award.”
The World Press Photo awards acknowledge the best single exposure pictures contributing to the past year of visual journalism. An independent jury selects the prize-winning photographs and productions. Whether entered as singles or stories, these pictures are judged in terms of their accurate, fair, and visually compelling insights about our world.
When CP24 asked the award-winning photographer how he managed to capture the incredible moment that freezes the anticipation of every fan and player, all focused on the ball as it bounces back and forth on the rim of the basket, Blinch said “I was just following the ball and when it hit the rim and kept bouncing I just kept shooting.”
After all the excitement, Blinch said he slowly scrolled through all the shots on the camera and was very happy to see that he captured the moment.
“Everyone is focused on the ball, in anticipation of the outcome,” said the seasoned Leafs photographer, who also shoots for Getty Images Sports, the NBA, Canadian Press, Reuters and the Globe and Mail.
story by Terry Lankstead
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