Famed photographer Rich Clarkson readies for his 60th NCAA national championship

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

In a year when Jayhawk fans rejoice in Allen Field House’s 60-year anniversary, photographer Rich Clarkson embraces an anniversary of his own—shooting his 60th men’s NCAA national championship.

Mario's Miracle Shot by Rich Clarkson via @kualumni.orgClarkson, j’55, a Presidents Club-level supporter and Life Member of the Alumni Association, shot his first Final Four in 1952, when his alma mater won its first national championship. In just a few short weeks, he’ll head to Indianapolis to document the culmination of college basketball season one last time.

NCAA Champion magazine’s winter 2015 edition chronicles Clarkson’s long and prosperous career as a photographer. He made a name for himself by capturing unforgettable moments in just about any sport imaginable. But it seems that given a choice, Clarkson would take his camera skills to the court any day.

“Basketball is so unique in that, unlike football or some other sports, nobody is hidden behind shoulder pads or helmets,” he tells NCAA Champion magazine. “You get to see and experience the emotions of the game. You see it on people’s faces. You see it in their body language. You get all this in addition to the beauty of great athletic prowess and beautiful plays. You see the human element as well. To me, it makes basketball the most interesting of all the sports.”

To read more about Clarkson’s journey as a photojournalist and hear him describe his own favorite moments in NCAA basketball history, click here.

—Heather Biele

Watch a video of Clarkson recounting how he took one of the most recognizable photographs of his career:

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