Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated
Chris Ballard is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where he covers the NBA and specializes in narrative, long-form stories. He has also written for The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his work has been included in The Best American Magazine Writing and The Best American Sports Writing series (three times). Ballard is the author of four books: Hoops Nation, The Butterfly Hunter, The Art of a Beautiful Game and One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, An Unlikely Coach and a Magical Baseball Season.
Ballard joined SI in September 2000. He has covered the NBA and MLB, written more than 20 cover stories, regularly penned the back page Point After column and written features on everything from pigeon racing to Jake Plummer's post-football life to riots in Vancouver. He was one of five 2012 finalists for a National Magazine Award in profile writing for Dewayne Dedmon's Leap of Faith, is a recipient of a National Headliner Award and was the 2011 winner of The Joanie Award for a The Courage of Jill Costello, about Cal Berkeley coxswain Jill Costello, who died of lung cancer after her senior year. His 2010 story titled The Magical Season of the Macon Ironmen provided the inspiration for his latest book. Four of his stories have been optioned for feature films, including One Shot, which is currently in development by Legendary Pictures.
Before joining SI, Ballard was an intern at the Courier-Post in Camden, N.J. and attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Ballard has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show, ABC News with Dick Schaap, and Outside the Lines, among others, and speaks regularly to groups of journalism students. A native Californian, Ballard graduated from Pomona College, where he played basketball, was on the track and field team and drank lots of cheap beer. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, Alexandra, and two daughters, Callie and Eliza.