The birth announcements were sent out at the same time: In
January 1995 photo editor Jeff Weig and his wife, Fay Wright,
had a boy, Alexander; and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED launched a new
publication, SI PRESENTS. "That's pretty good timing," says
Weig. "Now most of my time is spent chasing Alexander around and
chasing down photos for SI PRESENTS."
Weig has been pulling that double duty while working on every
issue of SI Presents, which produces preview and commemorative
magazines sold on newsstands only. While his main beats in 12
years at SI had been hockey, soccer and college football, Weig
has developed a keener interest in college hoops through his
work on our annuals. "There's such an array of color," he says.
"You have the powder blue of North Carolina and the electric
blue of UCLA, the red of Louisville and the yellow of Michigan.
Plus, the kids in this game show so much more emotion than pro
It's no surprise that Weig's favorite story in this issue is
packed with large, vivid photos. "In the piece about when to
turn pro [page 24], if you look at the picture of Wake Forest's
Tim Duncan, his eyes are popping out and his whole face is a
picture of intense concentration," Weig says. "In the photo of
Kansas's Raef LaFrentz going up for a rebound, you see the
ferocious look on his face and that bright red of the paint. And
in the picture of Kentucky's Ron Mercer facing Iona, you can see
just how overwhelmed the kid from Iona is."
Known for being organized and meticulous, Weig also works
incredibly fast under pressure. "He lays out slides and collects
them like a Vegas dealer," says senior editor Richard Demak.
"But as quick as his hands are, his eye is even quicker."
Weig has a background well suited to a photo editor. He was
raised in Rochester, N.Y., the home of Kodak, and his father,
James, is an amateur photographer. Jeff joined SI in 1983, after
graduating with a degree in English literature from Dartmouth,
and immediately showed he could handle the toughest assignments.
For our story on page 178 about the strained relationship
between Henry Bibby, the former UCLA star and current USC coach,
and his son, Mike, a freshman point guard at Arizona, the
subjects chose not to pose together. No matter. After scouring
our archives, Weig found an old shot of Henry with Mike, then
age two. He also came upon a picture of Henry making a slick
pass in college and a high school shot of Mike in a similar
pose. "In the end it turned out to be a very strong piece
pictorially," says Weig.
Though he has a newfound appreciation for the sport, the only
time he plays any basketball is when he and his son go
one-on-one on Alexander's plastic hoop. "I was never a player
because I have always been, well, a little height-impaired, a
trait that I'm afraid I'm going to pass along to my son," Jeff
says. Not to worry. In hoops as in photo editing, quick hands
and a sharp eye will go a long way.
COLOR PHOTO: GABE PALACIO Weig and son seek the best shots. [Jeff Weig and Alexander Weig]