Veteran ABC11 photographer a witness to 18 Final Fours

GLENDALE, Arizona (WTVD) -- Covering the Final Four is not for the faint of heart.

No one at ABC11 knows that better than sports photojournalist Charlie Mickens.

The 33-year veteran photographer has witnessed 18 of them.

"Any arena you go into, everybody knows Charlie Mickens. I get to be the guy who goes on camera, but Charlie is the legend of our tandem. I mean, he's my work spouse in March. We see each other constantly," said ABC11 sports anchor Mark Armstrong.

The sports duo have covered seven Final Fours together, but few stand out like last year's championship game buzzer-beater.

ABC11's Mark Armstrong and Charlie Mickens have covered seven Final Fours together.

"In Houston, when Villanova hit that shot against North Carolina at the last minute, that was a great ending to a good game," Mickens said.


Charlie knows timing is everything.

"There's a lot going on. You're rushing down the hall afterwards seeing the shots, getting the shots whether it's a team winning or coming up short. That's when I kick in to get those shots that we need," he said.

Charlie Mickens is usually found on the other end of the camera.

And life on the road during March Madness is not easy.

When asked what it's like to work with Armstrong, Mickens laughed, "Do we really have enough time for that? He's always losing a charger, always losing a wallet."

"That's a perfectly legitimate complaint," Armstrong laughed. "I lose my wallet or I lose my phone at least three times every March, and Charlie's there trying to pick up the pieces for me."

Mickens says he wouldn't have it any other way. He's already got his dream job.

You never know where Charlie is going to show up...

Monday's championship game will make nine NCAA title games for Charlie -- five with Duke and possibly four for UNC.

"To say that a kid from Ruther Glen, Virginia, has been to 18 of these crown jewels, it's hard to fathom," he smiled.

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