Coming from Dallas to D.C., I knew the transition to college-life would be difficult. But being in the nation’s capital for more than a month now, I surprisingly have found my comfort zone in journalism of all things, to help balance the stress of college.
To this day, I still wonder how I got into this situation: how my dreams of playing basketball were dashed in high school, how by hitting rock bottom I ended up finding and currently forging my path at AU.
Growing up I aspired to be many things: a basketball player, engineer, advertising man. Journalist did not make the cut. However, I will admit I always had some Walter Cronkite inside of me. I was the one to walk around my house with a turkey baster, pretending it was a microphone, interviewing my family every time some special sporting event was on television, but I never fathomed that I would upgrade from kitchen utensils to actual broadcasting equipment.
Sophomore year of high school things really changed in my life. Other than being cut from the basketball team, sophomore year was also when I began my tenure of dedicated community service at the Boys and Girls Club of East Dallas, brought my grades up to improve on a disastrous freshman year, joined the school newspaper and got my first gig at commentating basketball games.
I was never acclaimed for my writing, always getting papers back bleeding with red ink and comments like ‘poor diction, not clear, don’t understand, etc …,’ so for me to dive into the world of newspaper writing was a horse of a different color. People wiser than me always said that making a good first impression is the key to success, and that is what I did with my first newspaper article about my high school’s boy’s lacrosse team and their nationwide schedule of nationally ranked opponents. The article was well received and to this day it is still tacked on the bulletin board in the Bagpipe’s newsroom. After that I rose up the newspaper ladder going from humble reporter to sports editor. Senior year I wrote my own column under a cheesy nickname — The Fanatic. To this day I keep the name as my sports journalism “alter ego.”
My mom used to say that I mumbled when I talked. The majority of my teachers had to ask me to repeat myself because they could not hear my answer to a question. Who would have guessed that “the one who mumbles” would want to get into calling sports? I became interested in broadcasting in high school after making connections to people in that field. Noah Donnenfield was my connection, and two months later after getting cut from the basketball team, he pulled some strings and helped me obtain a job working for Garner Vision Productions commentating on basketball games. I held the job all the way through the last hoops game of my senior year.
Now I am a freshman in college, past the phase of mumbling and on to achieving my new goal of becoming a sports journalist.
It is a benefit to work with people that actually know what they are doing and share my passion for sports. After little more than a month in college, I have already made crucial connections and great friendships. I await the future and what college has in store, and the best part about it is that I found my niche and picked up from where I left off; the only difference is that I am 1,300 miles away. But that’s not going to stop me from living my dream.