Updated: May 3, 2019
By: Isabella Diggs
Experiencing the Women’s Final Four journey through the Junior Journalism program allowed me to have many positive experiences that I will never forget. It is because of the leadership and mentorship of Press Pass that I have been able to expand my knowledge in different aspects of journalism such as writing, social media and photography. This whole experience has been unforgettable, but if I were to choose one outstanding experience, it would the compilation of experiences on April 6, 2019. It was truly the pick of them all.
We began in the morning when I met the other Press Pass girls at the Amalie Area Plaza. I joined Janaya, Annabelle and our mentor, Jordyn to walk over to Tourney Town. We went through security, and I began to wonder what Tourney Town looked like since I have never been there. Walking through the doors, I was amazed at the many things that Tourney Town had to offer. Jordyn and her team did an impressive job plugging in all the details. When we walked in, they were giving a yoga class. The soothing music was relaxing and I felt like I was next to the beach.
Next, we followed Jessica to meet a Bay News 9 Reporter, Angie. She talked about her job, how she prepares for an interview and then we were able to see her broadcast a live report while interviewing Claire Lessinger! It was very cool to watch live!
After, we went back to the Amalie Arena and toured some of the areas related to the Women’s Final Four. We met ESPN’s Maria Taylor, Holly Rowe, Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson and Adam Amin on the Women’s Final Four Court. I was extremely excited and surprised. What struck me was when Maria said, “the things that make you stand out, are the things that make you special.” It was both motivating and inspiring. They took the time to explain to us what they do for a living and what led each of them to this point in their career. We also had the opportunity to ask them questions. Then, we viewed the ESPN trucks. First of all, they were HUGE! The most impressive part was how everyone fit together in one space, collaborating to produce one TV special. We toured two of the trucks, and watched the team in action! Now, that was pretty cool!
When we finished lunch, we went to view Notre Dame’s Head Coach, Muffet McGraw's press conference. The reporters asked questions that I never thought of, but was curious to hear the answer.
Shortly after, our team of Press Pass girls returned to Tourney Town where we interviewed some girls from the NBA Next Generation Showcase. We each developed a set of 4 questions for the player we were assigned. I enjoyed this opportunity to be able to put my creativity to use as I interviewed Sofia from Mexico. I enjoyed interviewing her because, overall, she shared what inspired her to start playing basketball and encouraged all of us to follow what you are passionate about, and what you love to do.
We then attended a Beyond the Baseline session with Brylee Bartram, Mason Cathey, and Bree Green. We made it back to the Q & A just in time. I was able to listen to their statements, and how they encouraged the listeners never to give up and always be the best you can be. Overall, my favorite memory was being able to watch all of our hard work come together! Press Pass was an unforgettable experience that I will always remember. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the mentorship, planning, and creation of the Press Pass program. I am forever grateful. This program has immensely impacted my life and I hope to encourage others just as you have inspired me.