January 27, 2023

SJI Class of 2023 expands to 15

SJI Staff

A year after welcoming our 30th class, the Sports Journalism Institute is looking forward to working another great summer with the Class of 2023. Bootcamp will begin virtually in late May, then move to the Walter Cronkite  School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.

The 2023 class has already made news—it has expanded to 15 by adding Damon Brooks, a senior at the University of Maryland who will intern at The Washington Post.

“I’m so thankful of the opportunity to join SJI’s 31st class,” Brooks said. “I’m looking forward to learning from my new family and building lifelong relationships.” You can learn more about Damon and his journey by following him on Twitter (@damonbrooksjr).

The aspiring sports journalists of this year’s class will bring the number of SJI alums to more than 360. More than half of those graduates remain involved in sports media or communications.

SJI welcomes two new hosts this year: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Baltimore Banner, a news website founded by the Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, a nonprofit organization. The Banner launched in June 2022.

Four members of the 2023 class will intern at Gannett outlets—the Memphis Commercial Appeal, The Tennessean, Knoxville News-Sentinel and Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

“It’s our 31st class and that’s amazing,” said Leon Carter, a co-founder of SJI and editorial director of talent and development at The Athletic. “At some point I stopped counting the classes. All I will say to the Class of 2023 is be prepared to work hard. The industry needs your talents more than ever.”

SJI extends its thanks to the Cronkite School, our bootcamp host since 2019, and especially Dean Battinto Batts and assistant dean Brett Kurland.

We also say thank you to those in the TV, digital and print media industries who share their time with SJI classes, including long-time SJI instructors David Squires of N.C. A&T University and Malcolm Moran, director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon and Lisa Salters of ESPN, and Tom Rinaldi of FOX are also familiar faces in SJI classes.

“Bootcamp week is a high point for all of us involved with the program,” said Sandy Rosenbush, a co-founder of SJI and a news producer who works with ESPN’s Saturday Night Football crew. “We tell students that by the time bootcamp wraps up, they’ll be part of an extended family that cares deeply about them and is invested in their success. They smile at the idea—but on the final day, most everyone sheds a tear.”

The Class of 2023

Julian Basena

The Tennessean

University of Maryland


Damon Brooks

The Washington Post

The University of Maryland


Nathan Canilao

Southern California News Group

San Jose State University


Michael Chavez

Seattle Times

New Mexico State University


Jordan Davis


North Carolina A&T State University


Lanie De La Milera

Knoxville News Sentinel

University of South Florida 


Sarah Effress

Charlotte Observer

Northwestern University


Noah Furtado

Star Tribune

Arizona State University


Christina Huang

Yahoo Sports

University of Texas


Jerry Jiang

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Pepperdine University 


Kobe Mosley

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Butler University 


Lawrence Price

Kansas City Star

Northwestern University


Peter Rauterkus

Dallas Morning News

Louisiana State University


Tia Reid


Arizona State University


Anish Vasudevan

Baltimore Banner

Syracuse University 


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