SJI Class of 2024

Meet
Sabrina McClain
School:
Arizona State
Host:
ESPN

My name is Sabrina McClain. This past December, I graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with my master's degree in sports journalism. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a minor in journalism and marketing from Sacramento State in 2022.

In my last semester at Arizona State University, I was a digital sports reporter for Cronkite News, where two of my stories were picked up and published by The Arizona Republic. During my time with Cronkite News, I wrote a season preview of the University of Arizona men’s basketball team that curated the second-highest engagement of all stories that semester. 

My Sports Journalism Institute internship this summer is with ESPN as a production assistant, where I will help produce NBA Today and SportsCenter in Los Angeles. One of my goals is to expand my knowledge within the multiple facets of sports journalism.

After my internship, I’m looking for a digital sports reporter position that will allow me to showcase my passion for a professional basketball, football, or baseball team.

I was born and raised in Riverside, California, and grew up a Lakers and Angels fan. While obtaining my minor in journalism at Sac State, the idea of sports journalism as a career came to fruition, and since they don’t offer sports journalism as a major, I knew I needed to go to graduate school to make my dreams a reality. My favorite moment as a sports journalist was when the Diamondbacks were headed to the World Series, and I had the privilege of interviewing Corbin Carroll’s high school coach and best friend, which allowed me to show the world the type of person he is.

Meet
Aaron Mammah
School:
University of South Florida
Host:
Naples Daily News
Meet
Dylan Ackerman
School:
Arizona State
Host:
Seattle Times

I’m Dylan Ackermann, a sports reporter and writer for Cronkite News’ Sports Bureau at Arizona State University, where I recently earned my bachelors in Sports Journalism with Magna Cum Laude honors and am currently on track to complete my Masters in Mass Communication in December.

This summer, my SJI internship is with the Seattle Times. 

I’ve had the privilege of immersing myself in sports at every level, from capturing once in a lifetime moments from various Arizona High School State Championship matches at AZCentral, to reporting on the historic “dentist office waiting room” Phoenix Suns Media Day for BackSportsPage in 2022, to chronicling Phoenix Rising FC’s improbable championship run for Cronkite Sports, to experiencing the highs and lows of collegiate basketball firsthand at Beloit College. 

My multifaceted experiences have uniquely shaped my ability to tell stories from a different and appreciative perspective, as I can empathize with the challenges, emotions and pressures athletes face.

Upon graduation, my goal is clear: to join a prestigious publication where I can explore beyond game performances, previews and recaps. I aspire to create stories that take readers behind the scenes, showcasing the dedication, sacrifices and humanity of these athletes while also analyzing and dissecting their pursuits. 

Growing up in San Francisco with family in Los Angeles, hopping in the car with my old man and embarking on countless road trips to catch Kobe Bryant in action was the norm. Since our first game together in 2009, I realized that I might not be destined for the pros, but I sure as heck needed to keep sports in my life somehow. 

Meet
Josh Crawford
School:
Syracuse
Host:
Memphis Commercial Appeal

My name is Joshua Crawford. My broadcast and digital journalism journey began at Prairie View A&M University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. There, I was not just a student but also a four-year letterman and defensive lineman. 

In 2024, I was fortunate to be part of the Sports Journalism Institute, which was the culmination of the work I’ve tried to put into sports media. Beginning in May 2022, I was a beat reporter and podcaster for Sports Illustrated/Fan Nation Syracuse and later transitioned to 247Sports. I did this while pursuing a master’s in broadcast and digital journalism from the S.I Newhouse School. I covered Syracuse football and basketball games, interviewed players and coaches, and hosted a weekly radio show and Twitch live stream for ESPN Syracuse. 

I proudly call Memphis, Tennessee, home. It’s a city known for its sports, rap, barbecue, and, unfortunately, crime. I was raised by a single mother from a tiny town four hours to the east called Sewanee, Tennessee, and my father was incarcerated in federal prison for 4.5 years - 56 months to be exact, which became my athletic number of choice through high school and college. I believe that my circumstances and ability to overcome them have made me a warrior, and I wear my scars as a reminder of what I’ve overcome and what has made me who I am today. 

During my final year at Prairie View, I secured internships with SiriusXM College Sports Programming and ESPN/Longhorn Network in Austin. These experiences were not just about learning but also about making a tangible impact. One of my proudest achievements was producing an HBCU football special, where I had the opportunity to have Anthony Herron interview Bomani Jones, an idol of mine in the sports media space. Additionally, being a part of an award-winning documentary crew for the project “Two Paths, One Direction,” a collaboration between USC’s Annenberg School and Prairie View A&M Hillard Hall students, was a high moment for me. The documentary, which focused on the distress college students faced in 2020, was awarded Best Documentary at the 2021 USC Film Festival. 

Writing is not just a skill I possess; it's my true passion. Over the years, I’ve honed my skills in social media management, interviewing, mastering various software programs, and video editing. My experiences with SiriusXM, ESPN, FanNation, and the New York Post have allowed me to develop and enhance skills like off-camera production, audio/visual editing, social media content creation, column writing, and in-person interviewing and hosting. 

I bring a unique perspective to any job, thanks to my diverse skill set, influence as a former Division I athlete, and youthful energy. I’m currently preparing

to intern at the Memphis Commercial Appeal this summer; I’m excited to bring my refined skillset to my hometown. 

My experiences as an HBCU Division I athlete give me a unique perspective that sets me apart in the sports media industry. This perspective is a valuable asset that few can offer. My athletic background has shaped my work ethic, discipline, and focus, as well as my ability to collaborate effectively with others.

Meet
Tori Garcia
School:
University of Texas at Austin
Host:
Dallas Morning News

I’m Tori Garcia, a rising senior staff writer at The Daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin. I previously covered women’s volleyball and softball, but I have experience reporting on a wide array of sports such as football, tennis and basketball. 

Some of my other journalism experience includes contributing to Reporting Texas TV as a broadcast reporter, working for multiple SI.com websites, such as Cowboys Country, Longhorns Country and All Cardinal SI, and writing for Men’s Journal: Pursuits in Sports, bridging the gap between pop culture and the NFL.

After I graduate in May 2025 with a degree in journalism, I will be looking to find a position that will lead me to my long-term goal of becoming a sideline reporter or beat writer for the MLB or NFL.

In my professional career in sports journalism, I aim to redefine the conventional boundaries by shifting the focus towards the human aspects of athletes.

To further introduce myself, I have a perfect 4.0 GPA at UT-Austin and am a Distinguished Honors Scholar, placing in the top 4% of my college academically.

Additionally, I am a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, a selective national honor society for journalists that only recognizes the top 10% of journalism/mass communications students on an academic standard.

This summer, I will be interning at The Dallas Morning News for the Sports Journalism Institute. I am most looking forward to sitting in the press box at Globe Life Field where I will be reporting on the Texas Rangers.

However, I am also thrilled to gain experience covering sports that I have yet to report on, such as hockey with the Dallas Stars and soccer with the Dallas FC.

I am a born and raised Austin Texan but have always been drawn to Houston sports – especially the Astros, Texans and Houston Cougars. I have always been a baseball fan, but my love for the sport definitely grew when I umpired little league baseball in high school.

Meet
Lawrence Goss
School:
Florida A&M
Host:
The Tennessean

My name is Lawrence Goss. I am a recent honors graduate of Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. While at FAMU, I served as a staff writer for the school newspaper, the Famuan, before elevating to sports editor. I also worked as a Multimedia Journalist for our school’s tri-weekly newscast before moving up to Sports Anchor. As you can tell, I have a true passion for sports storytelling in all its facets.
 
I previously interned with ESPN’s Andscape as a Rhoden Fellow, which gave me the opportunity to produce written and social media content covering the NBA, HBCU sports, the 2024 Men’s Final Four, the HBCU Swingman Classic during the 2023 MLB All-Star Week, and so much more.
 
I am originally from Atlanta. I grew up 15 minutes from what was then the Georgia Dome and rooted for my hometown team. My love for the team and community experiences has led me down the long road of loving sports.
 
In the long term, my past, present, and future journalistic experiences will land me on the sidelines as a sideline reporter, which is my dream job.
 
My Sports Journalism Institute internship this summer is in Nashville with the Tennessean. I hope to make this the experience of a lifetime while covering everything from the Tennessee Titan to LIV Golf tournaments and even NASCAR races. 

Meet
Matt Guzman
School:
Missouri
Host:
Kansas City Star
Meet
Perla Paredes Hernandez
School:
University of Texas at Austin
Host:
Houston Chronicle

I am Perla Paredes Hernandez, a psychology and sports media student at the University of Texas at  Austin. I am a sports reporter for the Daily Texan, covering collegiate and recreational sports.  I am also part of the Texas Student TV Sports Department and a baseball photographer for the Cactus yearbook.  

Post-graduation, I want to cover sports through various forms of journalism, from print to social.  Ultimately, I aspire to transition into television, with my dream position being a sideline reporter for  Major League Baseball. 

This summer, my Sports Journalism Institute internship is with the Houston Chronicle, where I will cover the Houston Astros and Houston Texans, among others. I aim to apply my knowledge to my university and improve the sports media field. 

I was born and raised in Zacatecas, Mexico, where sports were always present as entertainment, but a career in sports was far-fetched. Therefore, I always wanted to become a human rights lawyer; it was more “real,” hence the psychology degree.  

The first time I visited UT, I saw a burnt orange metal box, and I was hooked from there. I remember looking at the authors' names in the newspaper and being jealous while I had to study all the ways the 14th Amendment could be interpreted.  

I then joined my university's newspaper to stay close to sports journalism, and once I  started, I never wanted to stop. Finally, I let myself live what I always secretly wanted to do. 

Meet
Matthew Ho
School:
California Polytechnic State University
Host:
Southern California News Group

My name is Matthew Ho, and I’m the current sports editor and the incoming managing editor of Mustang News at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I also work as a local sports reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune, covering everything from high school football to wrestling. 

Basketball has always been my main sport. I played from a young age through high school. I’ve combined my passion for basketball with my passion for writing, and that’s how I found journalism. However, as I’ve gotten further in my journalism career, I’ve appreciated the art of storytelling and want to tell great stories surrounding all sports. 

Some of my other outside endeavors include producing an NBA podcast called Beyond the Arc, which has more than 2,000 plays, and being a freelance writer for USA Basketball, covering the men’s junior national team. 

I hope to work as an NBA reporter out of college. In the long term, I hope to become an editor and help writers grow and develop while having a voice at an impactful media company. 

Over the past year, I’ve been blessed to receive recognition for my work. I received the Jimmie and Suey Yee Fong grant through the Asian-American Journalist Association.

I also wrote a story about how the new age of college recruiting was affecting Cal Poly athletics, which earned a top-three placement at the College California Media Association awards.

Next fall, I will be a senior at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. I am a journalism major in public relations with a minor in entrepreneurship. 

My Sports Journalism Institute internship this summer is with the Southern California News Group. I grew up in Pasadena, so it is an honor to work for a paper that covers my local area. I hope to maximize this opportunity and cover everything from the Drew League to the Olympics.

Meet
Kamryn Jackson
School:
North Carolina A&T
Host:
Knoxville News Sentinel

My name is Kamryn Jackson, and I'm a recent North Carolina A&T State University graduate. At A&T, I served as the chapter president of Associated Press Sports Editors and as the managing editor of the A&T Register, covering sports teams at North Carolina A&T.

This past summer, I served as a Rhoden Fellow for ESPN's Andscape, where I attended events like the NFL Draft, the Big East Tournament, NBA All-Star Weekend, Washington Commanders training camps, and so much more. The coolest thing I've done in my journalism career is interview Clint Capela on NBA on TNT.

I'm a proud native of Prince George's County, MD, which is one of the wealthiest communities for Black Americans. My ultimate goal is to become a beat writer for a professional basketball or NFL team. But in the future, I would love to be a sports columnist.

This summer, I'll be interning at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Meet
Wynton Jackson
School:
Hampton University
Host:
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

I’m Wynton Jackson, a rising senior at Hampton University, where I was the web editor of the Hampton Script, and I previously served as the sports editor and a contributor. 

I also just completed a student content creator program with ClutchPoints’ HBCU section, powered by HBCU Pulse, where I mainly covered HBCU football and basketball stories. 

After graduation, I would like to become a basketball or football beat writer, either on the collegiate or professional level. My ultimate career goal is to become an NBA columnist, similar to ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Chris Herring. 

This past school year, I was inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism and Mass Communications Honors Society. I also earned recognition as the top scholar within the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton.

This summer, I will be an intern at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On top of learning how the professional newsroom operates daily, I hope to share compelling stories about some of Wisconsin’s professional teams, while honing my writing, interviewing and networking skills.

Although I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, my dad is from Akron, a city not far from Cleveland and is famous as the birthplace of LeBron James. My earliest sports memory comes from the 2009 NBA Playoffs, when James hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer over Hedo Turkoglu to win Game 2 against the Orlando Magic.

I’ve been a basketball junkie ever since, playing and consuming the sport from childhood through high school. I realized early on that my dreams of making it to the NBA were farfetched, so I figured I would make it to the league as a writer instead. 

I am eternally thankful to SJI for helping me pursue my lifelong dream and am excited to kick off my professional career.  

Meet
Ahmad Garnett
School:
Norfolk State University
Host:
Detroit Free Press

I am Ahmad Garnett, a spring 2024 graduate of Norfolk State University. There, I received my bachelor's degree in Mass Communications and General Broadcasting with Honors!

In my last semester at Norfolk State University, I was the Sports Editor for the school newspaper, The Spartan Echo. There, I interviewed former NBA Player and Norfolk State alum Kyle O'Quinn. I also covered Norfolk State Men's and Women's basketball for the 2023-2024 season, including the MEAC basketball tournament!

My Sports Journalism Institute internship this summer is with The Detroit Free Press as a Sports Intern. I will work the sports desk and then go out into the field to cover local professional team events. One of my goals is to interview Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell.

After my internship, I'm looking for a Sports reporter position that will allow me to cover high school, college, or professional sports in the DMV Area, where I can showcase my passion for football, basketball, baseball, and golf!

I was born and raised in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, also known as Princes George's County, about 15-20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. I grew up a fan of all sports teams in the D.C. Area. I played football, basketball, baseball, and golf, and I gained a passion for all of these sports. My favorite moment in my sports journalism career is interviewing Kyle O'Quinn on the court after the Norfolk State women's basketball team won the 2024 MEAC basketball tournament!

Meet
Olivia Janik
School:
University of Maryland at College Park
Host:
Baltimore Banner

I’m Olivia Janik, a women’s basketball writer for the Diamondback at the University of Maryland, where I’ve covered the team for the past two seasons.

I also contribute to Her Hoops Stats, covering women’s college basketball and the WNBA.

Now that I’m graduating, I hope to continue covering women’s sports, especially basketball, and to improve the quality and quantity of coverage.

I traveled to Cleveland to cover the 2024 Women’s Final Four for Her Hoop Stats this April.

I graduated from Maryland with a double major in journalism and history. My Sports Journalism Institute internship is with the Baltimore Banner. After witnessing firsthand the state's passion for sports, I’m excited to stay in Maryland for my internship.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where I attended plenty of White Sox and Bulls games. Still, it wasn’t until I arrived in Maryland and started following the women’s basketball team that I realized I wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism.

As a sophomore, I joined the Diamondback, first as a copy editor and then as a sports reporter. I covered the women’s lacrosse team’s 2022 Final Four run before switching to women’s basketball for my junior and senior years.

My favorite memory was covering Diamond Miller’s buzzer-beater to help Maryland upset Notre Dame in the final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in 2022.

Meet
Dhani Joseph
School:
Syracuse University
Host:
Yahoo! Sports

I’m Dhani Joseph, a contributing writer with The Daily Orange at Syracuse University, where I most recently served as the Volleyball Beat Writer.

I also have done freelance work for Syracuse.com, covering SU Women’s Basketball. Prior to this summer, I interned at Fox Sports and the New York Post.

Once I graduate, I’m looking to get a job in a top market  reporting on collegiate or professional sports. By the end of this internship, I’ll have worked in both the number one and two markets in New York and Los Angeles respectively. I thrived in New York and plan to do the same in LA, so I see no reason why I can’t start my career in a comparable market and do the same thing.

I served as President of Syracuse University’s National Association of Black Journalists chapter for the past two years.

I’ll be a senior in the fall at Syracuse University where I major in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and minor in African American Studies.

My Sports Journalism Institute internship this summer is with Yahoo Sports. I plan to focus heavily on feature writing covering the LA Dodgers, Sparks, Rams and Chargers, and Lakers, as well as doing Olympics coverage.

I’m from The Bronx, New York and grew up about 15 minutes  from Yankee Stadium. While the Yankees are my favorite MLB team, the Knicks are not my NBA team. That honor would go to the Boston Celtics.

One of my mentors that has supported me the most is Senior NBA Writer for Andscape Marc Spears. I met him during the NBA Draft Media Availability in 2023. I went up to him and ever since then he’s been a guy that’s been in my corner.

Meet
Chloe Patel
School:
Boston University
Host:
Providence Journal

Hi! My name Chloe Patel. I am a soon-to-be graduate at Boston University. At BU, I was the Fall 2023 editor-in-chief and Fall 2022 sports editor of the Daily Free Press, Boston University’s independent student newspaper, In my role as editor-in-chief, I managed a 20-person editorial board and a 200-person staff. I was also a layout and graphics editor at the publication. This past semester, I was a beat writer for Boston Hockey Blog, where I covered the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.

When I graduate from Boston University this August, I am looking forward to becoming a beat writer for women’s ice hockey or collegiate field hockey. I played field hockey in high school and enjoyed covering the sport alongside hockey and basketball at BU.

I’ve interned with MassLive, where I covered high school sports in Western Mass, in addition to the PWHL. I also freelanced with The Boston Globe during my time at BU and was part of the Daily Free Press editorial board awarded “New England College Newspaper of the Year” runner-up for the 2022-2023 academic year by the New England Newspaper and Press Association.

I’m an advertising major with a journalism minor graduating in August following Sports Journalism Institute and my internship with the Providence Journal this summer in Rhode Island. At the Journal, I’m excited to cover Rhode Island sporting events this summer!

Meet
Gracie Rawlings
School:
The University of Oklahoma
Host:
The Oklahoman

My name is Gracie Rawlings, and I have served as a sports reporter and assistant sports editor at the OU Daily. 

After graduating, I hope to get a job that allows me to write stories that humanize the sports industry while addressing issues that foster transparency and awareness about athletes, teams, and the sports landscape. 

I believe this can be done within any sport, but I hope to achieve my long-term goal of covering professional tennis—whether on a beat or nationally. I have also aspired to cover the MLB due to its deep history and storied traditions. 

At the OU Daily, where I will serve as sports editor in the fall, I have advocated for women in sports media on campus, promoting participation and increasing the number of women in leadership positions. 

I am a senior at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, where I will graduate in December 2024 with a degree in journalism. My Sports Journalism Institute internship will be at The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

I am from Champion, Texas, a designated ghost town, and I graduated with a class of 12. However, growing up, sports, specifically tennis and basketball, showed me the world. They gave me a community when I didn’t have one and changed my life.  

When I decided to go to OU, I was passionate about sharing that with people. I have been able to use journalism to serve, advocate, challenge, and change. I joined the OU Daily my freshman year and have covered Sooners in the NFL, softball, baseball, and men’s basketball. 

Sports and journalism have given me countless opportunities from covering OU softball’s first game at Love’s Field, the largest on-campus softball stadium in the United States, to being a part of SJI. 

I can not wait to see where this experience takes me. See you all in Oklahoma City.

Meet
Shelby Swanson
School:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Host:
Raleigh News & Observer

I’m Shelby Swanson, the former sports editor of The Daily Tar Heel, the independent student newspaper of UNC-Chapel Hill, where I managed 25 writers and two assistant editors this past year.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, I’ve also contributed stories to The Raleigh News & Observer, the Miami Herald and the Chatham News + Record.

After graduating in the spring of 2025 with a degree in media and journalism and Hispanic literatures and cultures, I’d like to write for a regional daily newspaper — allowing me to build personal connections with a local audience. 

While I find my best stories transcend the boundaries of a single sport, my ultimate dream is to become a basketball or baseball feature writer for a long-form outlet like The Ringer or The Athletic. 

I have plenty of experience covering top-tier college athletics at UNC, where I’ve served as a beat writer for men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball and field hockey — a team I’ve had the pleasure of covering through multiple national championships. 

But I can do more than just sports coverage. This year I placed first in the Feature Writing category of the Hearst Journalism Awards for my story about a divorce lawyer, Charla Strawser, who is fueled by a childhood tragedy —the day she saw her father take the life of her mother.

I’ll spend this upcoming summer interning with The Raleigh News & Observer, where I hope to put together a multimedia project about the commercialization of high school sports, among other daily assignments. After that, I’ll spend my final year of college as a senior writer with The DTH sports desk, looking to enhance my long-form investigative and feature-writing skills. 

My love for journalism traces back to family road trips as a child. My dad, Jon, has a bucket-list goal of attending a baseball game in every MLB stadium across the country. So far, we’ve been to 20 out of 30. 

During many of those games, my dad, a die-hard Red Sox fan, would tell me stories about the players to keep me engaged. Those tales ignited my passion for journalism. I hope that one day, the stories I write can spark that same awe in the minds of others.