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Outside of Sports

Outside of Sports

How my family has shaped my life

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My older brother, my mother, and me.

While sports are a huge part of my life they are not everything. My family, friends, and even co-workers have played a crucial part in my life. I have been grateful enough to be surrounded by those who really care for me a support me in whatever I do.

To start, it was my father who has really made a huge impact on the person I am today. He introduced me to movies, music, sports and countless other things that really shaped my personality. My father is probably my best friend. He is the first person I call with good or bad news. One day I hope to be the kind of father he was to me for my kids.

My mother has always been there for me through the difficult times. She is the one that has shaped my beliefs and my thinking. She was always the one to drive me to the different basketball tournaments I had and never complained. I think that is the key to knowing my mom. She is the hardest working person I know and she will never complain about anything. It is inspiring to see that growing up and it has made a lasting impact on the way I put all my effort into what I am doing.

Next, my older brother. Yes we went through phases growing up were we would fight, yell, and jus quite simply annoy the hell out of each other. Now, we are the closest of friends. We have gone on camping trips together, we constantly talk on the phone as now he lives is Wisconsin. My brother is one of the most talented people I know. He is an artist that puts out amazing work and just to see how he is constantly striving to be better with each project. Seeing someone want to strive and work to be better growing up made, me realize what it takes to be great at what you do. You can check out his awesome work here on his site.

Here is one of my favorite pieces of work he has done.

Now probably my biggest supporter is my girlfriend of three years. Even though she may not care at all about sports she will get excited whenever I talk about what happened at the radio station or what happened with my beloved Chicago Cubs. She is always so happy and gets along with anyone and everyone. Seeing how she just loves helping people has really made me want to just always get better as a person everyday.

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My girlfriend and I at the State Fair. Seriously so out of my league its not even funny.

Last but not least, my co-workers. Working at KXnO and at Drake Athletic Communications I have been surrounded by some truly amazing people. I have always wanted to work in sports and be involved with people that I am inspired by. Working in radio and for Drake I am with people that push me to be better constantly and to never strive for just “ok”. It is a true dream come true.

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Outside of Sports

My first big interview

My chat with Lilly Hiatt

I saw Lilly Hiatt preform for the first time at Vinyl Cup Records during my senior year of high school. She is a melodic mix of country, rock, and punk and I instantly fell in love with her music and her attitude.

Before attending Drake University and before working at KXnO, I was a student at DMACC writing for the Campus Chronicle. I was usually covering their baseball team, but I wanted to change it up and cover Hiatt’s up coming album as a feature.

So, I started just going for it. I knew that it would be a long shot to try to get an interview with Hiatt and I also knew that the only way I could reach her was sending her a message on Instagram, which is not a great strategy. During the course of the day I was at work and on my break I got a reply and she was down for an interview.

This was the biggest interview I had at this point. I was a freshman just excited to even talk to one of my favorite artists. We began talking about the recording process and where the songs came from. As not only a fan of her music, but a fan of all music including her Grammy winning father John Hiatt’s as well. So, hearing the stories from recording with the guitarist from Cage the Elephant and writing songs with her dad made this one of the easiest interviews I have conducted as I was intrigued by every little detail she brought up.

Writing the story was a really fun experience too as I had never covered a musician’s new album before. So, I looked to some of my biggest journalism inspirations for help. As a kid I was infatuated with the movie “Almost Famous” which tells the story of Cameron Crowe, the movies writer/director, who was 15 writing for Rolling Stone Magazine. Crowe has a website with all of his original stories ranging from sitting down and talking to Jackson Browne to traveling with Led Zeppelin.

Throughout writing the feature I would continually look back at his stories and how he was able to make you feel like you were in the room with these amazing artists.

After the story was published I was so proud that I sent it to everyone I knew. Then one morning I had a bunch of notifications on my phone. I looked online and Hiatt and Vinyl Cup had shared my story. I have always been grateful to how generous Hiatt was to a 19 year-old kid from Iowa and I will never forget the fun I had covering that story.

You can read the story here.