Student Journalists Participate in Final Four Media Events

By Christine Le, Jersey Village HS

Cypress, TX (April 6, 2016) Aspiring journalists with an interest in sports journalism attended the Full Court Press Seminar at the Final Four, organized by the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Purdue University, on April 1 at NRG Center.

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Cy Lakes HS students Katia Villafuerte, Lauren Axel, and Kamryn Jones; Jersey Village HS students Christine Le and Crystal Hernandez

Students from all over Houston, including CFISD’s Jersey Village, Cypress Woods and Cypress Lakes high schools, received a hands­-on experience as they dressed for the occasion and practiced reporting etiquette at a panel discussion presided by past U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) president and Hall of Fame member Malcolm Moran, along with Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, Jim O’Connell of the Associated Press and Dana O’Neil from

“What really stuck out to me was how all of these press conferences work, because I’ve never been to one and I’ve never really gotten to experience behind the scenes. I’ve always seen it on TV but never in person to see what everything is like,” Cypress Lakes sophomore Kamryn Jones said.

With their all-access pass to media areas within NRG Stadium, the journalists sat in on live panels with the Final Four teams—the Syracuse Orange, Villanova Wildcats, Oklahoma Sooners and North Carolina Tar Heels, as well as watch the teams’ live practices.

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“This seminar was an opportunity for me to experience the atmosphere in which a sports journalist works when covering an event like the NCAA Final Four,” Cypress Woods junior Matthew Ramos said.

Using key pieces of advice that were discussed by professionals with years of experience under their belt, the students followed in their footsteps as they too had the opportunity to ask questions directed towards the players and coaches.

“Getting to experience the behind the scenes of the sports media industry was my favorite part of the seminar. It gave me a chance to feel more confident in myself and be taken seriously by everyone in the business,” Jersey Village senior Crystal Hernandez said.

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With the different aspects of the press seminar, many of the striving journalists looking to pursue a career in sports media highlighted insight passed on to them that will help further their careers in the industry.

“One piece of advice I received was to find any excuse to write and get published, even if it’s some back door newspaper that prints behind a Kroger, take advantage of that and get your name out there. Every time you write, you are getting better as a writer,” Cypress Woods junior Billy Schuerman said.

The following CFISD students attended the Full Court Press Seminar:

  • Christine Le and Crystal Hernandez, Jersey Village High School;
  • Jordan Miller, Felicia Hernandez, Matt Ramos and Billy Scheurman, Cypress Woods High School; and
  • Kamryn Jones, Lauren Axel, Olivia Hernandez and Katia Villafuerte, Cypress Lakes High School.
Courtesy of the District