Recently I was given an opportunity to chase my dreams and observe and assist in an interview and video production with Georgia Tech legend Joe Hamilton in Atlanta. Interviewing a college football Hall of Famer puts me one step closer to being a professional athlete or sports analyst.
I looked to Mr. Alejandro Danois, Editor-in-Chief of The Shadow League as my mentor. Mr. Danois conducted the interview while I observed and listened. My friend Taj McKnight who is interested in videography and photography was mentored by Chris, the videographer in charge of the technical aspects of the video shoot.
This experience helped further my motivation. Through the words of Mr. Hamilton himself, I have learned to seize the opportunities that are provided to me, because I never know when they’ll appear again.
Mr. Hamilton seemed ecstatic to see both of us taking advantage of the opportunity. He said repeatedly, “It’s great to see you boys doing what you are at such a young age.” Mr. Hamilton was kind and inspirational. Hearing his answers made me want to play and talk about sports for the rest of my life. His answers always seemed to revolve around the concept of family, love and just the exciting and wonderful feeling when playing sports.
Taj and I were described as PA’s, Production Assistants. We were tasked with setting up the area in which the interview occurred. Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Danois and Chris provided a lot of insight on how to help and do what was needed.
I also learned that, as a sports analyst and coordinating interviews and different aspects of film production, there's a lot more that goes into it that you don't see on the finished product and that things will not always be perfect. The place chosen for the interview was on the roof of one of the Georgia Tech buildings. The roof reeked of the smell of doughnuts, tacos, pizza and coffee mixed together. The location also seemed to be 50 degrees hotter than everywhere else as the sun beamed down on us.
Regardless of the conditions, I still got an amazing opportunity to live out my dream.
After the interview concluded, Taj and I were tasked with providing beverages to the cast and crew. Fortunately, no one but Mr. Hamilton asked for anything, but as we were making our way back to him… we couldn’t find him. This was one of the one of the funniest, yet nerve racking moments in my life.
I kept thinking to myself “We had one job!”
As I reflect over this experience, moving forward, I will be prepared for what life has in store for me, including looking for colleges, internships and more mentors. I am grateful for the assistance, encouragement, opportunity and inspiration that this experience has given me.
Although communication is one of my downsides, I now understand the importance of networking and presenting myself and my ideas to others.
I want to thank The Shadow League, Mr. Danois, and my Mother. If it weren't for them I wouldn’t be able to kick-start my dreams, which I now realize can become a reality through hard work, persistence and being ready to seize opportunities when they present themselves.