Living a Dream at the NBA Finals

UMKC grad Simone Bridges landed a job at America’s top minority sports blog

Simone Bridges, a 2012 University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate, still can’t believe it. Yes, that was her asking basketball phenom LeBron James about his legacy. She has the YouTube clip to prove it.

“This has taught me that if you have a dream, you go for it,” Bridges said in a telephone interview from San Antonio, where she was covering the NBA Finals for the national sports blog, BlackSportsOnline. “Don’t sit and wait for opportunities to happen. Make them happen.”

Bridges, a UMKC Communications Studies major who played women’s basketball, made an opportunity happen. Last fall, she wrote an email to Robert Littal, the creator and chief executive officer of BlackSportsOnline, to ask about writing opportunities. She knew the email was a long shot. Journalism, especially sports journalism, is a highly competitive field. Especially for a woman, especially a black woman.

But Littal wrote back, asked for writing samples and then she was hired as a staff writer in October. Since then, she’s had a whirlwind of BlackSportsOnline assignments including covering the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Kansas City and the NCAA Basketball Tournament in Oklahoma City. And now the NBA Finals.

Bridges credits her experience at UMKC for giving her the tools she needed to achieve her dream career.

“Kansas City is my other home,” said Bridges, who is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at the University of North Texas in her home state of Texas. “UMKC was a great education — not just academically but culturally. It taught me how to interact with people, how to build relationships and how to be confident.”

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