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Pepper Persley, 11-Year-Old Sports Journalist Who Made Her First Debut As A WNBA Sideline Reporter

 

Camilla “Pepper” Persley grew up as a curious kid, often asking questions specifically about sports and the WNBA. As fate would have it, her curiosity led her into journalism and broadcasting where she now has the opportunity to ask questions about sports and NBA.

She recently appeared as a WNBA sideline reporter for ESPN and had the opportunity to interview several athletes after the game, including A’ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray. Appearing as a WNBA sideline reporter is not the first time she has made a broadcast appearance, according to Sports Illustrated.

She got her first interview with New York Liberty player Sugar Rodgers when she was only six years old. Since then, she has gone on to hone her interviewing skills, and began working professionally when the pandemic broke.

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“I wanted to do something to bring a smile to people’s faces because this is a depressing time,” she told Sports illustrated. “I know a lot of people feel lonely and I want to be there for people. My dad was like, ‘Well, you’ve done interviews in the past, why not that?’ So, I just started doing it more and more. I started going to press conferences and getting gigs and now I’m here.”

Persley has in the past conducted some big interviews. She has interviewed First Lady Jill Biden, Michelle Obama and the late Chadwick Boseman even before finishing fifth grade. Nonetheless, Persley says she is still waiting for her big dream interview with Serena Williams.

Now the 11-year-old is torn between becoming a professional WNBA player and a journalist. She is so passionate about both careers that she hopes to do both at the same time. “I mean, it’ll be kind of nuts. Maybe I could cover the game while I’m playing in it? Hmm, probably not, but that would be super cool,” she noted.

Persley says she has encountered people who do not take her seriously. However, she says she remains unfazed and only focuses on those who give positive reviews of her duty.

Aside from interviewing people and the WNBA, Persley is also passionate about anti-bullying, having been bullied herself, by two of her friends. To prevent other kids from getting bullied, she created an anti-bullying video, which she recently put on her Instagram.

“I’m trying to spread the message.” She says of her advocacy. “To a kid who is a bully, I try to convince them that they shouldn’t be doing that; to somebody who has been bullied, I want them to know, whoever told you something that was mean or inconsiderate, that they’re most likely just jealous of you or have something else going on in their lives. It has been an important topic, having it happen to me and just wanting it to not happen to anybody else.”

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Written by PH

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