Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has put his journalism degree from Lehigh University to use since he entered the NBA. McCollum has had his own shows on SiriusXM Radio and Portland’s Jam’n 107.5 FM, appeared on SportsCenter as a guest analyst and penned pieces for outlets like Sports Illustrated and The Players Tribune. CJ is now using his stature and experience to give journalism students an experience to gain real experience and work.
As part of his “Press Pass” program, CJ is partnering with Prep2Prep, to give 20 hand-selected high school students the opportunity to cover local high school sporting events, receive mentorship and personalized feedback from journalists.
“I love working with these students as they gain hands-on experience as members of the media,” said McCollum in a press release. “This behind-the-scenes look will expose them to all of the different ways to pursue a career in journalism and help them focus on what draws their interest.”
The program will kick off on February 8 when McCollum meets with the students, who were chosen based on applications to the program. On February 13, CJ’s Press Pass students will receive media credentials to attend the Trail Blazers’ matchup against the Atlanta Hawks where they will be on assignment to produce a column, video or podcast of the game. In addition to a back-of-house tour and post-game press conference attendance, the group will also participate in an exclusive Q&A session with local journalists, McCollum and one of the team’s assistant coaches.
Assignments will be submitted to McCollum and the student with the best piece will be recognized on-air when the group visits the iHeart Radio station to watch CJ tape one of his shows on March 24.