Ciao, I am Valeria
Life catapulted me into the sports reporting world without the slightest planning. As usual. I was just led by my passion for sports, my love for adventure, and that touch of irresponsibility that characterizes my persona.
I was an old-school Southern-Italian athlete and student when my dreams brought me to America: A challenge that started as a joke and at times seemed insurmountable, but unfolded into real life. Almost by chance. After having spent most of my life between swimming trainings and books, I opened my eyes and found myself living in a beautiful Miami campus that reminded me every day of a more tropical 90210 Beverly Hills TV series. I felt on a TV set, but it was real life.
I fell in love with basketball watching Allen Iverson play from a front row seat at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Family friends had given me their season ticket for that game as a ‘welcome to the US’ gift. It changed my life.
The whole entertainment and production world behind the game, the ambiance, the shows, the squeaking of the sneakers on the court blew my mind. It was like daydreaming: I was coming from Naples and very tired of the ubiquitous nature of soccer in the Old Continent.
During my internship with NBC television after my UM master’s degree, I asked to go to an NBA game with the crew. And insisted. Asked again and again. When I finally got to work at my first basketball game – Miami Heat vs LA Lakers – national TV was covering the event and Kobe Bryant was the first one to get on the court, shooting like there’s no tomorrow.
A TV executive invited me to discover the world of ESPN production. In disbelief, I found myself working for the main sports network in the world. I never grasped the magnitude of what was happening to me, but I remember I couldn’t believe I was getting paid for being on an NBA court. It became my magical world.
I became the only Italian to have ever interviewed- one on one- all the biggest basketball stars. I started covering other sports, more interested to the human behind the athlete than to the regular season’s game result.
My words for everyone who has big dreams: Nothing is impossible and every day is your audition for the life you want.