Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates.
Prince James Story wants to explore the intersection of sports and culture and tell the stories of those in underrepresented communities. Story will take a major step towards that goal when he graduates with his master's degree in sports journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Story received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he double-majored in communications and African American studies. He also spent a year working as a graduate assistant with ASU’s Global Sport Institute.
“I grew up on the southside of Atlanta,” Story said. “So that was my baseline. Then I went to Birmingham. They have a legacy for the history of the civil rights movement. That's why I studied African American studies and knowing where I came from, knowing where my family comes from and just trying to help people moving forward that are less fortunate.”
While Story aims to be a sports journalist, he was able to fulfill his passion of reporting on underserved communities as a reporter for the Carnegie-Knight News21 program at Cronkite. This year's project, “Unmasking America,” focused on disparities that were caused or deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very proud of that project because it was out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I'm a sports reporter and a lot of stories are usually feature stories or game stories. My specific story was health care in rural America. I was able to build a bond with the people I interviewed. We had this understanding that I wasn't in their position but I feel their pain.”
Here’s what Story had to say about his time at ASU.
Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sports journalism?
Answer: I kind of always knew I wanted to be a sports journalist. I grew up watching Stuart Scott on television, so he is one of the people I looked up to. Bill Rhoden’s a professor at the Cronkite School. He's another person I looked up to because with the intersection between sports and culture, he's like a master at that. So I've always wanted to major in sports journalism.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: Your network is your net worth. So always be kind to people, always do your best, put out the best where you can and make those relationships.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I wanted to come to the best sports journalism program in the nation, I wanted to be the best, so I decided I need to learn from the best.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: Maureen West because she gave me the opportunity to be myself and thrive. She helped me be free. She let me write the stories I wanted to write about, push those buttons and push me towards other opportunities that I thrive in. She's the reason I did News21. She gave me that confidence to be myself. I owe a lot to Maureen.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Something my pops told me one time is practice, preparation and perseverance. I think one thing that sticks with me always is you're gonna have ups and downs but the three P's, I kept with me. Every time I'm down or every time I have a big assignment or I don't think I'm ready for the opportunity that's presented to me, I just think about that. You got to practice what you're doing. You prepare for it and persevere.
Question: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: On our lunch break for the Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau, I eat with my friends at the tables under the law school. Just being with them and taking a break from the day, those are some of the fondest moments I had on campus.
Question: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I'm searching for openings for either sports reporters or openings where I can cover issues in underserved communities.
Question: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: There are so many issues that need to be solved. Probably finding housing or temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness so they don't have to sleep on the streets.
Written by Alyssa Gomez
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