By Pen Moodz
Monica McNutt. Polo Kerber. Cassy Athena.
This trio reflects the landscape of basketball as we know it. Each of them all so dynamic, engaging and captivating and their paths to the game equally as unique.
My favourite thing about LeagueBiz is witnessing how Denis is able to make his guests feel right at home. He has this welcoming demeanor that lowers the guard of his interviewees, which lets them tell their story in the most natural way. If you pay close attention, this is evidently seen throughout the episode. If I were to pick one moment though, it would be when Monica pulled her feet onto the couch to sit cross legged, with a pillow sat on top to rest her arms. Denis walked up to me after the taping with a big smile and shared, “I knew this episode was going to be dope the moment I saw Monica kick back!” This is exactly why Monica is one of the faces of ESPN, because she too has a natural ability to remain herself, even when the cameras tuning into millions on the other side are still rolling. Actions speak louder than words and a resounding takeaway from her presence alone is the importance of authenticity.
Polo’s back story is so interesting, because like many of you, he had a passion for sport, an ability to network and understanding of communication. Little did he know though, that it would result in him telling stories and building brand profiles for some the biggest professional athletes. Branding sits at the intersection of everything that is communicated in the world. This very blog is an example of that. Polo’s inclination to push himself outside of his comfort zone earned him invitations to some of the most prestigious sporting events, like the Super Bowl. To the point where he told us that he’s tired of going! What?! I’m still laughing at that comment, Polo! Next time, feel free to swing your tickets this way, my man!
Finally, the lady with the most prestigious watermark in sports, Ms. Cassy Athena. She’s your favourite photographer’s, favourite photographer. Freezing frames for the likes of Lebron James, Trae Young and Zion Williamson. The list of All-Stars truly goes on and on. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows for her. Coming up in the game, she was met by the restraint of gatekeepers and organizations, that attempted to shun her out from doing what she was most passionate about. Time and time again Cassy was tested, but understanding the importance of staying the course of her journey is what allowed her to blossom into one of the most beloved personalities within the culture of sport. As a woman in the Biz, she aims to lift as she climbs and open doors for others that were once closed on her. Monica, in her bubbly fashion, stated at the outset what we were all too shy to say, “I’m just here to get a photo by Cassy Athena!”
Watch Episode 3 of LeagueBiz Season 1