22 September, 2022
01 October
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Australian teens sharpen career focus after working as Media Rookies at World Cup

SYDNEY (Australia) - The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup has ignited the passions of a couple of teenagers to one day work in the media.

Amity Starick, a 16-year-old student at Tenison Woods College in South Australia, and 17-year-old Nate Siasat, a student at Marian Catholic College in New South Wales, took part in the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 Media Rookies program and definitely made the most of the opportunity.

The program was open to Australian high school students from the age of 14 and over that have a strong interest in sport, journalism or media, and who love to create content. Starick and Siasat were the lucky ones to be selected.

Each attended a day session of games, and a night session, and not only got a first-hand look at how things operate. The two actually gained experience working in the media.

"Everything has just been so unreal and nothing that I would have ever expected in my life to happen to me," said Starick, who ventured into the mixed zone to interview Australian Opals Marianna Tolo and Lauren Jackson, and also attended a post-game press conference and asked coach Sandy Brondello a question.

"My favorite part honestly would have to be meeting Lauren Jackson," Starick said. "She's a legend in basketball in Australia. Getting to meet her and interviewing her about her experience and the Canada game was amazing."

Australian Opals Lauren Jackson and Marianna Tolo courtside in Sydney

Siasat was also enthusiastic about being at the World Cup and going to the mixed zone and press conferences.

He enjoyed listening to Serbia coach Marina Maljkovic, but at the same time discovered that journalists have to be patient because sometimes, coaches and players arrive late.

"I got to see the behind-the-scenes of the media industry within FIBA itself, and to see different roles and how they all work together to project this entire tournament out to the public," he said.

Seeing how everything is connected at basketball events, from the teams to the broadcasting crews, commentators and photographers and FIBA and LOC staff, was a real eye-opener.

"From a viewers standpoint, you don't really think about that stuff," Siasat said. "You just watch it. But when you dissect it and see how involved it is it's very interesting..."

Amity Starick and Nate Siasat in the Media Tribune at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022

Starick says being a media rookie has reinforced her desire to have a career in communications.

"I've already thought of going off to university and getting degrees in media and international relations, that sort of stuff," she said. "I could definitely see myself doing this sort of thing in my future.

"I would love to do commentary, or writing, journalism. To be surrounded by this would be awesome."

Siasat, who says he enjoyed meeting the players, is now very interested in a media career, too.

"I've already had a bit of an interest in this career choice but actually seeing people in this career, something they enjoy, it makes me want to pursue it even more," he said.

Thousands of fans have attended games in Sydney to cheer for their countries and will never forget attending the World Cup.

One of the legacies of the competition could end up being that the media rookies program lit a fire inside two youngsters, Starick and Siasat, that went on to have successful careers in communications or basketball.