Flippin says her grandfather sparked her love for sports


Ashanti Thomas

Zaria Flippin, a sophomore sports media relations major, records her podcast called “Sportz Shortz” in the Booth Library study room. Flippin’s podcast is centered around news occuring in sports and gives her opinions and previews on the topic on Friday afternoon.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

Zaria Flippin is a sophomore journalism student concentrating on sports media relations.

She has quite a bit on her plate as she is the Editor-in-Chief for the Warbler student publication at Eastern, she hosts her podcast “Sportz With Zaria”, and she is an intern for Just Good Network, an internet sports network.

Flippin is not an Illinois native as she is from South Carolina. She said people often ask her why she chose EIU when they learn she is from South Carolina.

“I really wanted to go out of state,” Flippin said. “I was looking up really good sports schools or schools that had really good sports majors.”

She said the first two on her list were Clemson and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but since she also lived in Nebraska for 10 years, she wanted to go somewhere that was not South Carolina or Nebraska.

The third on her list was Eastern. She said she knew nothing about EIU before she applied.

“The worst thing they could say is no,” Flippin said. “So I applied and they sent me my acceptance letter in a span of 24 hours.”

Right before she graduated high school, she took a trip to the campus after they offered her a scholarship and her acceptance.

She fell in love with the campus and decided that she wanted to attend Eastern for the next four years.

After recording, Zaria Flippin, a sophomore sports media relations major, does some edits before she posts her completed “Sportz Shortz” podcast on social media. Flippin focused on the NFL playoffs and how 49ers will face the Eagles in the Booth Library study room Friday afternoon. (Ashanti Thomas)

Flippin chose the sports route because of her love for sports as she was growing up and it brought her closer with her dad and grandpa.

“My grandpa, he would always have on something sports related,” Flippin said. “It’d be like Mike & Mike or SportsCenter or literally anything and I would just sit there [and watch].

She said she was originally planning to go with a music major because she had a love for music, but when her grandfather passed away, she was able to cope by watching and consuming as much sports as she could.

“I remember that summer I pretty much locked myself in the basement and just started watching old sports highlights and I fell back in love with it,” Flippin said. “But actually finding a deeper love to it just because I didn’t realize how much it brought my family together until he died.”

Now her days as a sophomore at EIU are filled with sports as she takes on sports classes, writes sports stories, and works with her sports internship, and her sports podcast.

She said an average day for her is attending classes and then working on all of the things she is part of until she goes to sleep whether that is the Warbler, the podcast, her internship, or just catching up on highlights of different sports and teams.

Flippin said her favorite thing, while she loves everything, is her internship with Just Good Network. She said she has been with them since last February.

“I’ve had so much fun with it throughout the time that I’ve been there,” Flippin said. “I’ve actually made lifelong friends out of that internship.”

Flippin said that the best advice she would give to a student that has dreams of going into sports is to get connections whenever possible.

“Connections are so important,” Flippin said. “I thought that was the biggest overstatement in my life until I started.”

She said she connects with as many people as she can through social media.

Flippin’s dream is to bring more coverage to her high school, to get an internship with the NFL or the NBA to do social media work. She said she has been applying for different internships already and hopes to build more into her career in sports as she gets through her education at Eastern.


Kate Stevens can be reached at [email protected] or 581-2812