Editor’s note: We’re excited to announce that we’ve hired our new beat writer, Andrew Vailliencourt, for the upcoming season. Andrew will be taking over all of the day-to-day duties that Jordan Littman had for the last two seasons and we’re thrilled to have him on board.
Make sure to follow him on Twitter and look for his coverage in the weeks and months to come. His introduction post follows.
The start of a new school year signals the beginning of many new things. One of those things for me is the privilege to cover Indiana basketball for Inside The Hall, taking over for Jordan Littman.
Since many of you don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am a junior at IU, where I am majoring in journalism and minoring in business. I’m from Brighton, Michigan, which is a town roughly 20 minutes from Ann Arbor.
I’ve always been a huge sports fan, and have always had a knack for writing. I made a sports magazine in my notebooks in elementary school and attempted to sell it to other kids of the bus. I was an athlete, nerd and band geek in high school.
I got my first taste of sports media in high school when I covered high school sports for mlive.com. I also reported live from high school basketball games for a local radio station, in addition to being my high school newspaper’s sports editor.
Here at IU, I have experience in writing with the Indiana Daily Student, and on the radio with WIUX. I was the volleyball beat writer for the IDS my first semester as a freshman, and then covered Kyle Schwarber and the IU baseball team in the spring. Sophomore year I covered the men’s soccer team and the baseball team a second time.
At WIUX, I have hosted a sports-talk radio show since my second semester at IU, and will again be a co-host of The War Room, which will air every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. on wiux.org/stream or 99.1 FM in Bloomington.
I’ve also broadcasted multiple IU football, basketball and baseball games, and had a weekly football column on the station’s website.
Following my freshman year, I interned at a small radio station in Michigan. This past summer, I was selected as a Pulliam Intern by the Hoosier State Press Association, and was an intern at the Pharos-Tribune newspaper in Logansport, Indiana.
Not being from Indiana, I was thrown into the IU basketball tradition two years ago when I arrived on campus. Of course, I had followed the team the previous year during its quest for banner number six, since I knew I would be attending the school.
But certain things cannot be explained until you are swallowed by the atmosphere itself. I was truly introduced to IU basketball the night I stood in my seat at Assembly Hall and watched IU beat an undefeated Wisconsin. The atmosphere was incredible, and like only one other place I’d seen a sporting event – The Big House.
I did not grow up a Hoosier fan. During my most impressionable time as a sports fan growing up, IU was down in basketball and practically unheard of in football. I have a perspective on things very different than many of Inside the Hall’s readers, something I believe allows me to be very honest in my evaluations of the players, coaching staff and program. However, being a student, I also gain another view into the team.
I bled maize and blue for Michigan football. Football in Ann Arbor isn’t just a game. It’s a lifestyle. Just like basketball in Indiana. I understand, and appreciate, that passion.
I’m very excited to join the ITH team, and look forward to engaging all of you throughout the season. Thank you!