Sports writer thankful for ride

Steve Helwick

I remember submitting my Daily Texan application back in September 2015.

What journalistic experience do you have?

None. I hadn’t written anything outside of an English paper. After contemplation, I realized that didn’t matter. Writing about sports was something I trained my whole life for, from my days reading the 752-page “NFL Record & Fact Book” in first grade to compiling Excel spreadsheets on NBA stats. I knew it was time to allow all that information materialize in the form of writing.

Fast forward four years, and I’ve been in places I never envisioned when my high school self committed to Texas as a chemistry major. It’s still hard to comprehend I stood on the sidelines at the Sugar Bowl and sat courtside at March Madness, and I’m forever grateful for experiencing such
moments firsthand.

Last January, another lifelong dream of mine came to fruition — I covered my favorite sports team. The San Antonio Spurs lured me into basketball during the 2003 NBA Finals, and 16 years later, I was in the AT&T Center writing about a crunch-time win over the Brooklyn Nets. I even received a death glare by my childhood hero Gregg Popovich for asking an ill-advised question in the press conference. Sorry, Pop.

While continuing to write for several outlets, I expanded my arsenal by adding broadcasting. Broadcasting allowed me to unleash my inner Ernie Johnson when calling highlights on air, film postgame standups from football stadiums across the country and even create a viral video asking partygoers about their NBA jerseys.

When I think about how I came this far, I know none of this happens without external support. First, I’d like to thank God, for it is He who makes all things possible in this life. Second, my family has been an integral part of every recap, feature and video tied to my name, and they deserve the world for their unwavering support.

Sometimes I wonder where my ardent passion for sports stems from, and the answer is very clear. Dad, I remember sprinting downstairs and parking next to you on the couch every Sunday night in Delaware to watch Chris Berman on NFL Primetime. Whether it’s attending NBA Playoffs games with you or watching Pittsburgh sports together, that same exhilaration from sports has prolonged into my early twenties. Because of your influence, your footprints have made just as much of a mark on this journey as mine.

Now that I’m graduating college and beginning a professional career, what’s next? I can assure you one thing: I’m not done writing about sports. I didn’t come this far only to come this far. Maybe I can cover all 39 Bowl games. Maybe I’ll be credentialed to the NBA Finals one day. It may sound improbable now, but when I think about the road I’ve traversed the past four years, improbable
is possible.