VERGE MEETS: ANGEL GRAY

Photographer: B. Alyssa Trofort
Videographer: Brittney Janae
Hair/MUA: Porsche
Wardrobe Stylist: Keri Henderson

 

My name is Angel Gray and I’m the sideline reporter for the Cleveland Cavaliers for Fox Sports Ohio. Angel Gray is a black woman, I am just an individual that doesn’t take no for an answer and understands my worth in this field and in life.

Being a student-athlete helped me get to this career path because it gave me confidence in who I was and just as an overall person.

From being a student-athlete I’m now a sideline reporter; and not just a sideline reporter, I don’t want to limit it to that. I’m an analyst as well for women’s basketball and men’s basketball and was the first African American woman with Stadium as their analyst as well. When I’m looking at all the things I am being given now, it’s because being a student-athlete taught me how to be driven, set goals and go after them.

The biggest adjustment for me for working alongside men in the NBA was understanding my worth and my value and not listening to that outside voice of ‘she’s just there because she’s a pretty face’ or ‘she’s just there because they wanted someone who played basketball’

and knowing that it’s more than that.  I’ve invested so much into this sport and when you love a game of basketball as much as I do, that passion is shown to everyone else, so these guys understood what I was about.  My mentor told me first you get their attention by how you look, then you keep their attention on what you say, so that’s what I go for as far as understanding that what I’m saying has value to this game.

The NBA has its challenges because you are a female amongst many men but you have to stand your ground. The thing that stood out to me was a black girl saying ‘Fox Sports Ohio thank you so much for hiring someone who looks like me’.

That settles with me because now it’s so much bigger than who I am, showing up or the game I’m covering- it’s that representation matters. It’s not the fact that I just belong, it’s the fact that I understand that I belong as well as everybody else whatever nationality that may be. We have to continue to defy the odds until we have not just a seat at the table but we’re leading the conversations as well.

I belong because I put in the work, and UBelong I think is for anybody who is saying ‘I want my big break, I want a chance to chase my dreams’. You take that into your hands and take the reigns and say this is something I want for myself. So for me, I know I belong because I’ve challenged myself every day to be bigger and better than anything that I set my goals to.

My name is Angel Gray and UBelong.