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The Story of DJ Hamilton: College

The College Era was an interesting time for me: A time when I had my first car, my first love, worked most of my first job at KFC during those years, and created my brand in the DJ’s Sports Show podcast and website that has reached people globally around the world where I’ve inspired people, sports announced, radio hosted at New Paltz, and so forth.

College is a time when you become more independent as a young adult and start pursuing the respective career you desire that you want to do for the rest of your life. It also is a time to have fun, make new friends, and do as many activities as you can to expand your network as these are the final years you’ll ever be around a majority of people in the same age group as yourself.

I decided to start my college career at Rockland Community College as a safe option despite getting into schools such as Quinnipiac, Hartford, New England College, etc... Still, they were too expensive and would’ve drowned me in loans for four years… Glad I listened to myself.

Rockland Community College

I didn’t want to go to RCC initially when in high school. I wanted to go away badly. Quinnipiac was a great school that had ESPN internships as I made up my mind to become a Communications Media major in my junior year when I was out hurt.

I’m glad I did attend community college looking back now as I saved a ton of money off of loans and I have a single parent so I got enough financial aid to pretty much cover everything for me.

After graduating from North Rockland in June of 2018 I turned 18 a month later in July. We had a little grad party to celebrate me graduating high school and turning 18, the age where you’re a legal adult.

I had friends and family over and it was a good time.

Bradley (left), Myself, Airion (right of me), Beatriz (far right), and Julius (behind me)

(My cousin Jayson laughing about something funny I told Judmy.)

(Jayson, Judmy, myself, and younger brother Devonte.)

Freshman Year (2018-19)

My freshman year at RCC was a different feeling than high school. I was at a turning point in my life and felt I was in the “real world” as they say. I was working at KFC at the time in fast food trying to save up for a car, hitting the books hard doing well in my classes, and so forth.

I wanted to play basketball for the school, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do well in school, work a job to save for a car, and be on the basketball team. I was tired of taking public transit, which I did all my freshman year so I chose working over basketball because I needed money and wanted my car.

At RCC, college was different from high school, people are more mature, and you see people of various ages, from people just starting at 18 (which I was at the time) to older folks in their 40s and 50s restarting their education.

RCC is where I met some of my friends such as Jake, Caleb, Austin, Anthony, and so forth. Me and Jake met each other freshman year in an Audio Production class we had together on Tuesdays which was dreadful because it was three and a half hours long… Don’t miss it lol.

Jake and I used to crack jokes in class and he’s actually in a band too I learned when I first met him and he is very talented at playing the guitar, drums, and so forth, and has even played at places such as bars, other venues and even been on little tours before.

Austin and Anthony were guys I met during my sophomore year in radio production class in the fall of 2019 where we even did our little podcast called ADA Sports with our first name initials in there. It didn’t last long because of conflicting schedules and never all being able to get on the pod at the same time after four episodes but it was a fun experience, my first doing a podcast.

Caleb, I met that same year along with Austin and Anthony in radio production class where he gave me the idea to create a podcast (which we’ll get into later).

During my time at RCC, I was an A and B student, similar throughout all my scholastic years such as high school and prior, always trying my best to stand out.

I had a few teachers in my time at RCC that stood out from the rest, similar to the ones I had in my upperclassmen years of high school. The two that stood out were Richard Connolly and Beverly Paige.

Let's talk about Ms. Paige first. Ms. Paige was a black female professor who was my speech teacher and knew her culture in music and sports. Ms. Paige helped me improve my ability to speak in front of people and always said I was a natural and said it’s okay to feel nervous that’s normal she always reminded me.

She would always push me cause she saw something special in me and her lessons would help me later on in college at New Paltz when I became a sports announcer and radio host to not be afraid of speaking in front of a crowd and to being.

Now let's get to Connolly. Connolly was a 73-year-old white professor when I first met him during my freshman year. I had him for at least one class for all of the four semesters I was at RCC.

Connolly reminded me of my former high school history teacher Kevin Metcalf, and junior year science teacher Nicholas Cerniglia, in a way that he was a jokester who didn’t take life too seriously but was able to make class enjoyable in a way not many teachers could while teaching you life lessons in the process.

The few classes I remember having with him were the History of Broadcasting, Intro to Media, and so forth. He always gave great analogies and metaphors connecting how things worked to the real world and always had a great sense of humor in how he did it that only Metcalf and Cerniglia could rival all the teachers I’ve ever had.

Connolly also saw my passion for sports as I told him my aspirations in life and what I wanted to pursue and he always encouraged me and told me to start a podcast.

Without Ms. Paige, I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to become a sports announcer and become a radio host at my later college in New Paltz. Mr. Connolly helped me try to formulate what I needed to do to reach my aspirations for myself but also told me to have fun with it and always be myself.

I’m not who I am today without them.

Here are some photos from my freshman year.

Me and my cousin Shawn posing

KFC: First Job

I started my first job at KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) late in my senior year of high school, literally a month and a half or two before prom. Most of my years there were during the college years so I decided to include it here instead of the high school era.

I was at KFC in West Haverstraw, NY from April 2018 until July 2021 where I decided to leave a month before my senior year of college where I just dashed for a month until then.

KFC is where I met some of my friends such as Malik Freeman, Amorphis Brito, and Sandra Ramirez who I also call “Sandrita”. I had known Malik years before then since I was a freshman in high school due to basketball with us playing each other at Samsondale and him being on varsity when I was a freshman.

He helped me land a job at KFC, which at the time I was at the point in my life where I was trying to save for my car and wanted to start making my own money at 17.

Malik in basketball was a lefty, he had a nice handle and jumper and was shifty in his movements. At work, we always talked ball, about girls, cracked hilarious jokes, and about music artists. We’ve known each other for almost about a decade now and he’s still the bro to this day despite him being busy as a mail delivery guy now.

Amorphis I didn’t meet until I started at KFC. He and Malik were in the same high school class of 2016 so they were two years older than me. Amorphis always made work enjoyable, he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, a big sneakerhead who can tell you almost every sneaker known to mankind, sold sneakers as well and was just an overall cool guy you could talk about anything with.

Whenever Amorphis, Malik, and I worked together (which was extremely rare), especially too close, it was always a movie filled with laughs that made my stomach hurt.

Malik and he were very quick at packing and taking orders, and I eventually got to that level as well after a while there especially after Malik left in December of 2019. I could always talk about anything with the bros from girls, sports, music, and life in general and it was always good to guys around my age I could relate to.

Lastly, my good friend Sandra, whom I nicknamed “Sandrita” after we became good friends. Sandra and I were the young bucks when I first came. She started a month before me but was six months younger than me.

When I started I was a senior in high school and she was a junior so we still had a long way to go in life lol. Sandra was and is as real as they come, she has a great personality, is a jokester, is very caring, and is just another great friend to whom I could talk about anything aside from sports since she wasn’t really into them.

She loves music, loves having a good time, and can be the life of the party. We would always talk about our futures where we want to be in five years, ten years, and so forth, and the stress of college.

Talked about when we get married to someone how many kids we wanted, you know just life stuff.

KFC I also worked with Elena and Laura who both still work there and have been there for a very long time since I was a little kid they said. The managers I’ve had there were Kevin and Sam when I first started and Nurul eventually took over for Kevin when he got moved to Nanuet.

Sam was my favorite of them all despite driving me crazy at times. She was a black Haitian woman who was very sweet and nice but also didn’t play games. She was funny, enjoyed life, always wanted to see us do good in life, and gave good life advice.

The savings account I have now with a credit union is because of her because she told me it was better to have savings with a credit union than with a regular bank, which I made in late 2019, and I'm glad I listened to her advice.

KFC I had to take orders, pack, clean the lobby, and stock up the freezer with fries, popcorn nuggets, etc. as well as cups, utensils, and napkins when needed. It was a fast-paced environment, some customers were kind and others of course weren’t which taught me how to deal with people of different personalities and how to work in a fast-paced environment.

For the first year and a half I was there I would take up extra hours if I could since I was saving for a car. I lived about 10-20 minutes walking distance from work so I used to walk in all kinds of weather you could think of from blazing heat in the summer, rain, wind, brutal cold in the winter, snow, etc.

I was dedicated to getting a car. Sometimes my mom would pick me up if the weather was catastrophic or a co-worker would bring me home that I was closing with if I closed that night, but for the most part, I walked to and from work until I had a car. And speaking of cars…

My first car was a beautiful gold All-Wheel Drive 2006 Infiniti G35x that I bought from a private seller a few days after my 19th birthday in July of 2019. I was so excited and so happy. I miss my first car.

First Love

2019 was one of the best years of my life, the year I got my first car but was also the year I met my first true love.

Now I’ve had girlfriends before, as you guys would know if you read my Early Years and High School articles which I suggest you should before this so you know everything in chronological order.

Anyways back to my first love. So yeah, I met this girl who I won’t name since we’re not together anymore and not on good terms but I still genuinely wish her the best in life and want to see her do well.

This would’ve been harder for me to write about early in 2023 but now I’m healed and can think rationally to write about our time together.

So I met this girl in the spring of 2019, around early May to be exact. I had a girlfriend a few months before but I wasn’t feeling the same way so I broke it off. A few months later I met this girl who followed me on Instagram so I followed her back. I was immediately attracted.

She was 5’5 Puerto Rican, Black, and Native American with brunette hair and a nice smile with a cute little gap in the middle I would jokingly make in front of her but I loved it anyway.

She didn’t always have the most confidence about how she looked since she struggled with acne when we first met but I still loved her anyway, and she was naturally beautiful in my eyes and told her there was no need to worry and that I loved her regardless.

When we first started talking we instantly got along like we’ve known each other our whole lives, cracking jokes, laughing, staying on Facetime for hours sometimes even all night together falling asleep on the phone with each other.

I had never done that with a girl before. So I knew at the time I said to myself okay I might be in love. I was just about to end my freshman year of college and she was a senior in high school about to graduate.

I wanted to be her prom date but I was trying to save for a car at the time and luckily she had one already so she didn’t go alone. We Facetimed every day asking each other how one another’s day went and so forth.

We didn’t see each other consistently until June when she got her first car a 2002 red Jeep Liberty (she loves Jeeps FYI) and I eventually got my car a month later. We did however first meet on May 10, 2019.

We went to the movies that day, I don’t even remember the movie because we went to many during our time together but I know it was very kind and we had a good time together.

Before we left the Palisades that night I kissed her surprisingly and she didn’t expect it but I could tell she liked it by her facial expression.

We would talk every single day about any and anything like we knew each other our whole lives and it felt scary to me but in a good way. We didn’t see each other again until June 23, 2019 (the day we became official) since she didn’t have the car officially yet and I didn’t have my car until a month later.

Once we did meet again that first day it was amazing. It was a beautiful hot summer day, she first watched me shoot some shots on the basketball court and then we went to Wendy’s where I got her her favorite Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

I remember the look on her face she was so happy and grateful and we were just vibing after enjoying each other's company and were madly in love. You know how it is in what most call the “honeymoon phase” the first six months to a year where you don’t see anything wrong with your partner and everything seems to go well.

Early on in the relationship, we would see each other every day and just do whatever, whether it was going to the mall, going out to eat, the arcade, the park, the beach, or even just driving around and talking to one another.

I would have sleepovers at her house numerous times eventually as our relationship progressed and had a great relationship with her family, never once having an argument with them during our time together.

We cuddled together as well, binge-watched shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Charmed, and so forth as well as movies, and ordered food or ate ice cream together. We also went to Six Flags a couple of times in the summer of 2020 and 2021 and even went to Lake George in 2021 which was the first e vacation for the both of us on our own which was fun and a great experience we had planned months.

We went to the beach, and the arcade, went on a cruise, out to nice restaurants, etc. Just an overall good time at Lake George.

Walking with swag at the garden near the lake

Me after scoring a hole in one!

I was her first love and boyfriend and she was my first love, as I’ve never felt a way for a girl like that before her even giving her a promise ring with her name engraved on it and our garnet stones in July of 2021.

Of course, we had our arguments because no couple is perfect, but I did have genuine love for her. When we were together I was always thinking of the future and saving money I envisioned for us one day to get our place down the line and our future, so I was stingy at times and not always living in the moment as much as I should have.

I was good to her but one thing I could’ve done a little more often is take her out on more dates, which I did do, but could’ve done a little more. Certain events would forever change me and my perspective on life to start living life again while I’m young which we’ll get into in the Young Adulthood article.

We might not be together anymore or talk but I do still genuinely wish her the best in life and hope she does well.

Here are a few pics she took of me and one of myself I took waiting on the basketball court one day for her.

Sophomore Year (2019-20)

My second year at RCC was different from the previous year. I now had a car to drive myself to school, home, and work, and also was in a loving relationship.

I was very thankful I didn’t have to take public transportation anymore like I did my freshman year which was very brutal waiting out there in cold weather or blazing heat to go on the dirty bus. The bus would be late sometimes and make you have to rush to class upon arrival so I didn’t miss it.

That year I had Connolly again who was great as always but one class that changed things was radio production with Beth Robinson. In that class, I met my guys Caleb, Austin, and Anthony.

Austin loved baseball and hockey as well as basketball. Anthony enjoyed hockey the most but can also hold his own talking basketball. We eventually formed a short-lived podcast called ADA Sports in the winter of 2019 since we had such great chemistry in class and our friendship was brewing.

The podcast didn’t last long due to all of us having conflicting schedules which made it harder but that was my first time being on an actual podcast which changed things.

Caleb was a black brother such as myself who was six years older than me. He was well-rounded in sports, especially basketball, football, and baseball. I remember in radio production we had to make a podcast together and we were grouped up together.

We chose to talk hoops and we were just flowing easily and cohesively on the podcast talking hoops along with another person in our group who didn’t know as much but enjoyed it as well.

After we got done recording for class in what was a great episode, Caleb said to me “You should make a podcast bro you know your stuff, especially on basketball and you’re a natural.”

I was a 19-year-old kid at the time. I always thought of doing my own, and I eventually created my own brand DJ’s Sports Show which changed everything for me and is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Caleb might not have known this at the time, but little did he know he gave a young brother the confidence to later start his brand. I forever am grateful for his telling me that and his encouraging words because if that never happened I probably never have gone on to accomplish all I would accomplish.

Creating the DJ’s Sports Show

Ahh… DJ’s Sports Show… The best thing I’ve ever done for myself by far that changed everything in my life. It gave me a purpose! I’ve accomplished so much with this brand and reached so many places globally I never thought I would when I first started this brand in June of 2020.

So where did the idea come from? Well, I’ve always had a love for sports, especially basketball, as you should all know by now if you read the Early Years and High School Years of me writing about my life and how much the game means to me.

I had just finished my sophomore year of college and obtained my Associate's Degree in Communications Media from RCC in May of 2020 and was still working at KFC then.

I was 19 years old at the time and was worried about my future saying to myself “I don’t want to be working in food the rest of my life and I know I’m meant for more.” My knee wasn’t the same after I tore my ACL the two years after I tore it and life started happening so I never got to play college ball.

That passion and drive I had for basketball all those years growing up I now devoted to my brand which is my baby. I was worried at the time I was embarking on my junior year of college at SUNY New Paltz (one of the best decisions I ever made) which we’ll get into later.

So it’s the height of the pandemic in the summer of 2020 and I’m worried about my future saying I need to start doing stuff related to what I want to pursue in life to get on my resume.

I was constantly looking for internships to apply to but those who’ve been threw it and know… Internships aren’t easy to get; similar to a job, which was annoying, especially since the point of one is to help you learn the skills.

Anyway, I took it upon myself to look up free podcast apps so I could start my own podcast and not have to rely on other people’s schedules and availability to make an episode, just my own.

I discovered Anchor (now called Spotify for Podcasters) which I advise any inspiring content creators who want to start a podcast to use. I launched my trailer on June 22, 2020, with my first real episode dropping on June 29th that year where I discussed the NBA’s restart in the bubble, NBA title contenders, social injustice, and police brutality due to the George Floyd controversy which caused an uproar in Black Lives Matter.

The original DJ Sports Show cover

It did very well receiving over 40 plays and has 66 on this current day as I write this. I started with just a podcast only as the website didn’t come until 2021 as a senior in my dorm at New Paltz which we’ll get into later on.

Before the website and learning how to video edit, my sole focus was only podcasting since that was the only primary source of content I distributed so I did it every week.

Some weeks I even released two podcasts in one week and on two occasions even three in the span of a week… Trust me it was exhausting but I felt I was getting better and enjoyed what I was doing. I always recorded in my car (and still do until I get my own place one day) since it’s the only true quiet space for me.

I’ve gotten much better and sharper and learned a lot of things and what to do and not do since I started way back in June of 2020. That year in 2020 I was getting consistently over 40 plays per episode which showed me okay, I can make this a reality one day but I was waiting for that one show that went bonkers that would drive my confidence up.

That show came in October of 2020 with my first ever interview interviewing an athlete (which I love doing and have done on many occasions now) who’s also my good friend, Anthony Simon.

Anthony for those of you who don’t know or haven’t read the Early Years article has been a good friend of mine since we met at Pomona Middle School in 7th grade. We deep-dived into his life from his upbringing, overcoming adversity and obstacles, and more.

I remember the day I released it, that Friday, October 9, 2020. I remember being excited but also anxious and nervous as this was my first time conducting an interview so I didn’t know if it was going to do well or not.

I remember I didn’t check the app to see how many plays I had for a few hours on that beautiful day as I was out with my former partner at the time in the city on a little dinner date.

Eventually, I took my phone out to check and I had 50+ plays already in two hours! It does not stop there though, as I checked again later that night and saw it reached over 80 plays in less than 24 hours! Eventually, it hit over 100 plays in just three days! Not bad for a kid who just started his podcast three months ago.

The adrenaline was pumping, my heart jumping with joy, and my motivation elevated, I was so happy and proud of myself, and even all the months and years after people still went to listen to that episode which has 200 total plays currently and is my most played audio only podcast episode ever even three years later!

That podcast was the game-changer, it took my confidence to a new level and showed me that I could do this if I put my mind to it and dedicate myself. I would interview many more athletes later on from basketball players, football, lacrosse, and soccer, such as Nicholas Julien, Airion Scarlett, Jenny Walton, Vinnie Crisafi, Luis Granados Jr., Brianna Fitzgerald, Cory Sloan (college coach), and Lamont Edwards whom I’ve all interviewed audio or visually.

If it wasn’t for Anthony’s podcast going viral, as he’s very well known from my area, I probably never have had the confidence or enjoy interviews at the rate I do to this day which are my favorite episodes to do even more than talking sports due to giving the athletes a platform to spread their story in a way they don’t really get to anywhere else and be themselves.

So I want to say thank you to all the listeners and supporters, but most of all thank you to my brother from another Anthony, because without you I don’t know if I would have been as inspired to continue podcasting.

The podcast was rolling, I was reaching places globally people were listening to me from everywhere in the US, China, Japan, Brazil, Russia, Egypt, France, Africa, Australia, you name it the list goes on and on.

Never in my wildest dreams, I would have expected this to happen just a small-town kid from Haverstraw who recorded with his phone in his car on blazing hot days in the summer to frigid winters… I did and still, do whatever it takes.

I sometimes even recorded interviews when I was sweating crazy in the car or even chattering my teeth due to the cold, but I did it for my guests cause I wanted their stories to be heard… It wasn’t about me and I love doing them.

Transferring to SUNY New Paltz: Junior Year (2020-21)

During my sophomore year at RCC, I was already looking at what colleges I was considering transferring to from my freshman year. I mostly wanted to stay within the SUNY system since it was more affordable for New York residents.

The three schools I was considering were New Paltz, Oneonta, and Albany. I visited Oneonta but the drive was so far and I had my friend show me around… I wasn’t feeling it, it was very cold, it seemed like a ghost town up there, and seemed like there was not much to do plus it was so far from everything.

Albany I wanted to go to when I was in high school but realized it wasn’t the best for my major and is more a business and criminal justice school and my major was media. I never ended up visiting Albany because I visited Oneonta and then New Paltz.

Lastly, New Paltz… One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s March of 2020, I literally visited the campus a few days before the COVID-19 pandemic that would take over the world for two years.

During that visit, they showed us around the school from the cafeteria, the art museum, and the media building. I was immediately in awe. The school was only an hour away, not too far from home or to visit my former partner at the time and everyone was so nice, the school was very diverse and I always heard New Paltz had a great media program.

I saw kids walking around campus laughing, studying, riding their bikes, etc. The school was also only an hour away from the city and provided a bus to the city if you wanted to go.

That day after the visit I already knew where I wanted to be and wasn’t interested in visiting any other school… New Paltz is where I wanted to be.

I committed that very day and wasted no time, paying my security deposit and informing my family of my decision, which they were all excited for me.

My junior year was the peak of COVID and no one was going to be on campus which bummed me out because I was really looking forward to experiencing the real college experience of living on campus since I was home my first two years.

I knew it was a smart decision to save money not during that year because it would have been a waste.

As 2021 came, so did the two internships I did, Sports Media Inc. for the CEO Dan Kost, and Semi-Pro College Sports Network for my guy Jon who lives in Florida.

Sports Media Inc. I started in May of 2021 and worked for three months up until August 2021 as a Public Relations/Journalist intern. During my time there that’s where I first started doing articles on sports covering the 2021 NBA Playoffs and so forth.

At that time I didn’t write about all sports, just the NBA, and one of the copyeditors at the time, April Callum, who used to work for the Orlando Magic said my NBA writing was the best she’s seen in her time with Sports Media which uplifted my belief in my ability to do this.

That would later inspire me to expand my brand from not only a podcast but to a website as well during my senior year at New Paltz which we’ll get into later.

The other internship I did was for my friend Jon of Semi-Pro College Sports Network from June 2021 to September 2021. Jon is a year older than me and lives in Florida and we are good friends, someone who has helped me so much as has Mr. Kost.

Semi-Pro was different than I thought it would be, I wasn’t covering the main premier sports people watch and know about such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, Tennis, and so forth.

I was covering lower-level sports leagues where I had to really dig deep for information to write stories on. This internship helped strengthen my research skills and how to deep dive for information because it wasn’t easy finding information on the articles I had to write for Jon, but it forever made me better.

Senior Year (2021-22): New Friends, Creating the Website, Sports Announcing, and Radio Hosting

SUNY New Paltz Campus

So after being home my junior year for classes online due to COVID, I was finally fortunate enough to be able to experience the true college experience my senior year of living on campus and being away from home.

It was August 2021, a few weeks after my Lake George trip I moved into my dorm room suite with my guys Anthony and Malikh I’ve known since the Pomona days, and three other people.

The moving day was gross out, it was a rainy, cool day and it was packed as you would expect. My mom, oldest brother Andre, and former partner at the time helped me move my stuff into my room.

I was excited to move in, have my own space, and get the college experience I had always wanted, but also a tad sad about not seeing family and my former partner as much as I used to.

Eventually, my senior year started. I used the campus map I took a picture of when I visited the school the year before to guide me through until I was used to where everything was on campus.

During my time at New Paltz during my senior year, I met and made some incredible friends from Kalia, Mackenzie, Zach, Andrew, Dean, Bryce, Jonathan, Brian, Tae, and Peter. All incredible human beings and very talented in what they’re passionate about.

I’ll get into Jonathan, Brian, Peter, Zach, and Tae a little later on when I get into my time sports announcing, on the radio, and moving into Capen Hall in October of that year.

First Kalia. Kalia is a year younger than me and is like a sister to me. We had Writing For Digital Media together and sat next to each other every class as the only two black people in the class so we immediately connected.

We would always crack jokes in class, ask how each other was doing, talk about life, our goals, etc. Kalia is very intelligent and is a true media guru and lover who loves creating content and loves to travel which she does on her TikTok page daily which I suggest you guys go follow because she’s great.

She also was an RA for the school, I first saw her on moving day when all the RAs told us the rules and so forth.

She is a brilliant and creative mind and I’m glad I got to meet her and get to know her, someone who’s my friend to this day.

The next person is Bryce, he was the first RA I saw on moving day who helped me with my stuff and is one of the most genuine people I met who loves politics and is going to do great things in life.

Mackenzie and Dean, my brothas whom I met early that fall semester at the club fair the school does every year at the beginning of fall to inform you of clubs. I met Mackenzie there and the connection was immediate.

One thing I’ve learned throughout my life is if I connect with someone who I just met and the vibes are good and genuine I immediately know they’re a real one… That’s Mackenzie.

Mackenzie currently works in the cities and does taxes, he’s truthfully one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known and was the valedictorian at our college graduation (as we were in the same graduating class) who gave the speech to the class.

He was in many black clubs where he was the leader, in the honor society, etc, truly an intelligent, respectful, and genuine person.

Dean was just as hardworking as well, he was always active, he played every recreational sport you could name at the college from volleyball, basketball, and soccer (his main sport).

He was in many clubs as well and just like Mackenzie made a difference on campus and in the community.

Me, Dean, Mackenzie, Anthony, and Malikh all played basketball together for fun that year for exercise and just to hang out more often.

Lastly, Andrew. I and Andrew met in podcasting class with one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had, Brent Barry, who taught me more about podcasting and helped sharpen my skills.

I chose that class as an elective just because I was interested in learning more about it and all it entailed as there’s always more to learn.

Andrew was a few years older than me and was incredibly gifted with cameras and video editing. He really knew what he was doing and he loved it. We became good friends in that class and actually worked together as a group with him, myself, and Casey (who’s now a rapper).

We all liked sports and had to create a pod for class and nicknamed ourselves the CAD with all our first names similar to ADA I did way back in RCC with Anthony and Austin.

It was a great time in that class as it was a nice small class of around 15-20 kids who all had a passion for media and creating content. I’m forever grateful for that class and for meeting my guy Andrew.

And of course, I gathered everyone on the last day of class for some group photos.

Let’s get to the creation of the website now.

Creating The Website

So yes, I had a podcast that had reached places globally of pretty much anywhere you can think of that I never imagined it would. But knowing me… I’m never satisfied and I wanted to continue to become more versatile and expand my brand.

That’s where the idea came to create a website, especially after doing two internships in journalism of writing about sports which made me believe I could add that to my repertoire as well to continue to separate and distinguish myself from the rest.

One of my former co-workers at KFC, Emmanuel told me about this one company called Wix where I could create a website in 2020, but I never really took action on it as I didn’t know if I could do it and was focused on my podcast.

However, in my senior year of college, I wasn’t working until October, as I left KFC in July of 2021 and Doordashed and did InstaCart until then, I had more free time on my hands. Even when I did start working I only did two days a week Tuesdays and Wednesdays since I was very busy with my brand, schoolwork, sports announcing, radio, and wanted time for my partner at the time weekends.

I started to watch YouTube tutorials on how to make a website on Wix and even created my current logo with iconic athletes as the cover that you see from Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt, LeBron James, and so forth.

The website has updated over time, adding new things over the course of time, but it took me about two weeks to create the website the way I wanted, and did a big promotion launch in my dorm on September 7, 2021.

I remember the adrenaline I was feeling that day as if it were yesterday. I was ecstatic to inform everyone I had expanded to a website as well which also had my podcast on the homepage so you could still listen on there as well if you wanted to.

I remember the first freshly written articles I posted on the site were of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Similar to my podcast, I created the website not only to expand my skills but also a platform where I could write about any sports I wanted to write about and not limit myself while being my own boss.

I downloaded the Wix Owner App so I could keep track of views and also where people were coming from to view the site. Just like the podcast, the website probably helped me become even more global, hitting many places worldwide just like the podcast from Qatar, India, China, Canada, Australia, France, Africa, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, and the list goes on.

I was so proud of myself and couldn’t believe I was hitting the places I was hitting. One thing people need to understand to how tiring promoting is. Whether it was the podcast, articles for the site, and eventually down the line for YouTube videos, I promoted across many platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok at times, and Snapchat.

It used to take me a long time to promote new content I had released but I’ve gotten much quicker and sharper as time has gone by than the earlier days.

It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows though, as there would be articles and podcast episodes sometimes during my years since I created the site that wouldn’t get the views or plays I thought it would which would frustrate me at times. I knew I was putting out good stuff and was consistent so it irked me at times more so in the early days/years.

I would also apply to media jobs in sports and regular media as well during my senior year months ahead and couldn’t land anything. Constant rejections so many times from the big companies as well as smaller media companies.

There would be times I would ask myself if I was wasting my time or question if I chose the right major. Sometimes when I thought I was great for a job, had a solid amount on my resume, and thought I fit perfectly, I would get rejected I would want to break something such as my laptop, or just punch the wall.

I’d be so heated at times and tear up a bit and be like “I’m done, what am I doing wasting my time doing this for?”

I remember some rejections hurt me more than others there would be times I wouldn’t want to talk to anyone for a while from my friends, family, and even my former partner at the time. I’d be so irate, but those times made me stronger.

On those days I would say to myself don’t quit man, look at all you’ve accomplished and are doing, the places you’ve reached worldwide, and the people you’ve inspired. This is a part of the process, the rejections make you stronger and made me say to myself they’ll regret not hiring me.

Each rejection of a place I really wanted to work at added continued motivation to the inner fire that’s always been there as a kid. Said when I was young if I’m going to be great in life at whatever I pursue… “I’m going to die trying” and give my everything!

It ain’t always sunshine and rainbows in life, but I’m glad I never quit. If I were to quit, I wouldn’t get invited to that event in Atlanta where met Rich Paul, Steve Wyche of NFL Network, the OGs from Atlanta, former NFL All-Pro Takeo Spikes, and many other great connections I have formed through the years which we’ll get into in Young Adulthood.

Never quit!

NBA 75 Article

I’ve had articles get views, but no article before or since has reached the number of views and fanfare my NBA 75 article has with over 1,000 views that I released on Thursday, November 11, 2021, in my dorm with all players ranked so that took me a month to do.

Similar to how the Anthony Simon interview changed everything in my confidence in continuing to do the podcast that was the changing point… The NBA 75 had the same groundbreaking effect on my confidence in the website and continuing to do it.

I released the article that Thursday night in my dorm and I had been preparing for the big promotion and the anticipation for a while. I worked so hard and long on this so I was nervous about how it was going to do.

When I released it that night I released it on all social media platforms as I always did and sent it directly to people I knew as well from friends and family to shout it out, which they did, and it went berzerk!

The adrenaline that night in my dorm after I finished releasing it watching Inside the NBA to keep my mind off how it was doing initially. I checked an hour later on my app I saw over 100 views already, two hours in I saw over 300 views!

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! The numbers kept meteorically rising at a rate I never anticipated it would. Rising to 400, 500, and so forth, eventually just reaching over 1,000 views this year!

1,000 views on a website that’s not owned by a big company (ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC, etc) from just a small town kid from Haverstraw is crazy!!

That night in my dorm I had tears of joy, all those hours where my wrist was hurting typing, trying to nitpick players as I placed them in order which only got harder as I got to the greatest of the greats all paid off!

I had friends and people telling me my list was better than many media outlets they saw such as ESPN etc, and spread to their friends as well.

That article changed literally everything as it hit places globally… I guess all that wrist pain was worth it.

Moving Into Capen Hall

In early October I moved into Capen Hall since my suitemate in my old room was not a nice person, to say the least, and I was very close to fighting him since he was very disrespectful.

I went to the residence hall and requested a move and I was able to within a week, a quick turnaround.

I moved into B14 of Capen Hall which was closer to the cafeteria where I would eventually work, my classes, as well as the New Paltz Hawks gym where all the sports teams practiced and the gym as well.

My new roommate was way better than my first, his name was Naresh. His former roommate actually had just left him before I arrived and he was stoked to have a new roommate.

Me and Naresh got along very well, he was incredibly smart (as his major is psychology), chill, and had a cool nerdy vibe about him as he enjoyed playing video games.

In that same hall, I met Jonathan and Brian who lived a few doors down from us and would come over at times, as well as some other people, and we would all hang out at night and play Smash Bros on Naresh’s gaming system among other games.

Great fun times I’ll never forget. We would order food at times as well and sometimes go to the gym together. Jonathan is as tall as me or a little taller, he and Brian are both juniors in college with Naresh now a senior.

Jonathan loves politics the way I love sports and looks to get a job in it someday. He has a unique sense of humor, doesn’t take life too seriously, and is hilarious. Whenever I felt down a bit he would always lift me up, even buying one of my DJ Sports Show hoodies.

He wasn’t into sports much but he is one of the best and funniest people I ever met and is a big goofball.

Brian is an engineering major who is as brilliant as they come because that is one of the hardest majors there is. Brian was smart, a jokester, and could cook very well as he comes from a Hispanic family.

They made my college experience very enjoyable and worth it and I’m glad I can call them friends.

Sports Announcing/Radio Hosting

The one year I got to experience on campus was a life-changing experience for me where I grew so much overall. I wanted to continue separating myself so I decided to volunteer to be a sports announcer and to become a radio host at the school's radio station called WFNP Radio made the experience and my college experience one I’ll never forget.

I’ll start with sports announcing first.

As an announcer for the school, I did a few women’s soccer games as a warmup and some practice for what I mainly was going to do… Basketball. I remember going to the Director of Athletic Communications of the school, Monica D’ippolito, and asking her what should I expect, etc.

She told me I wouldn't be getting paid for announcing, it would only be home games and said if I can’t make a game to just inform her ahead of time so she was informed and could be prepared. I was fine with volunteering since I said this would be great for my resume and continue to distinguish me from others and show my versatility so I agreed.

I remember the week of and before games I had to look over the names of both teams and practice announcing them. I was a little nervous but soccer was just the warmup for basketball.

I remember my first game was November 9, 2021, for the women’s team against Mount Saint Mary. I practiced that whole week before pronouncing the names. That day I was so nervous, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

My palms were sweaty, my mind was racing, my heartbeat pulsating, and I was so anxious. When that night came I walked into the gym and saw both teams warming up and saw the crowd start coming in… My mind was like “Wow”. I kept trying to tell myself “I got this”, “You can do this”.

I’m watching the clock for warmups run down with each second watching both teams warm up while also studying the names, going over them as well, and having a notebook for every game to keep track of team fouls and a roster sheet for player fouls.

As the buzzer sounded and the players walked to their benches for the starters to be called I felt I was ready. I said the opening monologue they wrote on the sheet for me for the game which led to me saying everyone stands for the national anthem which led to me announcing the starting lineups.

As I did every game, I said the road team lineups in a lower tone, less hyped voice since they were the opponent and the home team more pumped and ecstatic to get the crowd pumped followed by the coach's names on both sides.

Every game I called player fouls, team fouls, substitutions, and of course shots when someone hit a three saying “For three!” or a two. The girls would demolish Mount Saint Mary that night 76-60 and the energy was contagious.

After the game, Monica and everyone else at the scoreboard, including my guy Zach (who is currently a senior on the lacrosse team) said I did amazing in my first game.

I was so relieved and felt great, not only that I did a good job, but also that we won the game. My first game jitters were gone and I was never nervous to announce again. It helped improve my ability to speak in front of people and got rid of that stage fright… That’s why I chose to volunteer so I could get used to that aspect if I ever got on TV one day.

As the season progressed I got better, doing doubleheaders if both the women and men played at home that day or just one game if just the women or men were playing that day.

I would start saying a player's name as they launched a three and say “Bang!” if they hit it like the great NBA announcer Mike Breen has made a trademark. I would also get the crowd into it when it was a close game or the team was down and needed a jolt of adrenaline I would yell to the crowd let me hear you say “Defense!” and they would say it repeatedly like you hear in the NBA.

At times that helped uplift the players and motivate them to play better, sometimes even coming back to win games and after the game, the players would thank me for getting the crowd into it when they needed it most which meant a lot to me.

Announcing was a therapeutic experience I’ll never forget just the adrenaline I felt when the crowd chanted “Defense!”, when I called “Bang!”, “For Three!” or the time I jumped out of my seat when my feet weren’t even on the floor from a Tyreik Frazier alley-oop slam!

I became cool with some of the players from my time announcing from both the men's and women’s sides from Brianna, Jenny, Sean, Rylan, Tyreik, Brandon Scott, Alex Krupinski, Lucas, and Isaiah to name a few.

I’ve had a chance to interview Brianna, Jenny, Sean, and Lucas on my podcast thus far of all those named and that’s because of the relationship and mutual respect I gained from them from announcing.

Announcing really helped me get over my fear of speaking in front of people and a live audience and I’m glad I took it upon myself to volunteer as an announcer.

I thank Monica so much for all she did for me and the opportunity she gave me. I also want to thank Zach, a good friend of mine who plays lacrosse who kept track of the scoreboard. He was always a calm genuine guy who always helped me when I needed it and calmed me down when I first started announcing who always believed in me from day one.

We would always joke around, talk about life, and so forth and it was a pleasure working with him, Monica, and everyone else on the staff that made it an enjoyable experience.

WFNP Radio

I only did sports announcing my senior year of college but also picked up doing radio hosting which I started in October of 2021. I always wanted to try radio because I felt I had the personality for it everyone said, I had my own podcast for a year and a half almost at the time, and wanted to continue becoming more versatile.

This experience would help me for my later experience on local radio on WRCR 1700AM in my hometown Haverstraw which I’ll get into in my Young Adulthood years.

The person in charge of the school station was Valerie, she was always so kind, understanding, and just a very approachable person who also held everyone accountable as well.

I loved the radio station, it allowed people to have their own shows and display their personalities whether it was music, pop culture, sports, television, film, or any subject you wanted to center your show around.

Originally there was a sports show with these guys named Payton, Jacob, and Zack. I was willing to join them but there weren’t enough microphones for four and I feel I wouldn’t really get to express my opinions or thoughts with four people.

Jacob and I had some classes together which is how I knew him and is a cool guy who is very creative and loves television and film which is his passion. He knows the history of movies and television as well as anyone I’ve ever known.

I didn’t know Payton or Zack very much but they were cool and good people as well.

For the radio show, I had to study the rules for the school and had to take a test to become a disc jockey. Once I passed the test Valerie told me to come up with a show name and a title cover for it so I named it DJ’s Basketball Show.

Basketball is my favorite and my strongest sport that I’ve had a passion for forever. It’ll always be number one above all sports. I decided to just do one sport instead of all since I already did that for my brand on my podcast and website… Switch it up a bit.

I had a half-hour show where I would talk about anything basketball related from New Paltz basketball, the NBA, College Basketball, and High School, you get the gist.

Some incredible people I met who have become great friends of mine since the time I met them are Tae Allen and Peter Ingenito.

Peter was one of the engineers for the radio station who was very intelligent, hardworking, and very genuine. He helped create the intro of my show for the station as he is very skilled with editing and using sophisticated editing software platforms.

He loves reviewing and critiquing movies breaking them down like you see on Rotten Tomatoes. He’s a very talented kid who is great with the cameras and actually worked with me as well as a sports announcer where he was one of the people who took the photos and edited the videos for the athletic teams.

Just a truly down to earth great guy I’m glad to call a friend.

Now let’s get to Tae. Man, when I say “Mamba Mentality” he might embody it as well as anyone I’ve ever known, and that’s saying something. This guy Tae did two shows for the radio station, one for pop culture and another for music… A straight beast.

He’s clever, articulate, a strongly opinionated person, who also was in many clubs for the school and was on Dean’s list and so many other great achievements he’s accomplished it’s too long to list.

He currently works for SiriusXM radio in the city and I always knew he’d end up doing something in the city because I saw the passion and drive from day one. He made me want to go harder and continue to get better.

We’d continued to get closer as time went on and have major mutual respect and love for one another because we both have that insatiable drive to be successful and even when we achieve something great and are congratulated… We’re never satisfied, always looking for what’s next. How can we get better? That’s what we’re always thinking.

He’s currently working on his master’s degree while still working full time, not even surprised because that’s how dedicated he is. That’s just his persona and he forever made an impact on me and I’m grateful to call him a friend.

I told him he needs to start his own podcast like I did because he knows so much stuff on so many different subjects from pop culture, music, and politics, he’s just brilliant and I hope he does one day because if he does I know he’ll kill it!

Other Things

Outside of the elevation and exponential growth I had as a person, my brand, and skills. I also enjoyed the town of New Paltz from time to time from going to P&G’s, walking around campus and seeing the Lake, and sitting there sometimes in the spring to enjoy the weather.

I also checked out the art museum they have on campus, went to the movies in the town one time, drove around a bit, and saw farmland that I saw during my time dashing and doing Instacart which was always fascinating to see.

New Paltz will always have a special place in my heart for all the growth I experienced and all the great people I met and worked with.


Me standing on the New Paltz wall symbol after graduation

Ahh… Graduation time. Similar to high school graduation when college graduation came I was like where did the time go?

I was excited to graduate and receive my Bachelor of Arts in Communications Media, but was also sad because this was the last step before being in the world forever and not being around people mostly around my age ever again.

That week was an extremely busy one. From packing my stuff up in my room to the senior toast for us graduating seniors to the graduation.

At the toast many high figures of the college spoke about how proud they were of the Class of 2022 and all we’ve accomplished as we were the first class to have a normal graduation again since COVID happened in 2020. Tae also spoke as well that day to the seniors and gave encouraging words.

I gathered with my friends Peter, Tae, and Mackenzie to take photos as well as my guys Andrew, Mike, and so forth. Just a great overall time in what was a huge milestone of all our lives.

Me with Andrew (left), Mike (right of me), and Richie (far right).

Tae (left), Myself, and Mackenzie (right) at Senior Toast

I graduated on May 21, 2022. It was a gorgeous warm sunny day out (thankfully) and my mom, godmother Karen, auntie Yvonne, older brother Raheem as well as my former partner and her parents, and one of her older sisters came to support me that day.

I could remember my former partner's mom, Mrs. Peterson, yelling my name so proudly when she saw me walking down as all the graduates were walking to our seats to start the graduation that day as they all waved to me.

My mom also waved to me and said “That’s my son!” I was so emotional. I was ending one chapter and entering another just like how I did from graduating high school to starting college.

Mackenzie gave a great speech to us seniors that was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard I knew took him a long to write as we embarked on our next journey in life before the person in charge of the school gave their speech and so forth.

As names were called families cheered with exhilaration for their kids as what happens at most graduations with roars.

When my row was called up I was like this is really happening, I’m about to achieve one of the goals I always wanted to achieve in my life: Getting my bachelor's.

My time had come, I walked across that stage with my heart jumping with joy as I shook all the professor's hands and was given my degree and the booklet. I took photos with the person after going down the steps and returned back to my row as the rest of the other rows were called.

When they finally said Class of 2022 please stand, they told us to move our tassels from left to right and told us to throw our caps in the air and congrats to all our incredible graduates! We were officially graduates.

After the graduation, I dapped up and hugged friends of mine from Andrew, Casey, Malikh, Anthony, and so on who graduated with me. Dean and Lamont were there to support me, Malikh, and Anthony.

I took pictures with my brothas Malikh, Anthony, and Lamont all of whom I’ve known since middle school as well as my guy Dean who I became friends with in college. It was surreal, to have known each other from middle school kids joking around playing ball at recess to now college graduates.

Malikh, Anthony, and I stand proudly as college graduates on May 21, 2022.

Dean, Malikh, Anthony, Myself, and Lamont from left to right

I also took pictures with my former partner’s family as well as with my mom, godmother Karen, Auntie Yvonne, and older brother Raheem.

I stayed and talked with everyone for a bit before going back to my dorm room to get all my stuff out of the room as I said goodbye to New Paltz. Before I left the room I was just in there staring and reminiscing of all the memories I had in there, all the highs and lows.

Similar to that Fresh Prince of Bel-Air scene of Will Smith when he’s in the empty living room just reminiscing. It was emotionally surreal that one year away I grew even more exponentially and I’m glad I got to experience at least a year of the true college life.

I put my stuff in my car in the parking lot, the same one where I parked when I first visited the school in March of 2020. I gazed at the campus one more time before going into my car and just saying a big thank you for everything New Paltz, I’ll never forget you.

As I’m driving an hour back home I play Bad Bunny’s classic 2022 album Un Versano Sin Ti (my favorite album of his) and played the song Ojitos Lindos (beautiful eyes in English), opened my sunroof top, put my shades on and vibed to the whole album the way back home on that beautiful sunny day reminiscing.

I dropped my stuff off at home as we had moved to somewhere else in Haverstraw, my mom, Karen, younger sisters, Devonte, former partner, and I all went out to eat to celebrate me.

When I get home I’m exhausted. The next day my former partner and I did something for myself as well to celebrate my accomplishment.

I wasn’t used to being home, I enjoyed being away and on my own in my own little place because I’m very independent which is what I’ve always been.

As I look up at the ceiling in my room just let everything marinate in my head on college and everything that happened. I was like “What’s Next?” as I embarked on a new chapter of my life… The current chapter I’m in, Young Adulthood, is a time where I would experience tragedy, heartbreak, and depression, land a media job, travel, meet bigtime people such as Rich Paul and Chris Broussard to name a few, become the Black Winter Soldier and so forth.

The era that changed me and made me stronger forever.

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