Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is launching CJ’s Press Pass, a program through which he will help mentor students in Madison High School’s Journalism Club. Students will have a chance to interact with the four-year journalism major while gaining behind-the-scenes experience as members of the media.
“CJ’s Press Pass is designed to help local students get real-time experience in journalism and expose them to the many different aspects of the field,” said McCollum. “I have been blessed to be able to use my position as an NBA player to explore my passion in sports writing and broadcasting, and I am excited to share my experiences with the Madison High School Journalism Club.”
On Jan. 27, McCollum will meet with CJ’s Press Pass participants to talk about his background in journalism and motivations for pursuing his degree in the field. Even with a full-time job as an NBA player, McCollum has found time to hone his skills via interviews with the NBA Commissioner, hosting Facebook chats and writing for The Players’ Tribune.
McCollum will also host Journalism Night at the Trail Blazers Game on Jan. 31 vs. Minnesota, providing the students with real-life media access including media credentials, press packets and a tour of back-of-house media areas. A pre-game Q&A will feature different media personnel such as a team public relations representative, beat writer, radio personality or social media coordinator. At the end of the game, the Press Pass group will also sit in the room for the post-game press conference with CJ and a Trail Blazers’ assistant coach.
Students who attend the game will be asked to produce a story on their game night experience in print, video or audio format. The student who presents the best piece will have a chance to co-host a segment of CJ’s show ‘The Playlist’ when the club visits the iHeartRadio studios for a tour and to watch a taping on March 9.