‘Woman In Sports’ highlights the amazing work that women are doing in this male-dominated field. Jameelah Johnson is not only a contributor but she’s also a photographer, videographer and editor. Jameelah aka JJ found a love for basketball through the Atlanta Hawks shortly after graduating from Spelman college. She appreciates all there is about the sport of basketball and the players in the NBA and WNBA. Her infatuation with sports doesn’t stop at the NBA/WNBA, she’s a big Yankees fan and an observer of most of what ESPN highlights (tennis, futbol, football, etc.)
Where did you grow up and how were you introduced to sports?
I grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia. I was introduced to sports through my father and brother. I wanted to spend more time with them and noticed the best way to do that was through watching games.
What college/university did you attend and did it have an impact on your fan experience?
If not, what did? I attended Spelman College. It did not have a direct impact on my fan experience but I did become closer to my brother, a Morehouse College graduate, who put me on to games.
What made you want to have a career in sports?
I enjoy watching sports. I call it more of a hobby than a career but there’s so much entertainment in sports.
How did AtlHawksfans.com come about?
I was tweeting heavily about the Atlanta Hawks when commentator, Bob Rathbun, suggested I and another fan start a blog. We ran with it from there.
What is it about the Hawks organization and team that you like?
The Hawks are growing, both as a team and as an organization. I covered the team when they were consistently making the playoffs, when they won 60 regular season games, when they went to the Eastern Conference Finals and now when they are putting together pieces and building on a foundation. It has been a rollercoaster of observations and experiences and I can truthfully say I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.
How can the sports world close the gap with the working with black women and other women of color?
Pay attention to us. Give us a platform. Speaking as a black woman, I can say I see other black women out here doing all types of work, truly grinding. We often get overlooked and taken for granted. Representation matters! I cannot express that enough. When we are able to see ourselves in someone we look up to, it makes our goals that much more tangible. Representation truly matters and has a direct impact.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to my parents. They’re my inspiration. Their intelligence, drive, attitude, everything about them and their outlook on life combined to make me who I am, and I still learn from them daily.
What has been your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
My greatest professional accomplishment in the sports world has been everything I’ve done with my blog and multimedia, especially my photography. Every aspect of what I have done has started based on an interest or desire to fill a void on my blog and I’ve seen all of it get well received.
How do you see the sports world changing for women and for women of color?
I slowly see more women and women of color in different leagues holding various roles. The more we are seen, the less of an anomaly it will be.
What advice would you give young ladies that want to want to have a career in sports?
Don’t let anyone deter you from following your dreams. If there isn’t a clear route to follow, make your own. Don’t think the only goal is to work for someone else, it doesn’t need to be. You can make your voice be heard without feeling you have to attach it to a major entity. It may be more difficult but it’s just as, if not more, rewarding. Be proud of yourself and your work. Boost yourself. Work with other women when possible, it is not a competition. You are unique and nobody else has your voice. Use it.