Michigan native, Vedant Gupta is all about sports journalism.
Usually traveling the country and interviewing athletes at press conferences through his Global Kid Media platform, the 13-year-old reporter been using the coronavirus pandemic sports hiatus to interview guests like CBS Sports’ Ian Eagle and Nate Burleson via his Instagram account.
On a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, I checked in with Gupta and discussed his passion and interactions with athletes like Naismith Hall of Famer, Magic Johnson, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Check out my notes on Gupta below:
On how it feels to interview people at his age:
“All I want to do by doing these interviews is, having millions of other kids tune in and see that they can do anything at any age. Me and you are prime examples of this. We started at such a young age. You at age 12, me at 11 and we’re doing things that adults are doing and we want to open the doors for so many other kids so that they can do anything at any age. That’s what society needs to see these days. That’s the main reason why I do it.”
On some of his favorite talents that he has spoken with thus far:
“Well I would say, that I love to talk to people that have a great story. When you talk to someone like Von Miller, who is so excited to talk and brings the energy that’s exciting. Talking to someone like Jack Nicklaus, a golfing legend who has so many wise words to say and so much experience. He teaches you things just by doing an interview. That brings another perspective as well as Josh Langford of Michigan State Basketball who has a story growing up playing basketball, but being told that he might not even play again when he was 12 years old, and now look where he is today. So all of those different interviews – every single interview I take, I learn something from it and each interview has something special about it.”
On his interview with Magic Johnson:
“Well Magic Johnson…that’s another guy who has lots of wisdom and you seen a lot on the business side and on the court. He’s a legend. So talking to him, he’s like, just a regular person –a lot of these athletes are like that in real life. They’re not the big high type celebrity ath;letes people think they are. They’re just regular people. And Magic Johnson, he gave me some wisdom, he was teaching a little about business, he gave me some tips after the interview with what everything that he’s doing. That’s just someone great to talk to.”
On his conversation with Zion Williamson:
“Zion Williamson. This was back when he was at Duke injured. He was talking about his mom giving him the ability to have a background and inspiring his little brother and Coach K’s philosophies…so, another guy who has some interesting things to say and a great player on AND off the court.
On his conversation with Patrick Mahomes:
“Man, when I talked to him a year and a couple months ago at the 2019 Pro Bowl, he was talking about how he wanted to start a foundation and build his legacy to able to give back to so many people and so many kids, and now he’s starting to grow that legacy and to see that grow is just amazing.”
On how he met Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and what the relationship is like with the legendary coach:
“Two years ago I was sitting in the press room, it was my first press conference ever, and Coach was there at the NCAA Tournament. And I raise my hand and I ask a question about how his team had been giving back to so many people in their community and do so many things and the minute I asked that question his first response was, “You’re too young to be in the media room. You’re way too good looking in that suit. When you grow up, you won’t be able to dress that good!”… so just right from the start, that guy is someone who – he has a lot of emotion, so much wisdom; a relationship that’s been ongoing because he encourages so many people and he wants to listen and so for the past two years, I just been doing them up.”
On what his schedule was like being a middle/high school student while also pursuing his career in Journalism:
“While I’m pursuing my career in Journalism besides school, there really is no schedule. I mean of there’s an event, we’re out the house and we’re gone. School is I’ll probably get up at 6 a.m., get to school, I take some high school advanced classes so high school starts before middle school; I’m an 8th Grade student so I go to high school in the morning then go to middle school classes until about 3 p.m., then I would have sports ‘til about 5:30-6 p.m. I’d get home and I would have about 2-3 hours of homework to do as well as trying to build my brand sending out emails and things like that. And if I’m on the road, I’m missing days of school so, this corona pandemic has given me time to catch up on that schoolwork that I missed and so you know, the schedule’s crazy.”
On his reception he gets from his peers:
“When I’m in school, I’m focused on school. I’m not worried about my business. So to me, I really don’t talk about things that I do outside of school. It’s almost like I guess you can say a superhero. My in –school identity and when I’m out of school I’m doing my journalism so, it’s nothing like I’m the envy of the school or anything like that. I really don’t bring that up when I’m in school. When I’m in school I’m a full time student and I’m studying.”
On his goals:
“The ultimate goal – I have two goals. The short term goal: Be the first kid on national TV as a sports sideline reporter. That’s the journalism goal, that’s what I’m trying to achieve. The long term goal is to try to build up my brand Global Kid Media as a business and try to do some things with the environment as well. Social causes such as world happenings in Iceland and Japan. Plastics in the environment, things like that besides the journalism and the business.”
On people in the Journalism field that he looks up to:
“Well the first person I look up to is Scoop. I truly look up to you because I see all your stories and it inspires me a lot, especially a person who started young at a very early age. And then so, you inspire me a lot. Besides that, I watch SportsCenter all the time. And Ian Eagle is one guy who inspires me a lot as well as couple other people on SportsCenter.”
On his favorite sports storyline this year:
“There’s a couple of them. I would say…that’s tough. I would say probably Tom Brady going to Tampa Bay. That was big and I was reading so many articles about that so, I would say those were probably on the top… yeah.”
On some advice that he received from someone in the field:
“Nate Burleson. He’s been telling me, “That you have to stay courageous and no matter what you walk into, you have confidence. No one can tell you anything because you walk in confident and no one wants to question you.” I’ve seen that a lot where you act like you been there before. If you don’t act like you’ve been there before, then you look nervous and you’ll look like you’re out of place. So have to act like you’ve been there before and that’s the best piece of advice that I could ever get.