Seventh grade — the year Amari Pollardfell in love with lacrosse.
Now years out of middle school, Pollard, a Roy H. Park Fellow master's candidate at UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, is sharing her passion for the sport with fans worldwide.
Since February, Pollard and U.S. Lacrosse Lead ClinicianTari Kandemiri have co-hosted the women’s lacrosse ESPN halftime show “Sound On with Tari and Amari.”
Last summer, Pollard and Kandemiri discussed the state of women’s lacrosse with ESPN production teams, Ericka Galbraith, ESPN women’s lacrosse coverage director, said. Galbraith said the network later stayed in contact with both women — eventually leading to the show's inspiration.
“At the beginning of the year, two producers really took the lead formulating a plan,” Galbraith said. “Then they came to me, and I ultimately approved the segment.”
Galbraith said she thinks Pollard and Kandemiri bring a positive and fresh perspective to the sport. Their captivating approach made hiring them a no-brainer, she added.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily hit me,” Pollard said. “People work their whole lives for this, and it’s been such a great experience to step into it and to feel encouraged in this space.”
With their show, Kandemiri said she believes they have been able to bring a new and underrepresented voice to the sport.
“Traditional lacrosse has been seen as a sport for one certain race,” Kandemiri said. “What we want to show is that lacrosse is for everyone, and we want to make sure that other people know that.”