(Catching Up With… is a continuing series updating readers about the current statuses of former top FCIAC athletes)
By Dave Ruden
STAMFORD — Sports have always been a big part of Cayleigh Griffin’s life. As a three-year starter, she was part of two FCIAC championship girls basketball teams at Trinity Catholic. As a senior she was named to the All-Conference volleyball team.
Griffin deliberated pursuing one of the sports at the next level before falling in love with Providence College and deciding she didn’t want to compromise her academic and social experiences, not to mention the ability to take a term abroad in Australia that will be a life-long memory.
But Griffin’s love of sports never wavered.
“There’s no way I could completely give up sports forever,” Griffin said.
Now a senior, Griffin has become something of an intramural legend at Providence, with a combined eight titles in her two sports.
More importantly, Griffin has started down the road she hopes will end with a career in sports broadcasting.
“When I was younger, and especially in high school, I’d watch games and knew I wanted to be involved,” Griffin said. “I would watch reporters, especially (ESPN’s) Doris Burke, who happens to be a Providence graduate. She is someone I looked up to. She’s one of the best. She’s someone I aspired to be.”
Griffin’s journey is under way, though none of her friends from the area get to see her on television. She is currently doing freelance work as an analyst on high school boys and girls volleyball, and girls basketball games for Verizon FiOs1, which is only available in Long Island and New Jersey.
She has already worked six games, most recently last Monday night, when she called a girls basketball game on Long Island between Sachem East and Deer Park.
Like a professional-in-training, Griffin did her homework since learning of the assignment two weeks ago.
“I found out a week in advance which two teams and who I would be working with on play by play,” Griffin said. “I went on the Internet and read all the articles I could, about how the teams were doing, who the best players are, before talking to the coaches. We did a conference call with the coaches and got the rosters and information about the team. If you go to a replay you want to be able to talk about the player you are showing, about their background.”
Griffin’s start in the industry was true serendipity. Someone from FiOs contacted her after seeing Griffin’s profile on LinkedIn, the professional social media network.
Since she wasn’t sure she could actually land a job via LinkedIn, her father, John, accompanied Griffin to her first assignment. Since then one of her parents has come to each of her games because, Griffin said, “They enjoy watching me work.
“It just fell into my lap a little bit,” Griffin said. “They stumbled upon me. It’s a great step for me.”
The on-hand experience has been particularly helpful because Providence does not offer a communications program. Griffin is majoring in humanities, with a minor in Film & Television.
“I love it,” Griffin said. “It’s been so great. They have been so supportive of me and helpful because they know it is something I want to do. The play by play people have been great.”
Griffin has been allowed to accept assignments around her school schedule. She hopes to work a few more games during her current holiday break, and said she should have some flexibility to call games during this final semester.
Griffin said there might be opportunities with FiOs after she graduates in May, and is readying her resume in the hopes of becoming the next Doris Burke.
“I want to be a sideline reporter,” Griffin said. “That’s my absolute dream job.”
Griffin has one more goal before graduation: there are still basketball and volleyball intramural seasons forthcoming.
“I want to graduate with at least 10 titles,” she said.