Michigan alum Alexis Ayala is paving the way for young journalists. Despite her relatively short time in sports media, her progress is just the beginning. Ayala has been involved in sports from a young age, drawing inspiration from her father Alejandro Ayala.
“My dad is my hero and closest confidant,” shared Alexis Ayala in her Sh3GotGame interview. “He’s always had a deep love for basketball. His passion is infectious and he believes the game teaches invaluable life lessons beyond the sport itself.”
My dad is the epitome of the best dad and husband and man ever #doingitright
— Lexi Ayala (@LexiReyne1523) June 29, 2015
Alexis Ayala’s Transition from Athlete to Sports Broadcaster
Alexis Ayala openly expresses her passion and joy for basketball, despite no longer being able to play. She humorously admits to checking her eligibility multiple times, but unfortunately, she is no longer eligible. Ayala initially played for two years at Lawrence Technology University before considering walking on at Michigan State University for another two years.
Realizing her slim chances of being drafted to the WNBA, Ayala’s love for the game motivated her to stay involved even without playing. She pursued a broadcasting major and transferred to M.S.U. to kickstart her career. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Ayala seized opportunities by commentating games solo in the studio. As she grew more comfortable, she developed a persona known as “Big Lexi” to find her own broadcasting voice.
When asked about the origin of her persona, many might assume it came from a sports-related incident. However, it actually stemmed from a viral video on the internet platform Vine, which followed her throughout high school and college.
“I always introduce myself as Big Lexi whenever I get the chance,” Ayala explained.
What Does Ayala Love about Broadcasting?
What sets broadcasting and journalism apart is the ability to express one’s heartfelt emotions. Ayala shares a similar sentiment when it comes to openly embracing her passion for the game she loves. While she enjoyed writing and keeping journals in her younger days, there’s a distinct energy and experience that comes with broadcasting a game and witnessing a pivotal shot.
Jemelle Hill and Michelle Beadle serve as some of Ayala’s greatest inspirations in the realm of on-air talent. She admires their unapologetic authenticity and their ability to consistently deliver exceptional content. Despite facing recent setbacks in their respective shows, Ayala finds inspiration in their resilience and ability to find success amidst adversity. Additionally, Meghan McKeown, the sports broadcaster for the Chicago Sky and Ayala’s mentor, has played a significant role in shaping Ayala’s career.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Michelle Beadle and Jemelle Hill!” Ayala emphasized. “They were never afraid to be true to themselves. And of course, I can’t forget to mention my incredible mentor, Meghan McKeown. She has been absolutely amazing.”
Ayala’s Advice on Being “Different”
Sometimes, the key to being different is simply being yourself. Alexis Ayala often spoke about how she embraced her uniqueness and stopped comparing herself to others. She became so immersed in her authentic self that she couldn’t see anyone else. It was then that people recognized her as a sports media star.
In fact, Ayala advises young journalists to start in smaller markets where they can make mistakes and learn. Even the most self-assured and smart people make mistakes every day. She advises everyone to embrace mistakes as chances to learn and grow. It’s preferable to make mistakes on a smaller level rather than having the whole world witness them.
“I always advise people to sometimes forget about the concept of time,” passionately stated Ayala. “Staying focused on your own path and allowing things to unfold naturally is the best approach. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, preferably in smaller markets, but make them early on.”
In conclusion, when asked if there was any other advice she would offer to young journalists and broadcasters who resonate with her story, she responded:
“No matter what, always say ‘Yes’ to everything. Many people limit themselves and miss out on countless opportunities due to fear. Be fearless and know your worth.”