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Why I Write: Matt Hanifan

NCAA BASKETBALL: FEB 17 Fresno State at Nevada Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Editor’s note: Welcome to our series for this summer. Every Thursday from June through August, one of our writers will share a bit about the journey that brought them here. The goal is to provide a way for our readers to learn more about the people behind the keyboard as well as the steps they have taken in their careers so far.

What are some interesting notes about your personal life that you care to share?

I wouldn’t consider myself too exciting, but here are a couple of things about myself:

  • I am a 22-year-old college student that’s been writing about sports — and Nevada — for about five years.
  • I played high school basketball; I wasn’t very good, but I still played. I’m still not very good, by the way! I played three other sports as a kid: Baseball, Football and Tennis. I was probably best at Tennis, too, but only played it for one year in high school.
  • My favorite sport is basketball. Will always be my first and true love. My everyday job(s) includes writing about the NBA/Miami Heat/Nevada.
  • The oddest thing about me is that I’m a cereal nut; if you like cereal, I like you. Favorite ever? The Cinnabon cereal, though it’s not made anymore. Favorite now? Fruity Pebbles. All day every day.
  • I get asked this more and more frequently nowadays, but yes, I’m related to the late Jim Hanifan (third cousin). I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times in my life and I could sit and talk to him for hours on end.
  • Despite being 5’11”, I wear a size 15 shoe. Still waiting for that final growth spurt, please, and thank you.

Why do you like writing?

Growing up, I wasn’t much of a writer. I hated reading and writing in grade school, in all honesty. I was a math kid growing up and always excelled in that over English. But I found a sportswriting passion towards the end of high school and have loved it ever since. Sports writing will always have a place in my heart for as long as I do it. Any time I could read or write about sports, I felt the complete opposite than I did when I was younger. And that’s why I decided to pursue this as a career!

Why do you follow college sports?

From a young age, I always had an attachment to collegiate sports because there weren’t any professional sports teams where I grew up in Carson City, NV. Nevada Wolf Pack athletics were always the closest big sporting events I could attend and I found peace with that. I grew up watching Colin Kaepernick, Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson, and others. I don’t have an exact reason — but I was immediately hooked and have been ever since.

What led to writing for MWCConnection?

My first real writing job was with my University paper, The Nevada Sagebrush. Considering how much I enjoyed writing about Nevada athletics, I felt like I needed to expand my by-line if sportswriting was something I wanted to pursue a career in. I began writing fan posts for the site and a close friend of mine and a former MWCConnection writer, Isaiah Burrows, reached out to Mike and lobbied me to write about Nevada for the site. I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity. The rest is history!

What you like about writing for MWCConnection?

First and foremost, I get to share content with plenty of other great Mountain West Connection writers. We have a ton of talented people who have written, and are currently writing for this site and I truly learn something — or seven things — everyday from all the great content creators we have. Secondly, I get to talk about my hometown team and the program I grew up watching. Not a day goes by when I’m not thankful for this life!