Eugene Rapay is a 24-year-old sports journalist from a small town in New York called Dobbs Ferry. Rapay attended Villanova University, graduating in 2016, for his major in communications and his double minor in journalism and writing and rhetoric.
Eugene writes for a number of different places as a sports journalist. Eugene is a manager/editor for the VU Hoops, a website with his podcast about Villanova Basketball. He is a SB Nation affiliate, a staff writer for places including Big East Coast Bias, The Knicks Wall (writing previews, recaps, and features), and The Rivertowns Enterprise.
For Eugene, choosing to write about sports was not a hard decision. He first started out covering the basketball team at Villanova, around the time they were national contenders, which allowed for some pretty high-profile writing. Networking became a big part of his job, along with writing stories, and by doing so he was able to build a portfolio from internships that led to him covering the 10 basketball teams in the Big East Coast Bias. Rapay was covering gam
es that were held at Madison Square Garden and had multiple appearances in different NBA podcasts talking about the Draft and basketball prospects. This job led to The Knicks Wall, where he was covering a professional team for the first time.
When choosing journalism as his major, Eugene knew that he did not want to be working out of a cubicle for his entire life and knew he had a love for sports, such as football, so he decided to make that his career. Rapay said that at first it was hard to break into the industry because he did not have much experience and few people wanted to let him write but he “decided to start up [his] own blog to focus on the Villanova men’s basketball team. VUBenchMob.com“. This blog took off and he opened many doors to covering amazing events such as “games at Madison Square Garden, I covered the NCAA Final Four and National Championship games in San Antonio last year, I had internships and job opportunities, and even got to work for the Philadelphia Eagles–although it was before they got Super Bowl good”.
For his future goals in his career, he hopes to one day cover the NFL. Football has always been his “first love” and has always interested him the most due to the “strategy behind it, the team concept, and the physical nature of it”.
Eugenes tips for journalists hoping to break into the sports industry or any journalism industry is to write every day or almost every day. He mentioned that one of his mentors once told him that “writing is like a muscle. You have to work it out everyday, much like a runner runs to train everyday, and students attend class Monday through Friday to stimulate and work out their brains.” This has gotten him to where he is today. It is all of the practice someone does that makes one of their pieces a hit and goes viral. Another tip he mentions is to not be afraid to start small, such as high school, and to actually get in person experience of covering games or events. Many things are different in person versus on the web or the television.