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Student-Athlete Aspires to Be a Sports Reporter

A vast majority of student-athletes stop playing competitive sports after they graduate. Most of them need to know what they want to do with their lives once they leave the campus of their university. Alex Puller is no different. She came to the University of Florida with a competitive spirit and that helped find her love.

Growing Up in Maryland

Alex practically started walking with a lacrosse stick in her hand. She started playing while she was in first grade and always found herself competing with older girls.

“So, if I was in sixth grade I would be playing with eighth graders,” Puller said. “And I was super competitive and loved lacrosse.”

Courtesy: UAA

That competitive spirit at an early age didn’t end after she left the lacrosse field. Puller was a three-sport athlete (basketball and field hockey) and played each sport all the way up to the high school level.

There we plenty of private high schools she could’ve gone to play lacrosse. Yet, Alex went with the perfect fit.

“That (being a three-sports athlete) influenced where I went to high school. My school wasn’t the greatest at lacrosse as other private schools were,” she said. “But, it was closer to me and a better option for me lacrosse-wise.”

Puller led her high school, Archbishop Spalding, to a program-best 12-6 during her senior year in 2013.

Just like her high school decision, she chose the perfect fit for college as well.

Why Florida?

Courtesy: UAA

Considering all the big lacrosse schools in the northeast, why would a Maryland-local decide to go the University of Florida?

“What I wanted was a school that was big in their atmosphere and in athletics as well,” Alex said. “So I chose UF because it’s one of the only SEC schools that has lacrosse.”

The Gators, of course, are in the Big East conference in lacrosse. However, that SEC by association was a big draw for her. Puller also eluded to the fact that Florida is one of the few schools in the southern part of the country that is always competing at the highest level.

Currently, the Gators are ranked second in the polls.

Playing for the Gators

“Picking a school that had a big athletic environment and a top lacrosse program were my top things while picking a college,” Alex said.

Unfortunately for her because UF recruits top-notch talent, she did not hit the field as often she was used to. Puller became a decent role-player for the lacrosse team but then realized a career path outside of playing sports was in the cards.

Aspiring Sports Reporter

Alex didn’t know for certain she wanted to be a sports reporter when she came to school. Originally, her major was social and behavioral sciences.

Puller didn’t know about a telecommunications major until she spoke with her advisor about it. “When I found out this is something I wanted to attempt and try to pursue, I fell in love with it,” she said.

Now, her competitive fire takes place in a newsroom. Through hard work and perseverance, Alex worked her way up the ranks at ESPN Gainesville and was awarded a special trip in 2016.

Alongside another sports reporter, Puller went to Omaha to cover the Florida Gators at the College World Series. She was tasked with writing a daily web story on the team and added videos on her own initiative.

This experience cemented her desire to make it her lifelong career.

What’s Next?

“Lacrosse will definitely be over after this year.”

Alex will be hanging up the cleats this year for a microphone. She expressed an interest in broadcasting lacrosse games, but really she has no preference in what sport she covers.

As for what her dream is in exactly five years, there was no hesitation in her answer.

“Alex Puller’s dream job in five years is to be reporting for the World Series.”

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Part of Interview

About Fernando Juncadella

Senior at the University of Florida. Working at ESPN Gainesville for four years, covering Florida football, softball, and baseball.

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