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Mercer Alumni Host New Sports Show in Memphis, Tennessee

Avery Braxton reports from the sidelines of a basketball game
Pictures of Avery Braxton Mercer University

A 2018 graduate of the Mercer University Joint Center for Journalism, Avery Braxton currently hosts 901 Sports XL, a sports show that airs on ABC 24 Memphis, Tennessee. He pitched the idea to News his station boss, who recently launched a show this fall.

“It feels really great. It’s kind of a culmination of your own efforts…and I’m proud of where we’re going,” Braxton said. There’s a lot of , but it’s great that it’s on track and something we can work on every week.”

On this show, Braxton will cover Memphis-area sports news, including the Memphis Grizzlies, the University of Memphis Tigers, and local high school sports.

“We try to incorporate that kind of news into the show throughout the week, and then add our own little twist,” says Braxton. “Besides that, we are trying to bring something exclusive to our market. It’s really fun for us.”

Braxton wanted to pursue sports journalism from the age of 13 or 14.

“Mercer gave me the opportunity to try something, try new things, do things that weren’t necessarily done before,” said Braxton.

He was one of the first classes to work at the college’s ESPN studio, broadcasting Mercer sports games like football and basketball.

“I think this experience really encouraged me to take on this[sports show]role,” he said.

Braxton also gained experience through internships and internships at Mercer.

“Mercer really gave me a chance more than anything else,” he said. “I think it’s easy to see a bigger journalism school, but I wanted to be a place that was a little more intimate. And it really paid off for me in the end.”

These opportunities were aided by my connections and experience at CCJ, including an internship at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Knight CUNJY internship in New York City, and a job at 13WMAZ in Macon.

“I think he’s just a great example of someone who’s really taken advantage of the experience offered at Mercer,” said CCJ Director Debbie Blankenship. “It’s just exciting to see him continue to rise in the world of sports coverage and sports journalism.”

Braxton, she said, was Mercer’s first student and worked his way up to a side reporting position on the college’s ESPN team. Braxton said he worked on graphics, replays and audio before standing in front of the camera on the sidelines.

“I think all of these things have really helped me understand how other people behave in their work. It also helps us understand what we need to do to get better,” he said.

Braxton has always had an interest in sports coverage, but was open to other types of journalism.

“One summer he did an investigative reporting internship at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and it wasn’t in his wheelhouse at all,” Blankenship said. “But I think it was great for him because it pushed him to do things he wasn’t comfortable with.” …I think it helped him become a better storyteller. ”

After graduating from Mercer, Braxton worked as a general news reporter at 13WMAZ. He worked at a news station as an intern through his CCJ.

13WMAZ Sports Executive Producer and Sports Anchor Marvin James said: “He was always full of ideas, always pushing different ideas and strategies, so it was difficult even to see him as an intern.

“So he was very well thought out of the box, so it was always nice to have him.”

Braxton covered the general news in his first year at 13WMAZ. At the same time, he asked to help with the Friday night football show.When more sports coverage opportunities came along, Braxton earned the position of his sports anchor.

“I cringed and tried to pitch an idea that I thought would work for news stations,” Braxton said.

James said Braxton brought in many different ideas to help the sports sector grow.

“It’s been great to see him come up with so many ideas, so many platforms, what he wanted to show and what we thought needed to grow in the news sector. “He thought he needed to show more for local students, local kids, and women’s sport. He always talked about it.”

Braxton received one of the 2021 Best Sports Anchor Awards from the Georgia Broadcasting Corporation.

“He clearly understood the sacrifices and compromises to be great,” said James.

Additionally, he said Braxton has great energy on air.

“He was so elated,” he said. “It didn’t matter what happened to him personally. He was going to go ahead and do his best in those three minutes and give that shine to the student-athlete he was watching. I was going to.

“He always brought energy to the table and a big sunshine on the sometimes devastating newscasts.”

Braxton briefly worked as a Gameday host for the Atlanta Falcons after leaving 13WMAZ in 2021. He’s now on ABC 24 Memphis his little over a year.

He said he took a lot into his career from Mercer.

“Everywhere I go, I try to leave my place of work, but it’s a little better than I’ve found,” Braxton said. I think I’ve learned a lot about having to earn trust.”

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