Former scribe for The Commonwealth Times and VCU alumnus Gabe Hauari has been making major professional strides since his 2017 graduation.
A sports writer for the publication until December of last year, Hauari reflected on covering the NCAA basketball tournament in 2016 and 2017, which he considers one of his favorite memories from his time at the paper.
“It was a really good experience and I learned a lot,” Hauari said.
However, Hauari — along with several other members of VCU’s sports media — were put through the wringer in 2017 during that same tournament.
After VCU’s first-round tournament loss to St. Mary’s College (Calif.), Hauari and others from the CT and WVCW Radio had to head home early from Salt Lake City, the site of VCU’s loss. They were all sorted onto different flights and wound up spending six hours at John F. Kennedy International Airport before eventually making their way home via a flight to Washington, D.C. and a subsequent early-morning Uber ride back to Richmond.
Hauari did not have fond memories of that experience.
“It was definitely memorable, but not exactly in a good way,” Hauari said. “Not the Commonwealth Times’ fault, it was kind of all on us.”
After his departure from VCU, Hauari traveled to Louisville, Ky., to intern at the Courier-Journal. He trained as a digital producer, learning about search engine optimization — also known as SEO — and how to optimize information for social media and the web.
Hauari also covered major sporting events during his three-month tenure in the Bluegrass State.
“I covered the Kentucky Derby and a PGA Tour event they had in a nearby town,” Hauari said. “[I also] covered recruiting, media days, and now I’m working part-time at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch sports editor Michael Phillips reached out to Hauari prior to his internship at the Courier-Journal, but Hauari fulfilled that commitment before returning to the offer from Phillips.
Hauari is currently a part-time sports producer at the newspaper, where he started the week after returning from Louisville in August.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind summer-fall, but it’s been worth it,” Hauari said.
While at the Richmond publication, Hauari has had the ability to cover the Washington Redskins and college football. Now, he has his sights set on more opportunities. He covered the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour women’s bowling championship in late September at Richmond Raceway. He has applied to be the University of Virginia beat writer at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, having been a fan of Cavalier athletics since a young age.
“I’m hoping that pans out because I can’t think of a job I’d want more than that one,” Hauari said.
He has also been in talks with Gannett, the media company that owns USA Today. The Courier-Journal is a Gannett-owned paper, and Hauari’s boss — who worked in Wisconsin for 12 years — informed Hauari that a job covering the Green Bay Packers may be in his future.
“I also applied for a producer role in Wisconsin, as well,” Hauari said. “I’m just applying, throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.”
Despite the whirlwind of applications, positions and locations that have surrounded Hauari the past several months, he stays focused on his passion for writing and love for sports.
“I’m trying to keep myself busy and trying to stay writing,” Hauari said.
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