Who am I? My name is Prince Jared Askew Grimes, and I’m a sports journalist from Prince George’s County, Maryland. But more than a commentator on the games, athletes and teams I watch, I’m a fan. Today, I’m an editor at ESPN, who’s taken an unconventional path to this point.
Growing up with a dad from New York, my first love was the New York Giants. Not long after, I adopted Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Derek Jeter’s Yankees. As I got older, my sports allegiances across all leagues outside of the NFL shifted to my home region of Washington, D.C. Today, I root for the Wizards, Nationals, Capitals and Terrapins. My loyalty to the Giants, and related hatred for the Redskins, is unwavering.
I got my first taste of sports journalism while attending North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. As a junior, I began covering Aggie athletics for the school newspaper, “The A&T Register.” The final semester of my senior year, I split time as the paper’s sports editor. During that time, I also interned at WTVD – ABC11 in Raleigh/Durham, learning from pros like Charlie Mickens, Mark Armstrong and Anthony Wilson, among others. I had an opportunity to film sporting events, attend ACC basketball and football games and interview the athletes, shoot and edit my own packages, and more. In addition to ABC, I also volunteered at WLXI, the studio that produces Total Christian Television programming in Greensboro, NC. I gained experience operating studio cameras, lighting a set, and observing the work of a director and graphics team. I completed my bachelor of science in journalism and mass communication in 2010.
It wouldn’t be until 2014 when I finally started working in the field I graduated to work in. After living in Charlotte for a few months, I moved back to Maryland and worked several different jobs the whole way before deciding I wanted to go all-in on journalism. Once my mind was made up, I started writing about D.C.-area sports for Examiner.com for free, while still working a full-time job. Shortly after, I started my first blog called Crown on the Rock, which focused on the Wizards. I used those platforms to build my writing portfolio but struggled to find work in the sports field. My desperation led me to apply for a general news writing job with the local newspaper in my county, “The Gazette.” That’s when the stars aligned for me. After reviewing my resume, the people in charge decided I would be a better candidate for the sports writer position that had just opened. After interviewing and doing a sample assignment, I was finally a professional sports journalist.
A little more than a year later, The Washington Post Co., which owned “The Gazette” and several other community newspapers, decided it no longer wanted to operate those divisions and either closed or sold all of them. “The Gazette” was permanently shut down, but once again God was on my side. The editor of another one of those papers, “Southern Maryland Newspapers,” noticed my work and wanted to hire me as a writer after they were sold to Adams Publishing Group. I stayed on with SoMdNews until 2016, when I was hired at ESPN as a BottomLine editor. In 2017, I was promoted to senior editor.