Every spring the DMVSTREAM.COM Nova Challenge showcases high school basketball seniors from Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Alexandria and Prince William at Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia.

During this year’s Nova Challenge, I worked as a sideline reporter during one of the two all-star games and dunk contest.

As I’ve mentioned often in my blog recently, this semester’s internship with Monumental Sports & Entertainment has been a blast. Commuting from Baltimore to the nation’s capital three times a week, soaking up a professional network environment in the Verizon Center and receiving invaluable advice from mentors along the way has been a major stepping stone from a personal growth standpoint.

Landing the sideline reporting gig would not have been possible if it wasn’t for a little casual LinkedIn research I decided to partake in just a mere three weeks ago.

B.J. Koubaroulis is the CEO of Synthesis Multimedia Productions and Founder of DMVSTREAM.COM. Kelsey Mizeur, who used to do camera work for B.J., has been a huge mentor of mine throughout the semester at Monumental. When I saw the mutual connection between B.J. and Kelsey on LinkedIn, I knew I had to capitalize on it and at least look further into it.

Kelsey was nice enough to shoot B.J. an email and, sure enough, by the end of the week I had a tryout as a sideline reporter at the Nova Challenge.

This got me thinking and it reaffirmed a major belief of mine, and many others. If I had applied through Craiglist or sent an email to B.J. without Kelsey’s assistance, I probably never would have even received a response. Kelsey was my ‘in’ and just another reminder that it’s all about who you know.

I haven’t been given a concrete answer as to what the outcome of the tryout is, but I like my odds going forward and am thankful to have been given the opportunity.

Take a look at some of the highlights from my day as a sideline reporter below: