Dream Come True: Working in the NBA
It’s a dream come true for Nick Gallo ’06 — he has a job that revolves around sports and has given him the chance to visit Istanbul, Manchester, Barcelona, Madrid and Mexico City, along with NBA cities all over the U.S. with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gallo is a sideline reporter for the Thunder’s regional television games on Fox Sports Oklahoma provides written and video reporting for okcthunder.com and the team’s various social platforms; and works behind the camera as a producer.
Q — What have you been up to since graduating from Durham Academy?
A — After attending Durham Academy, I enrolled at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, majoring in political science and minoring in corporate strategy. While I was at Vanderbilt, I joined on-campus groups, enjoyed the benefits of living in a growing, emerging city and continued writing about sports for our school’s newspaper, the Vanderbilt Hustler. During the summer, I completed internships with the Tennessee Titans in their media relations and website departments, and also spent time in Washington, D.C., working for a political talk show, The McLaughlin Group. In addition, I completed an independent study my senior year, working closely with a professor to write my thesis on patronage and political appointees in government, which I presented at the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago in 2010.
After graduating from Vanderbilt later that spring, I accepted a season-long internship with the New York Jets as a writer for the team’s website, newyorkjets.com. After a season as a reporter, there was a lockout in the NFL so my position for the next year wasn’t guaranteed. I worked as a freelance sports writer covering local high school athletics, came back to Durham for a month and then returned to the Jets in the fall of 2011 as an intern with the media relations department.
Six months later, I accepted a full-time position with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where I’ve been employed for the past seven seasons. I started as a website writer, but the team has allowed me to gain new experiences and spread my wings over the years.
Q — What are we doing now?
A — I now currently serve as a sideline reporter for the Thunder’s regional television games on Fox Sports Oklahoma, in addition to providing written and video reporting for okcthunder.com and our various social platforms. I also work behind the camera as a producer on team documentaries and video shorts.
Q — Why do you do what you do?
A — It’s been an absolute dream come true to be working in the NBA, to have my job revolve completely around sports and get to travel all over the world with the team. I work all 82 games and have had the chance to visit Istanbul, Manchester, Barcelona, Madrid and Mexico City along with the other NBA cities. I could never have imagined being able to do this for a living while playing baseball for Coach Regnerus or basketball at the CavDome. I don’t know what’s quite next for me career-wise, but I plan to keep doing what I can to hold onto this opportunity and advance it further.
My sister, Natalie Gallo [DA class of 2013], moved out to Oklahoma City a couple years after I arrived, and it’s been great to have her close by as we both grow in our careers and lives. I met my wife, Maddie Schrunk, here in Oklahoma. We got married in September of 2017 and adopted a border collie named Heidi. We love walking to restaurants and other places in our neighborhood in Oklahoma City, and always enjoy traveling, particularly to see family and friends all over the country.
Q — What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today?
A — The experience I gained from Durham Academy was incredibly valuable. DA established the idea of “showing, not telling” to me as a writer. I learned how to learn and to think critically. The friendships I made, the teachers I had and the challenges I faced all helped shape me into a person who hopefully approaches my profession with humility, my colleagues with respect and my family with care. I can’t be more thankful for the doors that were opened to me because I was a Cavalier.