In fifth grade Mirin became the first girl to join her elementary school’s all-boys basketball team. The boys didn’t like it, they didn’t pass her the ball, they guarded her tougher than usual, even pushing her to the ground and sending her to the Emergency Room once. But she loved the challenge, so she kept coming back. She’s still coming back. Hoops led her to writing. Writing leads her back to hoops.
Now she’s a staff writer for The Ringer, writing long-form, human-interest features on all sports. Her goal is to tell interesting, compelling stories about people that happen to play sports. She’s profiled some of the biggest names in sports, from NBA to NFL to NCAA to WNBA to high school and to youth sports. She’s the author of the forthcoming book, GIANNIS: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP, based off her profile of two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his youngest brother Alex Antetokounmpo. The book will be released August 10, 2021 by Hachette Books. You can pre-order the book here, or here, or anywhere else you buy books.
During her previous gig as a staff writer for Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag, from 2017-20, Mirin traveled to freezing-cold Prienai, Lithuania, for three weeks to profile LaMelo Ball and LaVar Ball, chronicling the chaos surrounding America’s most famous basketball family, and then traveled to Australia the following year for two weeks to profile LaMelo again as he prepared to be a Top Draft pick. She profiled the late Gigi Bryant, writing the first story that centered her as a talented player, exploring who she was as a girl, friend, and teammate, too; while also profiling the late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, talking to his mother and wife about his overdose and who he was as a human being, the life he lived. She’s profiled some of the NBA’s biggest stars, including Giannis Antetokounmpo Brandon Ingram, Patrick Beverley, Ja Morant, Marcus Smart and Tyler Herro.
She’s also profiled some of the world’s best women athletes, too, including Mikaela Shiffrin, Sabrina Ionescu, Coco Gauff, Liz Cambage and Mallory Pugh. She’s tackled sensitive topics, such as writing about the suicide of a 13-year-old football player named James Ransom, and the questions it raised about CTE, mental health and youth sports; as well as brain trauma and CTE in U.S. Women’s Soccer, and the prejudice that a Black transgender runner named Andraya Yearwood faces to compete. She also profiled Roberto Aguayo, the greatest college kicker who suddenly couldn’t make a kick once he reached the NFL.
In the words of Folio Magazine, which named her a Top Woman in Media in the “Up and Comer” category in 2019: “Fader has a specific way of telling stories that allows her readers to feel exactly what she is conveying. Her journalistic accolades are plentiful, which is not surprising for a writer that has an affinity for capturing the grit, emotion and physical hardships that comes with athletes. Fader’s stories have energy as well as a unique approach to reporting—much like the subject matter she covers.”
Her LaMelo Ball story from Australia, and her CTE and women’s soccer story, were both named notable selections in the 2020 Best American Sports Writing, and her LaMelo Ball Lithuania story was a notable in the 2019 Best American Sports Writing. She was also a 2020 Dan Jenkins medal finalist, a prestigious honor in sports journalism. Twice, Mirin has won first place in the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association for Magazine-Length features (in 2020 for her Gigi Bryant profile, and in 2017 for her Mo’Ne Davis profile). The Associated Press of Sports Editors (APSE) awarded her Top 10 honors for Best Explanatory Story in 2020 (CTE Women’s Soccer) and Top 10 honors for Best Feature Story in 2019. She won first place in the 2019 Los Angeles Press Club Journalism Awards for best sports feature for her LaMelo Ball story; first place in the 2019 Orange County Press Club Awards for her Ransom story. Her work has also been honored by the Pro Basketball Writers Association and the Football Writers Association of America.
Mirin regularly appears on podcasts and radio shows, and her work has been featured on premier longform websites such as Longreads and Longform. She is a member of the Association for Women in Sports Media, where she was a member of their 2018-19 “Champions” class. She has spoken about sports feature writing, journalism and storytelling at many university journalism classes, including UC Berkeley, Northwestern, University of Virginia, Middlebury College, University of Maryland, Chapman University, Cal Lutheran University and Cal State Fullerton (please ask her to come speak!)
Prior to B/R, she contributed features to ESPN.com (espnW). Before that, she got her start as a staff writer for the Orange County Register from 2013-17. While writing for the Register, Mirin wrote any feature she could get her hands on, from Cal State Fullerton baseball to SoCal Japanese basketball leagues to little-league sports. She’s also written for Sports Illustrated, SLAM Magazine, Los Angeles Daily News and SB Nation. She graduated from Occidental College in 2013. Before attending Occidental, she played basketball her freshman year at Lewis & Clark College. She will always love the game.
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