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 Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag, 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 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 wrote a sequel a year later, traveling to Australia for two weeks to profile Melo as he prepares to be a Top 3 Draft pick. She profiled NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Alex Antetokounmpo, his youngest brother, to tell a tale about brotherhood, manhood, loss, and hoops. She’s tackled sensitive topics, such as 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’s written about struggle and redemption at the pro level, profiling Patrick Beverley, the Clippers floor general who took an unconventional path to the NBA; Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans superstar who recovered from a health scare and a trade from the Lakers; and Roberto Aguayo, the greatest college kicker who suddenly couldn’t make a kick once he reached the NFL; and Nassir Little, a once sure NBA lottery pick that suddenly found himself navigating life from the bench under legendary North Carolina coach Roy Williams. She’s written about sports culture from unique vantage points, such as following the FBI college basketball scandal through the eyes of two pariahs; and writing about the difficulties (and joys) of the WNBA by spending a week on the road with the Las Vegas Aces. She’s profiled standout NBA players such as Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Tyler Herro, and Nate Robinson; NFL players such as Davante Adams and Aaron Donald; WNBA players such as Liz Cambage and U.S. Women’s National Soccer players such as Mallory Pugh.
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 was named a notable selection in the 2019 Best American Sports Writing. The Associated Press of Sports Editors (APSE) awarded her James Ransom story with Top 10 honors for Best Feature Story in 2019. She also 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; as well as first place in the 2017 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Best Writing Contest for magazine-length features for her story on Mo’ne Davis. Her work has also been honored by the Pro Basketball Writers Association and the Football Writers Association of America. Her story on professional skateboarder Brighton Zeuner was named a notable selection in the 2017 Best American Sports Writing.
Mirin regularly appears on podcasts and radio shows, such as WBUR’s Only a Game, NPR’s sports storytelling podcast. Her work has also 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 several university journalism classes, including UC Berkeley, 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, having applied or reached out to over 50 publications upon graduation from Occidental College in 2013. 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 was determined to write as much as she could. She’s also written for Sports Illustrated, SLAM Magazine, Los Angeles Daily News and SB Nation. Before attending Occidental, she played basketball her freshman year at Lewis & Clark College. She will always love the game.
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