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 senior staff writer for The Ringer, writing long-form, human-interest sports features. She’s the New York Times best-selling author of the book, Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP, based off her profile of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his youngest brother, Alex Antetokounmpo. The book was released August 10, 2021 by Hachette Books, and debuted at No. 3 on the NYT Best-seller list. It is also a Los Angeles Times Bestseller, Wall Street Journal Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, Publishers Weekly Bestseller. Jemele Hill called it a “gorgeous portrayal.” Shea Serrano called it “unputdownable.” The New York Times Book Review, which published an excerpt of the book when it was released, said: “Giannis…captures an endearing portrait of Antetokounmpo by using his family as its primary through-line as he made his way to the N.B.A. and the United States. The framing makes for a more compelling journey than what would normally be expected of a parade of tough coaches, on-court rivals and personal uncertainty.”
Mirin’s work focuses more on the person rather than the player. She writes long form stories about people who happen to play sports, telling the interesting and compelling backstories that shape some of our most complex, most dominant, heroes. She’s profiled some of the world’s most prolific athletes across all sports, including traveling to freezing-cold Prienai, Lithuania, in the dead of winter for three weeks in 2018 to profile LaMelo Ball, and then traveled to Australia in 2019 for two weeks to profile LaMelo again as he prepared to be a top NBA draft pick. Since then, she’s profiled other stars including DeMar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brandon Ingram, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Ja Morant, Bryce Young, Davante Adams, Breanna Stewart, Patrick Beverley, Jae’Sean Tate, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Mobley, Marcus Smart , Tyler Herro, Austin Reaves, Mikaela Shiffrin, Sabrina Ionescu, Coco Gauff and more.
She is perhaps best known for her profile of Gigi Bryant, writing a story that centered her as a talented player, exploring who she was as a girl, friend, and teammate. She also profiled 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. Her stories, according to Folio Magazine, which named her a “Top Woman in Media” in 2019, “capture the grit, emotion and physical hardships that comes with athletes.” She wrote about the murder of Indigenous women through a profile of distance runner Rosalie Fish; 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.
Previously she was a staff writer for Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag from 2017-2020 and freelanced for ESPN.com (espnW). She got her start writing sports features at the Orange County Register from 2013-17 after graduating from Occidental College in 2013 with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. Before transferring to Occidental, she played basketball her freshman year at Lewis & Clark College.
Her work has been honored by the Pro Writers Basketball Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the U.S. Writers Basketball Association, the Football Writers Association of America, and the Los Angeles Press Club. Her work has been featured in the “Best American Sports Writing” series, as well as on the websites Longreads and Longform. She was awarded the 2021 Rising Star award by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. She was named 2021 Sports Book Author of the Year by The Big Lead. She was also a 2020 Dan Jenkins medal finalist, a prestigious honor in sports journalism.
She regularly speaks about sports feature writing, journalism and storytelling at universities across the country, including UC Berkeley, Penn, Northwestern, University of Missouri, University of Virginia, Middlebury College and more. Please ask her to come speak!
Photo credit: Hana Asano
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