September 18, 2013

Coaches Corner: In Love & Basketball

Welcome to yet another installment of Coaches Corner where I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the Toledo Rocket wives whom I consider a dear friend, Allyson (Allie) Clifton Kalsow!

How did you and Kalsow meet? 

My husband and I met at The University of Toledo. However, we were not both students. In fact, I was just about to graduate with my undergraduate degree (3 weeks away), when he, along with the (at the time) NEW Men’s Basketball Coaching staff, was taking their first ever tour of the University. I spotted him in the coaching offices as I was waiting to do my “exit meeting” with my college coach. All I remember is he was (in my eyes at first sight) 7’0 ft tall & his dress pants that he was wearing that day touched the floor…the rest is now history. :)

So, you are a graduate of the University of Toledo and played for the WBB. It seems that you guys have a lot in common. Whose more competitive in the family? 

I know we will disagree on this one (point in case) but I am more competitive…for sure. ;) In all seriousness though I think that is one of the reasons why we are able to love one another so naturally. We are competitive and we both love a daily challenge. It keeps our relationship fresh because naturally we are trying new things with/for one another. It’s fun.

Do you miss the sport of basketball?

There is no doubt that I DO miss the sport of basketball. I miss being a part of a team, being able to lean on one another (my teammates) for support no matter if it is something that happens on the court, or if it happens off the court – that feeling is invaluable. The one thing I always had with basketball was a sisterhood. Luckily I am fortunate and have been able to stay in touch with many teammates. I also feel I am very fortunate because even though my career as a basketball player came to an end physically, I have found a career path in which I am on the court constantly. Being a sideline reporter (currently for Fox Sports Ohio & The Cleveland Cavaliers) I have been able to stay very connected with the game and now at an even higher level. It has been a BIG blessing & I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Wow! You have such a fun and exciting career! Where do you buy most of your wardrobe? Do you have a stylist?

As a sportscaster times are very exciting as I mentioned, yet can be challenging & “stressful” at the same time. What I mean by that brings me back to your question regarding a “stylist.” I do not have a stylist at the current level I am working at (The Regional Level). It makes getting ready and staying fresh (a new look) each and every game, tough. I am the type of girl that I will not wear the same top on air more than once throughout the course of a season (84 games – 7 months). So as you can imagine it can be costly, so I try and shop great deals with still a great look – New York & Company is one of my favorite places. Number one: It has a “TALL” pant selection. I am 5’11…pants aren’t the easiest to find, but they have them. Also, many different professional yet very classy finds.

Who of the female sports broadcasters do you admire most and why?
As you can imagine when ever I watch a sporting event now days, I am hardly watching the actual game. I listen to the commentators and watch the male or female on the sideline. Sam Ponder (College Game Day, Big Ten Hoops & Thursday night Game of the Week for Football) is one of my favorites. She adds a flavorful piece to each broadcast she does. Erin Andrews has always been a favorite as well – exemplifies hard work & what it takes to be successful in such a male dominated profession. There are many others (Rachel Nichols, Dorris Burke to name a few more) that I really enjoy.

You and Kalsow recently got married....
What was the best moment of that day?

We did. It was a day that I wish we could repeat X 10 all over again. We still talk about it & all the fun we had. The best part for me was the moment I spent with my father before and during our trip down the aisle as he gave me away to my husband – it was a priceless moment that I don’t get too often with my father who has been such an incredible inspiration in my life.

Also all the time I got to spend with family & friends leading up to the BIG day was GREAT – so many things, it is very hard to narrow down, I could go on for days as you can imagine.

What famous actor or actress have you met that made you awestruck?

I like this question for many reasons. A lot of people that I come across ask me how I interview NBA players and stay so composed. To me, that part is the easiest because I have played the same game since I was 3 years old & I was fortunate enough to play it at a high level. To me I think of these players as brothers “of the game” to me. I understand and GET, to a certain degree, what they are going through. BUT this past year when I came across someone who I just LOVE…Khloe Kardashian, I was NOT SO COMPOSED. I was with the team in LA for the Cavs/Clippers game when I found myself sitting in a “fold up” chair behind one of the baskets (somewhere you would never expect a celebrity to be sitting, especially not Khloe). I am paying attention to the game about ready to do an interview with Tyler Zeller when I look to my right & there she stood. She politely told me I was sitting in her seat so I moved, but then she said there was an extra seat so I just had to scoot over. No big deal right? One thing led to the next, a picture was captured, I proceeded with my walk-off interview & sent our broadcast to break with “..It’s the Cavs leading the Bucs at the half, stay with us.” (Hopefully you caught that, yes I said we were playing the Bucs…I blame it on being “awestruck” by the one and only, Khloe Kardashian…still a GREAT day!)

What is the most fun aspect of your job?

The most fun aspect of my job is getting to travel to all of the incredible cities, watching basketball & getting paid to do so. Truly sums it all up --- I cannot complain one single bit.           

What is the most difficult?

The most difficult is being away from my husband, Jason. It is not easy to have to live away from the love of your life for 7 plus months of the year. Luckily we are young and feel we can make it work at this time. We are two individuals who are very passionate about our jobs, but are more passionate of one another and our choice to be successful in our careers that we make it work. Communication & dedication to our relationship and now marriage is like our “competition” challenge & we at this time wouldn’t have it any other way.

I simply L-O-V-E Allie! She was my workout buddy prior to Greece, while in Greece, and now it seems that my workouts have slowed down a bit. Let me tell you, if you want to push yourself during a workout and/or feel super out of shape then workout with a former collegiate athlete, turned professional trainer - Yikes! 

Oh, and her story about Khloe Kardashian had me dying. When I originally heard the story, I think I posed about 1 million questions. It may have been one of the first times I had actually met her and I was certain that she saw me as a lost cause! Ha, she may still feel that way!

She has a fabulous family which is evidenced in her response about the best moment of her wedding day... And of course, we could not leave without a picture with the women of the Clifton Household, Allie's mother, sister, and self right before she walked down the aisle! 

Much appreciation to Allie for sitting down with me for a few minutes. She is actually in New York until Friday for some special NBA meetings... Wonder what those are all about?




No comments:

Post a Comment