After three and a half years of reporting sports at Quincy Media’s KVOA in Tucson, AZ, Ari Alexander debuted on Graham Media’s KPRC in Houston

Alexander, a Russian immigrant, claims he learned English from watching ESPN’s “SportsCenter” as a child – one of the odder endorsements of “SportsCenter” we’ve encountered.

THE B.I.G. NEWSAfter 3.5 incredible years in Tucson at News 4 Tucson – KVOA, I'm extremely excited to join KPRC2 / Click2Houston in Houston, Texas as a Sports Anchor & Reporter starting July 1!THE STORYIn my first few job interviews for TV sports jobs after college – I got asked "Why do you like sports?"And I always thought it was a stupid question – probably because I never had a very good answer. I don't know, I just really like sports, it's my passion, I guess.But why?Years later, I think I have the answer.Sports is what connected me to America.Sports is how I learned English when I was little.Sports is among the first memories of amazement that I have.Sports is in the stories, and it's in my life story.5 years old, needing a way to connect to those around me, my older brother taught me how to play football with a plush ball in the living room (sorry about the glass flowers, Mom). He taught me baseball in the back yard (sorry about that time you said 'don't swing' and I thought you said swing and I hit you in the head, Alex), and we'd compete to see who could hit more home runs into the neighbor's tomato garden. I may not speak English, but I speak competition. My dad put up a basketball hoop on our garage and I pretended I was Michael Jordan in the driveway every day until it got dark. I took that, and found a connection with the other kids. It's how I made friends, it's how an immigrant kid from Russia in small-town Iowa found a way not to be lonely growing up. Because of sports.I learned English from ESPN Sportscenter. Thank you Dan Patrick and Stuart Scott and Keith Olbermann and Kenny Mayne and Linda Cohn and Rich Eisen and Chris Berman. You seriously taught me English. There's a 99% chance I walked into the kitchen and asked my dad, in an accent, what rumblin, bumblin and stumblin meant at some point.For those who know what I'm talking about, there is nothing better than the feeling of stepping out of the concourse, into the stadium and seeing the field for the first time. My eyes still jolt every time I walk into a new stadium. Every. Single. Time. I'm 8 years old again, 3rd base line at Shea.If you know me even a little bit, you know I don't shut up. Like at all. Ever. I tell stories all day, and for 6 years, I've gotten paid to do just that, which is, if you think about it, pretty ridiculous and ridiculously awesome.Coming from a town of 2,500 people, I can't wait to tell stories to a city of 2.5 million.I am, and always will be the little kid in the back yard, trying to hit a home run into neighbor Ray's tomato garden.Houston, I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait to tell your stories. KPRC, I am eternally grateful that you believed in a 28 year old kid with a passion. I promise you, every swing is ending up in that tomato garden.

Posted by KPRC2 Ari Alexander on Thursday, June 13, 2019

He also worked in Memphis, earlier in his career.

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