If you’re a fan of the NCAA regional basketball tournaments, you’ve been seeing her face and hearing her sideline reports on national TV.
You’ll see and hear her again today, and if the name sounds familiar, it should.
The person emerging as a CBS network regular is Allie LaForce, who grew up in Vermilion and played basketball and softball at Vermilion High School, and basketball at Ohio University.
And who, by the way, is also featured in a Greater Cleveland car dealership ad being shown during some commercial breaks in the network’s opening-round telecasts.
LaForce, 24, is a former Cleveland Fox 8 sports personality who was hired by CBS in October and assigned to network headquarters in Los Angeles. Earlier in the week, she flew to Lexington, Ky., to prepare for the regional games she’s covering this weekend.
LaForce works the sidelines on telecasts featuring play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle and analyst Jim Spanarkel. She is one of three newcomers CBS has worked into its early-round coverage, along with analyst Doug Gottlieb and courtside reporter Rachel Nichols.
“It’s a true honor,” LaForce said in a phone interview. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m working with a crew that’s been together for 16 years, so this is wonderful because I’m not only learning from a veteran crew, but because I’m also living a dream.”
Her mother, Lisa LaForce, joined her in Lexington on Friday.
“The first time I saw Allie (on national TV), I just got goosebumps,” Lisa LaForce said. “It seemed like she had the epitome of confidence since Day One and it’s so much fun.”
It’s been a big week for Allie and younger sister AuBree, the daughters of Lisa and Wade LaForce of Vermilion.
In addition to Allie’s rise as a national TV personality, AuBree — who recently set the Vermilion career scoring record — received the Lorain County Miss Basketball award Tuesday night. In addition, their brother Jack was a linebacker on Mount Union’s national championship football team last fall.
Allie is a 2007 graduate of Vermilion High. She graduated cum laude from Ohio University with a degree in broadcast journalism. She co-hosts the CBS show “Leading Off” with Gottlieb. While in Cleveland, she won an Emmy as anchor of Fox 8’s “Friday Night Touchdown” high school football show.
You can see her on CBS network affiliates working two games tonight from the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or email@example.com.