Samira Ibrahim


All you need to know about Utah men’s basketball player Donnie Tillman


I have always been a fan of watching sports and attending games since I was a little kid. My love for sports has just continued to develop as I grew older, and has formed a special place in my heart. When I decided that I wanted to major in communication, my direct interest for an emphasis was in journalism — sports writing to be exact. I read as much of the textbooks, even watched and took notes on many well known commentators for the NBA and NFL.

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It was Colin Kaepernick’s story that had inspired me to write a biography on an athlete. With all the commotion going on with him protesting by kneeling for the national anthem, it truly has brought much focused attention on sports entertainment. What I found to be a beautiful intriguing message was the Nike campaign that was made for Kaepernick. The campaign was made to give a brief understanding to the general public of his situation and background. It allowed for them to understand why he was doing what he was doing, and brought insight to the valuable player. And that is what inspired me to write about a student athlete in order for the audience to understand his background better to become more engaged.  

Thankfully we live in a generation where it has become more accessible to communicate and reach out to individuals rather than the past. I used the best source which is the social media platform to reach out to Donnie Tillman and ask if he would like to be interviewed for this story. Tillman so kindly agreed to work with me and set aside some time, despite the fact that he was busy with March Madness approaching. We took the time to meet on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon to be able to conduct an interview to write this story. Tilman brought his teammates to join in for the interview to help out with the process.

Fortunately, I got lucky with an easy interview process and even shared many laughs with the guys. They are great devoted individuals who inspire me with their aspirations. It was easy for me to “make sense” of all the information I had gathered from Tillman, as he and I related on many things in life. We both were raised in lower-economic neighborhoods that challenged us with many adversities. This interview allowed us to be grateful for how far we have come in life and how far we will go.

The process of conducting a story and constructing it to be suitable for the UNews writing page was a bit overwhelming for me at first. But once I just set aside all of the judgments, anxiety, and fear of doing this, I was completely comfortable in my skin. Once I realized how much I enjoyed this and the subject of the matter, it then became easy for me to be motivated to write this story. What had surprised me thoroughly in conducting this story was how much I had felt at ease doing it. I thought this would be a tedious and hard assignment, but it indefinitely ended up being one of my favorites in my college career.


My name is Samira Ibrahim. I was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but came to America to get receive an education and build a career. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, but went to high school in Utah in the city of Saratoga Springs. My hobbies include dancing, working out, and going on lovely hikes. I have been a dancer since middle school, and am self-taught but have been a part of clubs, organizations and teams. I am a communication major with an emphasis in strategic communication. I have a twin sister who comes to school with me here at the University of Utah. I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2020.