Get to know: Ateneo courtside reporter Laura Lehmann
Hers is a face we'll surely miss reporting for the Blue Eagles. See you in next semester's women's volleyball event then? (Photos below courtesy of Laura Lehmann Follow her on Instagram: @lauralehmann1)
The first thing to know about Ateneo courtside reporter Laura Lehmann—before you find yourself falling for her intimidatingly lovely face, milky-white skin, and, fittingly, beauty queen stature (ehem, former Binibining Pilipinas finalist here)—is that she’s nice. Not a lot know that it’s acquiring the right attitude that also keeps one in her job on the UAAP sidelines—that’s Laura on her second year with ABS-CBN Sports.
“My first year at courtside was also my first year in Ateneo. The team really became the first people I knew in Ateneo, they became my first friends and my barkada in school,” she reminisces, as the blue team bannered by seniors Kiefer Ravena and boyfriend Von Pessumal (sorry, Lau!) exits this season.
What Laura found interested about her courtside job is how it has married her seemingly polarized interests: sports and, well, showbiz. She used to play touch rugby and softball when she was younger, and even represented the country at a World Series tournament where the Philippines placed second to the US.
For grade school up to high school, Laura attended Assumption College, Beacon International School, and then the International School of Manila. Came college, she flew to the States where she took up Psychology, Neuro Science, and Spanish Studies. She was asked to fly back here for Binibining Pilipinas 2014, where she ended up as first-runner up.
That was where it wound up to a spot in sportscasting. Laura learned to peel herself off the trappings of the glitz and glamor that wrapped showbiz. Being a courtside reporter was no joke. In between her classes as a Psychology student in Ateneo, she had to attend the practices at the Moro Gym for the men’s basketball squad and Blue Eagle Gym for the volleyball teams. As an athlete herself, she had no qualms about being exposed to sweat.
And then there's always the trouble of balancing it all for a multitasker like her.
“I’m quite busy, I guess, with everything from Binibini to hosting to modeling to writing for sports.abs-cbn.com, but I think what really helped me is that because, for example, the Ateneo men’s basketball team—they’re my close friends talaga. Even outside of the court we hang out. We go out. We’re like any other friends we go out,” she says.
“People think that we’re so different beauty queen and basketball but it’s really the same. It’s just nice that I have friends that are just as busy as me. We can’t really go out as much as other people our age get to. But it’s okay coz we see each other at the court.”
Off her courtside job, Laura is quite seeing things fall on her lap. But these are all products of hard work, of course, for the beauty and brains. She now endorses brands in telecomm, hair care, and beverage. She’s now managed by prestigious talent agency Backroom Inc., led by media personality Boy Abunda.
Is Medicine still her ultimate goal once she finishes college?
“Now, I don’t know,” she says. “I have to decide soon if I want to pursue Med or not. I think it’s hard to be a Med student and have the showbiz life at the same time. I have to choose soon coz I can split myself in two directions otherwise I won’t excel.”
“Right now, though, I’m enjoying hosting and I think I found a family with ABS-CBN Sports. The directors and producers they’re very kind to me. Maybe a shot in sports reporting with ABS Sports or ANC, pwede.”
Laura thanks this “life changer” of a job for introducing her to the world of media. For aspiring courtside reporters next season and so on, you gotta hear what she has to say:
“For me, I love it, I really made an effort to learn basketball and talk to the players. In order to succeed, you have to love it. If you don’t love it and you don’t put your whole heart into it, you’re not gonna do your best so you really have to like the job.”
See you in the volleyball season, Lau!