LeBron James's gradual rise as a one-man media mogul continues this weekend, when his new children's show debuts on Disney XD.

Titled Becoming, the show will feature one athlete in each 30-minute episode and trace their path from childhood to stardom.

James said he came up with the show concept after realizing his kids didn't have very many options for watching sports shows for kids. 'Becoming' is an answer to that need -- and one James hopes will appeal to parents as well.

The show is one of two upcoming shows involving James. The other, a basketball comedy based on James' life, has been picked up by Showtime and does not have a debut date yet.

'Becoming' will first air on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET on Disney XD. The show will be re-aired by ESPN two weeks later ahead of a national broadcast of a Cavs-Nuggets game.

Here's a sneak peek at the new kid-focused TV show:

By Jordan Rabinowitz
Lost Lettermen

Former Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski made headlines last year when he decided to retire from the NFL at just 28 years old, with mileage left in the tank, to become a firefighter. But a year later, he still has no regrets.

"I miss the people in football, it's not that I wanted to leave that,” Zbikowski said over the phone from Chicago. "I think it was the culture. It was time for me to venture out and find something new in my life."

The decision to walk away from football was "no big thing” according to his dad, Ed, and Tom agrees. “I think the choice wasn’t that tough. It was just the adjustment afterwards. It’s taken about a full year and I’m still working on it. But I think the decision was a lot easier than I thought it was gonna be."

It’s been particularly odd for Zbikowski, who says “having an extensive amount of down time doesn’t really play well with my personality.” But next month he begins a six-month stint at the Chicago Fire Department academy, where he will train to become a third-generation firefighter, joining his grandfather, uncle and brother.

More Lost Lettermen: NFL's 50 Biggest Draft Busts Ever: Where Are They Now?

He had hoped to enroll in the academy in March, but there was a backlog of applicants, so he and 20 others were deferred until the fall.

“The firefighter thing I’m becoming more and more excited about," Zbikowski said. “From the outside looking in -- not that it was a backup plan -- but I knew I needed something in line to do as soon as I was done playing football. I’m not really one to take too much time away from things.

"I feel like it’s all the good things that I liked about the football life: the camaraderie, dealing with the chain of command, having a common bond with someone that's next to you, male or female. Dealing with the things you've got to deal with and still doing so much good for the community is something I really look forward to. I think I'm going to flourish at that kind of organization that a lot of proud people have done in Chicago for many years."

Zbikowski is also a passionate boxer who's been getting in the ring since he was nine years old and trains with Javan "Sugar" Hill, nephew of late legendary trainer Emanuel Steward. But along with departing football to start his new life as a firefighter, his other passion had to take a backseat too.

“It’ll be painful to have to put boxing on hold,” Zbikowski said. “But having perspective on things, the fire department is what I’m gonna make a career out of and is more important than trying to have a couple of prize fights here and there."

More Lost Lettermen: 21 Reasons People Hate Notre Dame Football

Clearly, Zbikowski is a man of many interests, which further makes his decision to leave the NFL more palatable to people still perplexed at giving up that kind of fame and paycheck. Not only is Zbikowski content no longer playing football, he hardly even watches the game anymore.

"Football's boring, man," Zbikowski said. "I don't really like watching football that much to be honest. I don't know if that’s weird or if other people are like that. Chuck Pagano, now that he's the Colts head coach, they’re the only team I really watch with a careful eye because of the relationship with Chuck over the years. He was my first position coach in Baltimore and has always been a good friend to the family and a very good mentor, friend, coach to me over the years."

By the sound of it, Zbikowski was simply done with the game and that was just his life's natural progression.

“You know it’s not gonna last forever, as much as some people want it to or think it will," he said. "God knows you’re not gonna make those weekly checks doing anything else, but at some point how important is money to you?”

In fact, he's also done with even identifying himself as a football player.

More Lost Lettermen: 21 Things Hiding in College Sports Logos

“I’m looking more or less to close that chapter and just be known as me,” Zbikowski said. "No other job are you really just labeled like you are as an athlete -- 'You're Tommy, you’re the football player.' You know? No. I’m me. I’m just me. I'm the personable, fun-loving, adventurous person. No label, no nothing."

-- Jordan Rabinowitz is the managing editor of LostLettermen.com. Follow him on Twitter @JordanRab.

Literally and figuratively, Shaquille O'Neal is larger than life.

The 7-foot-1 future Hall of Famer, who retired after the 2011 NBA season, has managed to maintain and convert his high profile image into a considerable fortune. According to a recent New York Times story, O'Neal took in $21 million last year thanks to his business deals and work on TV. That would mean O'Neal was paid more by endorsers than Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose will make this year in salary.

In fact, only five NBA players will make more than $21 million in salary for the 2014-15 season: Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.

When it comes to endorsement money, which is even harder to parlay into a fortune, O'Neal bested every NBA player except LeBron James, Bryant and Derrick Rose.

So, how does O'Neal manage to keep his fortune alive? Through TV, movies and more business deals than most people can wrap their minds around.

In the past year O'Neal appeared regularly on TNT’s “Inside the NBA" as well as in two films, Blended and The Lego Movie. He's also maintained a men’s jewelry line at Zales, a sneaker line at J. C. Penney and a suit line at Macy's (in case anyone was wondering, O'Neal himself wears a size 60XL).

Scott Cacciola of the New York Times recently traveled to Atlanta to attend the Shaq Summit, a gathering of all of O'Neal's business enterprises. According to Cacciola, 19 companies attended the event.

“You can only maintain visibility with young people for so long,” Jim Andrews, senior vice president of the sponsorship and consulting research firm IEG, told Cacciola. "But of most retired athletes, he probably has the best shot of maintaining that sort of relevance because of his personality, and his willingness and ability to do TV shows."

Always known for his humor and unique insight during his playing days, O'Neal has built an enormous following on social media. His Twitter account was the first to be verified and his 8.8 million followers on Twitter makes him one of the most followed athletes in the world. That enormous platform has advertisers drooling. Here are some examples of how O'Neal uses Twitter to promote products:




Unlike some former professional athletes, O'Neal is also savvy with how he spends his money. Despite what some may remember from his episode of MTV Cribs, O'Neal is actually quite frugal. Even with an estimated net worth around $250 million, O'Neal "only" spent $235,000 on a 2012 housing purchase.

According to Forbes, the only retirees of Big Four sports that make more per year than O'Neal are Magic Johnson ($22 million) and Michael Jordan ($90 million).




In Los Angeles, hot blondes are like food trucks: There's one on every block and they're hard to tell apart. But watching Erin Andrews sip a smoothie just a quarter mile from the Hermosa Beach pier, you can tell she's different. For starters, she's probably the only one with her hair pulled back and hidden under an L.A. Kings ball cap. And listen to her talk: You don't typically hear laser-sharp sports analysis coming from Hollywood starlets. Which, of course, Andrews is not.

After graduating from the University of Florida, where she studied communications and was on the dance squad, Andrews began covering the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Sunshine Network. Then she moved to Atlanta to report on the Braves and Hawks. After that it was the NHL playoffs with ESPN, and then on to the MLB, NBA, NFL, college football, and eventually a bigger contract with Fox Sports. The woman has been a bottle rocket blasting through the echelons of sideline reporting. (Cut through the fluff with Erin Andrew's 3 Tips for Better Interviews.)

But maybe you weren't paying close attention until her famous interview last year, when Richard Sherman blew up like Randy Savage preparing to stuff someone into a choke-hold. The cornerback had interrupted a pass to the 49ers' Michael Crabtree, securing the Seahawks' spot in the Super Bowl. When Andrews asked about the play, Sherman used the live mike to explode at Crabtree: "Don't you open your mouth about the best! Or I'm gonna shut it for you real quick!"

When you view the outburst on YouTube, you can see the moment when Andrews begins to realize that something newsworthy is happening. "I had no idea he was going to go there," she says. "My next question was going to be about the Super Bowl, but he took it somewhere completely different."

Much of the poise she shows in the clip comes naturally to her. But pulling it off game after game -- on live TV -- wouldn't happen if she didn't understand the angles of each game. That's why she spends her downtime analyzing tape, poring over postgame reports, and exchanging intel with onscreen partners like Troy Aikman and Michael Strahan. (Stressing out, don't panic. Tame the tension with these 6 Ways to Calm the Heck Down.)

"The prep is insane," she says. "For me it's morning, noon, and night. When I'm getting ready for a game, nothing else matters." After a pause, she adds: "I don't know as much as Troy Aikman, so I feel like I have to overcompensate."

Catch that competitive streak? You probably have one too. At its essence, her job is about digging up information and making connections -- skills we could all be better at. So as soon as you're ready to take your career to the next level, learn how from the woman with the microphone.

Recover Your Fumbles
Andrews's first big break out of college was with Turner Sports. It was a studio job, and she sucked at it."I was, like, 'Back to Skip Simpson and Joe Caray,'" she says. (Uh. . .Joe Simpson and Skip Caray? Yeah.) Even though she loved the industry, she wanted to be closer to the action, and her discontent was holding her back. When Turner let her go after two years, she understood why. (Steer clear of the 6 Epic Work Fails You Don't Know You're Making .)

Embrace change
Even if you're working in an industry you love, your current job might be a poor fit. "You could be in an environment that saps you of passion," says career coach Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide. So if your work is suffering, start looking for a place that does things differently. Just be careful that you're not leaving a job on a sour note. "You still want to get the reference," says Cohen. "In this market, you'll need it."

Force the Play
Andrews knew where the network crews bunked when games were in town, so she went to the hotel, found an ESPN producer at the bar, and said, "Hi. I want to work the NHL playoffs." Later, when an executive called, she launched immediately into her assessment of a penalty from the previous night's game. His reply: "That's all I wanted to hear -- that you actually know what you're talking about."

Network with purpose
You can blanket a cocktail party with business cards and still not land one good contact. "So be strategic -- even scheme a little--to meet the right people," says Cohen. And once you've introduced yourself to your target, let him or her know what you have to offer -- even if that's just a unique viewpoint on a hot-button industry topic. "What can you say that sets you apart from everyone else?" asks Cohen. "That's your competitive advantage." (Break down barriers between you and other people. Nail these 13 Insanely Simple Ways to Be More Likable.)

Follow a Leader
Eventually ESPN assigned Andrews to Major League Baseball. Problem was, she didn't yet know the players well enough to score the interviews she needed in order to hunt down story lines. Her break came from a mentor, former broadcast partner Rick Sutcliffe. A retired pitcher, Sutcliffe walked Andrews into the clubhouse saying, "Guys, she's one of us." Like that, the athletes became receptive.

Make a trade
A seasoned mentor can fast-track your career. But people will invest their time and trust in you only if you help them long before you need anything in return. "The standard advice should be upgraded from 'Find a mentor' to 'Earn a mentor,'" says Jill Geisler, a leadership and management expert at the Poynter Institute and the author of Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know. "A mentor isn't a drive-thru at McDonald's." So make yourself valuable; then ask for help.

Run the Option
When she was offered a hosting gig on Dancing with the Stars earlier this year, Andrews recognized an opportunity to break away from her routine. "On the sidelines, I don't typically have time to cut up or make fun of people," she says. In other words, DWTS gave her the chance to have a little fun using the skill set she had spent years mastering. As a result, her personal brand grew even bigger.

Find your second career
Your current strengths are more valuable and more transferable than you realize, says Cohen. "Say you're a science teacher who wants to go into sales. Aren't you already convincing students to get excited about your product, science? That's what marketers do. And you even have the students' test scores to demonstrate your success."

If you're looking to break out of a rut, get creative and think about how you can make a similar crossover. (Be better than the competition with these 5 New Tools for Career Success in today's workplace.)

In the more than 10 years since he left the NFL, Keith Mitchell has undergone a transformation. Once a ball-hawking linebacker playing at the edge of control, Mitchell has found his inner calm through yoga.

According to a profile in
For The Win, Mitchell first discovered yoga following a serious spinal contusion sustained while playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former Pro Bowler said he suffered from paralysis for about six months, during which time he began using meditation as part of his rehabilitation program.

Mitchell also adopted the practice of conscious breathing on the recommendation of a nurse. At the time, Mitchell was desperate for a source of healing. But once his physical abilities returned, Mitchell began taking an interest in yoga.

Meanwhile, his NFL career had been cut short by the injury. But in the aftermath of that profession, Mitchell found yoga to be a source of understanding the NFL experience. He now views the traditional views of masculinity -- which dominate NFL culture -- as a suppression of expression, and an emphasis on the "alpha male or gladiator in sports."

Part of Mitchell's current crusade is to connect with young boys and adult males alike to expand their conception of what it means to be a man. Meanwhile, he has become a sought-after yoga teacher, one who has become a sort of icon within the yoga community:

At a time when the NFL's hyper-masculine culture is under fire by society at large, Mitchell's story is particularly relevant. Once a willing participant in that ugly NFL mindset, Mitchell has found a much more rewarding happiness away from the field.

Martina Hingis is a tennis legend. She won all five of her Grand Slam singles titles before she was 19 and is still the youngest champion at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

She is already in the Tennis Hall of Fame, so it is easy to forget Hingis is just 33. (She turns 34 on Sept. 30.) She is younger than Venus Williams by a few months. She is just two years older than Serena Williams and a year and a half older than 2014 Australian Open champion Li Na.

But Hingis' last run at a major title was at the 2002 Australian Open where she lost to Jennifer Capriati in three sets of the championship match.

Now after two retirements, Hingis is back on the court and contending for the U.S. Open title -- as a doubles team with Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

"It feels like a really long time ago," Hingis says of 2002, shortly after she and Pennetta advanced to the semifinals. "It's a new moment, a new situation. I really enjoyed being out there. I really just hope to play as we've been doing so far and not think about what it is."

Hingis has won nine Grand Slam doubles championships with the 2002 Australian, partnering with Anna Kournikova, being the most recent.

In her late teens, Hingis dominated women's tennis. Along with her five Grand Slam titles and 12 Grand Slam final appearances, Hingis was ranked No. 1 in the world five times. Her 209 weeks as the world No. 1 are fourth all-time behind only Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, and she barely held the spot after age 21. (Serena Williams is at 204 weeks as of Sept. 1, and will likely catch Hingis in the next month.)

"Some of the young kids, they don't remember me anymore," Hingis says with a laugh.

Hingis abruptly retired from tennis in February 2003 at 22 due to injuries. Hingis had surgery on her right ankle in 2001 before needing a left ankle ligament operation in 2002. The ankle troubles wore Hingis down to the point she walked away with 40 singles and 36 doubles titles to her name.

After an unsuccessful return in 2005, Hingis won three more singles titles and one doubles titles during a 2006-2007 run. She made quarterfinals appearances at three grand slams in seven tries. In late 2007, Hingis tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine. Hingis appealed, arguing the small concentration of the test suggested tampering with the sample. However, at the end of the season, she was suspended two years from tennis.

After retiring again following the test, Hingis' career appeared to be over. From 2010 to the middle of 2013, Hingis participated in World Team Tennis and Legends events, but she did not reenter the professional tour.

In July 2013, at age 32, Hingis made the decision to return to professional tennis as a strictly doubles player. She paired with Daniela Hantuchova for the rest of the year, which included a first-round loss at the U.S. Open.

In early 2014, Hingis joined forces with Sabine Lisicki of Germany, who is ranked No. 27 in the world. As a wild-card entry, they won the Sony Open in Miami for Hingis' first professional victory in seven years.

In the second half of this season, Hingis has found a stable partner in the 32-year-old Pennetta, the current No. 12 in singles a former No. 1 in doubles. The two players have a veteran demeanor about them that make the partnership seem natural. At the podium the duo jokes about age and rest.

"Fresh?" Hingis says when asked about playing doubles without the simultaneous grind of singles. "It's nice to have a day off in between."

Although Pennetta is at the top of her game right now -- she advanced to face Serena Williams for a spot in her second straight U.S. Open semifinals -- she understands how special it is to play with Hingis.

"It's nice. In the moment when I don't have everything, she is there," Pennetta says of Hingis. "The same goes to her. The first match we played, I was like I don't know what to do because we didn't know each other really well. Now, we're getting better."

In the late 90s, Hingis was the arch nemesis to the American core of Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati. She was a fierce teenage competitor who challenged the locals head-on at Flushing Meadows.

Today's Hingis comes with a different flavor. The Swiss national is more laid back and smiles on the court. For the last decade, Hingis has seemed lost, lacking the success she once had in her sport. Now, to a degree, the results are back, and she is having fun.

When asked about playing on the backhand side of the doubles court for a righty, Hingis bursts into laughter.

"I'm very happy she takes the forehand court," Hingis jokes.

"What do you play? Backhand?" Pennetta reenacts their communication.

"Every time I win on my serve with a forehand crosscourt, I think this is almost won!" Hingis says.

Although Hingis has aged, her mother is apparently still a diehard fan.

"I just came off the phone with her for 20 minutes because she's watching," Hingis says. "She's like, 'I don't know I still get nervous.' Like after 20 years -- watching doubles?"

Doubles is what Hingis has left and she seems comfortable with that.

"It's kind of a dream," Hingis says. "When I started playing again, this is definitely something I was hoping for with Flavia. I'm very happy to be part of this team."

The pairing's semifinal match is against No. 3 seed Cara Black/Sania Mirza. Unfortunately for fans, a potential Williams/Williams matchup with Hingis is no more. The sisters lost to Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Visnina, the No. 4 seed, in their quarterfinal.

But that also expanded the opportunity for Hingis/Pennetta to win a title.

"Right now, everybody probably thinks the door is open and everybody can win," Hingis says of the Williams/Williams exit.

If it happens, perhaps Hingis would display this trophy right next to those for her Grand Slam singles titles. As hard as she worked to earn those five, the grind to possibly earn a title while being on the verge of 34, is a different tale.

Even in doubles.

Rashard Mendenhall may be the first man ever who can say that in the span of one year he went from starting on an NFL team to writing for an HBO show.

The 26-year-old former Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals running back wrote in a Huffington Post blog post that since retiring from the NFL in March he has moved to Los Angeles and become a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

Mendenhall, who was on two AFC championship teams with the Steelers and earned a Super Bowl ring in 2009, says he is working on an HBO show that will air next summer:

"A year ago, a writing career was just a tiny seed of thought as I prepared for my sixth NFL season. And as I write this now, it has already begun to sprout. Through this experience I've learned that you can will your dreams into existence."

In addition to the two Super Bowl appearances, Mendenhall made headlines during his NFL career for a questionable tweet about 9/11 and a 2012 suspension after he failed to show up for a game.

In six NFL seasons, Mendenhall rushed for 37 touchdowns and 4,236 yards. He was the Steelers' first-round pick in 2008. His best season was 2012 when he ran for 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns.

When he retired in March he wrote, "The truth is, I don't really think my walking away is that big of deal. For me it's saying, 'Football was pretty cool, but I don't want to play anymore. I want to travel the world and write!'"

Shortly after his Huffington Post article about his HBO show was published, Mendenhall sent out this tweet:


Shahar Peer knocked off Great Britain's Johanna Konta, a player 37 places ahead of her in the world rankings, in straight sets Monday. But during post-match media session, Peer was not surprised to field a whopping total zero questions about her match or even tennis.

Instead it was politics as usual for the 27-year-old Israeli, who is ranked No. 155.

"I guess I'm kind of an ambassador for Israel for some things," Peer says after dispatching Konta 6-2, 6-3 in the opening round of the U.S. Open. "I'm proud of it. I'm very pro-Israel."

Asked at what point she realized that most of her media inquiries would be about politics, Peer says, "I don't know when. I've had a long career already."

Thousands of miles away from Flushing Meadows, Israelis and Palestinians continue a military conflict that has lasted more than a month, although political warfare has existed since Israel's inception in 1948. Military service is mandatory for Israeli citizens, and Peer served as a 19-year-old while doubling as a tennis player.

She reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals in 2007, including the U.S. Open, while still serving. She is arguably her nation's greatest female tennis player of all-time.

Peer's accomplishments make her a light in a time of darkness. Israelis, even in the northern city of Tel Aviv, previously a safe zone from southern attacks, live every day in fear of rockets from the terrorist organization Hamas.

Peer was at home in Israel when the conflict escalated in mid-July. She has since left, returned and left for the tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open. Her mother and sister remain in Tel Aviv. Her father recently made the trip to the United States for the U.S. Open and her brother, Shlomi, who did his mandatory service during a previous military conflict in Gaza, lives in New York.

Peer embraces the support of her Israeli fans.

"I think I always feel they're behind me, since the first day of my career," she says. "I think what is very strong in our nation of Israel is that when things are going bad, we all support each other."

Peer points to the generosity of northern Israelis offering shelter to southern citizens as an example of this connective spirit.

As for the conflict itself, Peer is a supporter of her homeland and believes her nation is victimized in the affair. She sticks to her pro-Israel perspective, within reason.

"The truth is that we defend ourselves," Peer says. "Whenever they shoot, we defend. We never go to be the first one. Nobody's talking about that they've been shooting rockets for the past year and we didn't do anything."

Although she did serve in the Israel Defense Forces, Peer has not lost a close friend or family member in the fighting.

"The truth is it doesn't matter" she says. "Everyone that died, the soldiers, the little kid that died 2-3 days ago, it's tough. We are very strong as a nation–that's what I feel–and we all support each other. Hopefully it's going to end soon."

On tour, Peer is not free from Israel-Palestine talk. Her fellow WTA players supported her when she was not allowed to compete in a February 2009 tournament in the United Arab Emirates. Players try to get some education, while expressing condolences, to Peer.

"Some people were asking me like who started and what is really going on and how is your family, so I do get some questions," she says.

In New York City, Peer finds herself at the center of one of the most outspoken Jewish communities in the world. When asked about the Jewish support in the Big Apple, Peer cracks a smile.

"I always get a lot of support and it's fun," she says. "I'm really happy to win today and maybe get more support in the next round. I love grand slams, but I think this one is my favorite."

At 27, Peer is way past the prime of her rather successful career (her highest ranking was No. 11 in January 2011). Peer had not made it out of the first round of the U.S. Open since 2011 and the first round of a grand slam since the 2013 Australian Open. Last year, she did not even get out of the qualifying stage in Flushing Meadows.

When Peer decides to retire, there's no question that she will settle in Israel.

"I don't see myself living anywhere else," she says.

But retirement is not imminent, and in the meantime, she is happy that the media are still interested in talking with her about Middle East.

"It's not a nice situation to anyone in Israel. We all want it stop. I hope they reach a ceasefire soon," she says.

On Wednesday, Peer continues her run at the U.S. Open with a second-round match against qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia. Lucic-Baroni, ranked No. 121, upset 25th-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain in the first round.

Danielle Rose Collins competed in the U.S. Open with an "NR" next to her name for "Not Ranked." She was the only member of the draw with such a line, which gives the impression that Collins lacks experience.

And at least as a professional, that's true. The 20-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla., native is a junior at the University of Virginia. After winning the 2014 NCAA championships, Collins earned a wild card berth to the U.S. Open.

When Collins took the court on Monday afternoon, she played for more than a spot in the second round. She was playing to stay out of Virginia's opening day of classes on Tuesday.

Lining up across from second-seeded (and world No. 2) Simona Halep at Arthur Ashe Stadium is one way to end the summer. Collins looked to take that experience a step further. She nabbed the first set from Halep, 7-6, igniting the American crowd.

The next two sets brought Collins back to earth as a college student as Halep prevailed 6-1 and 6-2.

A more-experienced, but hungrier Collins addressed her situation after the match.

"Well, we'll probably try to look into flights and stuff tonight or tomorrow, unfortunately, so it's going to be a quick turnaround," she said. "Then first day of classes is tomorrow. I'll be in class this time tomorrow.

Perhaps this is a time Collins wishes Virginia was on trimester or quarter system.

"I love UVA, but school's tough," Collins added. "School is very tough. So back to work for me."

In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times last week, Collins discussed her status:

"I'm going to finish up at Virginia. I'm missing a few days of school because of this, but my professors have been understanding. Once this is over then I'll go back to Virginia and get to work. I plan on getting two degrees. I'm majoring in media studies and drama. I hope to one day be a sports reporter. As for tennis, we'll see how it goes. If I'm still playing well when I graduate, then I'll try to make a living at it."

After she won a set at the U.S. Open, Collins' own sense of talent may change. She called playing in a Grand Slam a "bucket list" item that can be checked off, but she also is starting to look ahead. After taking a set at Arthur Ashe Stadium at age 20, goals can quickly turn.

"I think there is a lot of positive things to take from it," she said. "It can only go up from here for me. I have never played at that level and I have never played in a stadium like that. It was amazing. I mean, I could get used to that."

Collins will be back on the grind for the Cavaliers, although NCAA rules permit her to compete in some pro tournaments. As part of her 2014 NCAA championship, Collins also earned a berth in the qualifying draw of the Connecticut Open earlier in August. She lost in her opening qualifier.

Collins will arrive in Charlottesville with a different swagger than most of her classmates. Rather than dread hitting the books, Collins is riding her U.S. Open wave.

"I don't think a lot of people were expecting me to take a set off of her, so overall, [it was] an incredible experience. That's something I'll never forget," Collins said.

Of course, despite all the excitement, there are realities. Danielle Rose Collins is about to be a student again.

"Summer was too much fun," she said.

For one hour and 58 minutes, Collins was in America's spotlight. Summer lovin', happened so fast.

Based on performances at training camp, USA Basketball will need to lean heavily on Klay Thompson at the FIBA World Cup in Spain -- when it comes to communicating with the locals.

Of the various players quizzed on their command of Spanish, Thompson stood out as the most proficient. They were short, but Thompson was able to put together some complete sentences. Example: Tu es bonita. (You are beautiful.)

His Warriors teammate Stephen Curry is limited despite studying Spanish in school, including college.

"I'm not conversational at all," Curry said. "But I can understand a little bit and know a little bit of vocab."

Kyrie Irving is working on a go-to phrase, which he seems ready to use whether it's in context or not:

Syndicate content