The first thing that was very noticeable about Vashti was her passion. Her passion is what has carried her and her drive has sustained her. But it was not only her passion to succeed and love what she is doing, but her passion to beat the guys while doing so.
Vashti was born in New York City but around the age of nine, that’s when her parents moved down South and had their first affect on her. “New York City in the 80’s was not the ideal place to raise a daughter and I was an only child. So my parents moved to Key West, Florida where they started their own business.” From there, Vashti would move to Columbia, South Carolina with her mother, where she would finish middle and high school. Growing up, Vashti was always competitive. “Growing up, I was always a tomboy and my goal was always to beat the boys at whatever they were doing.” Whatever the event was, whether it was racing or kickball, Vashti was always competing. Vashti grew up loving swimming, but she eventually fell in love with basketball.
“When I started playing basketball, that is when I first started watching sports. I grew up in the Michael Jordan era. Michael Jordan and Penny Hardaway were my favorite players. When Michael Jordan hit that fadeaway jumper where people were saying he pushed off and I ran around the house. That was when basketball began to take over from swimming.”
Along with playing basketball, Hurt would also run track and play some powder puff football in high school to stay active. Already well-versed in basketball, Hurt began to learn the game of football while she was in college at UNC-Charlotte. “College is where I started watching and paying attention to football. I actually learned the game of football through Madden. I watched at first and then learned how to play. And by learning how to play, it helped me understand the game of football and things like the read option and the blitz.”
Vashti always liked sports, but writing sports was not something that she really thought of growing up. ” I always would do well on writing assignments growing up. My mom was a journalist and I come from a family of writers. But growing up, I never thought of a career in writing.” Vashti would leave college and accept an entry level position in banking, where should would grow to the level of stock broker. But all the while she was there, she would have her mind on sports. ” I used to be on the floor reading ESPN all day.” While on the trading floor, two prominent people that Vashti would read were Bill Simmons and Scoop Jackson. Along with reading Bill Simmons and enjoying his style of writing, Vashti would also pose questions on Facebook, often getting into sports debates and having plenty of people that would challenge her on her knowledge. “I became known as the sports girl on Facebook and someone even gave me the nickname VSPN.”
From there, Vashti was contacted by a friend that asked her to do a sports column. “My first reaction was ‘Yeah. I will do it. But who is going to read it?’ ” Well, to Vashti’s surprise, people started reading her work. She began to get more involved with her writing, as she would start actually working on columns in between putting in trades on the floor. Eventually, it was evident to her that writing is what she wanted to do. She was no longer wanted to be on the trade floor and the idea of that did not scare her. “It kind of came to me that this is what I was going to do. I still was not sure how I was going to do it.”
At this point, Vashti was still deciding what to do next to pursue her dream when something happened. “Usually with these things, you want to stay in your comfort zone. But sometimes God forces you out of your comfort zone. I got laid off.” Vashti was highly coveted in her banking field, but she said something in her talk with God that would change things and her direction, “I remember saying to God ‘I know I hate banking and there is a certain level of comfort that comes along with what I have been doing. But if this not where I am supposed to be, don’t give me any other banking jobs.”
Vashti would not get another banking job. But instead she was searching for someone that would give her a job as a sports journalist. She did so for about a year until she had an epiphany. “As a child of business owners, I used to always have in the back of my mind that I was meant to own my own business. So after doing some research , I decided to start my own site. I was not going to beg anyone to give me an opportunity. I was going to create my own.”
Carolina Blitz, Vashti’s website, has been running for a little over two years now. She has covered the ACC Tournament, NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Orange Bowl and even the Maui Invitational to name a few and everytime, she has been doing so under her own brand and her own website.
The art of being a business owner and a journalist has always been there within her. But over time, circumstances and personal drive, it was finally brought out. Now here she stands, a website owner making moves in the industry and moving up in the website world, one powerful step after another.
“It’s been a blessing. It gets hard. You don’t have the financial security that you once might have had. But I have never really been hung up on money. I am in control of my own now.”
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former co-host of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on SPORTSAWAKENING.COM. Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Cubs and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.