Merrill Journalists to Cover Friendship Games


Merrill Journalists to Cover Friendship Games
Jun 22, 2017

COLLEGE PARK, MD. — The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism will be sending three journalists to report on the 12th annual Friendship Games, June 29-July 7, in Eilat, Israel. The Friendship Games are a basketball tournament for mostly college-age men and women representing Israel, Palestine, Lithuania, Jordan, Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Poland, with Turkey and Serbia considering sending teams.

The three Merrill College journalists covering the games are Monica McNutt, who graduated from the Merrill College in 2013 with a Master’s of Journalism, Alex Flum who is scheduled to graduate in 2018 and Hannah Yasharoff of the class of 2019.

McNutt did her undergraduate work at Georgetown University where she played four years of varsity basketball and earned Big East Conference honors. She has worked as a multimedia journalist for WJLA and most recently as a sports reporter and anchor for the American Sports Network. She previously attended similar international sports events as a player and broadcast journalist.

Flum, a graduate of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD., has been involved in campus media at Maryland since his freshman year and is a staff member of the popular student website, “The Left Bench.”

Yasharoff, who played basketball and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD., has been a student staff member of the Povich Center and its website,, since entering the Merrill College of Journalism in the fall of 2015. She is working this summer as an intern at the Newseum in Washington and writes for the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame website (

The organizers of the Friendship Games are covering the air fares and expenses for the three journalists, but the Povich Center and Merrill College have control of coverage and content from the event. The Friendship Games was started 12 years ago and is still run by Washington-Maryland businessman and former Atlanta Hawks co-owner Ed Peskowitz.

“We could not pass up the opportunity to have three of our journalists cover this international sports event in such an interesting part of the world involving so many athletes from countries that often do not interact under such friendly circumstances,” said George Solomon, Director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

“We’re are extremely excited to see what Monica, Alex and Hannah produce from Eilat.”

“These students are getting the opportunity to report on more than just games. They’re getting to cover sports for a greater good,” said Rafael Lorente, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Master’s program at the Merrill College. “Their challenge is to cover how sports intersects with culture, politics, issues of gender and more. I’m excited for them and I know they’re up to the challenge.”

Coverage from Eilat by the three journalists will appear regularly on, the Merrill College website ( and in newspapers and websites nationally.

For more information, please email or call her at 301-405-4605 or visit

About the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism:

The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism is a resource for journalists, academics and the public who want to explore the complex role of sports in society. The Center is led by its director, George Solomon, who was assistant managing editor for sports at the Washington Post from 1975-2003.

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