This La Salle alumna started her sports career on the soccer field
February 1, 2024
Renee Washington, ’14, made a name for herself as a college athlete. Today, she’s telling stories from the sidelines.
When presented with a new reporting opportunity, Renee Washington, ‘14, is confident that whatever it is, she’ll be able to figure it out. That’s not hubris, just history.
In a sports reporting career that is not yet a decade old, Washington has done a little of everything. She’s written, reported, commentated and produced. She’s worked on the sidelines and in the studio, for national networks and television stations throughout Philadelphia, for newspapers, teams, and leagues. She’s covered just about every sport, from basketball to lacrosse to auto racing. Among her roles at the moment, she works as a college reporter for ESPN, an analyst for MSG Network on Gotham FC matches and as a broadcaster for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
In an industry that is ever-changing, Washington has shown the same agility and adaptability that made her a Hall of Fame soccer player for the Explorers.
Washington’s sports gigs are almost too numerous to list. But a commitment to storytelling and providing her audience value unites them.
“I go into it knowing, even if it’s just one game or one show or one hit, I have to do the best that I can,” she said.
Her mindset mirrors what she brought to the soccer field. Washington was a star at The Pennington School in New Jersey before one of the most prolific careers in La Salle history. She scored 40 goals and 21 assists in 86 games (74 starts); 19 of her goals were game winners. A four-time All-Atlantic 10 selection, she was a second-team All-American in 2011, fueling La Salle’s first NCAA tournament berth. She remains second in program history in goals and third in points and was inducted to the La Salle Hall of Athletes in 2022.
Her competitiveness on the pitch is now channeled into making her work stand out, and she’s developed a tenacity in navigating an industry that can be chaotic.
“I remember going to tryouts for the state team, the regional team, whatever team and having the mindset of, ‘what can I do to stand out?,’” she said. “’What can I do to separate myself from everyone else?’”
Journalism wasn’t always Washington’s plan. She studied communications at La Salle and worked eight internships, all in public relations. She envisioned going into nonprofits with a goal of making a difference on issues she is passionate about. (She earned a master’s in educational leadership from Lehigh University in 2016 while serving as a grad assistant for the women’s soccer team there.)
She enjoyed her first forays into sports journalism and decided to take “a leap of faith” to pursue it full-time.
Washington shares her story through motivational speaking and mentoring as it’s important for her to give back.
“You never really know what’s possible on the other side of the what if’s, and taking those risks toward pursuing what you enjoy and what makes you happy,” she said. “… I’m still involved in inspiring and helping the next generation; it just looks different.”