By AML Publisher
Photos Courtesy of Jubilee Photography
Don’t think Kayleen Smith is just another pretty face. The 22-year-old former Cabrini College basketball star and Anna Kournikova look-alike, budding model and local single has her sights set on a career in sports television. Smith, who just wrapped up an intense summer internship cutting her teeth with Comcast Sportsnet (albeit drooling over stud anchor and Philadelphia pretty boy Michael Barkann part of the time, see below) is serious about breaking into a world still very much dominated by men. “I’m willing and eager to start somewhere and work my way up. I just want someone to give me an opportunity to get my feet wet in television and I will take off! I have a great willingness to learn and a winning mentality and that is important in sports-because I throw myself into every task I am given.”
Kayleen fell in love with the frenzied, high pressure pace of live television when she sauntered down at the end of her intern duties to watch the final moments of Sportsnet’s number one weekday show, Daily News Live. “It is completely nuts, everyone is running around screaming and yelling-it is something else to watch. You don’t see that when the show is live and the lights come on and the host welcomes everyone with a big, calm smile. I loved that atmosphere. TV is so exhilarating, and the show must go on as they say. The viewers don’t care if an edit bay crashed or an external drive is not working…it’s all or nothing! This is the industry I belong in.”
Kayleen’s confidence and natural charisma was evident during our first phone conversation, no surprise as the beauty with the brains was crowned St. Joseph’s (Hammonton, NJ) homecoming queen in 2004. “I always want to (and strive to) be a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend—whatever it is I always work to make myself better. And, I think people around me catch on to that vibe and I believe that is why I have had success my entire life. I never let myself fall short of those standards.”
The winning attitude and athletic prowess (Smith had a very successful career as a star forward on the Cavaliers women’s basketball team) stems from her family tree. Former Saint Joe’s basketball star (and Kayleen’s dad) John Smith is best known in Big Five basketball circles for his winning layup against #1 DePaul in the 1981 NCAA Tournament. The play is legendary and the win, which catapulted the ninth-seeded Hawks to an unlikely trip to the Sweet Sixteen, is considered one of the great NCAA tourney games of all-time. It’s a moment also best burned in Philly sports fans’ memories as (then) St. Joe’s head coach Jimmy Lynam ran furiously down the court to hug his teenage daughter, Dee. “My dad always loved being the underdog, constantly proving himself. People still to this day talk about the play he made, the layup. It’s pretty neat that in just a few seconds, like the time my dad had to make that moment happen and win the game, can shape your life forever! That is how I am personality-wise, I think, in a large part because of that winning attitude he instilled in my brother and sister and myself. My dad knows how to make the most out of every opportunity. Now he works in the financial industry, but I still see the athlete and that competitive edge in him daily,” beamed Smith.
As she wound down her first summer as a college grad and Comcast internship along with juggling a handful of odd jobs, Smith recently interviewed for a part-time position at Sportsnet in their production department. This sensational single keeps busy with her beloved boxer named Bryndal, family, friends and career ambitions-and has high expectations for the right Mr. Right. “I am looking for a great guy who has a sense of humor, ambition, and most importantly a guy who has a good outlook on life and doesn’t take anything for granted. My ideal guy doesn’t take himself too seriously and goes wherever the waves take him. He’s a man when he needs to be and a goof the rest of the time—and never lets a smile leave my face. Someone who makes me a better me every day, as cheesy as that sounds. I won’t settle until I find him.”
Interested parties can email Kayleen below. Game on.
Get to Know Kayleen
Full Name: Kayleen Anastasia Smith
Occupation: Budding sports exec/host, model, actress
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Nationality: Irish, French, Indian, English
Hometown: Williamstown, NJ
High School: St. Joseph’s (Homecoming Queen 2004)
College: Cabrini, B.A. English and Communications
Parents: John and Lillian
Siblings: Benjamin, 24 and Amanda, 18
BFF: Kayleen has had the same best friend since kindergarten.
My Idea Of A Great First Date: Completely unscripted. We agree on the place together considering we just met and then we take it from there. I am very ease to please due to my lack of pickiness.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: Northern Liberties gentlemen should take note-Kayleen loves the vibe of the city’s hippest neighborhood and will be moving there this fall.
In High School I Was: The tomboy every guy wanted as their teammate-just not as their girlfriend.
Achy Breaky Heart? I am fortunate to say I have yet to experience my first heart break. Relationships are hard work, every couple knows that. It’s the most demanding selfless act you could voluntarily sign up for and when they end, it definitely takes a while to recover and gain that part of you (back) that went missing.
Celebrity Look-Alikes: I get Blake Lively a lot, Anna Kournikova, Jewel, and on a really good day Scarlet Johansson. People always tell me that I remind them of someone they know.
Male Celebrity Dream Date: I would be perfectly content being within five feet of Gerard Butler where I could just stare at him for however long a date would normally carry on for. I went to the Kings of Leon concert not too long ago and I envisioned what it would be like to go on a date with lead singer, Caleb Followill. My utopia would be having one song sung to me by him. A man who can sing and play the guitar is my weakness. I think the song “Use Somebody” is secretly about me.
Last Movie You Saw Was: District 9
Biggest Misconception About Me: People think I am unintelligent and incompetent because of my hair color.
Hoop There It Is: Smith was a four-year starter for the Cavaliers and says her Cabrini teammates have formed a sisterhood for life. “My teammates are everything to me and have become a huge part of my extended family.”
Favorite Sports Teams: The Phillies-of course, Flyers, Orlando Magic, and all college basketball
Starting Lineup: Smith can name the pitching rotation and entire starting lineup for the Fightin Phils.
Werth It: “I love every player on the Phillies! Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth are my two favorites, though.”
Comcast Sportsnet Crush: Michael Barkann “I wouldn’t mind having a couple beers and talking sports with him. He has such an aura about him, I am so intrigued by his sports knowledge and he just draws me right in. I am totally captivated by him when I am watching Sportsnet! He has just that something about him. The first day I met him during my internship he was so polite, shook my hand, took the time to speak with me–it was like meeting Brad Pitt! There is something about him-he has the ‘it’ factor. If I break into an on-air position someday, Michael Barkann is who I would emulate.”
Brush With Fame: I placed third in a Roxy modeling competition out of 500 girls. That was pretty cool!
Secret Date Spot in The City: Parc (parc-restaurant.com)
My Mother Would Say I Am: A hard working, butt kickin’, sweet Irish lass.
My Friends Would Describe Me As: Outgoing, friendly, bubbly, quirky, extremely passionate
Most Attractive Physical Part of A Man: His smile and dimples are always a plus.
Kiss on A First Date? That all depends. I wouldn’t completely rule it out. If the feeling was right, I would go with it.
Favorite Clothing Store: Ron Jon Surf Shop
Favorite Perfume: Beachy by Lilly Pulitzer
Five Songs on Kayleen’s iPod Right Now: Pearl Jam – Black, Airborne Toxic Event – Wishing Well, Jack Johnson – Flake, Doors – Roadhouse Blues, Chili Peppers – Minor Thing
Favorite Musicians: Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon
Morning Radio Station: 104.5, Preston & Steve
Philadelphia is a City of… Brotherly love baby!
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Cocktail: Tullamore Dew with a splash of ginger ale
Favorite BYOB In the City: Little Fish in Center City
Favorite Place on the Main Line to Have Drinks: Gullifty’s! They have the best beer selection in the area and their menu is extensive and accommodating to anyone’s taste. I used to work there too!
Favorite Coffee Shop: Cousins Coffee Shop in South Philly
When I date a man they can expect: There to never be a dull moment!
Date Pet Peeves: Text messaging and/or talking on their phone. I think when you are out with someone who you truly care about that should be a given. I want my man to put the world on hold for me. I would expect him to ask the same of me. Dining etiquette is a must as well.
Puppy Love: Kayleen’s two year old Boxer, Bryndal, is her current full-time commitment. You can catch ‘Bryn’ and Kayleen at the park most evenings playing catch.
Family Matters: As for my mom, I always joke that she belongs in the South and not in Philly because she is so sweet and polite to everyone she meets. I learned from her to be kind and generous to people-even strangers. I am very close to my parents and they are my biggest fans.
Want to nominate a sensational single for AroundMainLine.com to consider? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture and a maximum 50 word description. Singles can reside anywhere throughout the Delaware Valley, minimum age required is 21. Nominations will be kept strictly confidential.