Cross Country Checkup

How a teen reporter's question to Kyle Lowry was heard around the world

Now that his question for the Toronto Raptors star has gone viral, 13-year-old CBC Kids News contributor Arjun Ram hopes for a long future in journalism.

On the heels of his viral interview, 13-year-old Arjun Ram hopes for a career in journalism

Arjun Ram is a contributor for CBC Kids News and a former contestant on Canada's Smartest Person Junior. (Submitted by Priya Ram)

Still basking in the glow of a face-to-face encounter with players from the Toronto Raptors, a Hamilton teen says he was thrilled to watch them go on to win the NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors this week.

"I always knew it would happen. But for them to win, [after] 24 years in the making, I was feeling great and I'm so happy," said Arjun Ram, 13.

The Grade 7 student gained internet fame last week after CBC Kids News asked him to cover the Raptors ahead of Game 5. Ram was then thrust into a media scrum with veteran point guard Kyle Lowry.

"Mr. Lowry, how does it feel to be an icon all over Canada to kids?" Ram asked the Raptors star.

It was an atypical pre-game question and Lowry scratched his head a bit before answering, "That's a crazy question. I ain't never been asked that one." The clip went viral.

Ram is no stranger to the limelight. He was a contestant on Canada's Smartest Person Junior where he displayed his passion for rapping. He's also a regular contributor to CBC Kids News, filing reports on everything from D-Day to Canada's Spelling Bee championship.

Here is part of my conversation with Ram, recorded the day after the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Finals.

Let's talk about [your interview of Kyle Lowry]. How did you find out that you were going to get to interview Kyle Lowry?

I'll tell you, it was pretty hectic honestly. I woke up in the morning — it was a Sunday morning — and I heard my mom yelling on the phone, 'You got to be kidding me! There's no way!'

She told me, 'You're going to interview the Raptors! Go, go, go, we have to go!' We had to rush to Toronto. We live in Hamilton, which is an hour away, so [we] got ready, had to rush out of the house, and you know, once we made it there, it all paid off. Honestly, it was amazing.

Kyle Lowry didn’t know what to say when CBC Kids News contributor Arjun Ram asked him what it meant to be an icon for Canadian kids. (NBA)

Not many kids get to spend a day with the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena [in Toronto]. What are you going to remember most from that day?

I'm going to remember a lot of things. That interview with Kyle Lowry and him answering my question. I'm going to remember the other interviews I had, for example, with Pascal Siakam.

I asked him a French question, and he complimented my French, which was great because that gave me more confidence when I speak French to other people. And I got to interview Danny Green and Marc Gasol. I got to interview the Warriors head coach.

Just being courtside ... I watch it on TV all the time. I never thought that I would walk on that court. There's so many memorable moments for this experience.

Arjun Ram, a 13-year old CBC Kids News reporter went viral earlier this week. Arjun was at a Raptor press conference when he posed this question to Raptor star point guard, Kyle Lowry. He told Checkup host Duncan McCue about the experience. 6:30

You've been watching the Raptors since you were a little guy. I wonder, how important is basketball in your own life?

I love basketball. It's my favorite sport.

I played junior basketball for my school team. This was the inaugural season for a lot of players and, sadly, we didn't make the finals. But we had a good season and I was proud of my coach Mr. Lemmond, who kind of reminds me of [Toronto Raptors coach] Nick Nurse.

When I look at basketball, I see that everybody can play it. Even if you've never played it before, give it a try. Because it's a very fun sport.

You don't have to be competitive, you can just play for fun. Shoot around. You can play Horse. You can play 21. There's so many different versions of basketball.

Watch Toronto Raptors player Pascal Siakam answer Arjun Ram's question in French

I can't help but ask you about you and your career as a CBC reporter. There are people across Canada — around the world — that have seen you ask that question to Kyle Lowry. Is this something you want to keep on doing in the future?

I would like to go into journalism and I would love to go into sports when I'm older. [Working] for CBC Sports would be a great way to start off my career because I love sports and especially basketball.

CBC Kids News is something that has really helped me improve my linguistic skills, my interviewing skills. I really love doing it. And I love writing stories for them and figuring out ideas [and] how to make the stories they create.

But these NBA Finals has been my favorite story to do so far.

With files from Samantha Lui and CBC Kids News


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