Meet Amanda Pflugrad
Everyone here in Boston recognizes her as “Amanda from the Boston Celtics” but as wonderful as she is with the Celtics, there are so many more amazing layers behind this inspirational woman who has seen her professional journey take her coast to coast!
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Amanda and learn more about her incredible world, how she got here to Boston, and what her dreams and goals are for the future!
VN: Amanda, I am so proud of having you as the feature in this edition of H.E.R. Page. You are incredibly independent, kind, funny, beautiful, smart.. the list goes on! When I spoke to you, I felt uplifted and inspired by the way you carry yourself and believe in yourself. How do you currently try to inspire other women and do you have any goals in the future to continue inspiring women?
AP: Thank you so much. Well, I feel the exact same way about you Victoria!
I think one of the biggest ways I currently try to inspire other women is just being supportive of my friends, family and other women in the business as a whole. I really try and lead by example in all aspects of my life. Another way that I aim to help is if a current college student reaches out to me regarding feedback on the business or questions about their reel, I do my best to provide as much insight and guidance as I can.
In the future, I want to continue to inspire women to go after their dreams and pursue whatever they want. I’ve definitely thought about becoming a broadcast coach/mentor or teaching a college course in journalism, to help others succeed.
Before COVID hit I was actually in the process of creating my own jewelry line with one of my very close friends. Some of the key pieces that were created were made to inspire, not just women but everyone to stand up for what they believe in and come together as one. The jewelry collection will definitely happen at some point. So, keep an eye out!
VN: Your career has currently landed you as a host and reporter for the Celtics. Do you ever feel as though being a woman in this industry is tough? Are there any specific challenges you’ve had to overcome to get where you are now?
AP: Growing up with my father as a football coach I’ve been around sports since the day I was born, so being a woman around the game didn’t really affect me at a young age. I competed in gymnastics for 10 years and after that I played soccer, basketball and ran track before becoming a cheerleader at Oregon. Sports have always been a huge part of my life with my mom competing as a gymnast at Oregon State and my dad playing college football as well.
Once I started broadcasting, I did notice that there were very few females around me in the media. However, the longer that I have been in it, I’ve been seeing more and more women in different roles and that has been truly amazing to witness.
There have been times where I felt that certain men would quiz me on my sports knowledge or made me feel that I didn’t belong but at the end of the day I was able to prove myself and show that I was the best person for the position.
One of the biggest challenges that I had to overcome at a young age was being diagnosed with a reading comprehension disability in the first grade. I had the hardest time learning to read and put together words. I remember my parents working with me for countless hours and going to tutors and summer school during my down time. Through all of our hard work, I was able to finally overcome my learning disability. I give my mom so much credit for being so supportive and patient with me. She was my rock and still is to this day.
I still talk to my parents about those struggles and how everything has now come full circle being that I’m in a profession where I’m constantly reading, writing and reporting. I can say that our dedication and commitment paid off!
VN: What made you want to pursue Journalism as a career? And what ultimately landed you in Boston?
AP: t’s been a very long road to get to where I am today, I’ll tell you that. When I first started college at the University of Oregon, I changed my major twice before choosing broadcast journalism with a minor in communication studies.
My dad was the one who originally opened my eyes to a possible career in broadcasting. He mentioned I loved communicating with people, writing, being creative and was also good at asking questions and thought it might be a good fit. I’m glad I listened to his suggestion because he was spot on. Naturally, with my dad being a football coach and sports being such a huge part of my life, I gravitated immediately to sports coverage over news.
My path to landing with the Boston Celtics, was full of unpaid internships, sleepless nights, and cross country moves which included stops in Arizona, Chicago, New York and now Boston. I accepted every opportunity that came my way and that allowed me to get more reps and experience in the business. I’m proud to say that through my journey in broadcasting I have now covered almost every sport possible and have made appearances on NBATV, ESPN, SEC Network, NBC Sports, CBS Sports Network and PAC-12 Networks. Those opportunities and experiences helped me make my way to now covering one of the storied franchises in all of sports with the Boston Celtics.
VN: I love that you were an Oregon Ducks cheerleader for 4 years and became Captain your senior year! Better yet, you were able to cheer on your brother while your dad also coached. How has that experience shaped you into who you are today? Is there a specific moment you’d love to relive?!
AP: Being able to cheer for both my dad and brother was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Gamedays were definitely different in the Pflugrad household growing up. I will forever cherish those memories and getting an opportunity to be around my family and support them. I made amazing friends with my teammates on the cheer squad as well and I think that whole experience helped me build even more confidence in myself and I really came into my own during college.
One of the best moments that I’d love to relive was actually after I was done cheering at Oregon and when my brother Aaron had transferred to ASU as a WR. The Sun Devils here hosting Missouri and the game was nationally televised. ASU was wearing their black uniforms for the first time and Aaron had eight catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns during that game. I was able to take this moment in from the sidelines and I was so proud to see all of Aaron’s hard work pay off. I definitely didn’t have a voice the next day since I was screaming so loud.
VN: Amanda, I love seeing you model different designers and create ad content for companies on your social media. Do you ever feel as though it’s difficult to balance the rigors of the world of sports, in which your life in consumed, while being the glammed up feminine woman you are?
AP: I’ve embraced being able to be feminine and also cover sports. Being feminine and elegant is part of being a woman. I’m drawn to fashion, jewelry and red-carpet events just like I love sports, nature, hiking and biking. Just because I’m interested in other things outside of sports doesn’t take away from my ability to do my job and do it at the best level that I can.
In this day in age, I think the more projects that you can be involved in, the better. Being able to work with different brands and companies I think makes you even more appealing and helps you stand out and create other opportunities for yourself in the long run.
It’s interesting because when I first started out in the industry, I was told I needed to be less feminine. Producers and agents said I needed to lower my voice and come across as more masculine to viewers. Funny enough, the most masculine thing that I’ve been told that I do, is walk like a football coach.
I quickly realized though that even with all that feedback on what I needed to change; I wasn’t going to be all of those things. I’ve worked on my voice and projection to sound a little deeper but at the end of the day I’m 5’2, I am who I am and I’m proud of it!
VN: I know we have a similar network of photographers in the modeling industry. How would you describe your personal type of modeling? Which type of modeling is your favorite?!
AP: When I’ve booked modeling jobs, it’s always been for commercial modeling. I love fun, interactive shoots where you can smile, move and just have a good time. Any type of modeling where I can be active and outside has always been my favorite, that or getting to shoot with animals, in particular french bulldogs.
If you or someone you know are interested in being featured on H.E.R Page please reach out to Victoria Nasuti @herpagebostonman