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Russini sees Pro Bowl assignment as opportunity to build on relationships

NFL reporter Dianna Russini has been in Orlando this week covering the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl (Sunday, Jan. 27, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN).

While the season can be hectic, Russini views the Pro Bowl as an opportunity to connect with players and coaches in a more relaxed environment.

“After a long NFL season, spending time at the Pro Bowl is a great opportunity to reconnect with players and coaches,” Russini said. “The stress of the season is over for so many and this environment is the perfect time to learn more about them.”

Jacksonville Jaguars star Jalen Ramsey is just one of the many players who spent time sharing some laughs with Russini in between Pro Bowl practice and challenges.

“I’ve had a great time this week catching up with the players about their families and their plans for the off-season,” Russini said. “This is the first time I’ve ever been to the NFL Pro Bowl and it’s an experience I hope I get to do every year.”

Although she has been able to grab time with some of the Pro Bowl’s biggest stars, there are two who have been more difficult than usual.

“I discovered the hardest challenge wasn’t getting an interview with Andrew Luck . .. it was getting a selfie with Mickey and Minnie,” Russini said.

Catch all the coverage from the NFL Pro Bowl this weekend on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ABC and Disney XD.

Andy Hall and Emily Archacki produced the video.

– Molly Mita

1. The 23rd edition of X Games Aspen continues tonight (10:35 p.m. ET, ESPN) featuring 15.5 hours of extensive coverage and live content distributed on ESPN, ABC and the ESPN App. New to the lineup of disciplines this year is Wendy’s Snowboard Knuckle Huck along with Adaptive and Para Snow BikeCross.

2. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors head east to take on Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics at 8:30 p.m. for this week’s ESPN NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC. Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Israel Gutierrez will provide commentary at TD Garden.

3. MVP Candidates James Harden and Kawhi Leonard share the court for the first time this season when the Houston Rockets host the Toronto Raptors Friday at 8 p.m. Mark Jones will be courtside with analyst Doris Burke and reporter Jorge Sedano to cover the matchup.

4. College GameDay Covered by State Farm will head to Lexington on Saturday (11 a.m., ESPN) for its second stop of the year. The traveling pregame college basketball show, hosted by Rece Davis with analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams, returns to Rupp Arena ahead of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge matchup between No. 7 Kansas and No. 12 Kentucky (6 p.m. ET, ESPN).

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