THIS WEEK'SSpecial Report, The Latino Athlete Now, reflects the enterprise ofwriter-reporter Melissa Segura, who started at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as anundergraduate intern from Santa Clara University in 2001. Since then the15th-generation New Mexican (think early-18th-century Santa Fe) has come tospecialize in baseball and Latin American issues while covering a range ofsports she has seen transformed by Latino athletes.
"Growing up,I'd identify with any Latino athletes that made the team," says Segura."A generation later Latino kids find not only Latino players butsuperstars."
Segura herselfshines brightly not just in SI and on SI.com but also on the pages of SILATINO, the Spanish-language magazine spun off from SI in 2005 that now goesout six times a year to more than a half-million Hispanic readers in the UnitedStates.
Under editorChris Hunt, SIL's mandate is to explore the Latinization of sports—and how thatcomplex transformation mirrors the demographic and cultural changes happeningthroughout the country.
SIL featuresLatino athletes and teams in all sports but especially in soccer, baseball,boxing and basketball. "Our readers like variety," says Hunt, "butthose on the East Coast care most about baseball, and readers elsewhere prefersoccer. So we usually produce two covers, one for the East with baseball [or asin the latest issue, basketball with New Jersey Net Eduardo Najera] and anotherfor the rest of the country with soccer [Colombian goalkeeper ReneHiguita]."
SI subscriberscan get a free subscription to SIL by going to silatino.com and simply enteringtheir name and address.