A Shipp in the Desert


By Sandy Siegel '72

Published Apr 15, 2008 8:00 AM

Growing up in Los Angeles with three brothers who excelled in basketball, Brittney Shipp '05 embraced her family role.

"I've always been the big supporter. I knew my place early on and that was on the bench cheering for them," she says, referring to younger siblings Josh, a member of UCLA Coach Ben Howland's heralded first recruiting class, and Jerren, a guard at Arizona State, and big brother Joe, a former Cal standout who now plays overseas.

Not that Shipp, whose father played football at USC, didn't try to uphold the family sports tradition. While her brothers progressed from pee-wee leagues to traveling teams to the successful Fairfax High basketball program, she dabbled in volleyball and tennis. She even gave basketball a shot. Once.

"Everyone likes to say that I was concerned about breaking a nail. I don't really think that's true," she says with a laugh. "The other [story] is that I couldn't find earrings to match my jersey."

But the self-proclaimed "girlie-girl" sibling takes the teasing in stride because this Shipp set her own course for success — in television broadcasting. A onetime intern at KTLA and news assistant at L.A.'s ABC7 Eyewitness News, she's now a forecaster at KTVK in Phoenix. Her assignments include the weekend weather and local human-interest stories, such as the one she did about her torn loyalties when Josh and the Bruins played Jerren and the Sun Devils at ASU last February.

Shipp credits her interest in broadcasting to UCLA and her stint as a general assignment reporter for Bruin News 29, the campus TV news program. "That's where I got pretty much my start," she says. "That's where I really started enjoying doing broadcasting."

College also gave Shipp the chance to feed her appetite for travel. An International Development Studies major, she studied in Spain and Italy through UCLA programs, using the opportunity to travel through Europe, and completed her undergraduate coursework on Semester at Sea. The voyage provided an unexpected lesson in weather.

"We got hit by a rogue wave. We were caught between two storm systems and the wave went over our ship," says Shipp, who's working toward a post-graduate degree in meteorology. "We were a couple of degrees away from totally capsizing."

Shipp sailed through the experience undaunted. Not bad for a girl who was afraid to break a nail.