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'Black-ish' star Yara Shahidi & the NBA's first female scout Bonnie-Jill Laflin

Larry King NowApr 28 '17

Seventeen-year-old actress Yara Shahidi, who plays Zoey Johnson on ABC's hit comedy 'Black-ish,' talks handling fame as a teenager, her future career goals, and Trump's America. Plus, Bonnie-Jill Laflin on breaking barriers as the NBA's first-ever female scout and joining the cast of VH1's 'Basketball Wives'.

Larry King interviews Yara Shahidi, a seventeen-year-old actress and activist who stars in the hit comedy series ‘Black-ish.’ Larry asks why ‘Black-ish’ is a hit, and Shahidi comments it has a diverse writers’ room that explores family, race, and intergenerational issues. Larry asks how she got the part, and Shahidi describes her audition process and previous acting experience. Despite being young and famous, Shahidi believes she would have had a similar path even without the show, but appreciates the platform and experiences ‘Black-ish’ has given her. She praises the flexibility of distance learning and the ability to study what she wants.

Larry mentions her political activism and asks for Shahidi’s thoughts on the president. She’s not a fan, especially as as a young black girl with the last name Shahidi and relatives in Iran. Shahidi expresses shock and disappointment that the election rhetoric undermined peoples’ identities, after Obama had been promoting greater equality. Larry comments that Michelle Obama wrote Shahidi a college recommendation letter, and Shahidi confirms she met the former first lady with the ‘Black-ish’ cast, and was included in many of her learning initiatives. Then Shahidi answers a range of viewer questions, from Prince being a family friend to her Hollywood experience as a female actress of color. Shahidi is proud that everything she does is a statement, and hopes to become a professional activist working towards policy change, in addition to being an actress and creative.

Larry’s next interview guest is Bonnie-Jill Laflin, the NBA’s first female scout, and who worked with the Los Angeles Lakers. Laflin is also a sports broadcaster, TV personality, and philanthropist. She is now part of the ‘Basketball Wives’ cast, though she isn’t a basketball wife but was cast to show different types of women. Laflin talks about becoming a scout and the enjoyment of going to games and watching players. Larry asks about her cheerleading career, and Laflin says it enabled her to combine her passions of dancing and sports, and get the best seat in the house. Though she was only paid $15 per game as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and she put in a lot of effort she wasn’t really compensated for, Laflin knew what she signed up for.

Larry asks if Laflin was a tomboy, and she confirms that she grew up with horses and sports. She talks about growing up in San Francisco and rooting for the Giants baseball team. Larry asks if Laflin has dated ball players, which she has, but she didn’t mix dating players with her work scouting players. Her work with players made her a good candidate for ‘Basketball Wives,’ and Larry asks if she’s enjoying working on the show. Laflin believes it’s a great platform for her charity work and to show her career in a male-dominated world. Larry inquiries what Laflin looks for when she scouts basketball players, and she talks about the long process of finding those with a high basketball IQ, big guards, and team players. Laflin mentions liking other sports beyond basketball, and being able to explore these through her sports reporting.