Maggie DeBarberie

When the Miami Heat won the 2013 NBA championship against the San Antonio Spurs, Maggie DeBarberie wasn’t watching on TV with the rest of South Florida. Instead, she was waiting by the locker rooms to film the players in the post-game media frenzy.  

“It was just a madhouse,” she recalled. “We were just making sure we did whatever it was that we had to do and that our camera guys were okay. It was a blur, honestly.”

Behind-the-scenes access during the “white hot” team’s historic moments is just one perk of DeBarberie’s position as producer and editor at the Miami Heat.

“I never would have imagined when I graduated UM that I would have been working with a professional sports team, let alone one that’s won championships,” she said. “There’s just no better time to be with the Miami Heat.”

DeBarberie, 24, from New Jersey, graduated in 2011 with a degree in broadcast journalism and sports administration. She went from a senior-year internship at CBS Miami to a job as a sports producer with CBS, to her position at the Miami Heat in 2012.  

“I started the day after I ended at CBS,” she said. “I got really, really lucky.”

UM faculty members who worked with DeBarberie attribute her success to much more than luck. Edward Julbe is the faculty adviser for the UMTV show SportsDesk and selected DeBarberie as the executive producer.  

“Even though we were already an award-winning show, Maggie wanted to make it even better,” Julbe said. “I knew then that her work ethic, attention to detail, willingness to sacrifice and dedication to the show were qualities that were going to serve her well.”  

DeBarberie was recently nominated for two Emmys, one for The Crown, a documentary on the Heat’s 2012 championship, and one for an episode of Inside the Heat on player Dwyane Wade.

DeBarberie spends most of her days editing segments of Inside the Heat, which airs locally on the Fox Sports cable channel Sun Sports. The show takes viewers inside the team, offering everything from biographies of players to recaps of games, playoffs or full seasons. 

“We get interviews with guys on the team, local and national figures, players’ families — anyone who can help tell the story,” she said.

DeBarberie then writes voiceovers, chooses footage and edits interviews. In short, she takes the segment from zero to ready-to-air.

“I love all of it,” she said. “I love being able to tell a story and be creative about it and because I’m so into sports, I enjoy the content that I’m working with. Then, you get to turn on the TV and see the physical presentation of what you’ve done.”

Although she spends most of her time at a computer in the downtown Miami studio, DeBarberie’s work takes her far beyond her desk. Last fall, she went to the Bahamas to shoot and edit video of the Heat’s training camp at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.

DeBarberie said she feels honored to have been with the Heat for some of its best moments.

“To be part of a franchise that keeps raising the bar is pretty amazing,” she said. “It’s going to be a team that I can look back on in 10 or 20 years and say, ‘I was part of that.’”

DeBarberie said she also loves having a behind-the-scenes view of the player’s lives off the court.  

“Through the shows I get to see how they are with their families and the community work and charity work they do,” she said. “To find out all these things that other people might not know about them and to see how great the guys are — that’s what we hope our show can do.”

DeBarberie said her time at UM, both as a student and as executive producer of SportsDesk, helped prepare her for where she is today.

“Everything I did there helped set me up for where I am now, whether it was the people I met or the things I did,” she said. “I couldn’t have imagined going anywhere else.”

Terry Bloom, chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Management, describes seeing students like DeBarberie excel post-graduation in one word: “awesome.”

“Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t know which students are going to do well,” Bloom said. “But it’s really gratifying to see success come to the students who earned it, who worked hard and who really deserve it.”

As for DeBarberie, she will most likely be bringing fans the inside scoop on the Miami Heat for a long time.

“I know that I don’t see myself doing anything else for a while,” she said. “Because I love what I do, and to me, that is more important than anything.”