From Sanderson Spartan to Reality TV Star


ABC and USA Today

Former Spartan Matt James is the new Bachelor.

  Sanderson High School alum Matt James has made his The Bachelor debut this past week and our fellow Spartans cannot wait to see where his journey to find love takes him.  

 Viewers were introduced to James this past Monday, January 4. At the beginning of the episode he discussed his childhood, growing up in North Carolina, and even showed snapshots of him repping a Sanderson jersey. 

  James graduated from Sanderson in 2010 after playing both basketball and football at SHS as well as running track. He went on to play football at Wake Forest University before graduating in 2014. He now lives in New York City where he has a career as a commercial real estate broker and works with children in the inner-city.     

  Matt James is close friends with Tyler Cameron, a fan-favorite contestant from Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette. James is entirely new to Bachelor Nation, which should make his season a much more authentic and genuine watch. 

  After 24 seasons of The Bachelor, James is the first Black Bachelor. He discussed what this means to him with host Chris Harrison saying, “You’ve got people who have certain views, old-school views, on what a relationship and what love looks like.” He then went on to discuss the pressure he feels to not disappoint either the Black or White community. 

  The lack of diversity within The Bachelor franchise is an issue that the producers are making small strides to rectify, but they still have a long way to go. Among this season’s contestants are immigrants, the show’s first deaf woman (who received the First Impression Rose), and the amount of women of color outnumber the white women. Fans are hopeful that this season is the beginning of a much more diverse Bachelor Nation. 

  To continue with Matt on his journey, new episodes of The Bachelor air every Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC; go Spartans!