maria sansone on abc

abcWhen Maria wasjust 12, her growing fame prompted ABC to send her to a wide variety of sporting and entertainment events, and she was soon appearing on national broadcasts of ABC's Little League World Series, the Professional Bowling Tour, Wide World of Sports for Kids, NBA Inside Stuff and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. In fact, Maria proved so adept at each new assignment that she was asked to host Gladiators 2000, a children’s version of the popular head-to-head combat series American Gladiators.

Maria hosted the short-lived show from 1994 to 1995 before deciding to step out of the limelight for a few years to return to the business of being a regular kid. It proved to be a solid decision for this energetic tomboy, and she starred on her high school basketball team before going off to Syracuse University to study communications. "It just got to be too much,” she says. “I wanted to be a normal kid. Not that it was a bad thing going to California and New York City and all of that, but as a kid, that's really hard to deal with. I look back on that stuff now and think, 'Is that really me?'”

maria sansone on live with regis and kelly

Maria became a star again at Syracuse when she was selected to cohost Live with Regis and Kelly during the show’s “co-ed week” while Kelly Ripa was on maternity leave. "As soon as I stepped out onto the stage and was holding [Regis’] hand, I could not stop smiling,” she recalls. “I was smiling, I was waving like I owned the place. From that point on, it was great. It went by fast."

maria sansone on mtvu

After graduating from Syracuse in 2003, Maria moved to Manhattan where she worked as a VJ for MTV’s college network, MTVU. “I thought, 'Well? I love MTV and I really dig college, so let's go for it,'” she recalls. “My first gig was down in Barbados for a spring break special. So how can you say no to that?” Maria also continued to freelance in her spare time for CBS Sports, CSTV and NESN.

maria sansone on the 9

the9Maria took her career in yet another new direction in the spring of 2006 when she landed a hosting gig on The 9, a brand new internet webcast on Yahoo!. The daily program began on July 10, 2006, and was since hailed as one of the world’s 50 Coolest Websites by Time Magazine.

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