December 02, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

NBC Sports sideline reporter extraordinaire Hannah Storm has a trick for snagging giant athletes. ”I grab them,” she explains. ”I run out and physically grab them. I put my arm around their waist so they can’t go anywhere.” The 5-foot-10-inch broadcaster looks downright lilliputian next to the athletes dripping sweat on her from above, but she remains undaunted, firing off questions before letting her captives escape to the locker room.

Now through the end of January, viewers can catch a lighter, gabbier, more personal Storm as she cohosts America’s Talking, a morning news/call-in show on the America’s Talking cable network. Storm, 32, proves her ability to ponder subjects beyond the NBA and NFL as she, cohost Steve Doocy, and callers discuss topics ranging from politics to fashion. (Recently Storm described the unraveling of an expensive Vera Wang wedding dress during her reception.) But the best part of the America’s Talking gig is that Storm gets to interview people who are actually happy to speak with her. ”I’ve talked to so many people when no one would want to talk to them,” she says of tense moments interviewing players and coaches after big losses. ”It’s not for the fainthearted.”

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