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Dianna Russini Got Katie Nolan into LeBron ESPYs Party By Saying She Was Rose Lavelle

Katie Nolan, Dianna Russini, and Cassidy Hubbarth are real-life close friends who hosted the ESPYs red carpet show on Twitter earlier this month, and later in the evening went to LeBron James’ apparently-very-exclusive ESPYs after-party together.

As Nolan explained on her Sports? podcast this past week, the trio headed to LeBron’s Uninterrupted shindig after the main ESPYs party. Russini and Hubbarth were both on the list to get in, which evidently does still not guarantee entry, and when they got to the party they saw Rose Lavelle of the U.S. Women’s National Team leaving. As had been discussed earlier in the pod, LaVelle and Nolan had connected with each other.

“So we’re waiting in line,” Nolan said. “The woman [i.e. the gatekeeper] has her little iPad with the list on it. Again, to reiterate: Cassidy and Dianna, on that list. Me, no, not at all. Never even sniffed it. So Cassidy goes first, she’s like Cassidy Hubbarth, the woman looks, You’re all set. Diana. Dianna Russini. You’re all set.”

The gatekeeper looked at Nolan and asked, “What about her?”

“I’m like sweating, I’m immediately aware of what my hands are doing. Dianna goes, It’s L-A-V, Rose — how do you spell your last name? And I was like E-L-L-E and [the gatekeeper] goes, You’re all set. Have a great time ladies.” 

What a brilliant maneuver, combined with the luck that the woman did not know who Nolan or Lavelle were.

Once inside, more surreality ensued. Nolan recounts how she lost Russini and Hubbarth, tracking down the latter by virtue of her hair bun, tapping her on the shoulder before realizing she was speaking to James. The two got whisked into the party’s VIP area, after which Russini joined them and ordered a vodka cranberry from LeBron. It’s worth listening to the whole thing for the nuance.