O’Dowd’s dynamic play-by-play announcer Ethan Grossman ’18 had an opportunity over the summer that most budding broadcasters could only dream of – attending a special camp for high school students interested in sports journalism.
One of 30 participants in the Cronkite Sports Broadcast Boot Camp, held June 19-July 3 on the Arizona State University campus, Grossman found himself in the middle of the action covering professional sports teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Mercury.
Grossman’s interest in sports broadcasting was evident early on, Associate Athletic Director Carlos Arriaga said. “During his freshman year I asked him if he would like to join our play-by-play broadcasting crew for live streaming O’Dowd football games,” he said. “Without hesitation he jumped right in and from the get-go it was clear that he had talent. He also became a PA announcer for our football and basketball games and we quickly moved him into the lead play-by-play announcer role for football games.”
One of Grossman’s most memorable moments at the camp was participating in Diamondbacks pre- and post-game interviews. “It was a very professional environment. I got to ask their manager Chip Hale a question,” he said.
Under the direction of veteran sports journalists, Grossman and his fellow campers were exposed to play-by-play and sideline reporting, hosting, studio production and more. They also produced segments and full sports programs inside Cronkite’s state-of-the-art studios and learned how to use digital television field reporting equipment and Adobe Premier Pro editing software.
“The daily activities were so hands on. It was remarkable how much trust they had in us and how many opportunities they provided,” Grossman said.
It didn’t take Grossman long to put his new skills to work. Along with Colm Connolly ’19, Grossman is producing a weekly Athletics Sports Show, highlighting O’Dowd’s various sports teams. The duo is assisted by Samuel Showalter ’18, who provides technical support and graphic design. This is the first time a student-run sports show has been produced at O’Dowd.
Grossman said that skills he learned at the broadcasting camp have proved invaluable in producing the show. “Before the camp I had no skill in video editing. Now I’m the main video editor for the show. I would never have been able to produce a show like this without those skills,” he said.
“Our goal is to give time to every sport,” Grossman said. “That’s why we recently did an episode about off campus sports – how they don’t get the attention that some other sports do, but are just as valuable and competitive.”
Arriaga said it’s great to be able to highlight O’Dowd programs through a different media. “More significantly, we are providing an opportunity for students to learn and grow in something they are passionate about,” he said. “It’s my hope that we continue this pipeline of students interested in sports, journalism and communications by providing other students opportunities to get involved in the future.”
Adds Arriaga, “As a result of Ethan’s skills, we have evolved from non-students calling our live streamed games to producing entirely student crew play-by-play announced games for our live stream. One of the goals of our athletic department is to continue to grow in this area of getting more students involved, with Ethan leading the charge.”
Meanwhile, being exposed to different types of reporting at the camp allowed Grossman to identify where his passion lies – play-by-play and live sports broadcasting.
“During camp, each camper had to produce a pre-recorded video segment about a sporting event that had happened,” he said. “I found I couldn’t convey myself in a natural way reading off a teleprompter. I feel much more comfortable doing play-by-play and live broadcasting.”
Watch Grossman’s segments from broadcasting camp: