Ex-NBA players preparing for careers in broadcast journalism


nbpa-syracuseThe NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) recently teamed up with Syracuse University for its seventh annual Sportscaster U. program, an intensive three-day seminar exclusive to NBA players that helps prepare them for post-playing careers in broadcast journalism.

Held in conjunction with the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Sportscaster U. gives its participants hands-on experience working with professional technical production crews.

The program consists of classroom and studio sessions, covering topics such as broadcasting basics, game coverage, interviews, studio performance, and equipment and technology.

The program, organized by former NBA player and current NBPA Career Development Counselor Rich Rinaldi and Syracuse adjunct professor and men’s basketball play-by-play announcer Matt Park, has produced impressive results – 45 players have “graduated” from the Sportscaster U. program, and of those whose playing careers have concluded, 80% have secured positions in the broadcasting industry.

Some of Sportscaster U.’s most notable graduates include TNT’s Inside the NBA studio analyst Shaquille O’Neal, Philadelphia 76ers color commentator Malik Rose, Memphis Grizzlies color commentator Brevin Knight, and Orlando Magic studio analyst Tony Battie.

“As a program, we will not take total credit for these guys being employed,” said Rinaldi.  “The reason the program has been so successful is that the players who participate are proactive and are very serious about their life after basketball.  They make a concerted effort to travel to Syracuse and put in three days of intense broadcast work.  Word is out now amongst NBA players – this is the best broadcast program any player can get if they’re serious about doing broadcasting.”

This year’s graduating class was made up of nine players.  Active NBA players Jerryd Bayless, Kris Humphries, Al Harrington, Drew Gooden, Garrett Temple, Shannon Brown, and Richard Hamilton were joined by retired players Casey Jacobsen and Eldridge Recasner.

In an effort to attract more players to the program, the NBPA agreed to help finance tuition costs for the players – players are now only responsible for their travel expenses and lodging.


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