By: Joe Gooding
One thing Gonzaga’s broadcasting department prides itself in is offering unique opportunities to its students. Hands-on experience with the latest technology, creating an original web series and going toe-to-toe with industry professionals are just some of the things broadcasting students get to do.
If you turned on the television to watch Gonzaga’s exhibition game last weekend, you might have seen a familiar face on KHQ’s coverage of the game. Brenna Greene, a broadcasting senior, did commentary for the game alongside Richard Fox, a GU-alumnus and basketball player turned commentator.
But Greene did not end up on TV by chance or because she is Professor Dan Garrity’s favorite student, she earned her spot through a behind-the-scenes commentary competition.
Competing alongside Caroline Rourke, and Adam Arec, Greene went through a three part test judged by staff at KHQ. The first part was a general interview with Fox in the GUTV studio that covered the basics: the background of each student, their passion, and why they should get the opportunity to commentate.
Second, the contestants were asked to spit out stats on GU basketball players chosen at random in a comprehendible, clear and entertaining manner, just as they would have to do in a real-life setting in front of the camera.
The final part of the test, and most unique part, required the contestants to present a “package” (a pre-produced news video that lasts anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute consisting of quotes from relevant interview subjects) that covered basketball players lives off the court.
While only one contestant took the commentary crown, Rourke and Arac were grateful to meet Fox and test their abilities.
“I came into this program last semester knowing nothing about broadcasting and in less than a year, I’ve been given an opportunity like this? Wow,” said Rourke.
“Being a part of the competition was a long and fun experience,” said Arac. “There ended up being so many new challenges that came up during the process.”
But the opportunity was not only exciting for the conestants, but also for the commentary judge. Fox, being a former GUTV student himself, saw the talent and passion that these contestants had while putting them through the three-part test.
“They’re much farther along than when the program started,” Fox said. “To see where it is now … the talent is much better.”
Fox wishes that he had the same experience when he was a student, highlighting the real world advantage the winner has by getting to commentate and report at a GU basketball game.
“It’s a unique experience that you’re not going to get in a classroom,” Fox said. “You’re going to have real nerves being out there on the court.”
Nerves are something Brenna claims she didn’t have going into the competition though.
“I just took the mental approach into it to have fun and it worked out well because I felt very at ease during the actual process,” Greene said of the competition itself.
Greene felt so at ease because sports and broadcasting are her passions.
“Sideline reporting is something that I want to do when I graduate,” said Greene before finding out she won the competition. “The fact that I would be able to gain real world experience before I technically begin my career is invaluable.”