MIT produces engineers. John Hopkins produces doctors. Chicago produces journalists. And Syracuse produces broadcasters: Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Mike Tirico, and Ian Eagle headline a long list of famous and successful personalities to graduate from Syracuse’s famed Newhouse School of Communications. Featured prominently on this list is Matt Park, who is a Newhouse graduate, Newhouse professor, and current Voice of the Orange. Park sat down with his longtime friend and host of “Power Forward,” the one and only John Wallace. The conversation was live-streamed on SportsCastr this past Tuesday, November 10 before being released as an audio podcast on Spotify.
Like Wallace, Park was born and raised in Central New York, having grown up in Chittenango, a suburb of Syracuse. The interview begins with Park telling the tale of a teenager who becomes aware that he likely “won’t play centerfield for the Yankees,” and so begins pursuing a career in broadcasting as a high schooler. Attending Orangemen (as the SU men’s basketball team was called then) practices as a young man, and seeing the likes of Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens up close, only intensified Park’s desire to be connected to sports by way of broadcasting them.
Following six years of commentating on professional and minor league baseball, Park returned to Syracuse in 2002 to join the faculty at Newhouse and become the voice of both the football and men’s basketball team. A particularly illuminating anecdote that Park shares during the interview concerns his time working with the NBA Players Association’s Broadcaster U program, which involves professional broadcasters working with current NBA players to train them for a career in broadcasting once their playing days are through. Park cites a number of NBA stars such as Shaquille O’Neal, Richard Hamilton, Vince Carter, and Andre Iguodala, but at the mention of 76ers forward Tobias Harris, things get rather interesting.
Between reminiscences of great Syracuse moments from the 6OT game, which Park relates a fascinating tale, to the “old Big East” matchups between Georgetown and Syracuse, John and the “Power Forward” audience discover a most intriguing look at how Park has been passing the time during the pandemic. Hint: Leggos. Well, sort of, anyhow. As John has noted on his Twitter account since the interview, it can be surprising to learn something new about someone with whom you’ve been friends for many years, but such opportunities arise when the focus of the conversation is shifted even just a little bit. Progress is only earned through experience. If old friends like Matt and John can learn new things about one another, then there are no limits to what we can each do as individuals, and all do as members of society when we dare to… Power Forward.Listen to “Power Forward w/ John Wallace” on Spotify Tags: basketball, CBK, NCAA, NCAAB, Power Forward, Syracuse, Syracuse basketball, Syracuse Orange Last modified: November 18, 2020