A group of Ball State Sports Link students had a unique learning experience Jan. 16-17 from the NBA production team of Turner Sports.
The Thursday, Jan. 17 Indiana Pacers home contest against the Philadelphia 76ers was one of two nationally televised games on TNT that night.
Representing Sports Link were senior Connor Nichols, juniors Dylan Thompson and Luke Foster and sophomores Seena Greiwe and Jared Frank.
“Being able to shadow the TNT broadcast was a very eye-opening experience,” Greiwe said. “Seeing how how a broadcast for an NBA game at the network level is done taught me a lot I can incorporate in the broadcasts I work on at Ball State.”
“Working with TNT was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done in Sports Link,” Foster said. “It opened my eyes even more to how broadcasts work for major networks. It also helped me immediately for this semester in Sports Link and for what I’ll need to be able to do in the future for my career.”
Students arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Jan. 16 to assist setup with the Turner Sports team and were met by Chris Brown, senior director of technical operations for Turner.
Following setup students then met with individual members of the crew in one-on-one learning sessions, including producer Jeff Randolph, director Andrew Greathouse, technical director Todd Kinsey and lead EVS operator Bill Grittinger.
Technical manager David Hunsey and associate director Morgan Weinbrecht also provided mentoring sessions.
“Because I am producing events here at Ball State, I was practically attached to the hip of producer Jeff Randolph,” Nichols said. “He shared with me what he does during the week to prepare for the broadcasts, the meetings he had with talent and how they were extremely important for the success of the broadcast, how to get advertisements into the broadcast and much more.”
“Having one-on-one sessions with the professionals was truly beneficial,'” Greiwe added. “They are the best-of-the-best and everyone was willing to answer any questions we had.”
Then Jan. 17, the student team returned for gameday production meetings and were embedded with positions throughout the day and the broadcast.
“Learning from Turner’s crew was an opportunity that I’m very thankful for,” Frank said. “The experience further solidified live sports production as the field I want to go into. Specifically as a technical director, our time learning with TD Todd Kinsey was so valuable.”
“Not a lot of people get an opportunity like this, so I knew I would take full advantage of it by asking as many questions as I could,” Nichols added.
Turner Sports is in its 35th consecutive year of NBA coverage, which featured an expanded 67-game schedule on TNT during the 2017-18 season.
The network showcases the league’s biggest stars throughout the season, leading into TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage, the most robust package of games for any network.