Local Community Project Leads To Digital Coverage of Muncie’s Inaugural City of Champions Invitational

Ball State Sports Link, the nation’s first academic track in sports media production, launched a new after-school program with high school students from Muncie Central and Muncie Burris called “Sports Media Production: The Experience”.

The seven-week after school program started in November 2021, with local community non-profits the Muncie Sports Commission and Innovation Connector serving as facilitators for the initiative.

Senior Director of Sports Production and Associate Lecturer of Media, Chris Taylor, is leading the project along with students from the Sports Link program. Students from Muncie Central and Muncie Burris are working with Taylor and the Ball State students weekly.

“I’ve been interested in sports for a really long time, said Jack Eads, a senior at Muncie Burris. “I thought this program would be a great opportunity. This has fueled my interest even more as I am learning skills I can use.”

In November and December, workshop sessions were held at the Innovation Connector, while in 2022 those sessions have moved on campus to the sports production center in Ball State’s College of Communication, Information, and Media.

The program also includes an opportunity for the high school students to shadow Sports Link for its Jan. 22 Ball State Women’s Basketball game vs. Central Michigan on ESPN 3.

The high school students have been learning the elements of sports media production and now building their knowledge to work on live productions for the upcoming Muncie boys basketball City of Champions Tournament Jan. 29 at the historic Muncie Fieldhouse.

The inaugural City of Champions Tournament features four boys basketball teams — Muncie Central, Muncie Burris, South Bend Adams and Greenfield Central. Students in the after-school program are providing pre-event and live event coverage for the entire tournament.

“I wanted to be part of this program because this is what I want to do in the future,” said Shiair Morrow, a junior student at Muncie Central. “I want to learn how to tell a great story. My dream job is to be a basketball sideline reporter in the NBA and WNBA.”

The Muncie Central vs. Muncie Burris game is slated to stream live at 10 a.m. Jan. 29 with a pregame show leading up to the 10:15 multi-camera live production of the game featuring students from both high schools co-producing the broadcast with Ball State students.

The pregame show will feature stories produced by the students on Shoka Griffin (Muncie Central) and Asher Donahue (Muncie Burris), along with additional stories and behind-the-scenes footage on the overall project.

Following the game, South Bend Adams and Greenfield Central will play at approximately noon with a live radio and social media stream with student announcers.

The Invitational’s consolation game at 6 p.m. will also be a live radio and social media stream, while the championship game at 8 p.m. will be a multi-camera live production — all featuring students in the program.

The City of Champions Invitational originated with local community leader Jud Fisher. Fisher, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Ball Brothers Foundation, recognized the need for our two local community high schools to play each other in a tournament-style format which would engage members of our community and attract participants from across the state of Indiana to Muncie.

To stay up-to-date with details regarding the tournament and the sports media program, plus watch and listen to the Jan. 29 games live, follow the social media links below.

For media coverage or more information, contact Chris Taylor (Ball State, 765-285-1480), Jon Anderson (Muncie Sports Commission, 765-287-5951) or Carter Anderson (Innovation Connector, 765-285-4900).

Muncie City of Champions on YouTube

Muncie City of Champions on Facebook

Muncie City of Champions on Instagram

MuncieChampions on Twitter

Author: Chris Taylor

Senior Director of Digital Sports Production & Lecturer of Telecommunications | 2017 Recipient of SVG College Sports Summit Pioneer Award | Storyteller | Producer | Emmy Award Winner | Sports Media Junkie | Social Media Strategist | Country Music Enthusiast | Goldendoodle Owner | Follow me on Twitter @BallStateCT