Watching ESPNews this morning, the big news was the baseball All-Star game. What really excited me was not the highlights, but the fact that the anchor delivering those highlights was a South Asian. Kevin Negandhi is the first national South Asian sports anchor in the U.S. and has been doing it for a few months now.
You can read a profile in this alumni publication: An ESPN anchor achieves childhood dream and your can read below the answers to some of the questions we asked him.
Q: Congrats on becoming an anchor at ESPN! Would your parents rather have you be a doctor?
A: My mom is a nurse but my parents knew from the beginning I had no
interest in the medical field. I could barely stand the stories at the dinner table while my brother was fascinated by it so he was the medical
genius in my family. My mother always pushed for me to become a lawyer.
She still has dreams that I will go to law school one day, while I flirted with the idea, I'm glad I stuck with Communications.
Q: What's your favorite sport and why?
A: Football. Growing up in Philadelphia, football was the top priority on the weekends, playing it outside or watching it inside. Rooting for the Eagles provided a connection with my father each Sunday and that
connection continues with him and my brother. I love the other major sports as well but the NFL and college football have a special place in my heart.
Q: Every sports anchor has to have a special, cutesy thing he or she says at crucial moments in a game or when narrating the highlights. Give us your signature home run or touchdown call.
A: I am not sure if I have any signature calls. It's really about having fun and expressing that. Sports is supposed to be an outlet and entertainment for the fan so my goal is to provide that and some facts
while they watch the highlight. I know you will always hear me having a good time while delivering the highlights.
Q: What's your schedule like?
A: We don't really have set schedules and I like that. It keeps things fresh and allows us to work on different things. For example if I work during the day on the weekends, most of the time, we're doing interviews on the set and with athletes. If we work the late shows, its filled with highlights. And when you get into this business, you have to accept that you will work weekends because there are a lot of sporting events on the weekends, i.e. the entire football season.
Q: Any tips for young South Asians looking to cover sports?
A: Go to a college that gives you an opportunity to gain experience. I attended Temple and being in the 4th biggest market in the country, I made sure I did internships in print, radio and TV. They eventually
allowed me to land jobs down the road in all three mediums. I worked at the college newspaper, radio station and TV Station. Be outgoing and make sure when you cover events if you see other professionals in the business, ask them about their college experiences and remain in contact with them. People will be more receptive to giving you an opportunity if they know you or someone they know recommends you. Trust me, it opened doors for me and then it was up to my dedication and hard work after that. Develop relationships because this industry is very small. And it may sound a little hokey but dream and dream big. When I first got into this, I was the only one who really thought I could do this. Everyone
else around me thought it would be a fad and by the time I would graduate college, I would be a business major or something else. But I believed in me and made sure I did the best I could. I knew I had to
break stereotypes of being an Indian-American doing sports on TV because there are not many of us out there. It made me work that much harder because nothing was handed to me. That's what makes it all the more rewarding.
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