You remember Jordan Beasley. He's the kid from Hammond High who started interning with us when he was 15. He'd hang out on the morning show, sometimes going in late and telling the school office that he had another dentist appointment.
"Jordan, we just heard you on the air."
So everybody needs a break. Jordan got his from an understanding school office. Now he's not really a kid. He's a senior at the University of Indianapolis, where he announces their football and basketball games on Indy radio, and he interns with the Pacers. Previously, he interned with WGN, helping Len out in the booth at baseball games.
We're very proud of Jordan, as you are too most likely, but today he showed us even more.
(click Read More below)
As you know, there was a huge fight at the Hammond-Griffith basketball game on Saturday. It's a horrible scene, as you can tell from the video above, which of course went viral. It made it to ESPN Sportscenter, the Today Show, all the Chicago stations and all over the world. An example of high school sports gone wild.
In an 18-hour period, I twice interviewed IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox - once yesterday in a podcast right after the announcement was made. And then the IHSAA wanted on the morning show today in an effort to make sure that member schools, parents, students and the rest all know that "this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."
Like Bobby Cox, Jordan wanted on the morning show to talk about the "basket-brawl." Producer Ryan Walsh gave Jordan an early slot to call in and voice his opinion. And that's exactly what Jordan did. He voiced his opinion. He criticized the coach at his high school for setting a tone, and he critiqued the decision by the IHSAA, saying that he's from an urban setting and he knows that often basketball is the only thing that keeps some of these kids in school. What shall they do now?
It's well-thought-out stuff, and the whole time I'm listening to Jordan, whether I agreed with the tenets of his argument or not, I felt an unexpected burst of pride. Jordan, you see, has been talented from the start in announcing games, breaking down the Bulls defense on a talk-show, giving a one-minute sports update. What we've tried to pull out of him is Jordan, not just sports. In other words, Ryan and I and Dave Kusiak have pushed Jordan to find his voice, and if you listen to the above podcast, you might agree that that is indeed happening.
In other stuff... Jackie Robinson West got stripped of its Little League championship. The news came out as Times reporter Al Hamnik, the dean of sportswriters in Indiana, was on the air with me about "basket-brawl." Pretty good stuff. Al gives an old-school, grizzled sportswriter slant to this topic and most everything else. In a weird way, in one morning we interviewed Bobby Cox, took a ton of phone calls, interviewed the attorney general, and then talked with Al and Jordan, two sports guys on opposite ends of the time and career development spectrum. Al's 66 and has been writing sports for 43 years. He'll keep going but there's a sunset out there somewhere. Jordan's 21. I'm not even sure if the sunrise has come to his career.
But today, for one JED in the Region, they both let us hear their voice. Jordan's filled with the exuberance of a bushy-eyed youth, Al's lined with a wisdom that comes from seeing a lot of pain and celebration over a lot of years. Two solid sports voices brought to me by producer Ryan in one show, and that's kinda cool.