From the court to the press booth: Gunn broadcasts on ESPN3


Photo courtesy of Bill Gunn.

Bill Gunn and his partner broadcast a high school basketball game for ESPN3.

Broadcasting high school basketball was a dream come true for Bill Gunn, social studies teacher and former basketball coach. The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) held The Norm Stewart Classic event, which is 48 straight hours of basketball, to honor the Missouri Basketball Coach Norm Stewart. The money raised from the event went to charities that are trying to eliminate cancer. Gunn works with the MBCA and on Dec. 6 and 7, Gunn had the opportunity to broadcast two of the games on ESPN3. 

“It was interesting because you watch games and you listen, but I don’t really think you pay attention to their craft and how they [broadcast] it,” Gunn said. “I don’t think I realized how much work goes into it. So the first thing I wanted to do was not fail, so I did some research before and contacted coaches and interviewed them and tried to study up on their teams a little bit.” 

Gunn said he had a different partner each game broadcasting alongside him, so he had to get to know them so they could work well together. He said working with his partner was important especially when he encountered a mishap while broadcasting.  

“The first game was kind of challenging because the programs didn’t arrive on time,” Gunn said. “We were actually finding rosters on the internet and writing them down by hand.”

Once the games started, Gunn realized how much time goes into broadcasting. He said even when the players are not playing, he still had to talk and fill time during commercials, halftime and the post-game show. But even so, Gunn said this is something he thinks he would like to do more of in the future. 

“It was fun; it was challenging; it was neat,” Gunn said. “Obviously I love basketball, so it gave me an opportunity to be a part of the game in a different way.” 

To watch the broadcasts, check out these links: