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Center for Sports Media

Doris Burke Wows Crowd During Center for Sports Media Event

On Friday, February 23, the Center for Sports Media welcomed Bob Picozzi ’72 and ESPN’s Doris Burke for a candid conversation about basketball and broadcasting. The former colleagues have shared dozens of games in the booth and have 65+ years of combined broadcasting experience.

Doris Burke and Bob Picozzi"Hoop Dreams: Doris Burke and Bob Picozzi on Basketball and Broadcasting" was held in the University Center’s Event Center and welcomed more than 100 students, faculty, alums and visitors.

The hour-long event touched on everything about Burke’s career, from growing up in Manasquan, NJ, to her playing days at Providence and subsequent broadcasting career that has seen her become a trailblazer in the field.

Burke, who debuted with ESPN in 1991, was recently promoted to a color analyst role on ESPN’s No. 1 NBA broadcasting team. In June, she will become the first woman TV analyst to call the NBA Finals in the 77-year history of the league.

"The level of acceptance has changed dramatically," Burke said. "There are going to be people listening to the NBA Finals who’ll say, ‘She shouldn’t be there.’ That’s already been stated … but open-mindedness to the presence of women (as sports broadcasters) is starting to grow."

Burke and Picozzi were broadcast partners for dozens of college games over the years and spent time reminiscing on some of their fondest memories working together.

BJ Schecter, Bob Picozzi and Doris BurkeDiscussing a Miami-Georgetown women’s basketball game they called together some 20 years ago, Picozzi recalled a special moment they shared in the pregame preparation. The crew was rushed for time because a men’s practice run by then-Hoyas coach John Thompson had run late and the crew had to nail an interview in one take. Knowing this, Burke turned to her veteran broadcast partner and asked Picozzi to do the interview.

"I don’t mind doing it, but can I ask you a couple of questions?" Picozzi recalled telling Burke. "Do you know these two teams? Do you know Patrick Knapp (the then-Georgetown women’s basketball coach)? Have you ever done this before? So why wouldn’t you do it in one take?"

Picozzi recalled Burke’s response, pressing the talkback button and telling their producer, "If it’s ok, I’d like to do the interview."

"He’s going to make me cry," Burke remarked to the crowd. "I remember this moment."

One of the highlights of the event at Seton Hall was the inquisitive questions from students at the end. One asked her to name her top five current NBA players.

Burke began with LeBron James, whom Burke said, "[has] worked as hard as any human being I’ve ever seen."

After LeBron, Burke filled out her starting five with: Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic.

Showing her keen sense of humor – and understanding of social media – Burke joked, "I know I’m going to leave somebody out and this is going to go viral."

Perhaps her most prescient comments came when a student asked how they could forge a path in the competitive sports broadcasting field.

"Get behind a microphone and in front of a camera as quickly as possible," Burke said. "Repetition is where you build skill and confidence, so don’t bemoan the job you don’t have. No matter how small the job you’re doing is, do it to the best of your ability, and you will be shocked at how incremental changes start to happen."

You can watch the event stream here.

About Seton Hall's Center for Sports Media

The Center for Sports Media, housed within the College of Human Development, Culture, and Media, works at the intersection of sports, media and social life, reflecting the legacy of its founder, Bob Ley, and his groundbreaking ESPN show, Outside the Lines. Established in Fall 2021, the Center is working to redefine how students are trained in media, communications and sports business, by engaging with the sports community, while also producing groundbreaking content through University channels and establishing innovative partnerships with major media outlets. Through the activities generated and inspired by the Center for Sports Media, Seton Hall continues its tradition of innovation in higher education, and underscores its commitment to experiential learning, ethical leadership and community engagement.

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