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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

IU senior to make Big Ten Network debut

Editor’s note: Dave Leno worked for the Indiana Daily Student  as a freshman and sophomore.

As a junior, Dave Leno broadcast an exhibition men’s basketball game for BigTenNetwork.com.

It did not go well.

“To be brutally honest, I was terrible,” Leno, now a senior, said. “I was very loud. Someone wrote that they couldn’t put their child to sleep because I was too animated.”

A year later, Leno is planning his Big Ten Network television broadcasting debut. He will broadcast a field hockey game against Ohio State that will be shown at 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

On Oct. 16, Leno will broadcast the IU vs. Michigan soccer game live on the same network.

Jeremy Gray, assistant athletics director for Broadcasting Services, claimed  the adjustments Leno made between broadcasting his first and second basketball games led to this opportunity.

“He’s confident on the air, which you can tell right away,” Gray said. “He’s polished in his delivery ... he is overtly self-critical, and I’ve very rarely met a professional broadcaster who prepares as much as he does.”

Leno has been following the teams that are competing Saturday  since their seasons began.

In the past week, Leno has treated preparation as he would for a major test; there has been intense memorization with statistics, numbers and names. He knows he needs to be prepared to discuss any storyline as soon as it happens without help from his notes.

Although this may be his first national broadcast, Leno has had a great amount of experience behind the microphone. He has done hundreds of events through media outlets such as the IU Athletics Department, WTIU, Action Indiana Sports and Comcast channel 81.

He also interned as a broadcaster for the Camden Riversharks, an independent league New Jersey baseball team, for the past two summers. Adam Lorber, the general manager of the Riversharks, said he greatly admires the tireless work ethic of Leno and hopes he returns for next summer.

“He constantly is practicing, and he wants to perfect his ability to announce,” Lorber said.

Leno has no problems with criticizing himself.

“Not everyone is going to like you,” Leno said. “You’re going to get criticism and negative feedback. I am OK with that, and a lot of people my age are not. That only helps you. That won’t hurt you in this stage of the game.”

Leno knows that having a national broadcasting job at age 21 puts him near the top of his field, but he refuses to take this opportunity for granted.

He said he cannot wait until the day he does a game for a major network.  He hopes Saturday’s debut is just a beginning.

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