February 2018, News & Features

Behind the Scenes at a Basketball Game

It’s the fourth quarter of a basketball game at Emery Gymnasium and the referee calls a media timeout. “Now we’ll have a media break,” says the announcer, Thomas Hill.

As a commercial airs, the teams walk off the court. The students and professionals sitting on stage who have been responsible for the game’s broadcasting operation spring into action. The group scrambles to compare notes, check equipment and perform other tasks necessary before the commercial ends. Many in the audience watch the media team as they hurry to complete the tasks before the commercial ends.

The athletes are the main attraction at basketball and football games, but the broadcast team generates a lot of attention and curiosity during breaks. However few students know much about this operation and how it works.

Although run by professional staff at WAUG, students are an important part of the station’s broadcast operation. Students who take part in the broadcasts are work study students who are communications majors and getting experience they can use in their future careers.

“I feel like it gives me the most experience in my craft so I’ll be ready for the world when I graduate,” said Briana Snipes, a communications major who works as an assistant to Aaron “Magic” Thomas, who is in charge of the students who operate WAUG’s cameras.

Saint Augustine’s offers multiple learning opportunities at WAUG for their work study students to get a feel for the work they will need in life after college. Students are able to create their own TV shows and radio shows. They not only can be on the air but they also learn technical skills such as editing film, operating cameras and script writing.

Students learn the skills in class and have the opportunity to put those skills to work for WAUG. For many, the WAUG experience is a valuable addition to their resumes.

Thomas said the students are helpful.

“Not everybody is as ambitious as they need to be to make it in this industry,” he said. “but we do have some who are dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the station and truly show promise and progress.”

Meanwhile, at Emery Gymnasium, the whistle blows to notify the teams that the game is about to resume. All attention returns to the teams.

Snipes one day wants to be in front of the camera but, for now, she is happy with her role at WAUG.

“It’s a very interesting environment,” she said. “You’re always learning and you never know what you’ll see or who you meet working in WAUG.”

— Lorraine Henderson