ON THE SIDELINES
Mary Kate Hamilton
Before you get too far, I want to warn you: I am not an athlete. I am not an athlete, but I’ve spent the last four years pouring over statistics, watching film, attending press conferences and interviewing coaches and athletes. In college, I got paid to talk about some of the most exciting games from the best seat in the house – the sidelines. As a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network through a partnership with the network and Big Ten schools, I’ve had the honor of covering basketball games in Assembly Hall, the NCAA soccer tournament and dozens of different sports and games in between. I’ve had internships that allowed me to cover the Indianapolis 500, the Pacers and the Colts. I was even booked to fly to Atlanta this year to intern at the Final Four for CBS before March Madness was cancelled. And while I’m not an athlete, during my time as a sports broadcaster I’ve learned that there are a few things we all have in common, whether you are an athlete, a broadcaster or a fan.
Growing up in the Washington Township school district, I did the morning announcements in elementary school, middle school and high school. I always felt comfortable speaking in front of large groups and loved reading and writing. By the time I had to start thinking about applying to colleges, I knew I wanted to major in Journalism. I loved how glamorous broadcasting always seemed, but I also loved the idea of sharing peoples’ stories. Indiana University Bloomington had just built a brand-new Media School with a state-of-the-art broadcast studio and professors who were determined to strengthen their broadcast program. After a visit to the Media School and with the help of a generous scholarship, I was headed to Bloomington in the Fall of 2016.
Anxious to get in front of the camera, I attended a Media School Activity Fair one of my first days on campus, where I was introduced to the Big Ten Network Student U. I was a barely above average competitive swimmer growing up and watched sports casually with my brothers and dad, but I never pictured myself as a sports reporter. The professor in charge convinced me that if nothing else, it was a good opportunity to practice my live reporting skills and get more comfortable in front of the camera. It was paid, and I decided I had nothing to lose.