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Turner Sports Renews Oscar Pope Fellowship

“The fellowship offers one black student journalist from anywhere in the United States to come to All-Star weekend and produce various forms of content with Turner.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Turner

Turner is bringing one black student journalist with them to help cover All-Star Weekend this season. The network announced the Oscar Pope Fellowship is returning for a second straight year.

The fellowship offers one black student journalist from anywhere in the United States the chance to come to All-Star weekend and produce various forms of content with Turner.

“This is Ashton Edmunds,” Ernie Johnson said as the host narrated the announcement video. “The first candidate selected to participate in NBA on TNT’s Lift Every Voice fellowship. A grassroots initiative centered on empowering the imaginations of black student journalists.”

Last season, Edmunds got a chance to interview Chris Paul and be a part of all the festivities happening in and around Atlanta, GA. The fellowship is inspired by Oscar Pope; an NBA Content Marketing Manager at Turner Sports.

“This is Oscar Pope,” Johnson continued saying in the video. “A champion for the next generation of black storytellers. He made it his mission to amplify underrepresented voices. It was Oscar’s vision that resulted in Ashton’s All-Star Pregame interview with Chris Paul.”

Edmunds was a senior at Clark Atlanta University when he completed the first edition of the fellowship.

“Giving the rising Clark Atlanta-star invaluable experience and exposure,” Johnson said. “This year the fellowship will continue to provide a platform and training to the next generation of black sports journalists from around the United States. Continuing Oscar’s mission to lift every voice.”

The 2022 NBA All-Star game is being played in Cleveland, OH, on Feb.20, 2022. Fellowship applications can be submitted here, with the event just 100 days away.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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