State Sports Link, the nation’s first academic track in sports media
production, has launched a new after-school program with high school students
from Muncie Central and Muncie Burris: “Sports Media Production: The Experience.”
The seven-week after-school program started in November
2021, with local community non-profits the Muncie Sports Commission and Innovation Connector serving
as facilitators for the initiative.
Taylor, senior director of sports production and associate lecturer of media
at Ball State University, is leading the project along with students from the
Sports Link program. Students from Muncie Central and Muncie Burris are working
with Mr. Taylor and the Ball State students weekly.
“I’ve been interested in sports for a really long time,”
said Jack Eads, a senior at Muncie Burris. “I thought this program would
be a great opportunity. This has fueled my interest even more as I am learning
skills I can use.”
Workshop sessions were held in November and December at
the Innovation Connector; those sessions have since moved on campus to the
sports production center in Ball State’s College of
Communication, Information, and Media. The program also includes an
opportunity for the high school students to shadow Sports Link for its production
of the Jan. 22 Ball State women’s basketball game vs. Central Michigan on ESPN
The high school students have been learning the elements
of sports media production and are building their knowledge and skillsets to
work on live productions in time for the upcoming Muncie boys basketball City
of Champions Tournament on Jan. 29 at the historic Muncie Fieldhouse.
The inaugural City of Champions Tournament features four
boys basketball teams: Muncie Central, Muncie Burris, South Bend Adams,
and Greenfield-Central. Students in the after-school program are providing
pre-event and live event coverage for the entire tournament.
“I wanted to be part of this program because this is what
I want to do in the future,” said Shiair Morrow, a junior at Muncie
Central. “I want to learn how to tell a great story. My dream job is to be a
basketball sideline reporter in the NBA and WNBA.”
The Muncie Central vs. Muncie Burris game is slated to
stream live at 10 a.m. Jan. 29, with a pregame show leading up to the 10:15
multi-camera live production of the game featuring students from both high
schools co-producing the broadcast with Ball State students.
The pregame show will feature stories produced by the
students on Shoka Griffin (Muncie Central) and Asher Donahue (Muncie
Burris), along with additional stories and behind-the-scenes footage on the
Following the Muncie Central-Muncie Burris game, South
Bend Adams and Greenfield-Central will play at approximately noon with a live
radio and social media stream featuring student announcers.
The Invitational’s consolation game at 6 p.m. will also
be a live radio and social media stream, while the championship game at 8 p.m.
will be a multi-camera live production—all featuring students in the program.
The City of Champions Invitational originated with local
community leader Jud Fisher. Mr. Fisher, president and chief operating officer
of the Ball Brothers Foundation, recognized the need for the city’s two local
community high schools to play each other in a tournament-style format, which
would engage members of the community and attract participants from across the
state of Indiana to Muncie.
To stay up-to-date on details about the tournament and
the sports media program, and to watch and listen to the Jan. 29 games live, follow
Muncie City of Champions on YouTube, Facebook,