By Luke Lombardi
Basketball is a hot topic during March and Rider students got a chance to speak with a significant figure within the sport. Former college basketball coach and current ESPN anchor Seth Greenberg virtually spoke on March 31 about his coaching career, the broadcasting industry and his thoughts on this year’s NCAA Tournament.
The event was presented by the Student Entertainment Council and was held as the tournament came to a close — Greenberg covered the tournament for ESPN.
Greenberg began the event by talking about how he started his career in basketball coaching and later described his transition into broadcasting.
“It’s a crazy thing. I had an agent, never had a coaching agent, I had a media agent that just babbled and did some stuff during the tournament for CSTV, which now turned into CBS College Sports,” Greenberg said. “All of a sudden, that year I got let go, someone from ESPN reached out and said ‘Would Seth be interested in coming up and spending six or seven days at the start of the tournament and do our early tournament coverage?’ He came to me and said ‘Do you want to go to Bristol for a week and just talk ball.’”
One person in attendance was Rider women’s basketball Head Coach Lynn Milligan.
“Obviously, you see him on ESPN all the time and I’m a fan of his, but I was a fan of his before ESPN,” Milligan said of attending the event. “I just thought he was a great coach. For me, anytime I get a chance to listen to a great coach, I’m all in.”
Milligan spoke about the connection she felt to Greenberg as a fellow coach.
“I think a lot of it is an affirmation, like, ‘OK, we do that,’” Milligan said. “I like to listen to coaches and say ‘What are they doing or what did they do, and am I — or is my staff and my program — doing some of the things that some of the greats talk about?’
Milligan also related Greenberg’s talking points about this year’s UCLA men’s basketball team to the semifinal run her own team made in this year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.
“When he was talking about the other teams, you get the insight to UCLA who had a part of their season where they really struggled and were able to turn it around and do really well and here they are in the Final Four. Correlating that to us, we struggled early. Our team stuck together and stuck with us and we ended up having a better run late,” said Milligan.
One piece of advice Greenberg stressed was being cautious when using social media. He said that while social media can do many good things, today is a time when one bad decision could destroy a career due to everything being etched on the internet forever.
When talking about commentary versus working in the studio, Greenberg sided with working in the studio.
“First of all, no one sees you, they just hear you during games. There are 8,000 games. You opine on everything that happens in the sport when you’re in the studio,” said Greenberg. “You become the voice of the sport when you are in the studio. You become the voice of the game when you’re doing that game. The studio is actually much more powerful in terms of your messaging and your voice.”
For the rest of the event, Greenberg went over the events of the March Madness tournament from this year. He touched on UCLA going from the First Four to the Final Four, Gonzaga possibly being the first undefeated team in a season since the 1970s, Oral Roberts upsetting Ohio State and Baylor having a shot at winning the title.
Story published in the 4/07/21 issue of The Rider News.