When Opportunities Present Themselves


SportsCenter reruns became the soundtrack of my life. I remember my dad would head to work early in the morning. By the time I went downstairs (after washing my face and brushing my teeth, of course) to eat some breakfast, I could hear the banter between the anchors and highlights of yesterday’s action would be on display. It was almost as if sports were a part of my day from the moment I got up until the moment I went to sleep. I remember telling myself, "X, you can't go to bed until you are done watching the 'Top Ten' highlights of the day." ESPN has always been the pinnacle of sports success for me. Growing up as an athlete, who played multiple sports and watched them as well, I was constantly drawn to those who documented and highlighted the games. Specific voices stick in my head still to this day. Baseball personalities like Karl Ravech, Rick Sutcliffe, Joe Morgan, Dan Shulman, Harold Reynolds, and so many more were monumental for my love and understanding of the game.


These people made it so much fun for me to enjoy what was happening on the field. To me, they all had a special knack for keeping the viewer locked in and wanting more. They kept me engaged and provided insight that allowed me to look at the game from multiple perspectives. Those perspectives allowed me to pick up the game quicker from a mental standpoint and be extremely detailed on the physical side of things. Now that I am an analyst for ESPN, nothing has changed. My goal is to provide the same thing that those on-air personalities provided me: a chance to see the game through a new lens. I bet you are wondering how this whole ESPN thing came about. In the spring, I noticed ESPN was starting to air the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) games. My wife (Jessica) pointed out to me that the games were featuring guests who recently played in the KBO, she recommended that I reach out and try to figure out how I could get an opportunity to tell our story. Many of you know that Jessica and I spent two years in South Korea, and we are forever grateful for our time there. Our first son Ezekiel was born in Changwon, South Korea, so needless to say we have some very special experiences and memories from there. I eventually had the opportunity to be on the broadcast. I hopped on different broadcasts around ten times before they said they were going to allow me to be the analyst for a full game last week. When they officially asked me to be a part of the team, I got chills and immediately started reminiscing about all the hours I had spent watching ESPN. When I first received the opportunity, I realized it was a chance for me to show off some of the great communication skills that I have acquired throughout my years. I also felt compelled to let the producers know that being an analyst was something I could see myself doing. All in all, I took advantage of a small window and turned it into something special. I think that is a big part of life. I have always tried to have the wherewithal to understand that when a small window of opportunity is presented to you if you take advantage of it, it can lead to bigger opportunities. Don't be so worried about the outcome and having the ideal situation, just take advantage. The same advice that I am giving to you, is the same advice I am going to apply in my own life. Recognize your window and go through it with faith.

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