Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing highly regarded College Basketball broadcaster, Jay Bilas. Below, is the full Q & A with Bilas!
What is the hardest part of being a sports analyst?
“Well, there’s nothing hard about, there are just challenges to it, but that comes with every job. You just have to be prepared, but to me the hardest thing about my job is travel. Covid-19 is the longest I have ever gone without going on a plane. Before the virus there was not a time where I would go more than one night a week in my own bed. During the season, I’m not home 4-5 days a week, and it’s really rare that I get 2+ days at home before traveling”
What is your favorite arena to work in?
“Allen FieldHouse in Kansas, is the best arena for a game in America. For a broadcaster, you are down on the floor, which is so much different than being in a booth. Duke, would be a close second, because it has the same environment as Kansas, but you are up at the top of the stadium versus on ground level.”
Before an upcoming game, how much time do you spend scouting the teams?
“It depends on the game, and I like to think I have a baseline of knowledge for a lot of the teams I end up broadcasting. I start working on a game 4 days before, by compiling research, and starting to do work on it. The morning before a game I will go to the practice of the home team, and I will sit through that and meet with the coaches. Back in the old days, I could see both teams practice before, but now with the privacy things I can only see one.”
How do you prepare for the NBA Draft?
“Typically, I will have my draft big board with the Top 100 players, and I will do a detailed scouting report for the majority of them. I take down player comparisons, and I try to find the best facts about the players, so that when they are drafted I can help the viewer learn the most about that player.”
What is your most memorable interview?
“I interviewed Lebron in high school which was memorable. I don’t know, I have never really thought about that. I have had many great interviews that I have loved. I would have to go with Lebron though, because that was the first time I have interviewed a high schooler.”
A big thank you to Jay Bilas for doing this interview! Check him out this upcoming College Basketball season!
Photo: Ethan Hyman / News Observer