ESPN’s Negandhi reflects on Philly roots, role as SportsCenter anchor

Kevin Negandhi
ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi worked his way to the top, from calling Temple women’s basketball all the way to hosting ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Current ESPN personality and Temple University alum Kevin Negandhi grew up not only a Philadelphia sports fan, but with a deep love for sport and the stories therein. His dedication to storytelling and to crunching the numbers paired with his warm and humorous disposition made him a perfect fit for the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Here’s a look at some of his memories, points of view and thoughts on his beloved alma mater.

What athletes did you grow up rooting for in Phoenixville, Pa.?

On the field the three guys always stood out for me. Mike Schmidt, who had this little waggle at the plate. I think every kid growing up in the mid [19]80s who wanted to be a home run hitter had that little butt shake when playing whiffle ball. [Julius Erving], no doubt about it, was the basketball player growing up. And, the Eagles were unique. I love every player that wore the kelly green. It’s funny working with Herm [Edwards], [Ron Jaworski], Brian Dawkins. Those are the guys who I identify my love of sports with.

You have been covering sports your entire adult life. What set you on that track?

I played [sports] all year round but I also knew I loved commentating on games. Downstairs in my basement I had a mini-basketball hoop where I set up tournaments, or I set up whiffle ball games, and I kept all the stats on home run leaders, who was the strikeout leader. I loved that stuff. Maybe it was my background with my dad being an accountant but I loved numbers. But I identified more with the storytelling, with a situation where you had to make the perfect call, a game-winning home run or buzzer beater.

Do you find it more difficult to report stories on hometown teams?

I have fun with it. I think all of us do. I think many anchors, like Linda Cohn is a die hard Giants and Rangers fan. [Stuart Scott] with his ties to UNC. We all have ties. That’s why we got in this business. For me, I look at it that the people that love their teams and are passionate about their teams, that’s critical. They know what’s going on and are fully involved. I think that benefits the audience, that I know more about what’s going on when a story breaks in the city of Philadelphia. It’s never gotten in the way of anything I’ve done.

Have you had any star struck moments as an anchor in Bristol?

There are moments that are pretty awesome … Bo Jackson. I had 11 posters of him as a teenager. I thought the world of Bo and being able to do a 10-minute segment with Bo. … It’s not star stuck, but it is just realizing what we are doing is very cool.

What do you make of Temple football’s recent struggles?

I don’t care about their record right now. The one thing I saw from this team was they played their butt off, especially at the end. The Central Florida game was a heartbreaker. I believe the future is bright with this program, because of the effort these kids put in and because of Matt Rhule. People forget, three coaches in four years? And switching conferences twice? That’s tough for anybody.

And Temple basketball is down after several consecutive NCAA tournament berths.

I love [Fran Dumphy]. And I am not shy about it. I think people need to become a little realistic about the turnover of a program. They have been losing the recruiting war a little bit but I don’t think one player changes everything. And, last year the team was a couple bad calls, and if [Khalif Wyatt] had any help, from knocking off Indiana and heading to the Sweet 16.

Was eliminating seven athletic programs the right move for Temple?

My heart goes out to those kids who had their programs cut. But this is not a unique thing to Temple, it’s just the way college athletics is set up, you have to survive. If Temple wants to be a big time [program] this is what happens.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…