From basketballer to shot caller

by Neil Perry / Beacon Correspondent • November 20, 2014

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Pat Lowndes quit basketball to free time for commentating.
Courtesy of Emerson Channel Sports
Pat Lowndes quit basketball to free time for commentating.
Courtesy of Emerson Channel Sports

For senior Patrick Lowndes, sacrificing one passion led to an opportunity in a more practical field. 

The journalism major quit the basketball team after playing for his first two years at Emerson as a starter and has since immersed himself in the colorful world of commentating. 

“One of the toughest decisions of my life was giving up basketball,” said Lowndes. “I still miss it, but don’t regret it because it helped me find a passion in commentating.”

The Emerson Channel Sports television network has always allowed students to announce the college’s games. But this year, students, including Lowndes, were asked to announce the New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championship on Nov. 8—the first time a school besides Emerson has invited ECS to announce.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology reached out to broadcasters and producers. 

“The fact MIT came to us was a nice compliment,” said ECS sports director Madison McGahan. “It shows that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing and we’re doing it noticeably well.” 

Among the student broadcasters invited was Lowndes.

Lowndes is a recognizable figure on campus, standing at six-foot-two with an Afro, and has been a member of the Emerson men’s soccer team for four years, in addition to his time on the basketball team.

He began his announcing career when he joined ECS his sophomore year.

“His first game ever commentating was very dry, and it wasn’t him,” said McGahan. “He’s such a fun and active person, I think he was so nervous and was trying to take it so seriously he forgot it was a basketball game.” 

According to McGahan, he has since improved drastically. 

“He’s very driven and knows what he wants to do. He’s passionate and he plays to what he has,” said McGahan. “The fact that he quit basketball, a sport he loves, to do this shows he’s dedicated and he’ll do whatever he can.”

The passion and love he has for sports broadcasting pushes his fight to reach new heights in the industry. Lowndes’ efforts were rewarded when he was asked to announce at MIT. 

“It was really a great experience, it was awesome because you could truly commentate with no bias to either school,” said Lowndes. “It also forces you to do a lot of research, which makes it that much better and challenging.”  

According to Malcolm Kelner, a junior journalism major, it’s on the mic where Lowndes’ true personality and character comes out.

“He keeps it light and energetic,” said Kelner, a play-by-play announcer for ECS whose partnered with Lowndes for the last three years. “He comes in with a great joke when need be and keeps the broadcast fun.” 

Lowndes plans on using the skills he’s acquired at Emerson to continue his career in the booth. 

“In a perfect world,” said Lowndes, “I’ll be calling games for a living.”