NEW YORK – The Loukoumi Foundation Virtual Chat with Bob Costas, the Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, took place on March 27. Costas spoke about his career in broadcast journalism and about his lifelong love of baseball.
Loukoumi Foundation President Nick Katsoris gave the welcoming remarks and thanked Costas for participating in the unique event. Katsoris introduced Costas, highlighting his remarkable career in broadcast journalism and sportscasting as well as his dedication to charitable efforts. As Katsoris pointed out, whenever he has asked Costas to participate in a Loukoumi Foundation effort, he has never declined.
Costas noted that he believes in “paying it forward in any way you can,” and if you gain recognition for doing something people enjoy, you should use it for humanitarian efforts as much as possible.
Katsoris then served as moderator for a Q&A session with questions for Costas from youngsters from all over the United States. When asked how sports can inspire everyone, Costas pointed out that sports connect people across the generations and offer a good example of how hard work and dedication to a craft lead to excellence.
Costas’ advice for young people interested in a career in broadcast journalism was to “read as much as you can” and even if the first time you try it doesn’t go well, to keep working at it and trying to get better. He also noted the importance of a well-rounded education and for young people not to be too hard on themselves early on in their chosen career path because it is a process.
When asked about playing sports in his own youth, Costas said he was good at basketball, shooting free throws, but not when guarded by any other player, so he was the last player cut from his high school team. He also played baseball, second base, but his batting average was criticized by the coach who said he doubted Costas could hit his weight which was about 130 at the time, which as baseball fans know is a very low average, and again was the last player cut from the team.
Of his most memorable moments in sportscasting Costas noted covering Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls when Jordan made the game-winning shot and the Atlanta Olympics Opening Ceremony in 1996 when Mohammad Ali lit the Olympic torch.
When asked about challenging interviews, Costas gave the example of an interview with the then-World Wrestling Federation, now World Wrestling Entertainment, President Vince McMahon who got angry with him when he asked questions that were not scripted beforehand. What was supposed to be a 15-minute interview stretched to 28 minutes with McMahon getting in Costas’ face because he was not used to live questions. Costas said that the toughest interviews are in fact when the person doesn’t want to talk and those are more challenging than the ones where the person wants to punch you in the face.
Also discussed during the Zoom event, The Loukoumi Foundation's exciting new partnership with Pitch In For Baseball & Softball (PIFBS) as they collect equipment donations and accept grant applications to build a field of dreams for a school or community in need. PIFBS CEO Meredith Kim spoke about the effort and helping children have access to baseball and softball equipment and fields. More information about the partnership is available online: https://www.loukoumifoundation.org/baseball.
About Bob Costas
Greek-American Bob Costas has won 29 Emmy Awards during his career and has been recognized with many other awards and nominations in the categories of hosting, play-by-play, writing, journalism, news, and entertainment. He is the only broadcaster in television history to win Emmys for news, sports and entertainment.
Costas was named the National Sportscaster of the Year a record eight times. He is a member of the broadcaster’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. Among his many honors, Costas was also selected for the Walter Cronkite Award for distinction in journalism.
Costas has also hosted a dozen Olympics for NBC. He was also part of the coverage of eight Super Bowls, seven World Series, ten NBA Finals, and the Kentucky Derby 17 times.
Over the past four decades, Costas’ work, both in and out of sports for NBC, HBO, and the Major League Baseball Network, has won widespread praise. He is often referred to as his generation’s most respected sports broadcaster.
Costas was born in Queens and grew up on Long Island, raised by his father who was of Greek descent with roots in Kalymnos and his mother who was of Irish descent. He attended Syracuse University. His professional career began at KMOX radio in St. Louis in 1974 and his network career with NBC in 1980.
More information is available online: https://www.loukoumifoundation.org.