The Los Angeles Lakers have announced the 2013 winners of the Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to two USC Annenberg students at halftime of the Lakers-Indiana Pacers game Tuesday, Nov. 27 at center court. The date also marks Hearn’s birthday; he would have been 96.
Nicholas Burton and James Santelli, both juniors majoring in broadcast journalism, will receive $5,000 scholarships and the opportunity to interview for internships with Time Warner Cable Sportsnet. Bill Celis, associate director of USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism, is scheduled to make the official presentation to the students during Chick Hearn Night at the Staples Center.
Santelli, 20, from O’Hara Township, Pa., said he’s wanted to be an announcer since he was 10 years old. He’s honored, he said, to win an award associated with one of the greatest play-by-play voices in sports.
“I am definitely looking forward to the Lakers game on Tuesday. Not many people get to receive an award on the floor at Staples Center, so I count myself as very lucky.”
The Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship, now in its eleventh year, was established with support from the Hearn family, the Lakers and Chick’s many fans in tribute to the legendary announcer. In addition to his more than 40 years with the Lakers, Hearn spent 1956-61 as the announcer for USC Trojan football and basketball games. In 1959, he was inducted into USC’s Skull and Dagger Society as the “Voice of Troy.”
Since 2002, 15 USC Annenberg students have been named scholarship winners. The program aims to continue Hearn’s legacy by giving broadcast journalism students the opportunity to further develop their own unique voices.