5 questions with Christine Szabo
“The respected and much-beloved end-of-the-bench senior guard” are words used by award-winning sports writer Tom Archdeacon ’72 to describe basketball walk-on Christine Szabo ’20. Her repeatedly jumping up from the bench to cheer for her teammates was reciprocated by them leaping up and cheering when she made a shot; her 11-for-18 shooting from the floor her senior year gave her the highest field-goal percentage on the team. She also received a 4.0 academic award.
A bigger memory is the A-10 championship this year. Freshman year was big. But this year, we had a fairly new team and we struggled early, so we knew we had to win the conference to make the NCAA tournament. The net cutting was awesome; there wasn’t a dry eye. The bond with my teammates will last forever. They’ve gotten me through the worst. The end of my sophomore year my dad was in hospice. I wasn’t on campus much. Teammates, coaches, professors and support staff were amazing, sending me encouraging texts and many coming to the funeral.
I visited and fell in love with UD. I didn’t want to go to a school smaller than my high school of 2,000 students. I loved the academics and the basketball program. I started here undeclared. Then I took personality tests. Communication kept coming up as a possibility; I love interacting with people.
I’ve always done better in school while playing a sport. What you hear about time management may be a clinché, but it’s true. Besides games, practice and conditioning, there are the road trips with study tables. But it’s really fun. I love to travel. If I had to do it over, I’d do it just the same.
At ABC in Washington, D.C., I worked with social news gathering on the assignment desk. I reviewed posts on Instagram and Twitter to find clips and then ask people posting them if we could use them. I also helped with stories and went out into the field with a field producer. On campus with ESPN+ I covered men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball. I’d look up facts, statistics and interesting back stories for the broadcast. For a handful of games, I was sideline reporter.
One possibility is to pursue an on-camera job in sports broadcasting. The advice for that is to get as many reps as you can on camera — pretty hard to do sheltering in place with no sports. I keep in contact with people working at ABC. I loved Washington, D.C. And then there is also New York.