Senior Reflection: Hugh Straine discovers new talents with CBADN

Senior Reflection: Hugh Straine discovers new talents with CBADN

Student media has opened a brand new outlet in my life that I never thought would have such a great impact on me. It has become my passion over these last few years, all starting at CBA.

For as long as I can remember, sports have been my life. Over the years, I’ve watched most sports at some point. I never got bored of them, and continued to love them as I moved onto high school.

I’ve always been a talented writer. As someone who thinks he isn’t good at very many things, I wanted to advance my skills in writing since I’d finally found something I was good at. But there was an issue: I hated reading books. Writing essays about books or old plays was miserable to me.

It was frustrating, in all honesty. I wanted to find an outlet I could use to make this skill I possessed worth something, but didn’t know how.

Every once in a while, I’d wonder to myself why people cannot make a career for themselves by watching and analyzing sports. I knew it was what I was best at, and what I loved to do, but I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t use those skills in the future.

When I attended the Founder’s Cup vs. RBC during my freshman year at CBA, I saw two students with headsets broadcasting the game. This immediately caught my eye.

It was then I realized the answers to all those questions about why I couldn’t use my knowledge of sports to my advantage was directly under my nose.

All the articles I read, all the games I watched, this was what I’d been waiting for. So as a sophomore, I joined student media and it was the best decision I’d ever made.

I started off as a rookie, obviously. I thought I knew how to write, but I wasn’t sure how to truly write in this realm. Being able to learn from the older guys in the group felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was just fun.

I realized this was my passion, and I continued to strive to get better. For my first year, I was strictly a writer. I wrote articles about sports constantly, and I got excited to do every assignment I was given. I knew this was something special because I don’t know too many high school kids getting excited when given assignments.

It was my junior year when Mr. Lutz brought up the idea to me about becoming a broadcaster for CBA games. Frankly, I didn’t want to do it at all. I thought I’d be terrible at it, and shut it down immediately.

After a while though, I was convinced to give it a shot. And it was an instant hit.

Basketball has always been my favorite sport, and I knew I had a very strong understanding of how the game worked. With the role of the color commentator, I was able to use this to my advantage.

In the beginning, I wasn’t great, as one could expect. I stuttered constantly and drew a blank all the time.

I didn’t really care. I fell in love with broadcasting instantly. This just made sense for me. I love to talk about basketball more than anything, and this allowed me to do just that.

Over the next year and a half, my partner Chris Carrino and I became CBA Digital Network’s primary broadcasting crew.

It was a little intimidating broadcasting with Chris at first because he’d already done this for a year, and I was the newbie. What I didn’t realize was that working with someone who is already so talented helped me get better.

I continuously saw myself improve over the next year. In addition, it opened a new realm to me when I was actually watching basketball on TV. I paid close attention to the announcers now. I listened to what they said, and studied how they talked.

Chris and I have now done double-digit games together, and have had fun with it since the start. We hardly knew each other before we announced games together, and now we are close friends.

As I move on to college next year, I know exactly what I want to do with my life. I am always determined to keep getting better at this, and want to keep growing my knowledge and skills of basketball and get to work with a real Division I program.

CBA Digital Network opened up new opportunities for me I could’ve never imagined. I went from an anxious freshman who just wanted to find something to do to get involved, to a senior who has found his passion and hopes to continue this for the rest of his life.

Thank you CBADN. I hope I can make you all proud.

Straine (L) with his broadcast partner Chris Carrino '22.