Students Win Chick Hearn Scholarships
USC Annenberg School for Communication journalism students Sam Farber and Marcelo Figueroa are the 2008 winners of the Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship.
The annual scholarship is funded by an endowment established by the Los Angeles Lakers in memory of Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died in 2002. In addition to major gifts from the Lakers and Chick’s widow, Marge Hearn, hundreds of fans contributed to the scholarship fund at USC Annenberg, which now totals more than $200,000.
The Lakers, Marge Hearn and USC Annenberg journalism professor Dan Birman will make the official presentation to Farber and Figueroa during halftime at the Lakers-New Jersey Nets game on Sunday, Nov. 25. The presentation is scheduled for Chick Hearn Night, the game closest to the date of Hearn’s birthday.
“Of all the honors that Chick received, I believe he would have been most proud of this scholarship,” Marge Hearn said. “He never was able to complete his own education and he would have been very pleased that students like Sam and Marcelo have the help they need to pursue their dreams.”
Farber, from San Jose, is a graduate student working toward a master’s degree in broadcast journalism. He is a play-by-play broadcaster for baseball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball at Cal State Northridge. He also works part-time as a morning broadcast engineer on KNX 1070. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in mathematics from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Figueroa, a broadcast journalism major from Carson, broadcasts USC football and basketball games and hosts Monday Scramble, a popular sports talk show on USC’s student-run radio station KSCR. He also is a sports anchor for Annenberg TV News, USC’s nightly student TV newscast and has worked as an intern at Fox College Sports. He is a graduate of Carson High School and mentors a local 8-year-old boy through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Both Farber and Figueroa are admirers of Chick Hearn and believe the scholarship will help them follow in his footsteps.
“Chick Hearn was a real hero to me because he really connected to his community,” Farber said. “Chick was and still is a part of Los Angeles and his voice had an impact on people. I hope I am lucky enough in my career to land in a market where I can have a similar impact.”
Said Figueroa, “Growing up in L.A., I have always been a huge Laker and Chick Hearn fan. He has inspired me to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and to show as much enthusiasm and appreciation for the field as he did.”
Along with the scholarship, the students will have the opportunity to intern at Fox Sports Net, working on Lakers broadcasts and other projects.
“Chick Hearn represented the best in sports broadcasting and community service,” said Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of the USC Annenberg School. “We are honored that the Hearn family and the Lakers have chosen to support deserving USC Annenberg journalism students who will build upon his great legacy.”
The public may continue to contribute to the fund to help deserving journalism students seeking careers in sports broadcasting. Donations may be sent to USC Annenberg Chick Hearn Fund, USC Annenberg School for Communication, 3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281.