When the Lakers hired Spero Dedes as their radio voice in 2005, many broadcasters hoped it would open the door for other young voices to get NBA jobs. Dedes had graduated college just four years prior. The next similar hire, though, didn’t happen until 2019 when the Clippers hired Noah Eagle to be their radio voice, just months after Eagle picked-up his college diploma.
Now the next domino is falling and it is again the Clippers who are giving an opportunity to an exceptionally talented college grad. The team has hired Carlo Jiménez, USC class of ’23, as their broadcaster.
Carlo Jiménez hopes to inspire
Jiménez was this year’s recipient of STAA’s Jim Nantz Award, recognizing the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster. He hopes the Clippers hiring of him, and of Eagle before him, changes the way that pro teams view broadcasters who are recent college grads.
“Noah’s ability to do a fantastic job with the Clippers out of college is really the reason why I was even considered for this job,” Jiménez states. “He opened the door for the Clippers to take a look at my resume and seriously consider me as a 22 year old out of college. Noah has proven that people who are recent college grads can have success broadcasting on the biggest stage. I hope to continue Noah’s work and demonstrate that recent college graduates can be excellent broadcasters.”
Carlo Jiménez uncommon determination
Some might call Jiménez an overnight success story. His story, though, has been many years in the making. One summer several years ago, Jiménez dedicated himself to calling one play-by-play broadcast from TV every day. In his college years, Jiménez called USC football, basketball, baseball and other sports. He also called summer collegiate baseball on both coasts. He expedited his growth by seeking mentorship and critiques from sportscasters across the country, including several of the industry’s biggest names.
Jiménez joined STAA his freshman year at USC. “Since I got my membership I have sent a tape to the monthly group critiques provided by STAA almost every single month I’ve been a member. This was incredibly helpful in getting to learn from not only my own critiqued tape but others as well.”
Social media star
If elite play-by-play skills and a relentless desire to constantly be improving is half of Jiménez’ secret sauce, the other half is his social media skills. He has nearly 64 thousand TikTok followers and occasionally gets recognized in public.
The Clippers also noticed.
“Social media was one of the prominent topics talked about throughout my interview process with the Clippers,” Jiménez recalls. “They were very curious about how I started my social media, what I have learned from doing it and how I would apply it if I were with the team. At one point in the process they asked me to provide some of my own social media ideas for the Clippers.”
Jiménez tries to post semi-regularly and to come up with ideas that take his audience behind the scenes in sports broadcasting. “I also try to provide some tips that I’ve learned from other people that have helped me when I broadcast. Furthermore, I try to explore new editing or storytelling ideas when I do my social media videos. I get a lot of inspiration from accounts that I like and then see if I can implement their strategies into my own videos.”
He continues, “During the pandemic STAA had a video call (the Sportscasting Summit) in which they mentioned the importance of building your own brand. This in part was a reason I started my own social media and has helped me stand out in every single one of my job applications.”
Jiménez hopes that his hiring by the Clippers serves as inspiration to collegiate sportscasters as to what is possible through uncommon determination, discipline and hard work. “One of my biggest fears once graduating was hearing about the time it often takes to get a full-time job out of college. I hope my journey shows young broadcasters that this isn’t always the case.”