By: Jenny James
Most of you have no idea who I am … I am definitely no Hall of Fame broadcaster like Ned Reynolds or Art Hains, but that’s okay. You will know me, and I want to share my story.
I grew up in a small town north of Kansas City, Missouri (not KCK, we don’t talk about the other side) called Kearney. My graduating class was around 300, which is larger than most “small towns”, but it was definitely a small town where everyone knew everything about you.
I grew up as the coach’s kid, so sports were always a passion to me. I also grew up watching SportsCenter because with an older brother and a football coach as a dad, I didn’t really have another option.
I grew up watching broadcasters like Stuart Scott, Chris Fowler, Hannah Storm, Erin Andrews, Jeannine Edwards and Sage Steele. I can’t forget about some of the best commentators like Al Michaels and Kevin Harlan. Because of these broadcasters, I decided in middle school that I wanted to pursue sports broadcasting. So that’s what I did.
I took broadcasting classes all throughout high school and decided to attend Northwest Missouri State University to major in sports media. During my time at Northwest, I worked at the radio station and television station on campus and I served as the sideline reporter for our radio football broadcasts for two years. I faced a lot of harsh comments and backlash from being a female reporter in a male dominant sport. I wasn’t always treated right and because of that, I had to build thick skin quickly. And that isn’t easy for 19-20 year-old girl to do, but I’m still here and pushing forward.
I learned from a young age the importance of hard work and I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my bachelor’s degree in sports media this past May (well actually I didn’t get to walk across the stage until August because of Covid), and not many can say they graduated college during a pandemic, so there’s that.
I have deep family roots in southern Missouri (shoutout to Willow Springs and Howell County folks), so I knew I always wanted to end up down in this area. So, my fiancé and I packed up our things and headed south this past May and here we are! I’m grateful for the opportunity I have here to serve the people of Springfield and to use the skills and talents God gave me.