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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    From hardwood to NCAA airwaves

    UA forward Shannon Hobson calls the Arizona womens basketball game Nov. 16 against Portland in McKale Center. Due to an injury, the redshirt senior opted to spend time on the court in a different outlet as a commentator for KTUC 1400 AM.
    UA forward Shannon Hobson calls the Arizona women’s basketball game Nov. 16 against Portland in McKale Center. Due to an injury, the redshirt senior opted to spend time on the court in a different outlet as a commentator for KTUC 1400 AM.

    Talk about an inside analysis.

    Intrigued with trying something new this season, Arizona’s women’s basketball forward Shannon Hobson did just that, with a new seat on the sidelines that reaches fans far beyond the crowd in McKale Center during Wildcat games.

    Armed with a headset, stat sheet and valuable insight, the redshirt senior took on the new role of color commentator for KTUC 1400 AM – the team’s flagship radio station – as last season’s back injury continues to linger.

    Hobson joins new play-by-play voice Derrick Palmer as the primary radio personalities for the team throughout the season.

    “”I think the hard thing is I’m used to yelling and screaming, but I can’t now because I’m on the radio,”” Hobson said. “”The hardest thing is trying to contain emotion and just be poised on the radio and realizing you have to paint a picture for everyone else.””

    UA head coach Joan Bonvicini approached Hobson about the radio opportunity at the beginning of the season, as she foresaw Hobson’s bubbly personality forging a perfect match on the air.

    Initially, Hobson hesitated, but “”it’s a great opportunity to hopefully get out of my fear of public speaking, so that’s huge,”” she said.

    As a psychology major, Hobson brings no background knowledge or training from the radio world. She said she continues to learn as the season progresses, while “”going with the flow.””

    Palmer finds her flow dramatically increasing.

    “”We all told her at the beginning that she had the one thing that you can’t coach: incredible pleasant personality,”” Palmer said. “”That’s really helped her out take this role. You can tell she’s starting to become more comfortable with her remarks and insight coming much more quickly.””

    As part of the women’s basketball program since 2003, Hobson brings years of knowledge to the mic – a huge advantage over radio personalities analyzing the team from the outside.

    “”I think it helps a lot because I know the players,”” Hobson said. “”I’m with them all the time still, and it’s definitely a huge advantage versus someone who is just trying to get to know the team just from watching them and being on the court.””

    Said Palmer: “”We’re pretty conversational. It does make it a lot easier to understand what the goal is and what they’re working towards because she has so much knowledge.””

    Hobson finds similarities between this year and last – in particular, being part of the program without contributing on the scoreboard.

    In her career, Hobson has averaged 4.3 points per game in 16.9 minutes. She shot .518 from the field her freshman year, scoring 145 points while playing in all 33 games to receive an honorable mention on the Pacific 10 Conference All-Freshman team.

    During the junior year she redshirted, Hobson won the UA Most Inspirational Award, showing her heart and dedication to the team from the bench.

    This year, she’s gone complete outside of her basketball and psychology realms.

    “”It’s just experiencing doing something else,”” Hobson said. “”I’ve experienced my major and playing basketball, so seeing things from a whole different perspective is really good.

    “”I’ve had an opportunity to see the outside looking in,”” she added. “”It’s kind of the same thing (as redshirting), but I even see more now because I see stats. I guess it gives me a better understanding from the game, and it’s really cool because I get to step out and see things.””

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