MARC ZUMOFF WAS not the most popular kid in high school when he was growing up in Northeast Philadelphia. He was heavy and socially awkward.
"I wasn't really that dynamic," Zumoff said.
That lasted into his time while a student here at Temple.
Now, however, he gets paid to talk about basketball as the voice of the Philadelphia 76ers. He's one of around 30 professional basketball play-by-play announcers in the country. He gets front row seats, flies first class, stays in the best hotels and eats at high-end restaurants ... as his job.
His message to you?
"If you have similar aspirations," he said, "go for it."
What do you need to do to reach your dreams? Here's Zumoff's advice:
• Believe in yourself.
• Start reaching for your dreams now. "Have a personal mission statement," Zumoff said. "Everything you do should lead to that goal."
• Join associations and make friends. It doesn't matter how good you are if you can't get your foot in the door. You need to know people.
• Do an internship. "It's a great way to make contacts," he said.
• While interning, be a model citizen. Dress appropriately. Be polite. Take the initiative and do the work required of you with a smile, and do it before you're asked to do it.
• Your bosses are watching. Interns get promoted. "Two of my former interns are now my bosses," Zumoff said. "When you're an intern, you're in the farm system."
• Talk to people doing what you want to do. Ask them how they reached their position.
• Try writing letters. You want to stand out.
• Make the connections when making connections. Who do you know in common? And ask folks who they can connect you to.
• Build a network of positive people who can help you in your career.
• Kiss asses? "Yes," Zumoff said. "That's exactly what I'm saying."
Here are a few other things he mentioned:
• If he talks about the NBA lockout, he, the team or his company could be fined.
• Eric Snow did not fall asleep on air.
• Charles Barkley was everything a professional basketball superstar was not supposed to be - relatively small and sort of heavy. But he was awesome.
• Same for Allen Iverson. "He did what he did and he shouldn't have," Zumoff said, referring to Iverson's talents despite his relatively diminutive size. "He lived and played with reckless abandon."
• While attending Temple, Zumoff drove heavy equipment trucks at a scrap iron/ steel yard.
• He spent his first five years after college in radio news.
What stood out for you?
8 months ago