HC Media to Produce NAIA DII Women’s National Basketball Championship Game for ESPN3

For 13 years, Hastings College media students have traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, to cover the NAIA DII Women’s National Basketball Championship. What began as covering only the Hastings College Bronco Women’s Basketball games expanded into an exclusive contract to develop and provide content for the tournament’s website in addition to streaming video from all games, including the semifinals for ESPN3 – all games except the championship.

This year, that changes, as HC Media students will also produce the championship game for ESPN3.

For a full story on the Hastings College Media Team covering the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament, click here.

espn3 logo hcChad Power, Hastings College Media’s advisor and Chair of the Journalism and Media Arts Department, received word from Corey Westra, the Great Plains Athletic Conference director and national championship director, that HC Media will produce the finals for broadcast on ESPN3.

Westra said ESPN and NAIA had the final decision on who would broadcast the finals, and after reviewing the semifinals broadcast last year, they agreed that HC Media produced an outstanding product and could do the national championship game, too.

That means a busy 31-game broadcast week for Hastings College media students, beginning with setup on March 8 and wrapping up with the championship game on March 15.

“I think it’s a feather in the hat for the students now and the students before to set the stage for this opportunity. I think it shows the professionalism that they’ve had throughout the years. Not only in product, but in people,” Westra said. “As a tournament director, they’re always great to have around, they do anything and everything you ask of them, so it’s a win for Sioux City and I think the NAIA is tremendously excited the championship will be broadcast by a school in the NAIA.”

The following students have been selected for the HC Media team:

  • Anna Lichti of Shickley, Nebraska
  • Allen Hamil of Hinton, Iowa
  • McKenzie Wedel of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Nikki Sherrill of Windsor, Colorado
  • Austin Penfield of Brock, Nebraska
  • Brianna Turek of Wood River, Nebraska
  • Tyler Schuster of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Austin Remm of Doniphan, Nebraska
  • Murillo Ceruli of San Paulo, Brazil
  • Russell Heitmann of Hebron, Nebraska
  • Austin Druse of Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Sam Bennett of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Jacilyn Bruns of Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Jordan Brown- Kansas City, Missouri
  • Jennifer Schmidt of Cozad, Nebraska
  • Dan Bredow-Omaha, Nebraska
  • Josh Hulbert of Aurora, Colorado
  • Tyler Murphy of Simi Valley, California
  • Joe Brown of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Jerod Fox of Newton, Kansas
  • Andy Chase of Hastings, Nebraska
  • Will Ryan of Laird, Colorado
  • Kelly Kruse of Colorado Springs, Colorado
Official Statement from Westra

Westra, who has seen HC Media progress in quality over the years, released this statement explaining the decision to extend the contract through the championship final game:

“We’ve been partnering with Hastings College Media for many years up in Sioux City. Throughout those years the quality has continued to get better and better. Last year, the opportunity was given to them to produce the semi-finals. We were in the final year of our contract of the championship final game being covered by a professional broadcast company out of Kansas City. Following the tournament last year, I started some conversations with the NAIA and said ‘What if Hastings Media just did the final?’,  and they said they were open to looking at that. They came back and said that it was in the hands of ESPN, along with the NAIA, but ESPN would have a pretty large say. They reviewed the semifinal broadcast of last year and deemed the quality to be outstanding and that they felt we could do the national championship game through HC Media. So we went ahead and made that change.”

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