HomeSportKnow your Timberwolves: Sport Information Director Rich Abney

Know your Timberwolves: Sport Information Director Rich Abney

Everyone knows how much effort and attention our athletes are getting. However, who does all of the advertising and social media work for it? Today we will talk with the guy, who is doing a lot for the Timberwolves, but always behind the camera. 

Hello Rich! Tell me about your job?

My job is the Sports Information Director for the Timberwolves, handling everything from the stream, the statistics, the photos and videos, social media. Commitments, covering things that are happening in the community. I have been here for five years, so this is my sixth season, and before this, I used to cover timberwolves when I was the sports commentator on the TV station. I’ve been covering Timberwolves for already nine years.

What path have you traveled to be in this position? What difficulties did you have to face along the way?

I played hockey and then went to school to be an elementary school teacher, which made me realize that I should go to broadcasting. I decided to switch, went to broadcasting school BCIT, and got my journalism education, which brought me to Prince George. I thought I would be here just for a year and then move to a different city, but I decided to stay here. After a few years at the TV station, this opportunity came up at the sport inform role at the UNBC, and here I am!

Challenges? Sports it’s so fun to be around because it is the most incredible reality TV. You don’t know what will happen in one minute, that game, who will play well, etc. But the challenges at any job in sports means you are working evenings in weekends. Suppose you want to do a good job that takes a long time. In original, I’m doing an excellent job for the Timberwolves; I try to put in the time necessary. It’s every weekend, but it’s fun. I found it very enjoyable because I’m investing in it; I care about everything I’m doing here. When you are going to the playoffs games away, watching and through translations and social media sharing everyone how it’s going, this part is fascinating!

Describe your typical working day?

On the regular basketball game day, I’m done media realizes to let media know what exactly is match up; I’ve done videos for that, graphics and social media. After I go to the gym to set up everything for the game, computers, cameras, and tables for statistics, Also get all of the staff ready, like tickers takers or the mascot, the statistics and stream staff, all of these kinds of things. And then you are making sure that everything is working and going well on the game. Writing the recap, making photos and videos on the games, then all of this stuff going to our website, newspapers, media, and promoting things like sponsors! And your lob is basically to let everyone in the gym themselves as much as possible, including the players and then everyone who is not on the gym, know what happens on the game, and hopefully, they will come to the next round next time. On the streaming, people watching have not just a game, but you also have funny videos, players who are talking about the game, answering questions about themselves. So everything to make the stream a more enjoyable experience!

What part of your job do you like the most?

So far, it’s the athletes! If I didn’t know you guys, I didn’t do it. In some cases, I’m going with players through their path from high school to the UNBC and making videos, so being a part of this entire journey! Or some people who came from different countries and shared their experiences. They are all valuable experiences. And also, you can see everyone evolution from game to game, from year to year 

and that’s rewarding!

What do you like and dislike most about your position?

Sometimes I get tired. For example, when it’s February night and you work every weekend from August. And it’s at any job, especially if you put a lot of effort into it. And it’s going from one thing to the next when the season is over. It’s going to the Legacy Breakfast, then all of the awards. It’s always something. But it’s a fun part, like when you are walking to the room that has to be painted, if you can manage to be excited about how you are going to paint that day, you will be okay. If you think that is another room which you should paint that you in trouble.

If not this position, then what would you do?

I will probably be a teacher. That is what I wanted to do when I was young, and I think it can be gratifying to teach kids.

Besides work, what hobbies do you have and how do you like to spend your free time?

I play hockey at the REK league in town every week, and I’ve been very close with all my friends since I was young and I spend a lot of time chatting with them, playing football. Also, sometimes I go home to Kelowna and see my nieces and nephews.

We have four teams at the university. Which is your favorite and why?

I like them all. That’s like asking your favorite child. Well, women’s basketball has done me a huge favor by making playoffs four years in a row, so that gives me extra fun stuff to cover. I’ve been at the playoff games at the Trinity Western, Calgary, Lethbridge, so it’s inspiring! I do try to make sure that every team has the same effort. For example, the soccer team is concise compared to basketball, so I’m sure that they have at this short period a lot’s of love. I have a favorite athlete! Michael Henman is on the soccer team, and we write a story about his fight with mental health. And I think he is a brief guy, and I have a particular spot for him.

You are always behind the camera; how do you feel on the other side?

Uncomfortable. Well, I’ve been on the camera every day for many years, but always talking about someone. So, it’s not super comfortable talking about myself, but if it is a chance to promote athletes, let’s do it!

What advice would you give to someone who would like to master the same profession?

My advice is, go for it only if you love what you are doing, what you are covering, and you love the athletes. Suppose you are not going to enjoy it enough to work hard. The more you put into it, the more school benefits and the athlete’s benefits. It’s a lot of fun parts there, but sometimes you should work 15 hours a day.

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