Please tell us about yourself
There were moments when Anish Shroff ’04 contemplated abandoning his childhood dream of being a sports broadcaster before his career had really even started. The temptation to return to school to pursue a master’s degree in business administration or a law degree certainly crossed Shroff’s mind, particularly after one low point in 2007.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and amazing career?
Having landed what he describes as his “first real job in television,” — working as the sports director/anchor at KNDO-TV in Yakima, Washington. After less than a year on the job, Shroff found himself out of work after the station eliminated its sports coverage.
Wanting to stay in sports, Shroff accepted a job with a sports documentary company, but realized it wasn’t a good fit almost immediately. He left after only two days, disillusioned with his future and weighing his options.
Were it not for a career lifeline from a familiar place—Syracuse—Shroff might have left sports broadcasting for good. Instead, he rediscovered his passion during a successful stint as a sports reporter/anchor with WSYR-TV.
What was the turning point in your career?
“Before I got the job with WSYR, I was definitely on the fence about my broadcasting future. I had that moment of doubt, that breaking point when I didn’t think I could make it in broadcasting,” says Shroff, who earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. “That job restored my confidence and opened me up to taking some risks along the way. Everyone needs some breaks to launch their career, and those breaks, combined with my good contacts, certainly helped.”
Tell us about your work
Those connections led Shroff to a job as an anchor, studio host, and play-by-play commentator with ESPN in 2008 when he was just 25 years old. Ten years later, Shroff serves as the lead play-by-play broadcaster for NCAA lacrosse on ESPN, where he also calls college football and basketball games.
When the world’s best men’s lacrosse players gather in Netanya, Israel July 12-21 for the annual World Lacrosse Championships, Shroff will lead the network’s broadcast coverage.
“When I started at ESPN, I remember being super nervous, wondering if I could hold my own with talents like Scott Van Pelt and Linda Cohn,” says Shroff, a student play-by-play broadcaster with WAER. “The first show I did with Linda Cohn was such a surreal moment as she was someone I grew up watching and I looked up to her. Luckily, I found I was more than able to hold my own at ESPN and that only built up my confidence. It’s been a crazy career path so far and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Your advice to students?
Shroff enjoys returning to Syracuse University at least once each year to call a game from inside the Carrier Dome and does his best to make the most of his time on campus.
This spring, he delivered a passionate keynote speech, titled “Ethnic Identity and the Power of Being Undefined,” to students, faculty, and staff during Syracuse University’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month commemorative lecture.
Whenever he’s back at SU, Shroff finds himself reminiscing about his days as a student broadcaster. When he addresses current student broadcasters, Shroff has a simple message: savor every moment.
“I was fortunate to call a lot of games for WAER, including NCAA tournament games, and you almost take this place for granted when you’re a student,” says Shroff, who lists football as his favorite sport to call. “Every time I come back to do a game, I’m reminded of where my journey started, and I find myself appreciating the journey a little more. This school has given me so many opportunities, and I wouldn’t be where I am without the opportunities I had here in Newhouse and with WAER.”