Chris Collins has been broadcasting at WSU for the past 21 years. He’s been court-side for some of WSU’s most memorable moments, including their 1999 upset over Michigan State. Through the years he has called hundreds of games and seen the best players to come through WSU. He has been and truly is the voice of the Raiders.
How did you get started with WSU?
“1997 was the first time I did Wright State basketball games. However in the previous two years Time Warner was carrying a few of the games and it was a women’s basketball game. I was asked to do it because the individual who usually did it couldn’t make it. Well during halftime Mike Cusack, the athletic director at the time, came over at halftime and worked with me. Long story short they had some changes the next year and they asked me if I would be interested.”
What is your favorite WSU basketball memory?
“The 2007 Horizon League tournament was really great,” he said. “We tied with Butler for the regular season title, but we held the tiebreaker so the tournament was at the Nutter Center. WSU had a decent rivalry at the time, so when we got to face them in the championship game it was just so exciting. DaShaun Wood carried that team throughout the year and into the tournament as well. They ended up beating Butler 60-55 and getting to go to the NCAA tournament. Another one that I call a 1A is the upset of Michigan State in 1999.”
Was there a game that stood out that may not be as memorable as the MSU game or the 2007 Horizon League championship game?
“I remember a game that I believe was in 2001 where WSU went to Butler and got a triple overtime victory. It was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever called because Butler was just beginning to become a very competitive program, and this was a start to what would become a decent rivalry between Butler and WSU. The stadium was just packed and both of us were towards the top of the standings. Butler just didn’t lose at home all that often, so leaving there with a win was just an exhilarating feeling for everyone.”
Who do you think is WSU’s biggest rival?
“I think they’re developing one with NKU the past couple of seasons. But I also think that we had a rivalry with Butler before they left the conference. I think if you ask WSU fans they would say it was a rivalry, but Butler fans may not think so. But I also think Butler fans wouldn’t be honest in saying that. Both teams back then were successful programs and they were relatively close in terms of travel.”
Who has been your favorite player to watch on the court since your time at WSU?
“We’ve had a lot of great players come through here, but for me pound for pound it was DaShaun Wood. Not only because he got better every year, but he had a fierce competitiveness. He hated to lose and he willed that 2007 team to get to the tournament that year. He made so many great plays in that game when they were down early. Also, he was an ironman. He only missed one game in his career. He was just a tremendous athlete and a fun player to watch.”
What advice would you give to a young broadcaster who is just getting started in broadcasting?
“It’s a very difficult business to get into. You have to have great timing and as much experience as you can get. You have to make yourself available to every opportunity you get. Also, try and practice when you can. Call a game that’s on TV so you get more comfortable for when you get an opportunity. Once you get that opportunity, run with it, because you never know when positions are going to open in this profession.”