Curley Center 'Conversation' features basketball experts

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Two nationally respected basketball experts will be featured in a free public program organized by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5.

"A Conversation with Mike Breen and Jim O'Connell" will be conducted in Kern Auditorium (112 Kern Building) on the University Park campus. Malcolm Moran, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, will moderate the session.

Breen has been the lead voice for ESPN/ABC on its coverage of the National Basketball Association, including the NBA Finals, since 2003. Before that, he amassed 12 seasons of NBA play-by-play experience, working national telecasts for NBC Sports and New York Knicks games for Madison Square Garden television and radio networks.

Breen also has done NFL play-by-play for NBC Sports and Fox Sports. In 1998, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Breen "Broadcaster of the Year" in his native state of New York.

Jim O'Connell was the winner of the 2002 Curt Gowdy Print Media Award for outstanding lifetime coverage of basketball and has covered more Olympic basketball than any reporter in history. He serves as the national college basketball editor for the Associated Press and was president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association from 1997-98. He has been on the Associated Press Staff since 1978.

Along with his induction into the media wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, O’Connell received the Big East Media Award in 2001 and was honored as the NIT National Man of the Year in 1997.

The Curley Center’s "Conversation Series" has attracted visitors such as: Bob Costas, Brent Musburger, John Feinstein and Chris Fowler. Other participants in recent center programs include: Todd Blackledge, George Bodenheimer, Matt Millen, Bob Ryan, Lisa Salters, Jon Saraceno and Rick Telander.

The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, established in 2003 and named in 2006 for John Curley -- the retired president, CEO and chairman of the Gannett Co. Inc. who was the first editor of USA Today and served as a founding co-director of the Center -- explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research.

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Last Updated September 16, 2011