Abby Chin, Boston Celtics Host and Reporter at NBC Sports Boston, shares how she got into sports broadcasting, her favorite places in Boston, and her favorite spot to watch a sunrise! She also shares words of wisdom for aspiring sports broadcasters!
Lauren — Travel and Write Today: What was your goal when you first decided to study journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder? I know you and your sisters grew up playing and watching sports, but how did you decide to get into sports broadcasting?
Abby Chin: I actually didn’t know that it was possible to only cover sports, even when I chose journalism as my major. I thought everyone started out in news or writing for newspapers, and then eventually made their way to sports. It wasn’t until I took a sports broadcasting class, as a sophomore, that I realized the possibilities and opportunities that were available. Like you said, I grew up playing and watching sports. The lessons and experiences I gained by playing team sports are immeasurable- from leadership to team work to problem solving and goal setting. I am who I am today, in large part, because I played sports growing up. When I learned that I could take that passion and turn it into a career, I jumped at the chance.
TWT: I cannot believe it has already been 8 years since you joined NBC Sports Boston as the Boston Celtics sideline reporter. What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had working with the Boston Celtics?
AC: There are many with 82 games a year plus the post season – but the memory that stands out to me is interviewing Al Horford after the Celtics beat the Cavs in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017. I speak to players immediately after almost every game, but this was different. We caught Al in the back hallway with teammates running by and the raw emotion from the All-Star was palpable. His competitive fire still raging, he was so proud of what he and his team accomplished. It’s something I will never forget.
TWT: I love this memory! So excited to welcome him back to Boston too!
TWT: What are some of your favorite spots to visit in Boston? What is your favorite restaurant?
AC: I have two young children (Mabel, 5 and Silas, 2) so right now my favorite spots are anywhere outdoors that will keep my kids busy for at least an hour or two. We went to Franklin Park Zoo today. The Boston Lights displays are so fun. We love Crane Beach and, really, any of the Trustees properties. We frequent the Museum of Science and can’t get enough of our local libraries.
My go to restaurant right now is takeout, obviously, from La Victoria Taqueria in Arlington Center. If you know me, you know I love dim sum. The Joyful Garden in Watertown is super accessible now that we live outside of Boston. And, the best meal I had before we stopped eating indoors again was at Season to Taste in Cambridge.
TWT: We love the Museum of Science too! We’ve been wanting to visit the lights display at the Franklin Park Zoo. I think this is our sign to go. (Also, I used to live in Waltham, and I’ve never tried the Joyful Garden – thanks for the tip!)
TWT: What is your go-to coffee order?
AC: This varies by season, but at the moment I am obsessed with nitro cold brew.
TWT: I know you grew up in Denver, Colorado, and then went back there for college. What are some of your favorite places to visit when you are back there?
AC: We were back in Boulder last month for the tail end of a family vacation. It’s changed a lot since I lived there, but Pearl Street is still a destination. My favorite hike as a kid was to Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs. And, if you’re in Summit County in the summer, find an alpine slide.
TWT: Adding it to my list right now!
TWT: I know you love all New England sports, but do you still follow Colorado sports teams, as well?
AC: Not nearly as much as I used to. It’s harder to watch games when you live on the East Coast.
TWT: What is your favorite place to watch a sunrise/sunset?
AC: My husband and I got engaged at sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. So, that has to be my favorite, right?!
TWT: That sounds perfect – Acadia National Park has been on my list of places to visit for years!
TWT: What is your favorite book?
AC: Anything by the incomparable Jackie MacMullan. She is my idol, and I just love the way that she tells stories.
TWT: What advice would you give to aspiring sports broadcasters?
AC: Reps. Reps. Reps. Being in front of the camera did not come easily or naturally for me. I can still remember the shaking fear I had before my first live shot when I was in Montgomery, Alabama. I spent all day memorizing every word of my script, and I sent it back to the studio even though video was still running over my shot. There is no substitute for live repetitions. It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to be myself on-air and it’s something I continue to work at and think about a lot. So, my advice is to get as many reps as possible, but don’t get down or discouraged if one of those reps doesn’t go exactly as planned.
TWT: This is great advice. It’s so helpful to know that even people who seem the most comfortable on camera, or speaking in front of groups, took time to get there!
Follow Abby Chin on Instagram: @tvabby