Voice of the Beavers prepares for the future
Following his departure from his high school basketball team before his junior season in Lemmon, S.D., Leif Bakken realized there were other opportunities to stay involved in the sport besides playing it.
While working as a DJ at the local radio station, he approached his boss with an idea. “(I asked,) ‘Can I do a junior varsity game of the week, every week that we have basketball,’” Bakken recalled. “He said, ‘If you can find the sponsors, and get the money together so you can get paid, I’ll let you do it.’”
After contacting some local businesses to sponsor both the boys’ and girls’ games, Bakken began calling the junior varsity games before switching over to do color commentary by offering analysis or background information to assist the varsity team’s play-by-play guy during breaks in the game.
With two years of local experience, Bakken came to Minot State and approached the athletic department hoping for the opportunity to continue to gain experience at the next level.
Although he had never called women’s volleyball before, the athletic department liked his tryout recording and gave him the chance he was looking for.
“(They said,) ‘You’re pretty good for never doing this before, you can do all our volleyball,’” Bakken said.
This year marks the first year that Bakken’s been doing all the play-by-play for Minot State athletics, which has included soccer, football, volleyball, both men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and softball.
As his senior year continues, Bakken has begun to think about what comes next and whether he wants to continue pursuing play-by-play work following graduation.
“Absolutely. Currently I’m working on my resume reel and want to get it out there to Midcontinent and maybe a few cities looking for a sportscaster,” Bakken said. “I want to go somewhere big.”
Wherever he ends up, Bakken believes coming to Minot State has worked out well for him.
“As a freshman here, you get to start doing things, you don’t have to wait until you’re a junior or senior,” Bakken said. “You get to be on the radio, on the TV show, work in the production room. I’m glad I’m a Beaver.”
Bakken’s play-by-play can be heard during the live stream of Beaver athletics at MSUBeavers.com.