There’s an old nugget of wisdom that those who enjoy their jobs never work a day in their life. The story of Demetrius Means a sportscaster in Lancaster, definitely lends credence to that idea. Means has been in the sportscasting business for 25 years, and is just about to start his 26th with no sign of slowing down.
Like many people who love their job, Means found his passion for it growing up.
“When I was twelve, I fell in love with this broadcaster named Marv Albert. He broadcasted for NBC, and I would sit by the radio or TV, listen to him, and imitate him. My mother would say, ‘Why are you mocking this guy?’ and I would say it was because I wanted to be a broadcaster,” Means explained.
In 1982, Means went to a radio broadcasting school in New York, but things hit a snag when his mother died two years later.
“When my mother died in ’84, I put it on the backburner, and wondered if this was going to work for me or not,” he continued, “It didn’t happen until I moved to Virginia in ’94 and started broadcasting in ’95.”
As it turned out, Means’ passion for his dream career had never left, and his big break came the month after he arrived in Lancaster County. It was January of 1995, and he was watching a game at Lancaster High School where his wife was the assistant principal. Means eagerly told the story.
“I was standing in the doorway, watching the game and talking about it, when this gentleman taps me from behind and asks how I knew so much about basketball, and I explained it’s because I played against the likes of Vinny Johnson and Albert King back when I was in New York. So he had me come up to the broadcast booth and analyze the game,” said Means.
He’s been in Lancaster ever since, broadcasting high school basketball for station 101.7 FM, or WKWI.
If this sounds a lot like what happens with sports stars when they retire from their chosen sport, that’s because it is. According to Means, the big sports stars often get a crack at it because networks figure the name recognition will draw in higher ratings and deliver better insight into what’s going on in a game. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not.
“Just because you can play the game, doesn’t mean you’ll be a good broadcaster,” Means stated, “It’s something you have to work on, and I worked on my craft a long time to develop it to where it is today.”