Mandarin broadcasters get to work
Battle of the Broadcasters winners James Yuan and Javi Yuan provide play-by-play commentary of men’s basketball games for a Chinese audience.
On Sunday, Jan. 31, five Temple University international students faced off in Morgan Hall with one goal: To become the first Mandarin-speaking broadcasters for the men’s basketball team. James Yuan and Javi Yuan emerged victorious, and began broadcasting games in Mandarin when Temple played Tulsa on Feb. 4. The pair made their debut in spectacular fashion, appearing on ESPN during Temple’s win in overtime.
James, who is studying in the Fox School of Business, played varsity basketball in high school and was the only Chinese player in his league. He lived in the U.S. with his coach and used the opportunity to learn everything he could about NCAA sports. Going into the contest, he aimed to educate other Chinese students about NCAA rules. His love of Temple sports and experience as emcee of the Chinese Student Scholars Association events gave him an edge in the battle.
Javi, a student in the School of Media and Communication, aspires to be a professional sports broadcaster. His passion for sports—particularly basketball, which he also played in high school—has become more than a hobby. He spends time honing his broadcasting skills by commentating on basketball games for Zhangyu TV, a Chinese sports streaming website where he’s amassed 2,000 followers.
Chinese students at Temple account for roughly 44 percent of the international student population, but they don’t engage as often in college athletics activities as American students. Javi, James and the university hope the Mandarin broadcasts will bridge the gap, since basketball is enormously popular in China.
James and Javi’s commentary can be streamed live during Temple men’s basketball games on owlsports.com.