ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg is no rookie to the sport, but he was a little green around the gills when it came to navigating ESPN’s Bristol campus. Luckily, he had a veteran tour guide, college basketball reporter, Andy Katz.
Greenberg has known Katz since “my hair went on defense,” (29 years ago for those who aren’t following Greenberg’s disappearing hair follicle timeline). Katz and Greenberg have become a fixture around the ESPN campus, seen most often in the cafeteria discussing the college game.
In the video above, Front Row was at the table when Katz recently informed Greenberg he would be spending quite a bit of time in Charlotte, N.C. debuting his new show Katz Korner (debuting Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU) and returning as the basketball host of The Experts.
Who is Andy Katz, really? We thought there’s no better person to give fans the inside scoop on Katz than Greenberg:
You met Andy Katz in 1984, any first impressions?
I first met Mr. Katz, “basketball savant,” when he was the beat writer [covering] the New Mexico Lobos. It was at a time that he would actually listen to me. Seriously. . . it was a time when beat writers and coaches had an open dialogue. Andy was always interested in learning more, the hows and whys of what we were doing as coaches.
Did he give you any advice when you started at ESPN this year?
Andy was very helpful to me and my family in my transition to ESPN. He told me what to and not to order in the ESPN Cafe; where to live so my daughters could babysit his kids; and he introduced me to more people than I can remember their names. In general, he has been an invaluable resource in my transition.
You’ve given a lot of locker room speeches in your coaching career. What would you tell Andy on Jan. 15 before Katz Korner debuts on ESPNU?
First, I still think “Greenberg and Katz Korner” sounds better. That said, I’d tell him: “You have prepared your whole life for this day. Rely on your instincts. Stay in the issue and the question. Enjoy the moment and don’t screw up! Opportunities like this don’t come everyday. Enjoy it and have fun with it.”
Who do you think Katz’ dream interview would be?
John Wooden. Andy would have enjoyed sharing the essence of what made Coach Wooden so special.
If you had to give Katz a nickname, what would it be?
No doubt: “The Mayor.” Fred Hoiberg has nothing on him. Andy works Bristol like no other. Second choice would be “411.” He is information. The guy steals an interview with [former UConn men’s basketball coach Jim] Calhoun at his grandkids’ swimming meets.
What is Katz’ pregame meal of choice?
A spinach salad, Vitamin Water and humus. Mine would be a burger, fries, onion rings and a Diet Coke. Does that make me Oscar or Felix?
One thing the average fan doesn’t know about Katz?
He is a world class timer for his children’s swim meets and the father of a Harry Potter expert.
If Katz wasn’t a college basketball reporter he would most likely be . . . ?
A national political correspondent. Now, tell me you couldn’t see him reporting from the White House. He would be uncovering something, somewhere.
Video produced by Dave Williams