PIQUA — It’s a year of firsts for Edison State Community College freshman Haleigh Behnken (Greenville, Ohio). This is her first season playing college basketball after a stellar all-state career at Greenville High School.
It’s also the first time the women’s basketball player has put on a headset and done something much more nerve-racking than hitting a clutch free-throw…that’s talking about the game to an audience.
Behnken, a criminal justice major, is putting her love and knowledge of basketball to work as she has joined the TKDS Sports Network as a basketball analyst this winter. She’ll be broadcasting the Edison State men’s basketball games this winter.
“I was quite nervous at first, but honestly, I am so excited to be able to talk about basketball with one of my great friends,” Behnken said. “My first game on the TKDS Sports Network has been a great experience, and I can’t wait to be alongside them all winter.”
The TKDS Sports Network is the official broadcast partner of Edison State, livestreaming the men’s and women’s home and away basketball games with plans to also livestream other sports on campus.
Behnken will be partnering with Jim Dabbelt, the longest tenured girls’ basketball media personality in Ohio starting his 36th year of covering women’s basketball in the Buckeye State. While Dabbelt handles the play-by-play duties for both basketball teams, Behnken will join him as an analyst for the men’s game for the remainder of the season.
“I feel very confident in myself moving forward,” Behnken said. “I feel like getting the nervous feeling out of the way doing my first game makes me even more confident moving forward.”
“It’s amazing how quickly she picked up on what it takes to be a good analyst. She knows the game; now it’s just a matter of getting experience,” Dabbelt said. “She claimed she was nervous having never done this before, and I just reassured her that it’s normal—I’m nervous most times I speak in front of a lot of people. After a couple of minutes, everything is fine.”
Dabbelt first met Behnken a few years ago when she was playing at Greenville, and they hit it off immediately. When he was instructed by the owner to search for an analyst to join him for the basketball games this winter, she was his first call.
“This is a great life experience for her; it gives her a chance to talk about what she loves, network with people, and make some money with the job this winter,” Dabbelt said.
The duo will also hit the area high school scene starting immediately, as the network mostly covers the Greater Western Ohio Conference schools south of Dayton.
“This could lead to a nice side job in the future, or it could lead to everything for her in the future,” Dabbelt said.
The TKDS Sports Network also gives back to its host school, meaning for all subscriptions and Charger game purchases made on the network, Edison State will receive a portion back to their athletic program.