Sports broadcaster covering Milwaukee Bucks' NBA Championship got his start at Glenbrook South
They say if you love what you're doing in your career, you'll never work a day in your life.
That's the fortunate state in which Glenbrook South graduate Scott Grodsky finds himself.
Grodsky is in his fifth year as a sports broadcaster for WDJT-TV Channel 58, a CBS affiliate in Milwaukee. His most recent plum assignment was covering the Milwaukee Bucks on the road to their first NBA championship since 1971, which they clinched Tuesday.
Grodsky, 32, has covered Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, the 2018 National League Central Division tiebreaker between the Cubs and the Brewers, the National League Championship Series that followed between the Brewers and Dodgers, and three NFC Championship games, among other high-profile contests.
"I would have gone to the last two Super Bowls if the Packers showed up in the NFC Championship games, but what can you do," said a man able to get an audience with Aaron Rodgers.
In his prior position as sports director with CBS' affiliate in Rockford, he covered the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
A huge Blackhawks fan, events like these are the grail, though he has no problem retaining his objectivity.
"It's been everything I wanted it to be when I first imagined doing this for a career when I was 15 years old," Grodsky said.
At that point Grodsky was in the capable hands of Glenbrook South broadcasting teacher Dan Oswald, who in 2011 earned the Glenbrook South Parents Association Distinguished Teacher award. Grodsky started in radio at WGBK, which is shared by Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North. This is the 40th year of WGBK broadcasting on the air, Oswald said.
"He got me started on the path," Grodsky said.
The "Xs and Os" of the job have changed since Grodsky graduated from Glenbrook South in 2007, he said, and from Syracuse four years later.
His own intangibles, talents and desire remain from the spark ignited in high school.
"A lot of the drive and the work that goes into everything started there," he said.
"What I always liked about Scott is he had a good sense of humor," said Oswald, who taught Grodsky starting with his sophomore year after Oswald succeeded his own broadcasting teacher at Glenbrook South, Del Kennedy, in 2004.
"Scott's parents (Irl and Debbie) and sister (Lauren) were all accountants, so I think Scott had that real analytical mind. He was very good objectively. What I think Scott was able to do, was he was able to insert that subjective color that made listening to him broadcast sports very interesting," Oswald said.
The teacher said Grodsky owns many abilities that gave him a head start in broadcasting. There's that facility with numbers and statistics, which translated also to Grodsky's interest in fantasy sports.
He had an ability to "hammer out some skilled copy very quickly," Oswald said.
He could identify salient facts and statistics but also "he would paint with that tapestry of words and insert his own stories," Oswald said.
Grodsky had a strong work ethic, and handled himself with maturity.
"Scott was one of those students where you're like, this kid could really do what he wanted to do," Oswald said. "If you would have told me Scott went to medical school or became an attorney, I wouldn't have been surprised."
Instead, Grodsky has won awards in every professional stop since graduating from Syracuse -- Milwaukee, Rockford and in his first job at WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, North Dakota. In 2018, he also was nominated for a regional Emmy Award.
Milwaukee, however, was on his shortlist of destinations and goals he'd drawn up in a Google file when he first started in the business.
"It's the first place that's felt like home since my graduation," said Grodsky, engaged to be married Aug. 22 to Kate Kazan, with whom he lives in Milwaukee, eight minutes away from Fiserv Forum.
It's an easy jog, then, to speak with the likes of Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, or to connect on Zoom with retired Bucks Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, or speak with the Brewers' Eric Sogard as part of the "Play It Forward with Scott Grodsky" segment that appears each Tuesday on WDJT-TV.
Highlighting the positive side of the local sports scene, which Grodsky does with this segment, checks his community service box.
"It's been something that's very important to me to spotlight," he said. "You hear so much bad news, even before COVID, it's nice to hear that so many of these athletes -- with their money, their resources and their time -- have done so many nice things in their community."
Along with circling Milwaukee on that Google file, Grodsky also wrote down the goal of covering championships in all four major sports. He finds it a little hard to believe, credits a little luck and certainly doesn't take it for granted, but at just 32 years old he's currently hitting 3 for 4.
"Covering a finals is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that most people don't get to experience," Grodsky said. "Being in Fiserv Forum for Game 3, hearing the crowd, that's the kind of stuff that made me fall in love with sports in the first place. And 30-some years later, it's still there. It's been awesome."