Monday, the nation celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To commemorate the holiday, BTN will air a special edition of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET that pays tribute to the civil rights leader with a series of remembrances and interviews with key Big Ten leaders. Hosted by Rick Pizzo and Stephen Bardo, the show will include interviews with Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith and Penn State Women’s Basketball Coach Coquese Washington.
In another segment of the show, Bardo and BTN basketball analyst Jim Jackson reflect on the day’s significance and the impact of King’s legacy on their lives. Additionally, Charlie Scott, the father of OSU’s Shannon Scott and the first African American basketball player at North Carolina, discusses what the day means to him. The segment is from Saturday’s episode of The Journey, BTN’s signature original program.
Following the show at 7 PM ET, BTN airs Ohio State at Nebraska men’s basketball, with Jackson and BTN’s Dave Revsine on the call. Throughout the game, the two will highlight the pioneering African American student-athletes from Ohio State and Nebraska, including the legendary Jesse Owens and Cornelius Greene, the first black quarterback to start at Ohio State; and Nebraska’s George Flippin, the first black student-athlete there and Bill “Thunder” Thornton, the football team’s first black captain.
Extra Points sat down with Quentin Carter, BTN’s senior coordinating producer, about his reflections of the holiday. Quentin is a former D-1 student athlete who played basketball at Pittsburgh. He has been with BTN since before the network’s launch.
EXTRA POINTS: How did the special edition of #BTNLive and Monday night’s game come about?
Quentin: It’s because of (Ohio State Athletic Director) Gene Smith. We worked with Ohio State to move Monday’s game from Sunday so as to not conflict with the NFL games, and Gene suggested that we do something special to commemorate the day. Gene also will be a part of Monday’s #BTNLive show, reflecting on what Dr. King and his legacy have meant to him.
EXTRA POINTS: What are your recollections of MLK Jr. Day?
Quentin: It actually wasn’t a federal holiday when I was in school. (The first holiday was on Jan. 20, 1986.) When I was working at the MSG Network after it became a federal holiday, the Knicks always had a game on MLK Jr. Day. As an African American, that game always felt a little more special to me than a regular Monday game, it felt like a special occasion. I was proud about how far we’d come as a country, to honor someone who wasn’t a president, who didn’t discover America, but someone who was a regular guy who wanted everyone to be treated equally, not just African-Americans.
Extra Points: Do you see BTN having a special celebration of Dr. King’s life every year?
Quentin: Yes, I do. And I’d like to see us find more days throughout the year that we can make “special.”