He may not be a familiar face, but he is a familiar voice to those who watch LMU sports from home. Raihan Bal, a senior marketing major, serves as the primary broadcaster for LMU’s soccer and baseball teams on the West Coast Conference TV network. In addition, he works on the FM Radio doing the pregame, halftime and postgame show for the men’s basketball team.
Bal found his initial interest for broadcasting from his time in high school, where he was a basketball player and longtime sports viewer at home. In addition to his sports background, he was also a member of his high school’s speech team. This skill, along with his deep knowledge and fandom of sports, led him to combine the two.
“I decided not to play college basketball; I wanted to go to a better school [academically],” said Bal. “So this was my way of mixing the two, staying involved in speaking and staying involved in high level sports. The middle ground is to do broadcasting.”
Bal began his broadcasting career at LMU as a freshman, where he was immediately thrown into the spotlight from the moment he got the job. His early responsibilities as a primary sports broadcaster for the Lions allowed him to see behind the scenes of what broadcasting was like. Through trial and error, he eventually found his groove and is now broadcasting for what will soon be his fourth year in the job.
“When I first came in, I thought it would be really informative — just read off the stats and just tell people by the numbers what is happening,” said Bal. “But as I grew into it, it’s more about being [part of the game experience] ... I found a good middle ground of being informative while also being entertaining too.”
Bal said that an important aspect to his currentbroadcasting career has been putting his own mark on it. He started injecting his personality into his broadcasting style by making each game, whether it be on television or the radio, as accessible as possible. One strategy he uses is comparing a current play in the sport he is covering, such as soccer, to one that people who may not be familiar with the sport can relate to, such as football.
Bal has always been involved in sports. He describes covering them on television, as well as radio, as something that comes to him automatically. He allows the flow of the game and what is happening in the game to take over, allowing him to stay comfortable and perform with his own style each game.
“When I’m broadcasting, you’re just kind of on autopilot, you’re just naturally taking it in what is happening and talking about it just without even realizing what you’re saying,” said Bal.
Bal is big on inclusion and he believes that it is one of the most important things about sports. Although he is unsure if he wants to do broadcasting after he graduates from LMU, he greatly enjoys working for the Lions and using sports to bring people together. Bal wants to use his broadcasting platform to unite rather than divide people when watching and discussing sports in general.
“I’m not a fan of people who know a lot about something and try to isolate other people and that’s a big thing I try to do [differently], whether it’s in the broadcast or in life ... the whole point is that it should be inclusive and that it brings people together,” said Bal. “That’s the best part about sports— it brings people together. It’s like a universal language.”