2008 - Chick Hearn Scholarship

The Los Angeles Lakers, Marge Hearn and USC Annenberg School for Communication recognized Sam Farber and Marcelo Figueroa as the 2008 winners of the Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship on Sunday, November 25, 2007. The two USC Annenberg journalism students were honored during halftime at the Lakers-New Jersey Nets game, which was designated Chick Hearn Night because it was the game closest to the date of Chick’s birthday.

The annual scholarship is funded by an endowment established by the Los Angeles Lakers in memory of Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Chick Hearn, who died in 2002. In addition to major gifts from the Lakers and Chick’s widow, Marge Hearn, hundreds of fans contributed to the scholarship fund at USC Annenberg, which now totals more than $200,000.

“Of all the honors that Chick received, I believe he would have been most proud of this scholarship,” Marge Hearn said. “He never was able to complete his own education and he would have been very pleased that students like Sam and Marcelo have the help they need to pursue their dreams.”

Farber, from San Jose, Calif., is a graduate student working toward an M.A. in broadcast journalism. He is a play-by-play broadcaster for baseball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball at Cal State Northridge. He also works part time as a morning broadcast engineer on KNX 1070. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in mathematics from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Figueroa, a broadcast journalism major from Carson, Calif., broadcasts USC football and basketball games and hosts “Monday Scramble,” a popular sports talk show on USC’s student-run radio station KSCR. He also is a sports anchor for Annenberg TV News, USC’s nightly student TV newscast and has worked as an intern at Fox College Sports. He is a graduate of Carson High School and mentors a local 8-year-old boy through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Both Farber and Figueroa are admirers of Chick Hearn and believe the scholarship will help them follow in his footsteps.

“Chick Hearn was a real hero to me because he really connected to his community,” Farber said. “Chick was and still is a part of Los Angeles and his voice had an impact on people. I hope I am lucky enough in my career to land in a market where I can have a similar impact.”

“Growing up in LA, I have always been a huge Lakers and Chick Hearn fan,” Figueroa said. “He has inspired me to pursue a career in sports broadcasting, and to show as much enthusiasm and appreciation for the field as he did.”

Along with the scholarship, the students will have the opportunity to intern at Fox Sports Net, working on Lakers broadcasts and other projects.

“Chick Hearn represented the best in sports broadcasting and community service,” said Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. “We are honored that the Hearn family and the Lakers have chosen to support deserving USC Annenberg journalism students who will build upon his great legacy.”

The public may continue to contribute to the fund to help deserving journalism students seeking careers in sports broadcasting. Donations may be sent to USC Annenberg Chick Hearn Fund, USC Annenberg School for Communication, 3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the USC Annenberg School for Communication is among the nation's leading institutions devoted to the study of journalism and communication, and their impact on politics, culture and society. With an enrollment of more than 1,900 students, USC Annenberg offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism, communication, and public relations.

Book Drive Summary

The Los Angeles Lakers and Marge Hearn would like to thank all of the generous fans who showed their support for literacy by donating a new children’s book at the game last night. Over 800 children’s books were collected at the game, making it the most successful Lakers book drive to date! All books were collected in memory of Chick Hearn, Lakers Hall of Fame sports broadcaster who passed away in 2002, and will be donated to local Lakers Reading Rooms. Last night’s game against the New Jersey Nets was designated Chick Hearn Night because it was the game closest to the date of Chick’s birthday.

The Lakers recognize the importance of literacy to a child’s future success. Since the creation of the NBA’s league-wide Read to Achieve program in 2001, the Lakers have contributed significant funding, time and resources to promoting literacy, inspiring children to develop a life-long love of reading and encouraging adults to read aloud to children. In addition to book drives, the Lakers also conduct an annual reading challenge open to elementary students, arrange Reading Time Outs where members of the Lakers All-Star Reading Team read aloud to children and create Lakers Reading Rooms and Learning Centers.