Offseason Sit-Down: Scott "Fresh" Freshour
Walk us through a typical work day in the life of Scott Freshour here at the Sacramento Kings.
What a lot of people don’t know is that not only am I the Emcee, but I’m also the Director of Entertainment here. So, I work with a very talented team that helps produce all the entertainment that takes place during a game day. On a typical day for me, I am sitting in creative sessions and production meetings, working with talent groups to help put the show together, and so on.
How does your work differ in the offseason from that of the regular season?
The offseason is a lot more planning for the upcoming season while during the season it's a lot of getting things done for what’s happening right now. I could say, “Oh, I want to have a Star Wars theme night.” But as we get closer to the game, that's when I actually create the content that goes into it.
How did you get into the entertainment business?
I never thought I would get into announcing. I got an internship with the Kings when I was 18-years-old. It was always my goal to work for the Kings. So, I got the internship and it was more so on the live event, production side.
Then, there was a point where they needed an Emcee and they just asked me if I could do it because they thought I had a big personality – and I just ran with it ever since. There were multiple Emcees throughout the season and the next season they decided on which ones they wanted to keep. So, it was kind of a tryout, but not really. I never had any formal training or anything, so I just went out there and tried to be myself.
How much of your interaction with fans during crowd moments is you being your spontaneous self and how much of it is scripted?
Everything I do is 100% spontaneous on a game night. I know my guidelines and I know bullet points of what I'm about to say, but I don't memorize. I just go out there and I act like me. It's always been my choice to just be Scott Freshour on the microphone versus pretending or playing an ‘Emcee role’.
So, every time you see me on the court, it really is just me. If you see me interacting with a fan, that's how I am. It's pretty authentic to who I am and I like that because I really enjoy interacting with those people and having fun. Because people can tell if you're faking it. So, I've always said I'm just going to be 100% authentic.
Over the years, you’ve gotten to have a lot of crowd moments with Kings fans. Do you have a favorite crowd moment in particular?
So, one of my favorite moments was back at Sleep Train Arena when we broke the Guinness World Record for the World’s Loudest In-Arena Crowd. That was pretty rad. They put it LIVE on ESPN and measured it with a decibel meter. We couldn't play other music underneath it — it had to be genuine crowd noise. You can find it on YouTube, it's pretty awesome.
Do you have a secret for getting hyped up before a game? Any pregame rituals?
I mean caffeine always helps. It’s a lot of natural adrenaline from being on a court in front of 17,000 people. What I've been doing the last year or so is finding time to meditate around 5 o'clock or so. It helps me to forget the stress of the day and just focus on emceeing. When I come out of a meditation, I'm pretty focused and ready to put on that new hat that I have to wear.
You’re a father of two little boys. If your sons grew up and wanted to follow in Dad’s footsteps, what kind of advice would you give them?
Oh, jeez. I would say to them that to work in something this special, you need to be prepared to work hard for it. You need to make sure it's your passion because you will spend a lot of hours and time here at the arena or the office.
But, most importantly, I would say that if you want to get into this line of work or any line of work—treat people with respect and kindness. No matter who they are or what their job title is, every single person deserves respect, kindness, and compassion.
You recently had a hand in helping assemble the new 916 Crew. Can you talk about what Kings fans can expect from these dancers this year?
I think fans are going to really enjoy the 916 Crew. So far, from what I've seen, their energy is infectious. The physicality and the explosiveness of their routines is going to leave people genuinely entertained.
Lastly, if you could pick ONE word to describe the energy of the arena at a Kings game to try to convince someone to come out to a game, what would that word be?
I would use the word “experience,” because it is more than just a basketball game. Our goal as creative professionals is to turn sport into an experience that has multiple layers of entertainment and engagement throughout the evening.
You could stay at home and watch the game, or you could come to the arena and have an experience and see some entertainment, have some laughs, get really excited, and have the camaraderie of sharing that event with your family or friends.
It's truly an experience like going to Disneyland. You don't go to Disneyland just to go on Splash Mountain. You go there for the cotton candy, you go there for the music, you go there for the photo opportunities. That's what we've tried to do here. Obviously, the basketball is the main event, but we like to create all the fun that happens around it.