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May 08, 2015

Five for Friday: Kevin Negandhi

Media Temple University
Kevin Negandhi Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images

Kevin Negandhi, sportscaster for ESPN's "SportsCenter," will deliver the commencement speech at Temple University's graduation ceremony on Friday, May 8.

Kevin Negandhi, of Phoenixville, Chester County, is co-host of the morning segment of ESPN's "SportsCenter." A 1998 graduate of what was then titled the Annenberg School of Communications and Theater, Negandhi, 40, has led a career that's taken him from sports editor of The Temple News, to USA Today contributor, to host of ESPN shows like "Outside the Lines"and "College Football Live" to the Holy Grail of sportscasting as co-host of the weekday 9 a.m. to noon time slot on "SportsCenter," where he dishes morning sports insights with Philly gusto. 

Today, Friday, he brings that energy to Temple University, where he'll deliver this year's commencement speech at 10:30 a.m. to 9,151 graduates and will be conferred with an honorary degree. Here, he chats post-grad mistakes, nostalgia for Philadelphia and what he's up to this weekend.

What do you most love — or miss — about Philadelphia?

The people. The charisma. The bluntness. You knew where you stood in Philly. No one held back. If they loved you, you knew it. If they didn't, you knew it. A good hoagie too, with the right bread.

What’s the biggest mistake you made after graduating from college?

I didn't travel enough. And I've been lucky to travel a lot, but I wish I did more of it. I wish I took six months off to go everywhere. Then again, I was eager to get my career started and make some money. Regardless of what you do, just enjoy the moment.

What advice would you dole out for today’s graduates?

Live in the moment. Take pictures with family and friends. They will never look better and I promise they will have more hair today than they will tomorrow. And one more thing: Get off your phone and stop looking at your email. Have a face-to-face, meaningful conversation with someone. You will be surprised what that does in the workplace. 

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened behind the scenes at "SportsCenter"?

Too many to name, but I will say the one thing that makes me laugh every time I think about it is, at the start of one NFL season, we decided to start the morning "SportsCenter" with our own intros with music like you see on NFL gamedays. We had a bunch of people involved, including Brian Dawkins and Adam Schefter. Scheftie was so excited; he tried to learn the Ray Lewis dance moments before we shot the open. Just watching him try to pick up the dance moves and then when he delivered it -- or tried to -- it was courageous, awkward and hilarious at the same time. 

B-Dawk then gave us a pregame pep talk live on the air, and my hair was standing up because he turned into Weapon X. I still get goosebumps. So you can imagine what he was really like when he played for the Eagles. 

What are your plans for the weekend?

After Friday's commencement, we have a few carloads of family driving up to Connecticut for my oldest son's 3-year-old birthday party on Saturday morning. His birthday is the day of commencement, so we promised him a big Spider-Man party with his friends. He's been talking about it for weeks. I love what I do for a living, but I love being a dad to my boys more than anything in the world.