Lay Realizes Career Dream With UWTV Assignment
Jan. 4, 2012
SEATTLE - Her entire life, Liz Lay has wanted to be on television. Before multiple knee injuries robbed her of the ability to play basketball, Lay figured hoops were the route to her dream.
But now she's able to combine her passion for basketball with a career goal, as Lay was recently named the color analyst for Washington women's basketball games on UWTV.
The senior from Oklahoma City will work with play-by-play voice Michael Preston for the rest of the Huskies' Pac-12 games at Alaska Airlines Arena. She'll be part of a live broadcast - which means the pressure of having every mistake witnessed in real-time.
No sweat. Lay has been prepping for this moment for quite some time.
"My goal growing up was to get on TV, in any form or fashion," Lay said by phone from her home in Oklahoma, where she's rehabilitating from ACL surgery. "I'm so happy to take this jump in my career."
The opportunity arose when last year's color analyst - former UW letterwinner Sara Mosiman - left to focus on her day job. So when UWTV asked around, a name that frequently came back was Lay's. One day, Lay received an email from UWTV producer Greg Young, who asked if she'd be interested in working on the broadcasts.
"Of course there was no hesitation," Lay said about the offer. "I agreed on the spot."
As a former player, Lay can provide a unique level of analysis to the mainstream viewer. Lay suited up for parts of the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Washington. The 6-1 forward came to Washington with plenty of promise, at one time ranked the No. 18 recruit in her class. When her knee gave out, Lay continued to be a supporter of the program, even accompanying the team on their foreign trip to Scandinavia this past summer.
All throughout, her vibrant presence brought cohesion to the team. It also gave her teammates and coaches a sneak peek of her skills behind a camera. During road trips, Lay would often take a portable camera and host a fake talk show with teammates, interviewing them on the back of the bus.
The Husky coaching staff is excited to see Lay achieve the opportunity.
"Her personality if what's going to allow her to be successful," said UW assistant Kevin Morrison. "She's such an engaging personality. You can almost tell that she's a drama major. In terms of the sport, she knows basketball well. She was a great player at Oklahoma and was on her way to being one of the better forwards in the league."
Last year, Lay and men's basketball forward Darnell Gant participated in the University of Washington theater production, "A U-Dubber Night's Dream." Lay, who graduates this spring, would like to continue working with theater, but said it would all depend on her ACL, which she tore over the summer playing pickup hoops.
For now, the focus is on the UWTV broadcasts. While at home, Lay has been watching plenty of Oklahoma City Thunder NBA games on television and taking notes of how professional broadcasters call games. She practices in her car while driving around town, and recently has started browsing athletic department websites to get a feel for the UW opponents.
"It helps that I've been close to the program, so I know the plays being run and what the team is trying to do," Lay said. "So my goal is to elaborate on it for the viewers."
NOTE: UWTV, the University-run television station, can be seen in the Seattle area on Comcast, Channel 27. For more information, please visit www.uwtv.org. UWTV will broadcast each Washington Pac-12 home game, save for the Apple Cup matchup with Washington State on Feb. 26.