NBA TV’s Ro Parrish is one of the most recognizable sports reporters globally, but his journey was unorthodox. His sports journey started in high school in Desoto, Texas, making high school highlight tapes for his teammates.
” I started back in high school dubbing tapes, making highlight tapes for my teammates as far as them trying to get into school. So, I had a little connection where I could record CDs and tapes to VHSs. So, I started making highlight tapes for my high school teammates, which turned into broadcasting at school. Then I went off to college at the University of North Texas. I was on TV and had multiple shows on the radio, traveling with the team and whatnot. So, I get my first job, and I am in Savannah, Georgia, and it really didn’t go too well. It ended quickly. It really wasn’t the best situation. The news director liked me, said, you got that flavor. I like what you are doing. Go ahead and come in here. You could be our Stuart Scott. Rest In Peace to Stuart Scott, the greatest. That news director gets fired, and another comes in. Yeah, what you are doing is cool, but gotta do it somewhere else; see you. That didn’t work out came back to Dallas and joined the K104 street team and was doing things on air for high school sports,” said Parrish.
“Shoutouts to Kat Daddy, that’s my brotha love you for life. K104 ended up not working out after two years. Flirted with BET, that did not happen, but during my time at UNT, I interned with the Dallas Mavericks, built relationships, and was there for a good two to three years. So, they kept an eye on me and saw what I was doing. They said, this is what we want to do, and we want you to come in and be our team DJ, and I was like, I like the sound of that. And about a year in, they paired me with Ali Dee. We had a pre-game show on the plaza, and they came back and said, we want to make you the face of Mavs Insider. The show that was on Fox Sports Southwest, now Ballys Sports Southwest. So, once that happened, I was also able to be the DJ and become one of the franchise’s faces. So we did Fox Sports’ Mavs Insider for six years, and it became a time where I had to get out. I loved the Mavericks, but my ceiling is clearly right here, and they weren’t going to allow me to go any higher— Shoutouts to the Mavericks. I had a great time there and ended up going to Chicago.”
He would continue, “The first digital network landed a job there. It was awesome. I spent two years there, and they started losing funding. Gotta go. I floated around for a while and ended up doing some freelance for ESPN. I made some headway there hosting ‘City Slam’ and a couple of other one-offs and was able to put that on the resume. The next thing you know, I get a call from NFL Network; Prime Time needs a DJ for his show. We want to run a couple of DJs through. He would like for you to come on. I like great. Go on the show smash it; Prime finds out I’m from the crib, as he says from Desoto, Texas, right down the street from where he has Trinity High School. We knew of each other, he didn’t know me, but once he heard the name and asked around, he was like, oh, that’s him. After the show, he was like, oh, you are going to be back, dog. So, I ended up being the DJ that came back the most that season. A week after I got the season from NFL Network, I got a call from Turner Sports, and somebody that I met somebody during my time with the Dallas Mavericks, while working with the NBA was Oliva Scarlett, who is now working with Turner. She says, hey, we have a show that we are working on. We want you to audition for it. It’s about basketball, pop culture, fashion, and sneakers. I’m like it sounds like everything I like, so go to the audition and smash it. Shouts out to Ben Lyons and Tony Rock. They pair us all together, and we all get the gig. It is a show called ‘The Warm Up’ so Tara August, the best in the business. So, she calls me, and I get the job and says, by the way, how married are you to Los Angeles? At the time, I was living in LA. She was like, how do you feel about coming to Atlanta? But not only do we want you to do ‘The Warm Up,’ but we want you to be a part of NBA TV and have these assignments. I was like hold on a second, y’all wanted me to audition for the show, and I got it, but you also want me to come to Atlanta; where do I sign up. So, when I get out to Atlanta, everything is set up, and at that point, things started happening. That was five years ago, but I love my job and the people I am working with at Turner. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, it’s not a great day everyday, but there’s more great days than not.”
Parrish is the Shaqtin’ a Fool segment with Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Scott. He also hosts the Podcast Charles Barkley’s Guarantees, and you can see him hosting NBA TV’s Game Time during the season.