The voices behind KCLC’s broadcast team for women’s basketball

Adam Ziske (left) looks to broadcast partner Romero Starks as he breaks down the first half of the Lions basketball match up against Central Christian College of the Bible on Dec. 1..
Photo by Walker Van Wey

WALKER VAN WEYReporter

KCLC broadcast team and odd couple, Romero Starks and Adam Ziske, is making the Lindenwood women’s basketball games as fun to listen to as they are to watch this season.

Starks is known by many at Lindenwood for his outgoing personality. The north St. Louis County native spends time with his girlfriend and takes his grades and volunteer work seriously. Starks also has a musical bone tucked away that allows him to excel at baritone and trombone.

Ziske and Starks, or as Starks calls them, “The Team,” goofing off one last time before the opening tip-off.
Photo by Walker Van Wey

Ziske, a proud native of Magnolia Springs, Alabama, spends most of his free time with friends at dive bars or on his living room couch watching college football or basketball. He skates through each semester cracking jokes and occasionally letting his filter fall to the wayside.

Although the two seem to be from different worlds, both share the common interest of basketball, which was all professor Mike Wall needed to know when he paired them up at the beginning of the season.

“They’re like puzzle pieces, and where one may have a deficit, the other one could make up for it, and that’s what’s happened so far,” Wall said. “They both love basketball so that commonality works well.”

While this is Starks’ first season broadcasting, Ziske began with two years of Lindenwood broadcasting experience under his belt. The quick-talking, descriptive Ziske handles the play by plays, while Starks fills in the blanks as the color commentator. Starks said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I didn’t think Adam would be as smooth as he is, but he does it so easily,” Starks said. “I’ve tried doing what he does, and it’s not easy at all. I remember the first game we called together I heard him doing his thing, and I just thought, ‘Man! Adam’s actually really good at this!’” 

Adam Ziske interviewing Coach Tony Francis after a game for LUTV, something both Ziske and Starks would like to do more often.
Photo by Walker Van Wey

Ziske found himself equally impressed with Starks’ natural ability to time his comments. Pair that up with Ziske’s confidence in Starks’ basketball IQ, and the chemistry is locked up.

“He’s really good about knowing when to come in, and he knows his stuff,” Ziske said. “His insight to the game is really good. It’s by far the best I’ve ever had at Lindenwood. As long as he wants to give good insight to what’s going on, I’m going to let him keep talking.”

With some of the blowout wins 9-3 Lindenwood has dished out this season, the personality of the commentators has kept the listeners interested. Starks cites their shared sense of humor as another element to the chemistry.

“We’re both so goofy, so that’s what makes it fun to do, and I’m sure fun to listen to,” Starks said. “Adam’s got this country twang, and that just makes everything he says that much more funny. I remember we played Central College School of the Bible and were just destroying them, and Adam goes, ‘These girls study the Bible; be careful, they may have some sort of hold on the key to the pearly gates one day.’ Stuff like that cracks me up.”

Wall agrees that they both have a very active sense of humor, but they are never in jeopardy of pushing their humor too far.

“They have respect for the game, so I don’t think they’re going to do anything to disrespect players, officials or coaches,” Wall said.

Ziske and Starks still laughing at a previous play before a Lindenwood free throw.
Photo by Walker Van Wey

A testament to their respect for the game is how prepared they are coming into each game, which is another aspect of their dynamic that Wall says makes them stand a cut above the rest.

“Adam’s one of the best I’ve ever seen at looking at a team for the first time and acting like he’s done it 100 times,” Wall said. “He doesn’t sound like he’s trying to catch up.”

With half the season left, Ziske and Starks have one goal still to reach: LUTV.

“I would love to get something on camera with me and Adam,” Starks said. “Some type of interview or something to where people can kind of get to know the faces behind the voices. Hearing us is one thing, but seeing it gives another dynamic, and seeing how we bounce off of each other’s stupidity would be fun to watch.”

Until then, Ziske encouraged everybody to tune into the women’s basketball games.

“This will sound cocky, but I would put our smoothness up against anyone in colleges across the nation right now, and we would meet or beat it,” Ziske said. “The entertainment is there too, and it’s actually a mature way to make you laugh, not most college humor.”

Ziske and Starks are on air on 89.1 again on Sunday, Dec. 31, as Lindenwood takes on the University of Missouri-St. Louis on the road.

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