Jeff Asch has enjoyed a well-known broadcasting career, but he may have difficulty topping the moment last week when a family event took place at one of the iconic sports arenas in the country.
For only the second time in his career, Asch served as a public address announcer at the Palestra, but what made this event more special is that his son David was working at the same venue.
The event was Saturday’s game between Temple and Drexel, in which the Owls won 82-64. David is a junior at Temple and served as the analyst for WHIP, the school radio station, which broadcast the game.
“It was such a huge thing for them to be at the same time working at the Palestra,” said Susan Asch, Jeff’s wife and David’s mother, who attended the game along with her son Michael, a freshman at Elon. “I know how excited both were about it, and they are both so passionate about what they do, and it was great.”
For the game, father and son were far apart. Jeff was courtside, in his regular role as the PA announcer for Drexel’s men and women basketball teams. His last game at the Palestra was ten years ago when the Dragons played St. Joseph’s.
David broadcast from high atop the arena. This was the first time he called a game at the Palestra.
“Being able to announce a game at the Palestra is something I took off my bucket list,” David said afterwards. “Being able to hear my dad in the background was like a cherry on top."
Jeff Asch has run the gamut in broadcasting. Among his duties, he used to host his own sports show on WCAU radio and also is a former reporter and producer at Channel 10. For the past 20 years he has been a radio sports and news anchor at KYW. Besides being Drexel’s PA announcer, he is a PA announcer at Eagles home games.
He admitted to having some pre-game jitters before Saturday’s game, but for a different reason than one would expect.
“I was really nervous for David, more than myself to be honest and he said it went great and I am just thrilled,” Jeff Asch said. “I couldn’t be happier.’
This was not the first time that father and son have worked in the same venue. They had a memorable occasion a few years ago, when Jeff and David broadcast a high school football game on the Wissahickon school channel. Jeff handled play-by-play and David was the color analyst. Another of Jeff’s sons, Michael, served as the sideline reporter, making it a true family affair.
“I cried the whole three hours, it was such a father-son moment,” Jeff said. “We were the broadcast team for the game.”
While they weren’t a team on Saturday, the moment will likely strike an emotional chord whenever Jeff thinks about it.
“I think it is a memory we will both have the rest of our lives,” Jeff said. “To be able to do what we did in this building, the fact it was here because of the history and the fact that everybody knows the Palestra and everybody wants to perform at the Palestra."
Then beaming with pride as he recalled his big day, Jeff added, “Today David and I performed at the Palestra.”