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Southern California Sports Broadcasters Award La Verne Broadcast Student

Zachary being presented with award

Photo Caption (l-r): Mike Laponis, Zachary Niccoli, and Rob Fukuzaki ’88,  at the Lakeside Golf Club on Jan. 7.

Zachary Niccoli ’21 received the 2020 Tom Harmon/Jerry Clark Memorial scholarship from the Southern California Sports Broadcasters organization on Jan. 7. Mike Laponis, professor of communications, and ABC7 Sports Anchor Rob Fukuzaki ’88 presented Niccoli with the award.

“It was surreal being honored by an organization of industry professionals that I grew up listening to and aspired to be,” said Niccoli.

Zachary holding his award

The scholarship is given once a year and ranges from $1,000-$2,500. Founded in 1958, by Tom Harmon, Southern California Sports Broadcasters is a non-profit organization serving broadcast professionals.

During the luncheon, Niccoli met Joe Davis, sportscaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chris Rix, former quarterback and sportscaster. Additionally, Niccoli engaged with fellow Leo alumnus Fukuzaki, who encouraged him to always stay true to himself.

“One thing I learned from Rob is you can idolize people, but you have to be yourself when it comes to broadcasting,” said Niccoli.

The University of La Verne Communications Department is among the best in the state of California in training future media professionals. Students learn in a hands-on environment designed for radio, television, and digital media. For more information on the Communications Department, visit