Class of 1981
Larry Hardesty, a familiar presence on sports radio in the Greater New York area for more than 30 years, honed his broadcasting skills and techniques as the voice of the College's basketball team. He served as sports director, news director and general manager of WCCR, the College radio station, but he also learned how to tell a story as a writer for The Paper, a student publication, and was assistant to the sports information director in the College's public relations office.
Born in Morehead City, N.C., Hardesty came north, learned his craft at City College, and parlayed that into a career. In 1982, shortly after graduation, his big break came when he was doing a play-by-play broadcast of a college basketball tournament. One of his listeners was Pat Atwell, sports director of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM, two stations owned by Inner City Broadcasting. Later that year, Hardesty became a sports writer, producer, field reporter, production engineer and substitute host for Atwell's “Sports Rap” show on WLIB. Upon Atwell's departure in 1989, Hardesty was promoted to sports director, anchored sports reports for WLIB and WBLS and wrote a daily commentary on Inner City's web site.
Eventually, he got a shot at hosting his own talk show, “Larry Hardesty's Sports Box,” which began as a half-hour program in 1989, then expanded in 1995 to a one-hour telephone talk show, featuring a segment with his son Somari.
In 1999, the program grew further, becoming a two-hour sports talk show and adding a co-host, former New York Giants running back Billy Taylor. Renamed “The Sports Box,” it was on the air five days a week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., including a live broadcast every Friday from Mickey Mantle's restaurant on Central Park South. Hardesty left Inner City in 2001, when WLIB changed its format.
Since October 2001, he's been a writer, anchor and producer of sports updates at 1050 ESPN Radio in New York, the flagship station for the ESPN Radio Network. Unlike some broadcasters, who seem to specialize in covering only one or two sports, Hardesty’s versatility has served his listeners well. For ESPN, he’s covered major league baseball, and been a game reporter covering the National Basketball Association’s Knicks and Nets teams, and the National Hockey League’s Rangers and Devils. As for professional football, his duties have included working as a sideline reporter for all New York Jets home games on the Jets Radio Network. He is also a frequent contributor to News12 New Jersey’s sports programs as a freelance sports correspondent and anchor. In addition, he has written commentaries for The Amsterdam News and Soulpurpose.com, and served as a consultant to boxing promoter Don King. Hardesty’s prowess as a boxing broadcaster was recognized in back-to-back years, 1994 and 1995, when he was named Sportscaster of the Year by the International Boxing Federation/U.S. Boxing Association.