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Monday, March 19 News

Screen dreams: Ludlowe freshman is a young broadcasting talent

FAIRFIELD — At age 7, Aiden Blanc was discovered in the crowd at a Bridgeport Bluefish game.

At that time, Blanc, now a 14-year-old freshman at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, had been given a small voice recorder by his parents, to capture his commenting as he watched the minor league baseball games.

For Blanc, it was an early attempt at broadcasting.

“Pretty much since I was born, broadcasting has been in my blood,” said Blanc, who dreams of being on camera at a major network. “I feel like it’s always been inside of me.”

On that day seven years ago, a reporter for News 12 saw Blanc at the Bluefish game and recognized an opportunity for a story. Blanc was profiled, gained a small audience in the business and used the opportunity to propel his burgeoning career.

“That really helped,” said Blanc’s father, Chris. “Once that happened, that gave Aiden more confidence to get out there.”

Always a sports fan, and especially New York Yankees fan, and knowing his chances of earning a living playing professionally were slim, Blanc focused his energy on broadcasting.

At night, he would listen to Yankees’ sportscasters John Sterling and Susan Waldman on the radio. In the morning, he would watch SportsCenter on TV. According to his father, Blanc was enthralled at an early age by the words of the sportscasters. Blanc has always been a talker.

“He spoke early and a lot,” his father said.

His admiration for Yankees’ announcers mixed with his propensity to speak voluminously combined for ideal skills for a broadcaster.

As years passed, Blanc began making connections locally and sat in with Bridgeport Bluefish commentator Mike Moore, met Chris Shearn from the YES Network, and emceed Fairfield American Legion’s season opening ceremony. Every Friday, Blanc works on Frontier’s Vantage channel weekly sports program, sometimes on air, other times behind the scenes.

At home, Blanc would spend hours with games muted on television and he would deliver his play by play.

“If you were a basketball player, you’d go practice two hours or so every day. He does that with broadcasting in some capacity every day,” Chris said. “He really wants what he wants in this area.”

Over the summer, Blanc, with the help of his father and the cooperation of Ludlowe Headmaster Greg Hatzis, formed a broadcasting club. The Parent Teacher Association donated funds to buy cameras.

In the meantime, Blanc is broadcasting only audio at as many local games as he can, especially boys and girls basketball.

“My dad and I love watching high school basketball. Some of the most fun teams to watch in the state play right around here,” Blanc said.

On Wednesday, he was seated alone, headset over his ears and laptop out, his father standing by the bleachers behind him, at a table behind the scorers table in the Fairfield Ludlowe gymnasium.

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“Thanks for listening to us, wherever you’re listening to us,” Blanc said as the first quarter came to an end. “This is Aiden Blanc.”

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1