January 3, 2024
HERMOSA BEACH, California — In 2021, Volleyball World TV was in search of announcers for the Italian SuperLega to which it had recently acquired the rights. The pool for such talent is not the largest or the deepest; rare is the individual who can both speak eloquently while also being well-versed in a sport that has traditionally had little fanfare in the United States. So when Dustin Watten was charged with recruiting a few, the list of qualities was, essentially: Who can put a sentence together while also keeping up with the highest quality volleyball in the world?
The choice was surprisingly easy: Matt Prosser.
The choice for Prosser to accept was even easier.
“Of course,” he recalled telling Watten, “I’m drooling over here.”
How Watten knew of Prosser’s commentating bona fides is a credit to Prosser’s own initiative. Both Watten and Prosser had competed for Long Beach State before playing professionally overseas. Long Beach is one of the few men’s indoor programs that televises its matches, and given its history as one of the most successful in the country, it can command the audience to do so. Prosser, like many program alum, loved the fact that the school broadcasts its matches. Like many alum, he thought he might be able to add to the product, especially since he came armed with a degree in broadcast journalism from Long Beach State itself, even if he’d never actually used it. Prosser, however, took it one step further: He actually did something about it.
“I just called up Long Beach State and asked if I could come back and do the color commentary for the men’s volleyball team,” he said. “Let me bring some technical aspects to the broadcast.”
That was 2020, arguably the worst time to get into broadcasting sports, as sports, like much of the world, were about to be shut down for the then-unforeseeable future. But it was enough: Watten had been tuning into the broadcasts, hearing now-expert commentary from a man who once made an NCAA final and was named All-American. If Volleyball World TV needed a commentator, there were few better suited for the job than Matt Prosser.
“The broadcasting checks a big box for me in terms of being involved in the game,” he said, and then he did the math: At 45 years old, he’d been involved in the game of volleyball, in one way or the other, for 32 years, beginning in the yard with his father. Now a 6-foot-7 fully grown adult who could be easily…