Yaw Bonsu, of Baldwin, a senior at Hofstra University, will be flying to Las Vegas next month to cover the Super Bowl for the university’s radio station, WRHU-FM.
Bonsu is a senior journalism major with a concentration in sports media at Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. He is active at WRHU, and he was the director of the station in 2023. And after seeing Syracuse University’s sports journalism program in which students cover the Super Bowl, Bonsu has made it his mission to bring the same program to Hofstra.
“We shook the room with this idea,” Bonsu said. “This is the first time that any Hofstra student, while they are a Hofstra student, is covering the Super Bowl. For me, I came in wanting to do this.”
Bonsu was a student at Syracuse before transferring to Hofstra in 2021, as a sophomore. He noted that Syracuse has been sending student broadcasters to the NFL’s championship game for many years. Since he transferred, Bonsu said, he has strategically opted out of other opportunities so he can cover the Super Bowl.
In 2022, when he was WRHU’s associate sports director, he applied to the NFL to allow the station’s students staffers to cover the Super Bowl virtually, and a number took part, interviewing some of the players before the matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. Bonsu, however, passed up that chance.
“I knew that if there was a possibility that we could do this in person one day, I didn’t want somebody to turn back and say, ‘Well, Yaw got to do it in 2022 when it was virtual,’” Bonsu said. “So I didn’t join a single Zoom meeting. All I did was set it up.”
Two years later, Bonsu applied to the NFL again to cover next month’s game, this time in person, and last week he got confirmation that he will have a spot on radio row, which is the entrance to the Super Bowl Media Center.
Bonsu will head west with Michelle Rabinovich, a Hofstra junior who is WRHU’s lead sports editor, in two weeks. The university will cover the cost of their flights and hotel rooms.
Bonsu explained that he will bring equipment including mixing boards and microphone stands. He and Rabinovich will also take a WRHU banner.
Heading into this weekend’s conference championship games, Bonsu believed that the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers would win and meet in the Super Bowl.
“I’m just looking forward to seeing how the final product turns out,” he said.
Bonsu said he would treat this assignment just like every other one. “I’m not suddenly going to get a jolt of energy because of the stakes and magnitude of the event,” he said.
He planned to do interviews with high-profile players, as well as a special for WRHU when he and Rabinovich return from Las Vegas.
“To be the only two students in the history of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication covering this event, that means something,” Bonsu said. “So we have to deliver, without question, no excuses, so I am looking forward to see how we handle that challenge.”
Bonsu’s interest in sports journalism got its spark in, of all places, the Baldwin High School cafeteria. He originally wanted to be an English teacher, but after “talking shop” with his friends about sports at his lunch table, he envisioned a new career path, and became a dedicated viewer of ESPN.
Along with being a sports reporter at WRHU, Bonsu interned in WABC-TV’s sports department for 11 months in 2023. He helped log games and coordinate highlights for producers Joe Rupolo and Alex Wilcox, and sports anchors Ryan Field and Sam Ryan.
“Working with their sports department was crazy,” Bonsu said. “Because that’s the number one station and the number one market.”
He summed up his college experience by saying that it was highlighted by things he did outside the classroom that helped him gain more exposure to journalism. After graduation, Bonsu wants to anchor sports reporting at a local television station.