By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
The Chicago Crusader in collaboration with SportsZone Chicago, will be launching a new sports talk show titled “What’s Up Cuz,” featuring Crusader journalist Jason C. Palmer and basketball coaching legend Lance Irvin in July.
During a phone interview with the Crusader, both Irvin and Palmer stated they were very excited about the opportunity.
“I feel good about the opportunity to talk to people across the world that are so dear to my family,” said Irvin. “My family loves sports, I grew up on sports, and I love sports [to this day]. We are really looking forward to reaching out to the community.”
“We plan on capitalizing on the momentum being generated by the young people in this country advocating for change,” said Palmer via press release. “The time has come for serious collaboration from Black media entities to inform, entertain and be the guardians of our culture. Sports is a big part of our culture, and we plan on talking about a variety of topics on our show with well-known guests who are experts in their field, while also incorporating the social issues of our time and how they relate to sports.”
According to Palmer, the “What’s Up Cuz Show” featuring Irvin and Palmer will officially debut on Monday, July 13, and be streamed via the SportsZone Chicago app and the Chicago Crusader website via chicagocrusader.com.
Palmer also mentioned that the new show will feature a variety of national and local guests in the sports arena, and he looks forward to covering sports topics in the Black community as well.
He stated that he was not only happy to see things come full circle for him as a reporter and contributor with the newspaper, but he was excited to establish a long-term partnership with the woman he reveres the most: Dorothy Leavell: a national media mogul, historic Civil Rights leader, and publisher of both the Chicago Crusader and Gary Crusader.
“It all happened pretty fast to be honest,” Palmer said. “I had an idea, presented it and we ran with it. We got Dorothy Leavell on board and we were off and running. We are changing the game so to speak with this show, and I can see it as leading in a new avenue for Black sports consumers to receive the information they are craving.”
“Jason is an exceptional journalist when it comes to news and especially sports. He has written for the Crusader newspaper for many years, and it has been a great experience for us both,” said Leavell. “Naturally, when he presented the idea of a collaboration, I knew it would be great for the Crusader but, more importantly, for our readers.”
The sports show will be a part of the SportsZone Chicago lineup, according to Palmer, which currently features shows hosted by both African-American and Latino hosts. The show will join several other sports apps in the lineup, which includes The Bigs with Eugene McIntosh, Being Guillen with Onnie and Ozzie Guillen, the Humidor Sports and Cigars show, and the Shawn and Maya in the Morning show.
“SportsZone Chicago and the Crusader will share content for the “What’s Up Cuz” show, which will air every Monday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.,” Palmer said.
Palmer mentioned the idea of the show was created during the COVID 19 pandemic, after reaching out to longtime friends Maya Akai and Shawn Sierra, who currently run SportsZone Chicago.
“The name of the show is based off of Lucy, the oldest human ancestor ever discovered in Ethiopia back in 1974,” said Palmer about the origins of the show. “The human connectivity through sports is the focus of the show.”
He added that the name “What’s Up Cuz” also has another significant meaning. Both Palmer and Irvin are first cousins and will share this term of endearment with everyone who is invited on the show.
Irvin is also a Chicago native and member of the “First Family of Chicago basketball: The Irvin Family.” He is the second son of the “Godfather of Chicago Basketball” McGlother Irvin Jr. Irvin has also been a college basketball coach for more than 20 plus years and served as an assistant throughout the basketball ranks.