BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — He’s lived through a nightmare. But now, he’s chasing a dream.
Josh Fugate dreamed of being a basketball star while growing up in Fishers. But after being paralyzed in a swimming accident, the Indiana University senior is now pursuing a new career goal: becoming a sportscaster.
When we first met Josh earlier this year, we learned how his professors at the IU Media School were working to create adaptive new equipment to help him use a camera.
And now, a longtime legend in the industry is providing him with some much-needed inspiration.
“My professors do a really good job of advocating for me, and even got me linked up with Bob Costas when he came to visit IU,” said Fugate.
That visit from the longtime NFL, MLB, and NBA broadcaster and Olympics host has turned into so much more, as Fugate pursues his own career in sports journalism.
“Just to be in the presence of a legend and for him to take the time and build a budding friendship… has been really unbelievable,” said Fugate when we spoke last week on Zoom.
But as we got that Zoom interview started, Josh had no idea there was someone else on the call.
It was a special surprise – from Costas himself!
“I honestly didn’t expect to see you on this Zoom call,” Fugate told Costas. “How’s everything been?”
The two spoke for nearly half an hour, picking up on the conversation they began when Costas came to campus earlier this year.
“The words of encouragement from Bob really go a long way, because for a while you doubt yourself if you can do it,” said Fugate. “For someone like Bob, for him to say no this kid’s got a shot… if Bob Costas believes in me, then I believe in me too.”
“I’m very happy I was able to help Josh if even in a small way,” Costas told us. “If that had the kind of effect he just mentioned I’m (a) very happy to have done it and (b) very humbled that a simple gesture had that kind of effect.”
The IU senior had initially planned to graduate this coming weekend, but now plans to spend another semester in school to take additional broadcast journalism classes, making that his career focus as he attempts to make his way into the industry that Costas once dominated.
“To know there are people willing to help, it means the world,” said Fugate.