Local Sports Show Host Driven to Give Back

Steven St. John to receive UMKC Spotlight Award
Steven St. John
Steven St. John (B.A. '96)
On-Air Personality, 810 WHB

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. In 2019, UMKC is honoring Steven St. John (B.A. ’96) with the Spotlight Award.

A fixture on the Kansas City sports scene since 1999, St. John is the host of the popular sports morning show “Border Patrol” on 810 WHB, the first program to be simulcast daily on radio and television in Kansas City. He spent several years offering color commentary for UMKC basketball teams and has spoken at numerous university events. An active member of the Kansas City community, St. John devotes his spare time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City. He also serves on the board of directors for the ALS Association of Mid-America Chapter and as honorary chairperson for the Annual Sheffield Place Golf Tournament. He spoke with us about his career path and passion for giving back. 

Rumor has it you called radio shows and impersonated characters to talk sports with the hosts. Any truth to that?

Yes, while working at Union Broadcasting [parent company of 810 WHB], I would call the show and prank the hosts. I was just doing a weekly boxing segment and basically doing anything around the radio station that they would let me do, for free. I just wanted to get my foot in the door. I think it showed my eventual bosses that I had some unique voice talents. Now I’m living my dream. I’m probably most comfortable in life when I’m on air in front of a microphone. 

You donate your time to a number of organizations. Where does your passion for community service stem from?

Without a doubt, my mom. She always told me that along with any success I achieved in life, I needed to remain humble and give back to the community. I’m only doing the things she would be doing if she was still alive. So all of my philanthropic endeavors are dedicated to her memory and done in her name.

How did UMKC prepare you for success?

I needed direction. I needed support. I needed confidence. Working for the basketball program and University News gave me those things. The broadcast performance class taught by Pam Whiting crystallized my desire to make it in radio. I remember Gary Lezak came to class as a guest speaker and I thought he would be a cool guy to work with. Now, he does a segment on my show every day.

About the Alumni Awards
St. John will be honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards events have raised more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for students.

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Published: Feb 27, 2019

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