Paul Hembekides is an on-air researcher and sports trivia guru for ESPN.

Living the Dream as ESPN Sports Trivia Guru

by Karina Brady, Student Public Relations Writer

The “Mike and Mike” show is now part of ESPN’s history, but Cedarville University alumnus and ESPN researcher Paul “Hembo” Hembekides is still leaving his mark as the resident sports guru on a new ESPN show that debuted spring 2018.

Hembekides is now the on-air researcher for ESPN’s new morning television show, “Get Up!”. The 2012 graduate first joined ESPN in 2014 and quickly found a home as the on-air researcher for the “Mike & Mike” show, hosted by Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, who would ask “Hembo” to weigh in with key sports facts and figures.

“Get Up!” is hosted by Greenberg and runs from 8-10 a.m. every weekday. Hembekides helped launch “Get Up!” in April 2018. He provides statistics and information for the show, creates full-screen graphics and uses a unique texting function to flash information on screen, giving viewers real-time reports during discussions.

Additionally, Hembekides participates in trivia battles with professional athletes, such as MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson.

“I produce at least one trivia question for each show. I prepare those for each show, and it’s probably the thing about the show that I like the most,” said Hembekides.

Hembekides also does a weekly podcast on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” called “Hembo Knows” with the show’s host, Buster Olney. “Hembo Knows” delivers statistics to thousands of baseball fans across the nation. Hembekides’ passion for sports continues on the radio. In September 2018, he began appearing on Philadelphia sports radio 97.5 The Fanatic. He contributes statistics to “The Mike Missanelli Show,” which runs from 2-6 p.m. on weekdays.

“I grew up listening to sports radio. It’s one of the reasons why I became such a big sports fan,” he said. Hembekides, who grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania, started listening to Philadelphia sports talk radio in his early teen years, never imagining he would be one of the on-air voices years later.

“It’s very rewarding to hop on the radio for five minutes and provide people with something they probably don’t know,” said Hembekides. “The objective of the position I hold, whether it be for a radio hit or a television show, is just to make people a little smarter.”

Hembekides credits Cedarville University with preparing him for his career. He was a comprehensive communication major and Yellow Jackets baseball player. He also wrote feature stories for Cedarville’s sports information website and contributed articles to local newspapers.

“If it weren’t for the teaching, the curriculum and the influence at Cedarville, I wouldn’t be nearly as skilled in my field now as I would be otherwise,” said Hembekides.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.