Update on former Wildcats player, future broadcaster Chris Merriewether

26 Aug

Bringing in the background

Chris Merriewether began his college career as a walk-on to the K-State basketball team, and by the time he walked away after graduation, he had been with the team for 95 wins during a span that included the Wildcats’ tournament run to the Elite Eight in 2009. President of K-State’s Student Athlete Advisory Council his senior year, Merriewether had gotten a job as a financial analyst at Conoco Phillips in Bartlesville, Okla.

Staying close to basketball

Now two years removed from his time at K-State, Merriewether is a credit analyst for Conoco Phillips. That means he analyzes companies to whom his organization sells products, and he assesses the risk involved in working with those particular companies. Then, he tries to minimize Conoco Phillip’s risk accordingly.

That’s not to say, though, that’s he’s neglected basketball. Former teammate Clent Stewart also works at Conoco Phillips, and this summer Merriewether coached the AAU’s Bartlesville Bruins, a team Stewart coached the year before. Now both Stewart and Merriewether will be broadcasters for their university’s new online network, K-StateHD.TV.

“I was really humbled by the fact that they even asked me to be a part of it because if you look at the names on that list, [it’s] All-Americans,” Merriewether said. “If you look at me, a person who never scored double-figures in his career or never had a lot of points, the things you would see on the stat sheet, mine was – a lot of times, you know, it was minimal to empty.

But it just really feels good to know that people took note of some of the things that weren’t on the stat sheet, and just to be able to have the opportunity to give back of my time and myself to a program that essentially – if I wasn’t at Kansas State, I wouldn’t be at Conoco Phillips and moving forward with my career, so I’m just really appreciative to the people back there.”

Beginning a broadcasting career

What can people expect from the former player now that he will be calling some games? Nothing but the usual, he said.

“Everything that I am, it’s not going to change just because I’m in front of the camera now or anything like that,” Merriewether assures. “It’s going to be the same old Chris. What people recognize me for, that’s what they’re going to get, and it’s going to be my honest opinion … If they need to play defense, I’m going to tell them they need to play defense. If they’re not closing out or they’re not getting back on defense, trust me, I’m going to say that!”

While he appreciates the announcers of the College GameDay crew, he knows of at least one professional whose style he is not planning to emulate.

“If you think about Charles Barkley, I’ll try to be the opposite of him.”

Lessons learned

While Merriewether credits Calvin Hall and his time in K-State’s business school for contributing to his success, he said that time on the court and in the training room prepared him for almost anything. Between developing the necessary toughness, taking on adversity and persevering through the difficult times, the former basketball player and current credit analyst says his time with the basketball team allowed him to enter the workforce with a fearless mentality.

“Jokingly, I tell people here, there’s nothing that my supervisor, manager, probably even the CEO of Conoco Phillips can tell me that Frank [Martin] hasn’t already told me or that would be worse than something Frank told me in the past,” Merriewether says with a chuckle.

Flashback

Going back to Merriewether’s senior season, here’s a video by former Kansas State student Stephanie Carr in which Merriewether reflects on his time with the Wildcats.

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