Top of the Morning, Feb. 23, 2018

Top of the Morning, Feb. 23, 2018

Schlarman girls' basketball fans watching today's Class 1A state game on NBC Sports Chicago will hear a familiar voice.

ELISE MENAKER, a former WAND sportscaster, is serving as host and sideline reporter during the Schlarman-Lebanon matchup. The New Trier and Cornell graduate is working the first weekend of the tournament at Redbird Arena in Normal.

"You're there to make sure everything flows," Menaker said.

As a former prep standout in tennis and softball, Menaker has an appreciation for players.

"You see a lot of great athletes," Menaker said. "You're getting them at a really exciting time. For a lot of these girls, this is the last time they are ever going to play this sport. It's very organic, very real. These kids just love to play."

Next weekend, she returns to her day job as a sideline reporter for BTN. She will be part of the network's crew calling the Big Ten women's basketball tournament at Indianapolis.

Menaker joined BTN in the fall after working as a sports anchor/reporter at the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee. She was a sideline reporter during the football season and has helped with basketball coverage. In the spring, she expects to work as a softball analyst.

Menaker, 30, said the time she spent at WAND has been a boost to her career.

"It's one of my favorite places I've ever worked," she said. "Especially because of the people there. I loved everyone there and I still keep in touch with many of the people there. I have a lot of good memories from Decatur."

On to my weekend recommendations:


"Jimmy Kimmel Live," 10:30 p.m., ABC

Guests include Saoirse Ronan ("Lady Bird") and Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights, one of T.O.T.M.'s all-time favorite TV series).


"Catch Me If You Can," 4 p.m., TNT

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Frank Abangale, who assumed multiple identities while being chased across the globe by FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks).


"Comic Book Men," 11 p.m., AMC

Kevin Smith, the guy who brought us "Clerks," "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy," is the title character. This week is the start of the sixth season. Certainly, it is worth a look.