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A basketball announcer is a man or woman who gives play-by-play descriptions of a basketball game for live audiences, fans listening on the radio, or television viewers. He or she usually provides additional commentary about players, teams, and statistics during breaks in the action. A basketball announcer is usually very articulate, personable, and knowledgeable about the game. Professionals may cover games at any level of competition, though the majority of announcers work at high school, college, and professional events.
Announcers who offer their services on radio or television provide thorough descriptions of basketball games. Radio announcers describe games in depth so that fans can picture the action as they listen. They enthusiastically give play-by-play reports, explain fouls and violations, and constantly inform listeners of important information, such as the score and how much time is left. Television broadcasters usually describe games in less detail, as viewers are able to visually follow the action themselves. Both television and radio announcers usually have access to season statistics and player descriptions to provide audiences with more detailed information.
Some basketball announcers report on games to live audiences inside a gym or stadium. Their voices are projected over loudspeakers to introduce teams, report scores or fouls, and keep fans informed of important statistics. Some announcers, especially those at the high school level, also operate scoreboards and keep official records of games.
The goal of most announcers is to call games in the most objective manner possible, so that audiences receive accurate information. Some local radio and television stations are directly affiliated with certain teams, and it is often quite obvious that announcers are fans of the teams that they cover. Such announcers must remember that, while it is appropriate to root for their teams, audiences deserve fair coverage and truthful information.
A person who wants to pursue a basketball announcer career has a number of different options to get started in the field. Many announcers begin their careers at local high school events, either reporting statistics to a live audience or radio listeners. After gaining experience and building up a good reputation, a local basketball announcer may have the opportunity to find other work in his or her region. Individuals who want to become announcers at the collegiate or professional level often have college degrees in journalism or broadcasting. A basketball announcer who is able to perform the job well and build a good reputation with fans might be awarded the chance to work for national radio or television broadcasting companies, covering important games for a very large audience.