Longtime Sports Journalist Becomes NBA ‘Voice’
David Benz '92 wanted to skip walking the stage for his December Commencement to make sure he wouldn’t miss his final chance to call Laker basketball.
Mom put the kibosh on that idea, but Benz was able to grab his degree, make the play-by-play broadcast and launch a career that essentially leads to tonight, his regular season debut as the television voice of the National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’ve always wanted to do full-time play-by-play,” said Benz, who has spent his two-decade career as a sports broadcast journalist in Miami, Dallas, Denver and D.C. among other locales.
Most recently, he was able to enjoy the Giants’ 2010 baseball championship run and last year’s successful 49ers football season as a host, anchor and reporter for Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area in San Francisco.
“I’ve had the chance to go to great places and meet a lot of people … I’ve had an unbelievable career,” Benz said. After managing some TV and radio play-by-play work in college sports, minor league hockey and arena league football over the years, he’s now entering a very small fraternity of NBA commentators.
“I feel like this is the job I’ve been grooming myself for basically my whole professional life,” Benz said.
“There’s just something about doing the game live,” he’s said. “It’s so much more electric.”
Benz cut his teeth cutting tape in WTOP studios, where he did some hosting and directing in addition to the editing. “I really had a great experience,” said Benz, who worked closely with Associate Communication Studies Professor Mike Ameigh, current School of Communication, Media and the Arts Dean Fritz Messere '71, M ’76 and Bill Canning of the television lab staff.
Benz will team with television analyst and former NBA player Jim Petersen for 50 telecasts this season on FOX Sports North, which reaches some 2 million homes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.
— Shane M. Liebler
David Benz ’92 most recently hosted, anchored and reported for Comcast Sportsnet in San Francisco. Tonight, Nov. 2, he opens the regular season as TV play-by-play voice of the National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
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