Rafer Alston, The Man With The Microphone
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The basketball court is not the only place where HEAT Point Guard Rafer Alston is a natural. With an outgoing personality and the charisma to go along with it, Rafer is right at home in front of a television camera as well.
Already making a name for himself to home audiences, HEAT fans can catch him on the tube, as he is broadcasting a weekly segment on the Sports Jam Sunday Show, which can be seen on WPLG-ABC 10 from 11:26 p.m. to 11:56 p.m. on Sundays.
Its a show to take viewers behind the scenes with myself and some of my teammates, says Rafer, who just wrapped up his fourth segment. The idea to host the show was brought to me, and I thought it was a great thing because Ive always thought about going into broadcasting after basketball. Im really having fun with it.
Well, for starters, hes already impressing his own teammates, who find his on-camera shtick an amusing one.
Rafer is the new Ahmad Rashad, Im telling you, laughs Lamar Odom, as he takes part in Rafers latest spiel. Hes a great conversationalist, hes funny and definitely has the personality for this. I think he can make it in this biz.
While Lamar lightheartedly compares his buddy to Ahmad, the Emmy Award-winning sportscaster from NBA Inside Stuff, Rafer, the 62 firecracker out of Queens, NY, just may be on to something.
I was a speech communications major back in college at Fresno State, but Ive always been fascinated with the broadcasting field of professional sports, says Rafer, team jokester. This gig now is getting me a little feel for it, but with some research and practice, I think I could do it.
Ready to roll in a moments notice, Rafer usually shoots his five minutes of fame after practice, recruiting his own teammates as the interviewees.
Weve covered a bunch of interesting topics already, he said. I spoke with Udonis (Haslem) and Dwyane (Wade) about their NBA All-Star experience, I talked to Loren (Woods), Bimbo (Coles) and Rasual) Butler about their pre-game superstitions, and, the latest, Lamar (Odom) and I took viewers on a tour of the HEATs locker room and training facilities.
Growing up to the likes of longtime renowned NBA commentator Marv Albert, Rafer appreciates the energy and excitement of the Turner Sports and New York Knicks commentator.
I love to hear him broadcast, says Rafer. I love the way he yells and gets into the game when somebody makes a fantastic move or makes an unbelievable shot.
With the mic in hand, theres no stopping Rafer now. With his contagious smile, recognizable New York accent and a giggle thats unmistakably Rafer, hand over the headsets Ahmad and Marv.