A local broadcasting icon and one of the most recognizable personalities in Detroit and the NBA, George Blaha begins his 35th consecutive season as the television and radio play-by-play voice of the Detroit Pistons in 2010-11. The “Voice of the Pistons” is the longest tenured play-by-play announcer in the State of Michigan. Blaha brings a high-energy style to go with his extensive basketball knowledge and demonstrates a true passion for Pistons basketball. His trademark colloquialisms such as, “two and twenty-two to play”, “a high glass gun that goes” and “count that baby and a foul” have thrilled Pistons fans of all ages for over three decades.
Blaha, an inductee into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, has been the recipient of many industry awards, including the Ty Tyson Award for broadcasting excellence by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association in 2002 and Michigan Sports Broadcaster of the Year from the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association in 2003 and 2007.
Blaha handles play-by-play duties on either television or radio for all 82 regular-season games plus pre and post-season games on FS Detroit and WXYT (97.1 FM/1270 AM) - the Pistons flagship stations. He also hosts the “Pistons Weekly” television program, which airs Sunday nights on WDIV TV4 at midnight, and has handled play-byplay duties for Michigan State Football since 1971. In 2002, he was made an honorary alumnus of Michigan State University and in 2008, named an honorary member of the Spartan S Letterman’s Club.
During the Pistons off-season, Blaha stays active as a Pistons ambassador making appearances at charitable and community events. His annual “High Hopes” golf outing for the Vista Maria home for abused young women in the metropolitan area, has raised nearly $1 million for the charity. He is also the honorary chairman of the annual golf outing for the St. Louis Center for the developmentally disabled. Blaha serves as spokesman and fundraiser for the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society, benefiting neglected and abused animals in the City of Detroit. In addition, Blaha is actively involved with the Inkster Legends free youth basketball camp and the Detroit Roadrunners youth basketball club.
Born in Detroit, Blaha was raised in Marshalltown, Iowa and Grayling, Michigan. He graduated with a B.A. in
economics from Notre Dame University and earned an MBA from the University of Michigan. George and his wife,
Mary, reside in Troy and Gaylord with their dog Misty, a Vizsla.
Greg Kelser joins George Blaha for his 14th season as television analyst on FS Detroit. Kelser has worked Pistons games on television and radio since 1988. He has established himself as a veteran NBA color commentator working the past 18 seasons for the Pistons’ cable partners. In addition to his analytical duties, Kelser also lends his expertise during segments of the pre-game show.
Kelser worked six seasons with PASS Sports prior to his FS Detroit engagement. He served as the Pistons color commentator for WWJ radio during home games 13 seasons ago and has also worked on collegiate television broadcasts in a variety of settings, including the NCAA tournament.
A former All-American and Academic All-American at Michigan State University, Kelser, along with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, captained the Spartans to the 1979 NCAA Championship. He was drafted by the Pistons in 1979 and played in Detroit until he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Vinnie Johnson.
An active member in his community, Kelser conducts several basketball camps during the summer and is
involved in various charities throughout the state of Michigan.
Mark Champion enters the 11th year of his second stint with the Detroit Pistons as the radio voice in 2010-11. He functions in this capacity when George Blaha is handling television duties for the Pistons. Champion first joined the Pistons organization in 1992 sharing the airwaves with Blaha until the end of the 1995-96 season. He rejoined the organization for the 2001-02 season in his new capacity.
A radio veteran who brings more than 39 years of sports broadcasting experience to the microphone, Champion served as the radio voice of the Detroit Lions, a post he held for 16 seasons. He has also served as the voice of Michigan State Men’s Basketball and has worked in three Winter Olympics Games.
In addition to his duties with the Pistons and Lions, Champion handled television play-by-play duties for the Detroit Fury of the Arena Football League (AFL). Most recognized among NFL announcing circles for his work with the Lions and earlier with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Champion serves as the voice for Disney asking the Super Bowl MVP “Where are you going next?”
A Muncie, Indiana native, Champion resides in Lake Orion.
Rick Mahorn begins his ninth season as a color analyst for the Pistons radio broadcast network. Mahorn brings his extensive NBA experience and joins George Blaha and Mark Champion to deliver insightful commentary during Pistons home games.
Following an 18-year NBA playing career, Mahorn served as head coach of the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the 1999-00 season. He led the Lightning to a 15-7 overall record and the American Conference title, which earned them a No. 2 seed in the 2000 CBA Playoffs. Mahorn’s coaching excellence was recognized in two CBA Coach-of-the-Month Awards. He then joined the coaching staff of the Atlanta Hawks under Lon Kruger during the 2001-02 season.
In 2005, Mahorn joined the Detroit Shock coaching staff, helping take the team to a seventh straight playoff appearance and third WNBA Championship. In 2009, three games into the WNBA season, Mahorn took over the head coaching position after Bill Laimbeer resigned and led the Shock to the Eastern Conference Finals in its last season in Detroit before relocating to Tulsa, OK.
Mahorn was drafted by the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in the second round of the 1980 NBA Draft. He came to Detroit prior to the 1985-86 season and helped the franchise win its first championship as a member of the original “Bad Boys” team in 1988-89. He also earned All-NBA second team defensive honors that season. He later had a second stint with the Pistons from 1996-98.
A Hartford, CT, native, Mahorn was a four-year letter winner at Hampton Institute (VA). He was a three-time NCAA Division II and NAIA
All-American and owned 18 school records. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 1980.