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Rockets hire new public address announcer

Stevenson arrives after five seasons with Memphis Grizzlies



HOUSTON -- The Rockets will have a new voice booming inside Toyota Center next season.

John Paul Stevenson, who spent the past five seasons as the Memphis Grizzlies' announcer, has been named the Rockets' new public address announcer.

Stevenson, 34, relocated to Houston with his wife after addressing Memphis crowds during home games at Fed Ex Center and The Pyramid beginning in 2001.

"I'm looking forward to working with the organization," said Stevenson, who is originally from Big Spring, Tex. "I enjoyed working for the Grizzlies, but I'm a native Texan. It's definitely a dream come true to be working in Texas and working for the Houston Rockets."

Stevenson, whose background is in radio broadcasting, began his announcing career in sports arenas with the Odessa Jackalopes of the Central Hockey League.

He joined the Grizzlies in 2001 shortly after moving to the area.

"We couldn't be more excited to have John Paul joining us," Rockets vice president of marketing John Dillon said. "John Paul is one of the most well respected PA announcers around the league.  He has a truly classic PA voice that our fans will appreciate, but most importantly he's passionate about the game and delivering an extraordinary experience for our customers.  Fans are going to be pleased."

Stevenson jokingly said that he didn't come to Houston as part of the recent trade that allowed the Rockets to acquire Shane Battier from the Grizzlies.

"I've been asked that a few times already, but I didn't get notified if that happened," Stevenson said. "But fans are going to fall in love with Shane. He could have run for mayor in Memphis and won because he's such a great person to be around."

Stevenson will make his Houston debut when the Rockets open the preseason against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 10.