FOX Sports Arizona Play-by-Play
In 2012, the Phoenix Suns broadcast family welcomed a veteran with 19 years of experience behind an NBA microphone, 24 years beside a championship boxing ring, and a member of sportscasting’s ﬁrst family with the addition of Steve Albert as the club’s television play-byplay voice.
Renowned for his play-by-play excellence, the award-winning broadcaster’s extensive television and radio experience includes 13 years as the voice of the New Jersey Nets, ﬁve years as the television play-by-play announcer for the Golden State Warriors and a season with the New Orleans Hornets. Albert called the Nets’ improbable playoff upset over the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers and described the famous “Run TMC” era of the Warriors.
In addition to basketball, Albert has called over 300 world championship boxing matches, including some of the most high-proﬁle in the sport’s history during his time on the national stage with Showtime Championship Boxing from 1987-2011. Albert was the voice of the 1996 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyﬁeld, and the rematch, the infamous bite ﬁght, which was seen by one of the largest audiences in pay-per-view history. In 2007, Albert was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and also won the coveted Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America. He is a two-time Announcer of the Year,presented by the International Boxing Federation.
Albert’s extraordinarily diverse resume also includes play-by-play duties for the New York Mets (MLB), Jets (NFL), Islanders (NHL) and New Jersey Devils (NHL); anchor jobs with three different New York area networks; appearances as himself in television series and feature ﬁlms; and made-for-television sports competitions including MTV’s Rock’n’Jock basketball and softball.
Albert’s start in broadcasting came while at Kent State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications. He began as a part-time play-by-play announcer for the Springﬁeld Kings of the American Hockey League and his college hockey team, which he founded. After graduation, he became the voice of the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association.
The youngest of three sportscaster brothers, Albert’s oldest brother, Marv, does basketball play-by-play for Turner Sports. His older brother, Al, is a longtime broadcast veteran for two NBA franchises. Steve not only followed Marv’s footsteps into broadcasting but like his oldest brother, was also a ballboy for the New York Knicks and was on the bench when the Knicks won the 1970 NBA Championship.
FOX Sports Arizona Color Analyst
A familiar face and voice returns as Eddie Johnson enters his 13th season as a color analyst for the team’s television broadcasts. He will share color analyst duties with Ann Meyers Drysdale.
A 17-year NBA veteran, Johnson served as the color analyst on the Phoenix Mercury television broadcasts for the ﬁrst two seasons of the team in 1997 and 1998. He also provided analysis for ESPN Radio during the WNBA playoffs, including the Mercury’s run to the WNBA Finals in 1998.
Johnson was a guest analyst for NBA Showtime on NBC during the 2000 NBA Playoffs after serving as color analyst for Arizona State men’s basketball broadcasts on Fox Sports Net during the 1999-00 season.
Johnson has the distinction of being the NBA’s all-time leading scorer among players with no All-Star appearances with 19,202 points, an average of 16.0 points per game. One of the NBA’s best pure jump shooters, “E.J.” shot 47.2 percent from the ﬁeld and 84.0 percent from the foul line while playing for Kansas City/Sacramento, Phoenix, Seattle, Charlotte, Indiana, Denver and Houston.
Originally a second-round pick (No. 29) by the Kansas City Kings in 1981, Johnson spent six years in the Kings organization before he was traded to Phoenix on June 21, 1987, for Ed Pinckney and a second-round pick. The University of Illinois graduate played three-plus seasons for the Suns from 1987-90. In the 1988-89 campaign he helped Phoenix improve to a 55-27 record from 28-54 the previous season and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
The Chicago native has maintained a Phoenix residence since his Suns playing days and is the President of JJJ Sports, which conducts basketball clinics and produces instructional videos (www.jumpshotclub.com). He is also the President and co-founder of Teamfone.com (www.teamfone.com) a communications company that caters to groups and organizations. He and his wife, Joy, have a son, Justin (23), and daughter, Jade (20).
Arizona Sports 620 Radio Color Analyst
Tim Kempton, a former role player on the 1992-93 Suns team that won a franchise-record 62 games and advanced to the 1993 NBA Finals, will provide color analysis for KTAR Radio for the 10th year in a row alongside play-by-play announcer Al McCoy.
The University of Notre Dame graduate was selected in the sixth round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the L.A. Clippers and averaged 4.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 280 career games in eight seasons with the Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Denver, Phoenix, Cleveland, Atlanta, San Antonio and Toronto.
Kempton, who played his last season in the NBA in 1997-98, was previously part owner of the Phoenix Eclipse from the ABA in 2001-02 and served as color analyst covering the Phoenix Mercury and Arizona State University’s men’s basketball. Active in local youth sports, Kempton serves as a coach for Arcadia Ratpack baseball, Arizona Premiere Basketball Academy and Monsoon basketball.
He and wife, Suzanne, have three sons and one daughter: Timothy (17), Michael (15), Matthew (14) and Catherine (11).
FOX Sports Arizona Studio Host
A member of the Suns Ring of Honor, and one of the best players in the history of the franchise, Tom Chambers is in his 12th season as host of the Suns’ pregame, halftime and postgame shows on FOX Sports Arizona. Since retiring from the NBA in 1997, Chambers has also spent time with the Suns’ front office as a community relations representative.
Chambers played five seasons (1988-93) with the Suns, averaging 20.6 points. After signing with the club as the first unrestricted free agent in league history on July 8, 1988, he made three-straight All-Star appearances from 1989 to 1991. Chambers was a two-time second-team All-NBA selection (1989, 1990) and he poured in an all-time franchise-record 2,201 points (27.2 average) during the 1989-90 campaign. On March 24, 1990, Chambers erupted for a franchise-record 60 points in a win against Seattle.
In his 15-year career, Chambers made four All-Star appearances, and was named the MVP of the mid-season classic in 1987. Among the many memorable highlights of his standout career, Chambers’ two-handed dunk over the Knicks’ Mark Jackson in a 1989 game has been replayed countless times and is considered by many to be one of the best dunks in NBA history. He entered the Suns Ring of Honor on April 18, 1999.
Chambers was originally a first-round pick (eighth overall) of the San Diego Clippers in 1981. He played two years in San Diego, and was then acquired by Seattle in 1983 where he played five seasons. After his stint with the Suns, Chambers played two seasons with the Utah Jazz, and then played one full year in Israel. His last full season in the NBA was 1996-97 with Charlotte.
A native of Ogden, Utah, Chambers graduated from the University of Utah in 1981. He has five children: Erika, Skyler, Megan and twins, Dakota and Colton.
FOX Sports Arizona Studio Host
Once a ballboy for the Phoenix Suns (1976-78), Tom Leander has been a ﬁxture on the local sports broadcasting scene for over a decade. After ﬁlling a slew of different positions in the club’s broadcast department, this season Leander returns to the desk to host Suns’ pregame, halftime and postgame shows on FOX Sports Arizona.
Beginning in 1993, Leander served as studio host/producer of the Suns Gametime and Suns Halftime Shows for KUTP 45; he held those same pregame and halftime responsibilities on Cox 9 broadcasts from 2000-03, and also hosted the franchise’s weekly magazine show, Suns Jam Session, on KUTP 45 for one season (2002-03). After moving from the studio to the broadcast booth in 2003, Leander served nine seasons as a Suns’ play-by-play television broadcaster.
In addition to his studio work, Leander has television play-by-play experience that includes nine seasons with the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers, 10 seasons with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, two seasons with the Continental Indoor Soccer League’s Arizona Sandsharks and six seasons of backup duties for Suns games on Cox 9. In 2009, he added play-by-play duties on FOX Sports Arizona for Arizona State University football to his resume, a role in which he continues to serve.
Leander began his broadcasting career at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he did three seasons of radio play-by-play for the school’s men’s basketball team. Leander’s broadcast experience also includes stints as a sportscaster for KMST-TV in Monterey, Calif. (1986-88) and KOLD-TV in Tucson (1988-91) as well as KTSP-TV and KNXV-TV of Phoenix.
A graduate of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Leander and his wife, Sandy, have three children: Lauren, Keaton and Bryson.
Arizona Sports 620 Radio Play-by-Play
Al McCoy has been called the dean of NBA play-by-play announcers and has been “The Voice of the Suns” for 41 memorable years, nearly the length of the franchise’s existence.
McCoy first hit the air during a preseason game on September 27, 1972, and has been synonymous with Suns basketball ever since. From “Shazam” to “Zing Go the Strings” to “Heartbreak Hotel,” McCoy has cultivated an unparalleled style.
McCoy will forever be remembered for his call in the 1976 Suns-Celtics NBA Finals at Boston Garden when he had to fling an inebriated fan off his lap as he was describing “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World” by Garfield Heard that sent the game into the third of three overtimes.
The 2013-14 season will mark his 42nd season and he will call play-by-play action on KTAR Radio and the Suns radio network. McCoy’s term with the Suns is the longest consecutive run with one team among current NBA broadcasters. His many contributions to the sport were recognized when he received the 18th Annual Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Enshrinement Weekend in September 2007 in Springfield, Mass. The Suns honored him with the Al McCoy Media Center, dedicated in October 2007.
In 2013, the readers of Phoenix Magazine named McCoy the best play-by-play announcer in their annual “Best of the Valley” issue for the 15th consecutive year. He’s the only broadcaster to win the award since it debuted in 1999. McCoy was honored with a Silver Circle Award from the Arizona chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the House of Broadcasting (a radio and television museum). He also became the first play-by-play announcer to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 19, 2004.
McCoy’s broadcasting career began in 1951 at KJFJ Radio in Webster City, Iowa when he was a freshman at Drake University. In 1958, he arrived in Arizona to do play-by-play for the Triple-A Phoenix Giants baseball club. He has also covered Phoenix Roadrunners hockey, Arizona State football and basketball and filled in as a backup for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A native of Williams, Iowa, a tiny farming community, McCoy was a member of his high school basketball team and was influenced by legendary broadcasters Harry Caray, Bert Wilson and Jack Brickhouse. He received his degree in drama-speech from Drake University and performed graduate work at the University of Iowa. In 1994, McCoy received Drake’s Alumni Achievement Award.
He and his beloved wife Georgia, a Valley artist who passed away in 2012 following a courageous fight with illness, have three sons: Mike, and twins Jay and Jerry. A culinary critic, he is the club’s expert on gourmet restaurants around the league. McCoy is an accomplished jazz pianist.
Ann Myers Drysdale
FOX Sports Arizona Color Analyst
One of the true pioneers in women’s basketball, Hall of Famer and award-winning broadcaster Ann Meyers Drysdale joins the Suns television broadcast team in 2012-13 as an analyst. Meyers Drysdale, a Vice President of both the Phoenix Mercury and the Phoenix Suns, served ﬁve successful seasons as General Manager of the Mercury where she constructed the franchise’s two WNBA championship teams in 2007 and 2009.
Enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springﬁeld, Mass. as a player in 1993, Meyers Drysdale’s basketball career enters its ﬁfth decade after becoming the ﬁrst-high school player to make a United States National Team in 1974. Meyers Drysdale would become the ﬁrst woman to receive a full athletic scholarship from UCLA, the ﬁrst four-time Kodak All-American, male or female, the ﬁrst female to be named in the school’s athletics Hall of Fame. She led the Bruins to a basketball national championship in 1978 and a track national championship in 1975.
A 1976 silver medalist at the Olympics Games in Montreal, Meyers Drysdale remains the only female ever to sign a free-agent contract with an NBA team after signing with the Indiana Pacers in 1979. After being released by the Pacers, she served as a color commentator for Pacers broadcasts and was the ﬁrst woman to broadcast an NBA game.
Meyers Drysdale has established herself as an expert analyst on ESPN, NBC, ABC, FOX Sports, and CBS and has done commentary for men’s and women’s basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball, and baseball since 1979. Her illustrious broadcasting resume includes the 1984, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2006, she was honored with the United States Sports Academy’s (USSA) Ronald Reagan Media Award. In 2012, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association renamed its Women’s National Player of the Year Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year Award, in honor of her impact in the sport.
In 1986, Ann married former Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Famer pitcher Don Drysdale. It was the ﬁrst time that a married couple was members of their respective sports’ Hall of Fame. The Southern California native and Drysdale, who passed away in 1993, have three children: sons Don, Jr. (D.J.) and Darren, and daughter Drew.