PORTLAND, Ore. (September 21, 2018) – Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler will be on temporary medical leave when the 2018-19 NBA season begins, it was announced by Wheeler and team officials today. Beginning with the September 29 preseason opener against the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver British Columbia, NBC Sports Northwest (NBCSNW) Rip City Radio broadcaster Travis Demers will handle radio play-by-play duties.
“Continuing to steer my health in a positive direction is the top priority for me,” said Wheeler, who will call his 21st season behind the Trail Blazers microphone when he returns to the broadcast team. “I’m looking forward to being back in action as soon as I can.”
Co-host of the daily radio show “The Rip City Drive” alongside Chad Doing, Demers will be paired with color analyst and former Trail Blazers player Michael Holton for home games. For road games, Demers will team-up with Trail Blazers Insider Casey Holdahl.
Demers has an extensive broadcasting pedigree in the Portland market. Before joining NBCSNW Rip City Radio in 2014, Demers was a host at ESPN Sports Radio 1080 “The Fan” for 10 years. He’s a familiar broadcast voice for University of Portland men’s basketball and baseball; and can also be heard calling high school sports on the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) Radio Network. Since 2016, Demers has been a regular fill-in broadcaster for Hillsboro Hops Baseball. Demers has also covered the Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers for 15 seasons.
Trail Blazers games are helmed by radio flagship AM-620 NBCSNW Rip City Radio and extend around the region across the 20-station Trail Blazers Radio Network.