CLEVELAND, OH – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star 2022, Basketball Hall-of-Famer and New York Knicks television analyst Walt Frazier, women’s college and professional basketball writer Mechelle Voepel and NBC Network Executive Dick Ebersol are the 2022 Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.
The Curt Gowdy Media Award is named in honor of the late Curt Gowdy, a legendary sports broadcaster and former Hall of Fame Board member and President. This prestigious award is presented to members of the print, electronic and transformative media whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.
Frazier, Voepel and Ebersol will be acknowledged for their contributions to basketball media during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on September 9-10, 2022. For more details, including ticket information, visit www.hoophall.com/events/enshrinement-2022.
Curt Gowdy Electronic Media Award Winner – Walt Frazier
With the same unmistakable combination of style, grace, and flair that marked his Hall of Fame playing career, Walt “Clyde” Frazier has won an entirely new generation of fans with his acclaimed work as one of the game’s premier broadcast analysts.
For more than three decades, Frazier’s tenure as analyst for his former team, the New York Knicks – first on radio and now on television – has been marked by his unique vocabulary and unmatched basketball wisdom. Working alongside three of the game’s longtime signature voices, Jim Karvellas, Marv Albert and Mike Breen, Frazier has entertained, educated and enlightened thousands of fans in the world’s greatest basketball city, many of whom are too young to remember his playing days but who idolize him in much the same way.
Frazier’s personal involvement does not end at the final buzzer. He is one of the many faces of the franchise and uses his popularity and fame for notable causes, including the importance of education. Active in the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s charity efforts, he founded the Walt Frazier Youth Foundation in 1996.
As a broadcaster, he has come to symbolize Knicks basketball in much the same fashion as he did as a player four decades ago. Frazier connects generations through his work behind the mic and off the court.
Curt Gowdy Print Media Award Winner – Mechelle Voepel
Mechelle Voepel joined ESPN.com in 1996 as a women’s college and pro basketball writer, and since has also covered additional college sports. She has spent her entire career covering the sport of women’s college basketball and has attended more than 20 straight Women’s Basketball Final Fours.
Voepel is considered an authority on the women’s game, both collegiate and professional. She has dedicated her career to telling the story and stories of women’s basketball.
Voepel covered her first women’s basketball game at the University of Missouri in 1984 and graduated from Mizzou with a degree in journalism in 1987. Her first job was in Jackson, Tenn., and she’s also worked as an editor and writer at newspapers in Columbia, Mo.; Newport News, Va.; and Kansas City, Mo.
Born in Los Angeles, she grew up 40 miles north of St. Louis and is a lifelong Cardinals baseball fan still basking in amazement over the 2011 World Series title. She has covered both the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament and several professional golf major tournaments.
Curt Gowdy Transformative Media Award Winner – Dick Ebersol
Dick Ebersol’s long and storied career as a television executive may best be remembered for his groundbreaking work with NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games. In all, Ebersol produced 19 Olympic Games telecasts, including the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that featured the Dream Team, the USA men’s gold-medal winning team that ushered in a new era of basketball. Ebersol helped transform coverage of the Olympic Games by exploring the personal stories of the athletes, coaches and other figures in order to bring the human side of sport to light. His storytelling approach became his calling card and translated well across all sports.
As president and later chairman of NBC Sports, Ebersol conceived NBA on NBC, an unprecedented league-network relationship starting in 1990. NBA on NBC included the annual All-Star Game on Sunday evening, as well as regular season and playoff coverage that presented double and triple-headers broadcast during the early rounds. During this time, the NBA enjoyed tremendous growth and a surge in popularity thanks in part to Ebersol’s commitment to production, programming and promotion.
Under Ebersol, NBA on NBC featured talents like Marv Albert, Bob Costas, Doug Collins, Mike Fratello, Greg Gumbel, Ahmad Rashad, Hannah Storm and Bill Walton. Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals still ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched game on record, and Michael Jordan’s return from his first retirement was seen in more than 10 million homes.
NBC’s partnership with the NBA over 12 seasons included the studio shows NBA Showtime and Inside Stuff and the airing of WNBA inaugural regular season and playoff games. In 1996, after delivering the NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowl, and the Summer Olympics to NBC, The Sporting News named Ebersol “The Most Powerful Person in Sports.” He is the recipient of the 2008 Sports Lifetime Achievement Award.
Previous Curt Gowdy Media Award Winners:
Year – Print/Electronic/Transformative/Insight
1990 – Dick Herbert/Curt Gowdy
1991 – Dave Dorr/Marty Glickman
1992 – Sam Goldaper/Chick Hearn
1993 – Leonard Lewin/Johnny Most
1994 – Leonard Koppett/Cawood Ledford
1995 – Bob Hammel/Dick Enberg
1996 – Bob Hentzen/Billy Packer
1997 – Bob Ryan/Marv Albert
1998 – Larry Donald & Dick Weiss/Dick Vitale
1999 – Smith Barrier/Bob Costas
2000 – Dave Kindred/Hubie Brown
2001 – Curry Kirkpatrick/Dick Stockton
2002 – Jim O’Connell/Jim Nantz
2003 – Sid Hartman/Hot Rod Hundley
2004 – Phil Jasner/Max Falkenstien
2005 – Jack McCallum/Bill Campbell
2006 – Mark Heisler/Bill Raftery
2007 – Malcolm Moran/Al McCoy
2008 – David DuPree/Bob Wolff
2009 – Peter Vecsey/Doug Collins
2010 – Jackie MacMullan/Joe Tait
2011 – Alexander Wolff/Jim Durham
2012 – Sam Smith/Bill Schonely
2013 – John Feinstein/Eddie Doucette
2014 – Joe Gilmartin/John Andariese
2015 – Rich Clarkson/Woody Durham
2016 – David Aldridge/Jay Bilas
2017 – Harvey Araton/Craig Sager
2018 – Andy Bernstein/Doris Burke
2019 – Marc Stein/Ralph Lawler
2020 – Michael Wilbon/Mike Breen/Inside the NBA/Jim Gray
2021 – Mel Greenberg/Mike Gorman/George Kalinsky