Stephanie White Joins FSI as Analyst

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by Scott Agness | @ScottAgness

October 25, 2013

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FOX Sports Indiana has added a new analyst for Pacers games this upcoming season. Stephanie White, an Indiana native, has joined the network and will appear on "Pacers Live" pregame and postgame at 15 home games. White adds to the current lineup of veteran analyst Quinn Buckner and host Brooke Olzendam.

A spot was left vacant on the set with ex-Pacer Austin Croshere moving back home to Los Angeles early last summer, though he did remain on board as the color analyst for select road games this season. Chris Denari, the television voice of the Pacers, first talked with White in the offseason and gauged her interest in filling the opening.

“There was mutual interest,” White told Pacers.com. “I’m certainly glad they did reach out and I’m excited about the opportunity to jump on board.”

White is a women’s basketball legend in Indiana. She was named Miss Basketball in 1995 while a senior at Seeger High School. Four years later, she led her Purdue University team to their first and only National Championship in women’s basketball. She was drafted by the Charlotte Sting and played one year there, and then joined her hometown team, the Indiana Fever, for her final four seasons of professional basketball.

Since retiring in 2004, White has been an assistant coach in both the college and professional ranks. She just completed her third year on staff with the Fever, which included the franchise’s first WNBA Championship in 2012. She was recently elevated to associate head coach and will be a head coach, should she choose to, one day.

Being a female and discussing the men’s game isn’t easy and not for everyone, especially because one is subject to so much criticism purely due to gender. White, however, has been around the game for her entire life and doesn’t think of this job in those terms.

“I think I’ve been around enough basketball that to me, basketball is basketball,” she said. “I love the game. I love watching the game and I will approach is the same way I approach every game that I’ve watched from that standpoint.

“I think the hardest part for me is changing gears from the coaching mentality to the analyst mentality and the way that you watch a game is different. Every time at this point in the year, it’s a little bit hard to change those gears. I certainly look to Doris Burke as a role model. She has made the seamless transition – men’s, women’s, NBA. She’s all over the place and she does it with such grace and with such ease. She’s a student of the game and I would like to think that hopefully I can continue to grow in that role.”

Those behind the scenes are eager to use White and hear her perspective at the 15 home games she is slated to be on air. Last winter, White added another role within the Big Ten Network and served as the sideline reporter for a handful of men’s college games. Though the NBA is a couple notches up, Denari has complete confidence in White.

“I think people across Indiana know the name Stephanie White and how important she is to basketball,” Denari said. “She’s been in the Pacers Sports & Entertainment family for so many years that we just thought she would be an asset helping us analyze and break down Pacers games on FOX Sports Indiana. She’s done so much work with the Big Ten Network, not just in the women’s game but in the men’s game, I think she can translate very well. I know she has the respect of our coaches and that type of thing so I think she’s going to be really good.”

With the NBA season being her offseason, White has time to contribute on Pacers broadcasts in addition to her role as one of the top analysts for the women’s college game on multiple networks. She is thrilled for her role to expand within the organization.

“It is [like family]” White said with a smile. “And that’s one of the things that I love about this place. It has always been a family, even when I was coaching for another team. Every time I came home, it truly was coming home. It’s such a tremendous organization and a great organization to be part of. I was certainly glad to be able to come back and be involved with the Fever again and now looking forward to an opportunity to really reach out and grasp on the NBA side.”

White is also intrigued by the opportunity to take things from the Pacers and use it in her coaching, specifically with the Fever.

“I think certainly just being able to be in practice and see the way that the coaching staff works and communicates with the players, the drills that they do, the way the players respond to certain things that are taught within practice,” she said. “I think you can always take something from every situation that you’re in and I try to do that whether I’m on a college campus watching a college team practice or whether I’m in watching coach Vogel’s team practice, or in our own practices.

“The interesting thing is with the rule changes in the WNBA this year – defensive three seconds and a deeper 3-point line – for me to now be able to see first-hand the teaching that goes on on the NBA side will hopefully help transition to our game as well.”

White’s first appearance will be on Nov. 2 when the Pacers host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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