After more than a quarter of a century on camera, Tom Leander has been inducted into the Silver Circle Society of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for outstanding work in front of, and behind the camera. Leander joins an elite collective of broadcast veterans that includes fellow Suns legend and Ring of Honor Member Al McCoy, with more than 25 years of service to the industry and a steadfast commitment to the craft with exceptional leadership, public service and professional achievement. Leander was recognized as a member of the 2021 class in front of colleagues and peers last weekend during the Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards in Phoenix.
After a memorable four years at Brophy Prep in Phoenix as the ultimate ‘small ball’ point guard, Leander took his broadcast talents to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where he served as the play-by-play announcer for LMU basketball on their student radio station. Upon graduation, he accepted a sports reporter/anchor job in Monterey, California from 1986-1988. Then the desert called him home, and he returned to Arizona in the summer of 1988 as a sports anchor at CBS affiliate KOLD in Tucson.
Leander’s ultimate love was basketball, and in 1993 he joined the broadcast crew of the Phoenix Suns, a team for which he'd been a ball boy as a child growing up in the Valley.
Leander then spent 11 seasons calling play-by-play of Suns game broadcasts on UPN / MY45 and more than 25 seasons hosting pregame and postgame shows.
A multiple Rocky Mountain Emmy recipient, most recently for the documentary "Sunderalla Suns" which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Suns team that played the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, Leander has been a staple of storytelling and champion for the Suns on and off the court.
In addition to hosting shows and calling games, Leander has produced hundreds of features over the years, covering the NBA Finals, multiple All-Star Games, NBA Summer Leagues and NBA Drafts and Pro Basketball Hall of Fame inductions.
There’s not much in the basketball broadcasting world that Leander hasn’t done – and if you wrote a description of what a Silver Circle inductee should look like, professionally and personally, you couldn’t find a better example than Tom Leander.