Basketball announcers provide live play-by-play and commentary during basketball games from high school all the way up to the professional leagues. The skills needed to become a basketball announcer include solid technical expertise, encyclopedic sports knowledge, and a knack for performing in front of an audience. Sports announcing is a highly competitive field, and the higher up you go, the harder it is to get the jobs.
Your path to become a basketball announcer can begin as early as high school. Most schools have sports teams, and many have the ability to broadcast games on television or over the Internet. High school sporting events need announcers, so volunteer your services as soon as possible to start getting hands-on experience. Become a part of the audio-visual department to start learning the ins and outs of the broadcasting process so you will be well rounded from the beginning.
A college career is vital in order to become a basketball announcer. Broadcasting positions typically require a four-year degree, either from a college or technical school. Most sports announcers major in broadcasting or communications. Courses in journalism, mass media, audio-visual production, and singing or acting will help you develop the special skills required for professional-quality basketball announcing.
Although most basketball announcers have college degrees, it takes years of on-the-job training to achieve a high level career as a basketball announcer. Internships provide valuable hands-on experience as well as college credit, but the chance to work and learn from professionals may be their biggest value. Sports entertainment is a field that requires major networking skills, and internships can offer an opportunity to get close to some important contacts.
Entry-level jobs in broadcasting or sports entertainment lay the foundation for the years of experience needed to become a basketball announcer. Take a job as a production assistant or equipment manager to get involved in broadcasting, expand your knowledge, and start to show off your talents. Few basketball announcers rise to the top of their field without working their way up the career ladder.
Making it to the top as a basketball announcer takes years of experience and a broad spectrum of training. Take every opportunity possible to practice the craft of announcing at a sporting event, even if it is not a basketball game. Stay up to date on the rules of the game as well as the latest news in the world of basketball. Continue to meet people in your field of interest and network throughout both the broadcasting and sports entertainment industries. Always stay prepared and connected, because you never know when the door to your dream basketball announcing job will be open.