Sports

Bucks make landmark announcer hire in Byington

The Milwaukee Bucks have named Lisa Byington as the team’s new television play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports Wisconsin, making her the first woman to handle full-time TV play-by-play duties for a major men’s professional sports team.

Byington replaces longtime Bucks announcer Jim Paschke, who retired following the 2020-21 season after serving as the team’s television play-by-play announcer for the previous 35 years. Bucks and Fiserv Forum president Peter Feigin announced Byington’s hiring Wednesday.

In a statement, Byington said she was “absolutely thrilled” at the opportunity “to work with a first-class franchise and a championship organization like the Milwaukee Bucks.”

“I know that I will be stepping into the role long-held by Jim Paschke, and I appreciate his passion for the team and the memorable moments his voice will always be a part of,” Byington said. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge his work and commitment to the franchise, and it’s my honor to be the one who takes the baton from him. I’m particularly excited to work with such an amazing team of Marques Johnson, Zora Stephenson, Steve Novak and everyone involved with Bucks games at Bally Sports Wisconsin.”

Byington, who previously did play-by-play for the Women’s World Cup on FOX in 2019, became the first woman to call NCAA men’s basketball tournament games in March as part of the CBS/Turner Sports coverage. She subsequently was behind the mic for men’s and women’s soccer games at the Tokyo Olympics for NBC Sports.

From 2017-19, Byington worked as a sideline reporter for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on CBS and Turner, and she also has experience calling the play-by-play for various NBA and WNBA games among other assignments.

She became the first female play-by-play broadcaster for a Big Ten Network college football game in 2017.

Byington has broadcast games for FOX Sports, FS1, Big Ten Network, CBS, Turner Sports, Pac-12 Network, ESPN and the SEC Network in both play-by-play and reporter roles. She played basketball and soccer while attending Northwestern University.

“We are so excited to welcome Lisa to the Bucks family and to bring such a talented play-by-play announcer to our broadcast team,” Feigin said in a statement. “Lisa’s extensive television broadcasting background, including her play-by-play work for high-level NCAA basketball on several national networks, makes her the perfect choice to take on this major role. While we appreciate the significance of selecting Lisa, and we celebrate this historic moment, Lisa earned this position based on her extraordinary skills and experience. We look forward to Lisa becoming the voice of the Bucks.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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