Arizona is becoming Broadcast U
Arizona basketball markets itself as “A Player’s Program,” but several former Wildcats now make a living by talking about the game they love as analysts.
Currently, seven UA basketball alumni have or have had jobs in sports broadcasting. The list includes Steve Kerr, Miles Simon, Sean Elliott, Luke Walton, Corey Williams, Tom Tolbert and Matt Muehlebach.
The most notable to trade in his jersey for a microphone is Kerr, who played four years in Tucson in the 1980s. In the NBA, he was part of the Chicago Bulls dynasty that captured three straight titles from 1996-98 and won another pair of rings with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999 and 2003.
Kerr started broadcasting in 2003, and has worked for TNT and CBS, calling color commentary for the first and final four games of the NCAA Tournament. On Feb. 25, March Madness TV announced via Twitter that Kerr would be announcing his first-ever Final Four and National Championship game. In radio, Kerr also hosts his own program called “Long Range with Steve Kerr Show,” which airs on Sirius XM.
Simon, who also played four years at Arizona, was awarded the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player during the team’s 1997 national championship run. While he didn’t enjoy Kerr’s level of success at the next level, today Simon is one of college hoops’ most respected color commentators on ESPN.
In 2012, Muehlebach became one of the first former Wildcats to sign on as an analyst with the Pac-12 Networks. However, he continues to be a color commentator on the radio as well alongside the longtime voice of the UA, Brian Jeffries. In the 1990 Pac-12 Tournament, Muehlebach became the first Arizona player to record a triple double.
Luke Walton followed in the footsteps of his legendary father, Bill Walton, by making his first appearance on television in February on Fox Sports. But unlike his dad, who brings up Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead in his color commentary, Luke Walton keeps his talking points to basketball.
The 34-year-old Luke Walton just retired from the NBA after last season and won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, Elliott remains an analyst for the Spurs and Fox Sports, Williams works for ESPNU and Fox Sports and Tolbert can be heard on KNBR in San Francisco, Calif.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo