Long-time Portland Trail Blazers announcer Bill Schonely was named the recipient of the 2012 Curt Gowdy award for his contributions to the game of basketball, the highest honor for a sportscaster, and will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.
"The Schonz" announced the very first Blazer game in 1970, and did play-by-play for over 2,500 games through 1998. Of course, he's also well-known for creating the Blazers motto, "Rip City", and for being the voice of the NBA's "It's Fantastic" national campaign.
He will be officially inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September. He'll be joined by Nike's Phil Knight, who was also inducted today.
"We couldn’t be happier for Bill. He’s been one of the strongest pillars for our franchise since its inception 42 years ago," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. "This is a testament to the impact he’s had on fans in the city of Portland and broadcasters across the country. From calling our championship run in the seventies, voicing the NBA Fan-tastic commercials in the eighties and his present-day work as our Ambassador, Bill has dedicated his life to this organization and the game of basketball."
"I am absolutely stunned. This is something I’ve only dreamed about," said Schonely. "To be included with the talented individuals who have won this award in the past is an honor I can’t begin to put into words."