Sports | September 16, 2021 10:59 am

Lisa Byington Hired by Bucks as First Full-Time Play-by-Play Woman for a Major Men’s Pro Sports Team

Byington replaces Jim Paschke, who retired after 35 years

Lisa Byington (right) interviews Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman at Madison Square Garden in March 2019.
Lisa Byington (right) interviews Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman at Madison Square Garden in March 2019.
Porter Binks/Getty Images

On Wednesday, announcer Lisa Byington made history when she was hired by the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to become the first full-time play-by-play woman for a major men’s professional sports team.

In March, Byington became the first female play-by-play voice to work the NCAA men’s basketball tournament as she called First Round games for CBS and Turner Sports. A former sideline reporter, Byington has experience doing play-by-play for NBA and WNBA games and also worked the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo for NBC Sports doing play-by-play for men’s and women’s soccer.

“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,” said Bucks president Peter Feigin. “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.”

A Michigan native who began her broadcasting career with two local television stations in her home state after playing basketball and soccer at Northwestern University, Byington will call Bucks games on Bally Sports Wisconsin. Byington replaces Jim Paschke, who retired after 35 years. Byington will call games alongside analyst and former Bucks all-star Marques Johnson with Zora Stephenson serving as the sideline reporter.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for this opportunity, and the ability to work with a first-class franchise and a championship organization like the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Byington. “My sincerest appreciation and thanks go out to so many, but, in particular, Bucks president Peter Feigin and Bally Sports Wisconsin executive producer Tony Tortorici for making this such a smooth process from start to finish. 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. 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. Finally, I understand the groundbreaking nature of this hire, and I appreciate the fact that during this process that aspect was addressed, but never made a primary focus. In fact, I applaud the Bucks for taking the first steps toward making hires like this more of the norm in the NBA. Because it’s time.”

It certainly is.