We’ve heard for years that basketball people love Shane Battier. He’s articulate, a good quote, and a seemingly all around decent person around the media, which makes him obvious television material for his life after basketball. His work at the 2013 NBA Draft suggested some promise for his career as an analyst.
ESPN is buying into that promise, signing up the former NCAA and NBA Championship winner Battier for good. The former Duke standout will be a college basketball analyst for the network, with what appears to be mostly studio work, but some game action as part of the multi-year deal. Battier’s specific assignments haven’t been determined yet.
“After a fulfilling run on the basketball court, I am absolutely thrilled to join the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ in ESPN,” said Battier in a statement released by the network. “I hope my experiences as a successful collegiate and professional basketball player will add meaningful insight into the dynamic arena of the sports world. I am looking forward to bringing a sense of candor, humor and perspective to all of ESPN’s listeners, readers and viewers.”
“Shane’s championship caliber of play at every level of the game adds a distinctive element to our college basketball coverage,” said Mark Gross, senior vice president production & remote events. “His passion for – and extensive knowledge of – the game enhances our deep roster of talented analysts.”
Battier, at worst, adds some fresh blood to ESPN’s college basketball roster. That’s something they desperately need with a big name like Digger Phleps retiring. Hiring someone with obvious promise as a broadcaster is a great way to go about filling that need.