Legendary faculty basketball announcer Billy Packer died Thursday on the age of 82 after calling 34 Final Fours throughout his profession.
For 18 of these years, Packer labored alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz.
Nantz, who will name his last Final Four in Houston, Texas, in April, paid tribute to his buddy and colleague Friday.
BILLY PACKER, VOICE OF THE FINAL FOUR AND LEGENDARY COLLEGE BASKETBALL BROADCASTER, DEAD AT 82
“I believe Billy will go down in historical past as one of many biggest analysts within the historical past of sports activities tv. I believe that whenever you begin trying on the pantheon of nice analysts, you’ve got John Madden and also you’ve received Billy Packer. And also you begin proper there,” Nantz said Friday on “CBS Mornings.”
“He blessed this community for a very long time, from 1982 till he retired in 2008. Considered one of my dearest mates. It’s been a stressed night time pondering of the household, the Packer household, which I’m very near. I received to talk to Billy the day earlier than he died and inform him I liked him.
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“He was a genius. There was nobody who might simply have a look at the sphere — on this case, have a look at the court docket — and see every thing. He’s going to be very a lot missed, however he liked faculty basketball, and he taken care of it as a guardian of this sport. And he’s only a large. And a large coronary heart, that’s all I can inform you.”
Nantz mentioned that his buddy’s “biggest achievement” was as a husband taking care of his spouse as she handled well being points during the last 15-20 years of her life.
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Packer died from kidney failure after spending the previous three weeks in a Charlotte hospital, in keeping with The Related Press.
Packer was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 after calling each Last 4 from 1975 to 2008.
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“He actually loved doing the Last Fours,” Packer’s son, Mark Packer, instructed the AP. “He timed it proper. Every part in life is about timing. The power to become involved in one thing that, frankly, he was going to look at anyway, was a pleasure to him. After which faculty basketball simply type of took off with Magic Johnson and Larry Fowl, and that turned, I believe, the catalyst for school basketball followers to simply go loopy with March Insanity.”
Packer started his broadcasting profession in 1974 when he joined NBC, later transferring to CBS in 1981.