David Benz ’92 wanted to skip walking the stage for his December Commencement to make sure he wouldn’t miss his final chance to call Laker basketball.
Mom put the kibosh on that idea, but Dave was able to grab his degree, make his first and only collegiate play-by-play broadcast and launch a career that has made him the television voice of the National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’ve always wanted to do full-time play-by-play,” says Dave, who has spent his two-decade career as a sports broadcast journalist in Miami, Dallas, Denver and D.C., among other cities.
Most recently, he was able to enjoy the Giants’ 2010 baseball championship run and last year’s successful 49ers football season as a host, anchor and reporter for Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area in San Francisco.
“I’ve had the chance to go to great places and meet a lot of people … I’ve had an unbelievable career,” Dave says. In addition to his full-time studio work, Dave found his way into some TV and radio play-by-play gigs covering college sports and arena league football while also working the sidelines for the NFL, MLB and NBA broadcasts. The work paid off as he now enters a very small fraternity of NBA commentators.
“There’s just something about doing the game live,” he says. “It’s so much more electric.”
Dave cut his teeth “cutting tape” in the WTOP studios, where he directed and hosted “7 O’Clock News.”
“That was invaluable experience,” says Dave, who worked closely with Professor Mike Ameigh, current School of Communication, Media and the Arts Dean Fritz Messere ’71, M ’76 and Bill Canning of the television lab staff.