Reporting Brad Segall
By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A Norristown native who spent nearly three decades behind the microphone calling NBA games for the Portland Trail Blazers is heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.
Affectionately known as “The Schonz,” Bill Schonely is Portland’s version of Harry Kalas. He’s being honored with the Curt Gowdy Media Award by the Hall of Fame. He was the voice of the Blazers from their first pre-season game in 1970 through the 1998 playoffs, broadcasting more than 2,500 games. His fondest memory: Portland’s only championship, beating the Sixers in 1977.
“They lost the first two back at the Spectrum there in Philadelphia, came back to Portland and tied up the series at 2-2, went back to the Spectrum again and annihilated Philadelphia.”
A Portland win in game six sealed the series.
Now, he’s their community ambassador. “It’s been a marvelous run, no doubt about that. I’m not ready to retire yet and I know there are some that think, well, Schonz you are retired. I said no I’m not. I’m going to keep on going until I can’t do it anymore.”
He has family in the Norristown area but doesn’t get back much. He hopes to visit in early September after picking up his award in Springfield, Massachusetts.