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Bucks make Lisa Byington 1st female TV play-by-play announcer in men's pro sports

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The Milwaukee Bucks hired Lisa Byington as their new TV play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports Wisconsin, making her the first woman to hold full-time television play-by-play duties for a major men's professional sports team.

Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin announced the groundbreaking hire Wednesday. Byington replaces longtime Bucks announcer Jim Paschke, who retired after the 2020-21 NBA season following 35 years in his play-by-play role for the team.

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Byington said in a statement that she was "absolutely thrilled" about the chance "to work with a first-class franchise and a championship organization like the Milwaukee Bucks."

"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," Byington said. "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.

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"I'm particularly excited to work with such an amazing team of Marques Johnson, Zora Stephenson, Steve Novak and everyone involved with Bucks games at Bally Sports Wisconsin."

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Byington previously did play-by-play for FOX during the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019. She then became the first female broadcaster to call NCAA men's basketball tournament games in March as part of the CBS/Turner Sports coverage.

Before joining the Bucks' broadcast booth, the 45-year-old Byington called men's and women's soccer games at the Tokyo Olympics for NBC Sports.

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"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," Feigin said in a news release. "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."

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Byington worked as a sideline reporter from 2017-19 for the NCAA men's basketball tournament on CBS and Turner. She also has experience calling various NBA and WNBA games, among other assignments.

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