Billy Packer, Longtime NCAA Basketball Announcer, Dies at 82 – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — Announcer Billy Packer, who for decades was dubbed “the voice of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament,” died Thursday, his son announced in a tweet. He was 82.

From the early 1980s he covered NCAA games for CBS.

“The Packer Family would like to share some sad news,” wrote Mark Packer. “Our amazing father, Billy, has passed away. We make peace knowing he’s in heaven with Barb. RIP, Billy.”

The cause was kidney failure, Mark Packer told the Associated Press. He said his father had been admitted to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, with multiple medical issues over the past three weeks.

Sean McManusthe chairman of CBS Sports, said Packer “has been synonymous with college basketball for more than three decades and has set the standard as the voice of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.”

“He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport,” McManus said in a statement. “In true Billy fashion, he analyzed the game with his own unique style, perspective and opinions, but always kept the focus on the game. As passionate as he was about basketball, Billy was a family man at heart. He leaves part of his legacy in CBS Sports, in college basketball, and most importantly, as a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by all.”

In 1988 Packer was admitted to the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, whose website now reads: “Packer’s love of the game blossomed at Wake Forest University, where he led the Deacons to two Atlantic Coast Conference titles and the Final Four of the 1962 NCAA tournament. He has scored 1,316 points in his career.”

According to The Hall, Packer’s broadcasting career began in 1970 with high school football games. NBC hired him for the 1975 NCAA regional playoffs, and he began covering NCAA games for CBS in the early 1980s.

Packer was also inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Wake Forest University Hall of Fame, and received the Curt Gowdy Award from the National Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1993 he received the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality/Analyst.

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