Just 24 hours before the start of the National Basketball Association’s 73rd season, NBA and Indiana Pacers broadcasting veteran Chris Denari will visit with Ball State Sports Link. The Pacers begin the season 48 hours later by hosting Memphis Oct. 17.
Denari will lead a workshop with Sports Link students specific to on-air and talent advancement, as well as present to the entire corp of Sports Link students Monday evening.
Denari enters his 13th season as the Pacers’ television play-by-play announcer. He has been involved in broadcasting sports in Indianapolis for more than 30 years. He was named the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association 2003 Broadcaster of the Year; and in April 2016, he was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame.
Denari also served as the radio/television play-by-play announcer for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever for 18 seasons from 2000-2017. He most recently was the Sports Director at WXIN-TV Fox 59 in Indianapolis.
With his move to Pacers’ TV, he ended his 17-year association as the radio play-by-play voice of Butler University basketball. He called five of Butler’s NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Bulldogs’ first trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2003.
He is a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and also handles play-by-play duties for the Big Ten Network.
Previously, he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts Radio Network, worked for Pacers’ TV as a locker-room reporter and was the television play-by-play voice for the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s state championship events.
A 1979 graduate of Westfield (Ind.) High School, he played basketball for his father, Bob. He graduated from Wabash College in 1983, and was a member of the Little Giants’ 1982 NCAA Division III national championship basketball team.
In 2014, Denari was inducted with his teammates into the Wabash College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Denari is a board member for the Joel Cornette Foundation and has served on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Indiana, Methodist Sports Medicine Foundation and Carmel Dads Club.
He is a spokesman and volunteer for the Hamilton County Humane Society, and is active as a speaker and emcee for various organizations and events in Central Indiana. In 2009, he was named to the inaugural class of the Westfield High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
In 2016, he was the recipient of the Clarence A. Jackson Career Service Award from the National Association of Wabash Men, an award given annually to an alumnus who has distinguished himself by outstanding service to his chosen vocation.
Denari and his wife, Terry, live in Carmel, Ind., and are the proud parents of sons, Evan, Wilson and Max.