Dan Shulman is one of our favorite broadcasters. The ESPN play by play announcer not only calls a spot-on spark of a game behind the mic during NBA contests, but he’s also keeps us enthused about Major League Baseball games either whether he’s working on the tube or on the radio. Shulman’s that good, so much so that a random Nuggets, Braves or MLB wild card game seems like a fun time out in spite of other options on the dial.
What we were unaware of, prior to Monday, was Shulman’s acumen as an honest-to-goodness international baller. The guy can play, apparently, and he’s taken a few weeks off from his well-earned role as ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball’s lead announcer to grab some reps with Canada's senior men's basketball team, in the Maccabiah Games. Awful Announcing alerted us to this news, along with the description of the Games themselves:
The Maccabiah takes place every four (4) years in Israel - "the Jewish Olympics" as they are often called, are Maccabi World Union's largest and most famous enterprise."
The -year-old native of Thornhill, a suburb just north of Toronto, became involved with Maccabi Canada after playing on a basketball team he organized for a local JNF charity tournament a few years ago.
One of the teams they faced in the tournament included some members of Maccabi Canada, who liked what they saw in Shulman.
From there, Alex Brainis, chair of Maccabi Canada’s national athletic committee and a member of this year’s masters basketball team, asked Shulman to come on board.
"I’m representing my country, representing my religion, [and] my culture. I love it,” Shulman exclaimed. “I do work in the US but… I’m Canadian. I love wearing the red and white.”
Very cool. And for Shulman to be taking time off to represent his religion and country during the heat of the MLB season, and get in some high end run, lends more credibility to his already high end basketball resume. The guy knows the game – that’s not just the brilliance of Hubie Brown rubbing off on him.