via press release:
Dick Vitale & Magic Johnson to Call Indiana-Michigan State with Tirico on Feb. 19
ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale and former Michigan State standout Magic Johnson will pair up with announcer Mike Tirico on ESPN’s telecast of No. 1 Indiana at No. 12 Michigan State on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. ET.
Even though he is a fan and follower of college basketball, the February 19 telecast will be the first time Johnson has worked a game as an on-air analyst. Vitale and Johnson, long-time friends, have never worked an event together. Johnson was recruited by Vitale, then-head coach of the University of Detroit men’s basketball team.
Vitale, college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador and a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, joined ESPN in 1979 – just after the network’s launch – following a college and pro coaching career. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate – but never boring – style.
Johnson, an NBA studio analyst on ABC and ESPN since 2010, was the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft after leading Michigan State to the college championship as a sophomore. A five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA MVP, Johnson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
“From the time I was a high school basketball player in Michigan I was captivated by Coach Vitale’s spirit and passion,” said Johnson. “I’ve been fortunate to have developed a wonderful relationship with him – one which is bonded by our common love of basketball. I have the utmost admiration and respect for Dickie V as a person, a basketball genius and a commentator and I can’t wait to call this game with him and Mike Tirico.”
Vitale commented, “I remember him as a kid so well. He was a basketball junkie, playing the game for hour after hour on the playgrounds. He became ‘Magic’ from his work ethic. I have always said if there was one player I wish I could’ve coached in my life it would be Earvin Magic Johnson. I am thrilled to be able to work with him and Mike Tirico. Although, I might have to remind him a few times that Indiana will be playing as well.”