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Deaths Rumors

Billy Packer, a Sports Emmy award winner and college basketball broadcaster for more than three decades, died at the age of 82, his family announced Thursday. “The Packer Family would like to share some sad news,” his son Mark shared on Twitter. “Our amazing father, Billy, has passed. We take peace knowing that he’s in heaven with Barb. RIP, Billy.”

Bill Schonely (1929-2023)

Bill Schonely, the longtime Portland Trail Blazers broadcaster with a distinctive baritone who coined the phrase “Rip City,” died on Saturday. He was 93. Affectionately known as The Schonz, Schonely was the team’s broadcaster for its inaugural season in 1970 and held the job for some 28 years — including the team’s NBA championship run in 1977. He died in Portland with his wife of 31 years, Dottie, by his side, the team said. The cause of death was not released.
“The Schonz was a cornerstone of the organization since Day 1. He was the ultimate Trail Blazer — the voice of the Trail Blazers,” former Blazer Terry Porter said in a statement released by the team. “He was someone that Blazers fans grew up listening to for many, many generations. His voice will be missed, his presence will be missed, but his legacy will not be forgotten. It’s intertwined with every part of this organization.”
It’s been a rough few days for the Trail Blazers community, which lost two legends. One, former announcer Bill Schonely, a face of the franchise for decades. The other, a man whose name you probably won’t recognize but who brought you scenes from Blazers games for nearly 40 years. When Schonely died early Saturday at the age of 93, the Blazers franchise was already in mourning over the death of longtime baseline camera operator John Curry, who died unexpectedly late last week at the age of 65.
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