Monday, May 27, 2024

NBC entrusts Noah Eagle, 27, to lead Team USA basketball broadcasts for Paris Olympics

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NEW YORK — The list of broadcasting accomplishments keeps growing for Noah Eagle.

The 27-year-old will be the play-by-play broadcaster for Team USA men’s and women’s basketball at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. For Eagle, who worked his first Super Bowl two months ago, the assignment followed a few months of discussions with his NBC bosses.

“I was just excited that they trusted me with this level of assignment,” Eagle told USA TODAY Sports. “I’ve been really lucky that since I’ve joined NBC that they really believed in me at this high of a level. It’s just kind of up to me to go out there and crush any of the assignments in front of me.” 

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Eagle will also call all medal round games on NBC platforms. The U.S. men start July 28 against Nikola  Jokić and Serbia, while the U.S. women begin play July 29 against reigning silver-medalist Japan. Bob Fitzgerald (men) and Kate Scott (women) handled play-by-play duties for basketball at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

In less than a year at NBC, Eagle has already called a top-five men’s college basketball matchup, Notre Dame against Ohio State in football, and the Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans AFC Wild Card game. But his highest-profile assignment was leading the kid-centric alternate telecast for Super Bowl 58 in February on Nickelodeon.

“I’ve been fortunate in my young career to compile some cool events,” Eagle said. “This will be right at the top for sure.

“Both the men and women have amazing players and elite coaches and I think that both of them are going to represent incredibly well.” 

Eagle said he remembered the disappointment that came with the 2004 bronze medal for the men’s team, as well as the performance from Argentina’s Manu Ginobli to upset Team USA. The 2008 “Redeem Team” was the first Olympic viewing experience that resonated with Eagle, he said.

The international field grows stronger each Olympic cycle, especially in the men’s competition. Eagle has called NBA games for five years and said he grew up a “massive” basketball fan. Now, he considers himself a “basketball junkie.” Eagle’s dad, Ian, just finished his first assignment as the lead announcer for the NCAA men’s tournament and is a longtime Nets TV announcer.

Calling the players he grew up rooting for in the NBA, like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, along with having a front-row seat to the U.S. women’s pursuit of an eighth straight gold “was kind of that dream come true, ‘pinch-me’ type of role one thousand percent.” 

Eagle called 12 Nets games for YES this past NBA regular season and started his career in the NBA as the Los Angeles Clippers’ solo radio person fresh out of Syracuse University. Looking ahead to Paris, he has thought about the moments and highlights he will provide the soundtrack for in perpetuity.

“I think it will feel like a dream in some senses, to start especially,” he said.

That also means Eagle will have to be up for the challenge. He’ll make sure he has something informative and unique on all 24 players on Team USA.

“It’s going to be the Monstars,” Eagle said, referencing the villainous basketball team from the movie “Space Jam.”

This will be Eagle’s second Olympic assignment, but his first one on-site. In 2021, he called 3-on-3 basketball from the NBC’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The blank canvas that came with calling a new Olympic format like 3-on-3 was special, Eagle said. Being on the call for the U.S. women’s 3-on-3 gold-medal victory is one of his favorite professional memories because “that lives on.” 

“The fact I get another opportunity to do that on the 5-on-5 side is really, really cool,” Eagle said.

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