Tyler Hansbrough made his broadcasting debut Thursday night on the ACC Network’s broadcast of North Carolina and Northeastern.
The Poplar Bluff native worked with play-by-play man Kyle Straub and seems to have made a good impression from his performance.
“Hansbrough, clearly new to this, brought a lot to the broadcast,” wrote SB Nation Tar Heel Blog writer Michael McKay.
Since the ACC Network is not apart of my streaming service, I was unable to witness his latest debut, which has become something of a pattern — saw his high school debut in person, missed his college debut, was there for his professional debut and missed this one.
From some accounts on Twitter Hansbrough improved throughout the game. He made the occasional slip saying “us” instead of North Carolina, but that’s to be expected from someone who has their number hanging in the rafters.
Among the notable commentary, as described by McKay, Hansbrough:
“Quickly diagnosed Northeastern’s sagging post defense and articulated it succinctly. … Clearly did his research on the opponent. … Correctly predicted that Roy (Williams) would draw up a screen at the halfcourt line for a final possession with six seconds left, and then also correctly predicted that (a player) would throw the inbounds pass to the rim for a quick catch-and-drop right before halftime.”
Hansbrough’s comment on freshman Walker Kessler’s haircut got nearly 30,000 views on a tweet.
“Sometimes you can tell a freshman by their haircut because they haven’t figured out where to go to get their haircut,” Hansbrough said before saying he and a teammate went through the same thing.
Later, when asked about working on his game, Hansbrough said, “Quality of work always beats quantity of work. Anytime you’re in the gym for an hour doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting better.”
Hansbrough’s record of 2,464 career points still stands at Poplar Bluff where he led the Mules to a pair of state championships.
After leading the Tar Heels to a national championship in 2009 and finishing with 2,872 career points, most in ACC history, Hansbrough was drafted 13th overall by the Indiana Pacers. Over four seasons in the NBA, he scored 2,881 points over 428 games with the Pacers, Raptors and Hornets.
Hansbrough spent three seasons playing in China for three different teams, scoring another 1,852 points in 80 games. He was averaging 32.2 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for the Sichuan Blue Whales when the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the season in January 2020.
His broadcasting debut might be surprising for those of us that know him, but in 2018, Hansbrough and Gerald Henderson, who played at Duke, did a podcast together focusing on the two rival schools.
At 35, Hansbrough can still play professionally but his career path will reach a crossroads soon enough.
Just like his playing career, he’ll certainly put everything he has into whatever that will be, do his very best and surprise everyone with his performance.