The Starting Five Live
The Starting Five Live
Our guest tonight on our 90th show, is ESPN basketball analyst Adrian Branch. He was one of the first college athletes that I personally enjoyed watching, and his smooth professionalism helped shape how I viewed sports. He's one of the greatest players in ACC history.
Via Adrian's bio at ESPN's Media Zone (http://espnmediazone.com/us/bios/adrian-branch/):
Adrian Branch joined ESPN in 2007 as a college basketball analyst. He is a former guard/forward and second-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls after a successful collegiate career at the University of Maryland.
During his four seasons in the NBA, Branch played for the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won the 1987 NBA championship, as well as the New Jersey Nets, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After his NBA career, Branch spent time playing in Europe for teams in Australia, Spain, France, Israel and Turkey. He has since devoted much of his time to speaking with students, youth groups and collegiate and professional sports teams. He has been considered one of the top 10 most requested speakers for school assemblies and youth organizations.
In 2004, the Charlotte Bobcats named him television color analyst for the teamís 60 games on Carolinas Sports Entertainment Television. Before that, he was a studio analyst and college basketball analyst for Comcast Sportsnet in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He also appeared on Wizards Post Game Live as a commentator for the Washington Wizards.
One of the highlights of his broadcast career was as an analyst at WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., during Marylandís championship season in 2001-02.
Branch, named an ACC Legend in 2004, attended Maryland and was the third all-time leading scorer during his time there, which included a run to the ACC championship in 1984. He averaged 16.4 points and 74.8 percent on free throws through four seasons with the Terps. In his senior season of 1984-85, he had career highs of 671 points 45 steals in 37 games. He also was a two-time All-America honorable mention and led the Terps to the Sweet 16 in 1984 and 1985.
Branch played high school basketball at the same time as Michael Jordan, and the two played together in the McDonaldís All-American game, for which Branch received the MVP award.
Mike never forgot that, and you'll hear why he didn't in the latter part of Adrian's interview.
He was also a teammate of the late great Len Bias. Rest in peace Len Bias.
Rest in peace as well Harvey Pollack. Thanks so much for lending your ear when I needed to talk about Wilt. Saying you will be missed isn't enough. You were a treasure to the soul of the game in every facet of basketball that you affected. Thank you sir.
Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy the show!