Bill Schonely

Bill Schonely (born June 1, 1929), nicknamed "The Schonz", is an American sports broadcaster who was the first play-by-play announcer for the Portland Trail Blazers. A native of Pennsylvania, he worked in radio in Louisiana and Seattle before settling in Portland, Oregon. In addition to his work for the Blazers, he has also been a sportscaster for Major League Baseball games, several minor league baseball teams, college sports, National Hockey League games, and junior ice hockey. Schonely was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the first child of Walter and Juanita Schonely. A stutterer as a child, Schonely worked on a weekly high school information radio show on WNAR in Norristown, which led to opportunities at radio and television stations in Philadelphia. Upon graduating, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and was sent to Guam. While stationed overseas, Schonely transferred to Armed Forces Radio, where he was a disc jockey as well as doing news, sports and interviews. He also did his first play-by-play, calling military football and baseball games.


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