Broadcasting award named after Portage native Lisa Byington

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Lisa Byington speaking after the Big Ten Conference announced a broadcaster award after her on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — A big honor for a Portage Northern High School graduate: The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday that it will recognize a female student broadcaster each year with the Lisa Byington Award.

Byington is a trailblazer in the industry. She was just named the first woman to call play-by-play for an NBA team when the Milwaukee Bucks hired her. She was also the first woman to do play-by-play during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament earlier this year.

Her connections to the Big Ten run deep. She graduated from Northwestern University and has worked with the Big Ten Network since its inception.

The recipient of the Lisa Byington Award will receive a one-week professional immersion at the Big Ten Network studios in Chicago and a chance to record segments for their resume reel.

“It starts from small beginnings, it starts with people believing in them and giving them opportunities. It’s amazing. I’m a broadcaster, I make my living on saying words and I’m a little speechless right now. So, thank you,” said Byington after the award was announced.

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