Today is Day 11 of the 2015 Pan Am Games Toronto, with ESPN and ESPN Deportes providing extensive multiplatform coverage through July 26.
ESPN play-by-play commentator Dan Shulman teams with analyst Fran Fraschilla to provide the English-language world feed of the men’s basketball competition, which begins today. In the Ryerson Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto, Team USA faces Group A foe Venezuela (ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET; overall coverage begins at 7 p.m.) in its first game of the the preliminary round. Competition concludes Saturday with the gold medal game at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Between his flight from California – where his Sunday Night Baseball assignment in Anaheim experienced a rare rainout – and his preparations for his Pan Am Games coverage today, Shulman answered some questions for Front Row.
What do you like the most about being the English-language voice of one of the most popular competitions at the Pan Am Games?
I love international sports, so the opportunity to call a sport I love at an event like this, in my hometown, is a real treat.
When was the last time you worked alongside Fraschilla?
It has been a few years. I’m really excited about it. No one knows more about international basketball than Fran. I will lean on him for his knowledge and expertise.
What are the challenges when calling games that feature so many international players?
Making sure you have all the pronunciations down is the most important thing – and getting as much background info on each player as you can.
What are the top storylines to follow heading to the basketball competition?
I think it’s a chance to see how some great young Team USA players, like [Wichita State’s] Ron Baker and [Michigan State’s] Denzel Valentine, do on the international stage, playing, in some cases, against much older, more experienced players.