Fan of the NBA, WNBA and/or the New York Yankees? Then you’ve probably heard the voice of Ryan Ruocco, an Emmy-winning television and radio broadcaster and host of the “R2C2” podcast with former MLB pitcher CC Sabathia. He sat down with The Association to discuss his professional journey and life as a sportscaster.
Below is an excerpt from our conversation.
How did you break through?
At WFUV at Fordham, I was able to learn the craft of play-by-play under my mentor Bob Ahrens. The summer after my sophomore year, I had an internship at YES, then got to do stats at Yankee games for home telecasts. Michael Kay loved my work and became one of my biggest and most vocal champions. Shortly after, John Filippelli gave me the chance to do a few college games on YES and, when I was 23, my first Nets game.
What would you say is the most fun part about calling NBA/WNBA games?
Sitting courtside and feeling the energy of the crowd while lining up my voice to the cadence and rhythm of the game. I get this feeling of harmonizing electricity that’s hard to describe but intoxicating to experience.
You’ve been calling Nets games since 2011. They’ve advanced to the second round only once since then. What makes this current team so extraordinary?
It’s absolutely incredible that Sean (Marks) and his staff inherited a team that had so many challenges and had no picks, yet somehow turned it around as quickly as they did. To have stars like Kevin Durant building in Brooklyn is truly amazing — for Kevin to choose Brooklyn and then RE-UP for four more years in Brooklyn, to get to watch KD, James Harden, and Kyrie play at Barclays Center — it’s just incredible.
What makes you so excited about the WNBA both now and in the future?
I am excited about so many aspects. Our ratings this year have been up significantly, which shows people are understanding how entertaining and exciting the product is. I am most excited about the plethora of young, dynamic talent both in the league and on the brink of this league. The stars are multiplying, and they’ll be showcasing their skills in the W for years to come.