Eddie Johnson: Phoenix Suns Announcer for Fox Sports Arizona

Eddie Johnson
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Eddie Johnson brings a unique insider’s view to his role as a Phoenix Suns announcer for Fox Sports Arizona — from 1987-1990, he played with the Suns, and has been calling their games for the past 14 years. The 54-year-old Paradise Valley resident and 17-year NBA veteran is also a motivational speaker, basketball journalist for HoopsHype.com, and author of the book, You Big Dummy: An Athlete’s “SIMPLE” Guide to a Successful Career!, which he says offers words of wisdom and inspiration for readers to follow their dreams.

He offered up his insight on the Suns’ season, as well as why he loves living in the Valley in a video, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was almost forced to come here because I was traded from (the) Sacramento (Kings) to Phoenix, but I wasn’t forced to make it my home. I decided to make it my home after being traded here and playing for the Suns. I came to the Suns in 1987 and got traded from Phoenix to (the) Seattle (Supersonics) in ’90. (My wife and I) still had a house here in Phoenix, and we upgraded and bought another house here while I was in Seattle. Continue reading

Jody Jackson: Fox Sports Arizona Reporter

Jody Jackson
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Jody Jackson is blonde and gorgeous and fits right in on a football field — not in a cheerleading outfit, but as one of the most well-respected professional sports reporters for the Arizona Cardinals for Fox Sports Arizona, as well as for the Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Diamondbacks. The 40-year-old Tempe resident is a veteran reporter, with nearly 20 years of sports reporting experience and covering the Valley’s pros for nearly 15. Jackson shared her thoughts on the recently completed Diamondbacks season, as well as her predictions for the Coyotes and Cardinals, below. Keep reading to also watch a video of Jackson talking about five of her favorite reasons for living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I grew up in South Florida and was born in Hallandale, and I was there until I was 23. I’m a graduate of the University of Miami, and then worked at a sports radio station. Buffalo, N.Y. was my first TV job, and I spent a few years there. Fox Sports was branching out with these regional networks. I was offered a similar position in Atlanta, Denver or Phoenix, and I chose Phoenix.

I wanted to thaw out and be warm again, because Buffalo was not. I had been to Atlanta a number of times, and Phoenix intrigued me. Here I am almost 14 years later. Continue reading

Todd Walsh: Fox Sports Arizona Reporter

Todd Walsh, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes reporter for Fox Sports Arizona, photographed at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Todd Walsh, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes reporter for Fox Sports Arizona, photographed at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Todd Walsh
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Todd Walsh cares more about the stories than the stats in sports. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes reporter for Fox Sports Arizona has covered Arizona sports for more than 20 years and has won seven Emmy Awards for his efforts. The 49-year-old Scottsdale resident has reported on virtually every Arizona sport you can think of, from men’s and women’s tennis, to the PGA. He also covered music journalism and has talked to everyone from Bono to Eddie Vedder. He talked about what keeps him going in his grinding schedule, and keep scrolling to watch a video of him talking about his five favorite things about Arizona.

What brought you to Arizona?

My older sister left Rochester, New York, with her husband when they got married, since he was a grad student at the U of A. I’ve always had this child-like fascination with Arizona. I visited them, and I was hooked, and that was all that I talked about. It was a dream of mine to attend the U of A since junior high school. I was accepted my freshman year, but chickened out. I went one year to St. John Fisher College in Rochester before I transferred for my sophomore year. Continue reading

Derrick Hall: Arizona Diamondbacks CEO and President

Derrick Hall, CEO and President of the Arizona Diamondbacks, photographed at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Derrick Hall, CEO and President of the Arizona Diamondbacks, photographed at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Derrick Hall
twitter.com/DHallDbacks

Derrick Hall is known around Major League Baseball for being one of the most affable, hard-working and efficient club heads around the league. The 44-year-old Paradise Valley resident and Los Angeles native took over as the Arizona Diamondbacks president in 2006, after working for 12 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was named CEO in 2009. Since then, he’s seen the D-Backs win the 2011 National League West Division Championship and says this year’s team is a definite stand-out when it comes to winning a World Series. The Diamondbacks have also continued to strengthen their reputation for being one of the most charitable sports organizations, including winning the 2010 inaugural United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award, for being the most positive team in the world. Not only does Hall play a key role in team management, he also serves on nearly 30 Arizona community boards. Check out the Diamondbacks tonight at Chase Field for Opening Day against the St. Louis Cardinals at 7:10 p.m. Read on for Hall’s take on this year’s team, as well as to hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m an L.A. native. I went to school at Arizona State University, and my wife is from Tucson. It’s like home to us. Continue reading

Patrick Battillo: Mr. ORNG, Phoenix Suns Super-Fan

Patrick Battillo, Phoenix Suns super-fan Mr. ORNG, photographed at US Airways Center in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Patrick Battillo, Phoenix Suns super-fan Mr. ORNG, photographed at US Airways Center in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Patrick Battillo
twitter.com/PHXMRORNG

He wouldn’t want you to call him it, but Patrick Battillo might just be the Phoenix Suns’ number one fan. The 26-year-old Peoria resident and Brooklyn, N.Y. native, can be spotted at every Suns home game, donned head-to-toe in bright orange as “Mr. ORNG,” a Suns super-fan who is known for his whistles, chants and all-around Suns support both at home and at road games. Battillo, a life-long Suns fan, works for Target as a logistics group leader during the day. He also volunteers as a basketball coach for National Youth Sports in the West Valley, gives post-game interviews to KTAR 620-AM after home games, and makes appearances at community events as Mr. ORNG. He stresses that just because many fans may not be able to make it to games, doesn’t mean they’re not loyal or passionate, but he’s happy to help represent them at the arena. He shared his motivation for supporting the Suns as Mr. ORNG, how he hopes to support the community in general, and five reasons why he loves living in the Valley, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I moved here when I was 7 — my parent’s job brought me here. What was interesting is that I always followed the Phoenix Suns, but I didn’t know they were in Arizona. When I moved here and was able to follow them live in person as opposed to the TV, that was really cool. Continue reading