The Utah Utes know how they want the Pac-12 basketball schedule to end this week. They need two home-court wins and two more of Parker Van Dyke’s sportscasting narrations to punctuate an adventurous season with a top-four finish in the conference and a successful sendoff for him and the program’s three other graduating players.
The postgame tradition after victories started in January when the Utes visited the Pac-12 Networks studio in San Francisco. Kory Mortensen, the athletic department’s creative/new media specialist, asked for a player to go on the set and discuss the previous night’s win at Stanford. His teammates prodded Van Dyke, who’s a business economics major, but has some interest in sportscasting after his basketball career ends.
The next day, Van Dyke summarized a win at California with a video clip, and has done so after subsequent victories with a style he describes as “a lot of nonsense.”
After a victory at USC that included his clutch 3-pointer, Van Dyke announced, “The Utes were on F-I-R-E fire!”
He’s mimicking the ESPN anchors he grew up watching, and he made “SportsCenter” himself with his buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the 93-92 win at UCLA. Van Dyke’s account of that game: “Incredible, sensational, magnificent, marvelous, whatever three-to-four-syllable word want to use … I can’t believe it. Bill Walton can’t believe it. No one can believe it.”