Calling the shots (and rebounds, too): Seekonk native Alcorn set to take the mic as the Cavaliers' new radio play-by-play broadcaster

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Tim Alcorn recalls sitting in his home on Ledge Road in Seekonk listening to Johnny Most broadcast Boston Celtics basketball games, his transistor radio set to WBZ 1030.

He would later switch to the 50,000-watt signal of WWEE in Cleveland, 1100 on the dial, to listen in on the NBA Cavaliers and the golden voice of the Joe Tait.

Alcorn’s ears also perked up when he heard weather reports by Seekonk’s own John Ghiorse on Providence television stations or sports announcers Mike Gorman (currently the Celtics TV announcer), Chris Clark or Red McCreary.

“Those years growing up in Seekonk, I look back now, were some of the best years of my life,” Alcorn said.

Today, he commands a seat for Cavaliers radio broadcasts from the Joe Tait Perch at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.

“I had filled in for a radio broadcast of the Cleveland Indians during their World Series year of 2016 because both of the announcers had to take the day off,” Alcorn recalled. “I filled in and I thought that doing that one Major League Baseball game that game might be the highlight of my career. That was a thrill. So I can always say that I did one game for a team that went to the World Series!”

As fate would have it, Alcorn was named the Cavs radio play-by-play broadcaster for the upcoming season — the 50th anniversary of the NBA franchise. And he will be in Boston on Sunday, along the sidelines of the parquet floor at TD Garden, for a preseason game with the Celtics.

Alcorn’s sister, a Seekonk High graduate, and two brothers will be coming down from Nashua, N.H. to gather, reminisce and support their newly adopted favorite team in the NBA, the Cavaliers.

“My New England roots run deep,” Alcorn said of the homecoming.

He attended Seekonk High for nearly three years before the family moved to northeast Ohio, where he has become a legend in local sports broadcasting. He has worked at WEOL, AM radio 930, for the past 27 years.

“I had great teachers, made great friends when I was in Seekonk — it’s still a big part of my life,” Alcorn said.

He was a member of then coach Ron Ridolfi’s Warrior freshmen and junior varsity football teams, and played basketball for coach Don Carey. He scored a then Seekonk High single game record of 36 points in a JV game.

“I could hit my free throws!” Alcorn said. “I was always a big basketball fan. I knew from the time I was a young boy growing up, listening to the sports announcers on radio and TV, that I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I just kind of followed that dream, followed that passion.

“Really, I would have been more than happy to stay at WEOL — I loved it. High school sports out here in Ohio are huge. But when this opportunity came up — the Cavs TV guy had passed away — it was a once in a lifetime chance.”

Alcorn made his comments coming out of a Cavaliers practice session under new head coach John Beilein, the highly regarded former collegiate coach at the University of Michigan and West Virginia.

As the team’s new radio play-by-play broadcaster on the Cavaliers Radio Network, Alcorn fills the position previously held by John Michael, who is transitioning to the role of television play-by-play announcer for the Cavaliers on FOX Sports Ohio.

Alcorn joins Jim Chones, who is returning as the color analyst for his 10th season in the Cavaliers radio booth. All Cavaliers games this season will again be broadcast on flagship radio stations WTAM 1100 and FM 100.7 WMMS, as well as across the Cavaliers Radio Network.

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected by the Cavaliers as the next radio play-by-play announcer for the organization,” said Alcorn. “The position is truly a dream job.

“It’s both exciting and humbling to be chosen. I’m also aware the opportunity would not have occurred if not for the untimely passing of Fred McLeod and I will strive to uphold the high standards that Fred, John Michael, Joe Tait and others established as Cavs announcers.”

Alcorn spent the past 27 years on the AM 930 radio dial at WEOL in Lorain/Elyria, Ohio where he served as the lead sports voice, sports director and station manager.

He has been a sportscaster in the Northeast Ohio area since 1985, beginning his radio career at WOBL in Oberlin after graduating from Kent State University, and joining WEOL in 1992.

During his days and nights at WEOL, Alcorn was the host of “Countdown at The Q” and “From the Dugout,” live on-site pregame shows before home Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians games.

Alcorn was also the golden voice heard through Ohio as the play-by-play announcer for thousands of local high school football, basketball, baseball and softball games, and he hosted multiple radio programs promoting high school athletics.

He previously filled in as the play-by-play announcer for Cleveland Gladiators arena football games and as the pregame, halftime and postgame studio host for the Cavaliers Radio Network.

Unlike the secrecy-shrouded NFL teams, NHL franchises listing “upper” or “lower” body injuries or tight-lipped Major League Baseball clubhouses, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Beilein welcome the attention of its broadcasters at practice.

“In fact they want us there at practice,” Alcorn said. “Most NBA teams not only close practices to the media, but also to the in-house broadcasters. The Cavs are one of the few that don’t. Because if we’re watching practice, they want you to have a feeling for what they’re trying to do and what their philosophy is.

“I went to NBA league meetings last week and other guys (broadcasters) were really stunned when I told them that.”

Alcorn has a wall and mantel full of awards. He was inducted into the Lorain County Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Lorain County Boys and Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Elyria Area Umpires Hall of Fame and the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Honor.

“I got my broadcast journalism degree at Kent State and I started at WEOL in ‘92. I just knew sports broadcasting was what I wanted to do,” Alcorn added. “I have a face for radio! When the Cavs reached out to me I was flabbergasted.”

Alcorn was the recipient of the Lorain County Athletic Administrators Citizenship Award and the OHSAA Northeast District Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award, and is a three-time winner of the Ohio Associated Press Best Sports Broadcaster award.

Alcorn also serves on both the Midview and Elyria Sports Hall of Fame committees and is an inductee of the Make a Difference Hall of Honor at his alma mater, Midview High School in Ohio.

His is married, to Diane, and has two sons and two daughters.

Alcorn was at Seekonk High for more than two years before the family headed to the Buckeye State in November 1979.

“Forty years ago!” he said. “My dad (Hugh) had worked at the Fall River Herald News and then took a job out in Ohio. I was there at Seekonk during the Ridolfi years (brothers Tom and Ron).

“I didn’t play basketball my junior year at Seekonk because we had moved, but I remember my freshman coach was Dennis Fernandes and my JV coach was Bob Perreault. And Frank Mooney (the cross country and track coach) is still there? Basketball was always my favorite sport to play, my favorite sport to call.”

Alcorn truly believes that all of those high school gyms and stadiums are what shaped him as a person and as a broadcaster — the year-to-year relationships with coaches.

“I loved covering the high school games, the play-by-play. When you have that dream job put out there to you, it’s like wow!

“With this being Cleveland’s 50th season, there are a lot of historical things that they are going to look back upon. Like Joe Tait (the radio broadcaster) is in the NBA Hall of Fame. Through the years we’ve become really close — it’s like a father-son thing. We have developed an unbelievable relationship.

“The irony of it was that when I was in Seekonk, I would listen to Joe Tait on the radio. ... Now to think that I’ll be filling that role and he’s become my mentor, my father figure is surreal — it’s like a dream. He’s the Cleveland version of Johnny Most!”

Alcorn does not have LeBron James in a Cleveland uniform. But, he is now dealing with Cavalier veteran players like Kevin Love, in his 11th year, Brandon Knight, in his eighth year, Tristan Thompson, in his eighth year and Matt Dellevedova, in his sixth year.

“It’s somewhat easier covering an NBA team,” he said. “You’re covering the same team 82 times a year. So really, your research is on the other teams. In high school, you have two teams one night, two teams the next night — you’re just scrambling.

“There’s nothing like Friday night high school football — I will miss that tremendously. Everybody says I’m moving on, but I’m going to miss those stadiums, those high school gymnasiums. That’s special stuff, it really is!”

“Now I’ll be in the Joe Tait Perch at the fieldhouse and to think I’ll be broadcasting from there — it’s unbelievable how life comes full circle!”

Peter Gobis may be reached at 508-236-0375

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