A lot has been written about the careers that were built from the success of UCLA Men’s Basketball. We all know about the Bruin greats like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Sidney Wickes, Jamaal Wilkes, Walt Hazzard and others who played for Coach Wooden.
But, one name which is frequently left out of that list of greats is Dick Enberg.
To be sure, everyone who has had the pleasure of watching a game which Enberg worked knows he’s a broadcasting legend. That much is evident from each and every broadcast.
But, far too few realize that Enberg began his legendary career, which included eight Super Bowls, nine Rose Bowls, the 1982 World Series, 15 NCAA basketball title games, 71 major tennis championships and 42 seasons of NFL Football, as the play-by-play man for UCLA basketball.
It was while serving in that role where he developed his trademark phrase, “Oh my!” and it’s easy to understand why. Who wouldn’t be amazed by the beauty and the grace that those Bruin teams showed on the court?
Enberg credits his work for UCLA as getting him his job with NBC which led to the rest of his career. When UCLA honored Enberg in February, a UCLA press release mentioned that Enberg told Larry Stewart of the LA Times for a 2007 column:
That job was absolutely responsible for NBC hiring me. The people at NBC were aware that I was an announcer for the Angels and Rams, but it was UCLA that got me the job.
One thing that Enberg is most known for during his time broadcasting UCLA basketball is singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” at center court after UCLA won the conference title in 1970.
This video tells the story behind that.
This past February, UCLA renamed the media center inside Pauley Pavilion in his honor as part of Dick Enberg Night.
Enberg died today at his home in La Jolla from an apparent heart attack. He was 82 and would have been 83 on January 9th.