by Kenny Myers

November 29, 2013 (ISN) When sports stars retire, it is not unusual for them to take up a career that keeps them close to the action. For many stars, becoming broadcasters or announcers is the next logical step in their careers.

They can lend their expertise to the commentary, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats with every play-by-play. These 10 Kens made their mark in their individual sports and, as announcers, brought you all the action as it happened.

  • Kenny Albert – As the man who is the only sportscaster to provide play-by-play for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, Kenny Albert’s legacy is sealed. His father, Marv Albert, is a basketball hall of famer, who encouraged young Kenny to take up broadcasting from a very early age. Kenny has effectively been a sports commentator since the age of six, when he was allowed to read the stats at a 1974 New York Rangers game.
  • Kenny Smith – “Inside the NBA” is the home of ex-basketball star Kenny “The Jet” Smith. Over a career spanning more than 10 years, Kenny scored 9,397 points and holds the best field goal percentage of NBA guards in 1992 and 1993. He has also acted as a contributor on Yahoo Sports and co-hosted an NBA show on Sirius Satellite Radio.
  • Ken Brown – After retiring from his career as a European Tour golfer, Ken Brown began a new career in sports broadcasting. The Scottish player is a regular golf commentator and analyst for the BBC. Ken often gets to revisit his old battleground, too, when he acts as commentator for the European Tour. Having won four times in the European Tour, there are few players better qualified to provide play-by-plays on the game of golf.
  • Ken Venturi – He has a record of 14 wins on the PGA golf tour, one of which was a Major in the U.S. open. Ken Venturi’s career was cut short due to injury, however, meaning he was on the lookout for a new gig. He retired from playing golf in 1967, and then began his career as a color commentator. Venturi would continue in the role with CBS for 35 years, setting a record as the longest lead analyst career in sports. Ken passed away in May 2013 – but not before he was inducted into the golfing hall of fame.
  • Ken Daniels – Daniels has had a long career in hockey broadcasting. He is the current play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Red Wings. His first dalliance in broadcasting started in 1988, when he became the radio play-by-play voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not one to limit himself, Ken has also provided commentary for Indie Car races and Formula One.
  • Ken Doherty – In 1989, Ken Doherty made his first impact on the world of snooker, when he won the World Under-21 championship. The Irish player would then go on to win the world professional championship in 1997, making him the only player to have won both the amateur and professional championships. He has also been a regular with the BBC snooker coverage team since the 2009 Masters Tournament.
  • Kenneth Wolstenholme – During the 50s and 60s, Kenneth Wolstenholme was the voice of soccer for the BBC. A comment he made, as Geoff Hurst brought England their fourth goal in the 1966 World Cup against Germany, made him a legend in the sport. The comment “some people are on the pitch…they think it’s all over….it is now!” is now part of international soccer history.
  • Kenny Cunningham – As a professional soccer star, Kenny Cunningham played for Millwall, Wimbledon, Birmingham City and Sunderland at club level. A native of Ireland, Cunningham also played for The Republic of Ireland at the international level. He retired from professional soccer in 2005, and moved on to careers in both coaching and broadcasting. As a soccer commentator, he has worked for RTÉ Sport and Sky Sport covering Irish league football.
  • Ken Ablack – Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1919, Ken Ablack was a popular cricket commentator in the 1950s. He came to Britain during the second Word War, and stayed on to play cricket for Northamptonshire. Ken was a slow left-armer with the side between 1946 and 1949, before starting his career as a broadcaster. He died in 2010, at the age of 91.
  • Ken Shamrock – After long careers in both mixed martial arts and professional wrestling, Ken Shamrock turned his hand to commentary and broadcasting. He has held guest commentary spots with the WWE and UFC. However, Ken’s first official broadcasting role was with The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) at their 12th main event show.