PORTLAND, Ore. — Fans packed the Moda Center for the Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers game on Sunday evening. The game was special for more than one reason: The Trail Blazers honored legendary broadcaster Bill Schonely, who passed away at the age of 93 on Saturday.
Schonely was the team's play-by-play broadcaster for nearly 30 years and called over 2,500 games. The tribute included a collage of photos from his career and a moment of silence before the game started.
Mika Tyler is a longtime fan of the organization.
"I've met him," Tyler said. "Bingo, Bango, Bongo, he will always hold a special place in my heart."
Josh Wiley is a huge fan of the team and said one of the most recognizable things about Schonely was his voice.
"What I remember about Bill is his voice," Wiley said. "You know Rip City, whenever you were here you would get energized and pumped up. It's sad that he passed away."
Michael Williams came all the way from Seattle to watch the team play. He said he has a lot of memories about Schonely.
"Getting fans into the game, making us feel like we were actually part of the team and part of the game," Williams said. "Hearing him on the radio, really just the excitement that he brought, the energy that he brought to the stadium and the arena."
Throughout Schonely's career, he maintained a long streak for calling games. He was one of the first employees for the team, quickly putting together a radio broadcast to introduce the team to the community.
Shirley McArthur said she was born and raised on the Trail Blazers.
"It's sad that he's gone because I don't really think there's anyone that can fill his shoes, especially when it came to Rip City," McArthur said.