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Marc Zumoff: The TV Voice of the 76ers Gave it All Up for the Jewish Youth

TOK_8748 Zumoff watching soccer with smirk

Written By Nate Bilgoray

There are only 30 TV play-by-play announcers in the NBA. That comes with charter flights from coast to coast, five-star hotels and a front row seat to watch the greatest athletes in the world in many of the greatest cities in the world. Still after 27 years calling games for the Philadelphia 76ers, Marc Zumoff wanted more.

“I was ready to do it,” said Zumoff. “I had one three-year contract at the end [with the 76ers]. My wife and I started to talk about the possibility of retiring. We said let’s give it a year and see how we feel, and after the first year we said let’s do it. I spent the next year planting the seeds and that third year crafting an exit strategy. I left while I still had gas in the tank. I felt like I owed it to her, while I still had some quality time left in my life to spend it with her.”

However, it wasn’t all about Marc’s immediate family. He also started to think about his extended family and his Jewish faith. As he was retiring, Zumoff revisited an idea that had been on his mind for more than a decade. About 15 years ago, Zumoff sat in the comfort of his own home, flipping through channels when cable was still the main source of TV. There he stumbled upon the Maccabi Games.

“I was watching TV, and on the Comcast menu there was a listing for the Maccabi Games,” said Zumoff. “I clicked on the coverage, and I couldn’t even tell what sport they were covering. There were no announcers, no graphics and it looked as though I was viewing whatever the sporting event was through saran wrap.”

Fast forward 15 years and Zumoff was ready to make good on his developing idea. He wanted to create a collegiate media team to cover the Games much the same way professional journalists cover the Olympics.

“One of the working professionals [for Maccabi USA] told me that during the European version of the games, he embedded a high school student with the men’s basketball team and had him blogging about the experience,” said Zumoff. “I told him about my desire for coverage of the games and thus Maccabi Media was born.”

After years of directing funds and actively seeking out grants, Maccabi Media finally landed in Israel in July, 2022, for a three-week journey to cover the Maccabiah. Zumoff’s vision became a reality.

“We pulled it off. Fourteen young people covered the games. We brought a producer over, streamed live events, did reporting packages and did social media. It was awesome,” said Zumoff.

Before Zumoff was an established broadcaster, and someone who could affect change, his life started with the same dream his Maccabi Media team members have today.

“As unlikely as it seemed at the time, I always had a dream that I would be the announcer for the Sixers – the team I grew up rooting for,” he explained.

Zumoff’s dream was met with resistance. In a house where his father’s job wasn’t always consistent, his mother begged that he live a steady life.

“There was a situation where my father had a lot of different jobs,” Zumoff added. “Because he had a lot of different jobs, my mother wanted me to have a secure career and not be hopping around. When she heard I wanted to be a broadcaster, she couldn’t hold her ears long enough.”

At first, Zumoff listened to his mom and went straight into the scrap iron and steel business after leaving Temple University in 1977.

“It’s where I worked my way through college, in a scrap iron and steel yard. I lasted, after graduation, two or three months. I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore,” said Zumoff.

After sending out tapes, upon tapes, upon tapes of footage, Zumoff landed his first job in media at a small station in Trenton, New Jersey.

“When I got that first paycheck six weeks after starting, I was hooked. I was not turning back to business or anything else. I forged my way from there.” he added.

The journey within media is that of a rollercoaster. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows. No matter where Zumoff was in life or what he did (or didn’t) have going for himself, he rose to the top due to a feeling within. A feeling bigger than himself.

“For some reason, I always had an inherent belief in myself that I could do what I set out to do originally. More important than talent, connections, a good demo reel and having all the skills that are necessary is the innate ability to know that during those dark times, you still see yourself achieving what it is you want to achieve,” he explained.

Fast forward to 2024, and Marc has achieved what he set out to do. The longtime TV voice of the 76ers has found his second professional love, which stems from his Jewish faith and upbringing. He’s guiding the next generation of Jewish media professionals.

“Helping young people, a Jewish cause [the Maccabi Games], and helping Israel are three of the most important things to me,” said Zumoff. “Ultimately, young Americans need to realize how important Israel’s existence is. Many with Maccabi USA have told me that Maccabi is birthright for athletes. Imagine you can excel in a sport, be worthy of a national team, compete against athletes from 70 different countries and represent America while wearing a Jewish star.”

So many stops. So much accomplished. Marc Zumoff achieved his dream with the 76ers and now it is time for him to propel others towards dreams of their own. He did it in Israel in the summer of 2022, in Argentina this past January, 2024, and he’ll do it again this summer when his Maccabi Media team travels to London for the European Maccabi Youth Games starting on July 28th.


Nate Bilgoray is a sophomore at the University of Florida studying journalism and sports media. With ambitions to be the play-by-play voice of the UFC, Nate is honored to continue his journey to doing so with Maccabi Media. Covering the next generation of Jewish athletes, learning from great Jewish mentors all while experiencing the European Youth Games in its entirety is a dream manifested to reality for Nate. Connect with Nate on LinkedIn using this link.

Join us at the 2025 Maccabiah in Israel (July 1-22, 2025)
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