Women’s College Basketball Commentator
Brenda VanLengen, an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, has worked as a women’s college basketball analyst for the ESPN networks since 1996 and play-by-play announcer since 2010, including the SEC Network. Independently, she is the creator and executive producer of a groundbreaking documentary series on the origin story of college basketball entitled If Not For Them.
Known for her ability to break down the X’s and O’s of the game, VanLengen operated the ART telestrator for the NCAA Women’s Final Four from 2005-20 in addition to the WNBA Finals from 2011-18. She was the game analyst for seven NCAA Division II National Championships and three NAIA National Championships.
During the regular season, VanLengen covers games involving the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten conferences, among others. In addition to basketball, she has provided play-by-play on NCAA softball, volleyball and soccer broadcasts. VanLengen also served as an analyst for the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars (before they became the Las Vegas Aces).
In summer 2013, VanLengen was an analyst and play-by-play announcer on ESPNU’s coverage of the World University Games, calling gold medal contests in men’s basketball, women’s basketball and women’s beach volleyball, plus 10 days of international competition.
From 1996-2001, VanLengen operated video play animation production equipment for CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship while working with Coach’s Edge. Subsequently, VanLengen held a leadership position at PE4life, a national non-profit organization, for over nine years and led Kansas City’s efforts as the executive director of the 1998 NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Prior to her broadcasting career, VanLengen coached basketball for eight seasons, including five at the University of Nebraska. In 2008, she was recognized as a “Distinguished Alumni” of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where she endows a scholarship for the women’s basketball program. VanLengen was a two-time Academic All-American at the university.
VanLengen won the prestigious “Mel Greenberg National Media Award” in 2016. She was a panelist and consultant for “Title IX: 50 Years in the Making,” which won the 2022 Heartland Regional Emmy for Long Form Discussion Show for Nebraska Public Media. In addition, VanLengen was the recipient of the 2010 Mid America Sports Emmy for Sports Event/Game for Fox Sports Midwest’s production of the 2009 WEPAC All-Star Charity basketball game, for which she was the play-by-play announcer.
VanLengen, also serves as an emcee, motivational speaker and voice-over talent. She and her wife, Capri Hales, live in Olathe, Kansas.