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Longtime USC Basketball Broadcaster Rory Markas Passes

Horrible news if we haven't had enough of late.

From USC's Official Website

Rory Markas, the play-by-play announcer for both the USC men's basketball team and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, passed away on Monday (Jan. 4) at his home in Palmdale, Calif. He was 54.

No details on his death are available at this time. Funeral service information is pending.

Markas was in his 12th season handling the radio play-by-play duties for the Trojans and also spent the past 8 seasons in a similar role on television and radio with the Angels. He also was a reporter for FOX 11 KTTV in Los Angeles.

"The entire Trojan family is shocked and saddened to learn of this sad news about Rory," said USC athletic director Mike Garrett. "We held him and the outstanding broadcasting work he did for us in the highest regard. He was a consummate professional and a well-loved individual. He'll be a very difficult person to replace. We want to extend our support and condolences to his family."

Said USC head men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill: "I've only been at USC a short time, but it didn't take me long to realize that Rory was a top-notch announcer and great guy. It's so sad. He had so many games still in him. Our prayers go to his family and friends in this difficult time."

"Rory was one of the great professionals in the business," said Jim Hefner, who worked with Markas as the analyst on USC radio broadcasts. "But more importantly, he was one of the nicest, kindest people I've ever been around. I'm sure that everyone who worked with him will truly miss him. He was one of a kind."

As we get more info on the services we will pass it along.

Markas' replacements are as follows...

Steve Physioc and Pete Arbogast will fill in as the USC men's basketball radio play-by-play announcer for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Physioc, who worked with Markas through 2009 on the Angels' television and radio broadcasts, will announce USC's 7 p.m. game at Stanford on Wednesday (Jan. 6). Because of a conflict with the Lakers' game, that Trojan-Cardinal contest will air on KLAA 830 and KGIL 1260 instead of USC flagship 710 ESPN Radio (KSPN-AM).

Arbogast, who is USC's football radio play-by-play announcer, then will handle the final 15 games of the 2010 season, beginning with Saturday's (Jan. 9) broadcast at California at 7:30 p.m. That game will air on 710 ESPN.

The pair previously filled in for Markas during part of last season when he was recovering from November 2008 surgery to remove a blood clot from the side of his head.

Ourthoughts and prayers are with his family...