PHILADELPHIA - The 76ers will have a new color commentator on its broadcasts this year. Alaa Abdelnaby, who briefly played for the Sixers 20 years ago, will join the team's booth for the coming season, the Sixers announced Thursday.
Abdelnaby replaces Malik Rose, the Sixers' commentator for the last several years, who left the booth to take a position in the front office with the Atlanta Hawks. He will debut in the booth Thursday night, for the Sixers' preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Comcast SportsNet. Abdelnaby joins longtime play-by-play announcer Marc Zumoff and Molly French on the broadcasts.
"The opportunity to join the Comcast SportsNet and 76ers family and work alongside Marc and Molly is tremendously exciting," Abdelnaby said in a statement issued by the team. "The 76ers are building something special and I look forward to sharing their story with our viewers."
Abdelnaby played his college ball for Duke in the late 1980s, and reached three Final Fours in four years. His subsequent five-year NBA playing career included a brief stint with the Sixers in 1995. The native of Egypt later played professionally overseas, and went on to announce for Arabic-language broadcast outlets before joining CBS Sports Network and Westwood One Radio.
Another big man out of Duke, Jahlil Okafor, is the Sixers' prized rookie this year, and Abdelnaby called some of Okafor's NCAA Tournament games last season.
The 76ers start the regular season October 28 against the Celtics in Boston; their home opener, against the Utah Jazz, is two days later.