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June 19, 1955
His television announcing career began as Sports Director at WTTG, a Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C. as well as NFL games for Fox. A District native, Buckhantz grew up in Arlington, Virginia, where his father owned a construction company. He attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. One of his earlier jobs in sports was with WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, where he covered the Braves and the Hawks and eventually became the night-time sports anchor.
He currently resides in Virginia. He married Shelley Lawrence on May 8, 2011. Shelley has two children from a previous marriage, Jake and Olivia Lawrence. As of 2014, Buckhantz has spent 18 years as the Wizards' play by play announcer, alongside Phil Chenier on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
He has garnered a reputation for his emphatic expressions, such as "Dagger", "Blocked by [player]!", "Backbreaker", "How good is he, Phil?", "How do you like that?", "Tough shot!", "It's good if it goes!....And it nearly did!", "Score the field goal, he'll go to the line!", "For the win!", "The refs have swallowed/put away their whistles!", "That's gotta be five seconds!", "That's hard to believe","And [player/coach] is Livid!/Incensed", "Oh My!", "Follows it up twice! ", and "NO, it's not possible!".
Buckhantz's catchphrases have seeped into the lexicon of Washington, D.C. area sports fans, who revel in using them to describe a myriad of non-sports related events (ex. males observing a friend attempting to ask a woman for her phone number exclaim "Dagger!" or "Backbreaker!" when she can be seen rejecting the friend's advances) as well as debating the subtle and compelling distinction between a "Backbreaker" (a made basket at a critical juncture in a game that breaks any chance that the opposing team will win) and a "Dagger" (a made basket at a critical juncture in a game that stabs like a dagger at the opposing team's chance of victory).
30 for 30
In 2009, Buckhantz was featured in the ESPN 30 for 30 film "Without Bias" about the days leading up to the Len Bias death in the summer of 1986 after being chosen number 2 overall by the Boston Celtics after a stellar career at the University of Maryland. He was featured as a reporter for WTTG-TV as the sports director at the time of Bias' death in 1986.