Brenda VanLengen has announced women’s sports events on television since 1996 and in 2016 won the prestigious “Mel Greenberg National Media Award” for her work as a broadcaster and advocate for women’s basketball. She also won an Emmy as part of the Fox Sports Midwest broadcast of the 2009 WEPAC Charity Basketball game.
VanLengen’s expertise and voice have been included on NCAA Tournament women’s basketball games on ESPN since 1996 and she has announced Big 12 Conference women’s basketball on FOX Sports for 22 seasons, including the last nine as the primary analyst. Known for her strategic analysis and ability to break down the X’s & O’s of the game, she has also operated the ART Super Telestrator for ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s Final Four® since 2005, the WNBA Finals since 2011 and select NBA games since the NBA Playoffs 2012. She has been the analyst for 12 women’s basketball national championships — seven NCAA Division II Championships and five NAIA Championships. In the summer of 2013, she announced 15 events at the World University Games in Russia, including gold medal championships in women’s and men’s basketball, plus women’s beach volleyball.
In 2009, VanLengen expanded her broadcasting to include play-by-play announcing and has called NCAA basketball, softball, volleyball and soccer. In women’s basketball, highlights include NCAA Tournament games on ESPN and the SEC Network Monday night games. In 2017, she worked as play-by-play announcer for NCAA Softball Regional games in Waco, Texas on ESPN3 and during the 2017 NCAA Volleyball Season called a Nebraska Volleyball game (2017 NCAA Champs) in the esteemed Bob Devaney Sports Center. She also serves as studio and game analyst for the Big Ten Network, called all the games at the BTI Paradise Jam in the U.S.V.I. for several years. Additionally, she formerly hosted a national women’s sports podcast called Women’s Sports Central.
VanLengen was the co-Founder of SHE-KC, a sports, health and exercise publication for girls and women in Kansas City. Prior to that, she held a leadership position at PE4life, a national non-profit organization, for over nine years. In the late 1990s, she developed the women’s sports division at Coach’s Edge, which was acquired by Sportvision, where she also operated video play animation production equipment for CBS broadcasts of NCAA Men’s Basketball. VanLengen served 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 the “The Ann Stockton Memorial Scholarship” for the women’s basketball program. She earned Academic All-American honors twice as a Kearney State College (now UNK) Loper and was the co-captain of the 1987 UNK Team of Distinction.
She is a past board member of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation and a past President and Board Member of the nationally recognized Women’s Intersport Network (WIN) for KC organization.
VanLengen serves as a motivational speaker, emcees dinners and events, has developed a series of workshops for collegiate student-athletes and provides basketball instruction through her camps and private lessons.