Brenda VanLengen has announced women’s basketball 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 is currently producing a multi-episode documentary series on the origin story of college women’s basketball entitled “If Not For Them.” (www.ifnotforthem.com)
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 and ESPN for all 26 years of the existence of the conference. Known for her strategic analysis and ability to break down the X’s & O’s of the game, she produced ART Super Telestrator features for ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s Final Four® for fifteen years, the WNBA Finals six times and select NBA games over the years. She has been the game analyst for 12 college 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, the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship on ESPN and SEC Network Monday night games. In 2017, she worked as play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s coverage of NCAA Softball Regional games in Waco, Texas 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 and 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. She also worked with the coaching staff of the 1996 Olympic team to create an animated video playbook for the eventual gold medal winners.
In 1998, VanLengen served as the Executive Director of the NCAA Women’s Final Four® leading the Kansas City Organizing Committee in hosting the national championship event. Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols earned a third straight national title that season and their sixth overall at the time.
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. In 2022, she was recognized as the Spire Community Champion by the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation.
VanLengen serves as a motivational speaker, emcees dinners and events, provides voice-over services and gives basketball instruction through her camps and private lessons.