CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Bryce Weiler can’t see the game in front of him, but he helps others listening over the radio see it clearly
“I really just enjoyed being able to analyze with with Brian,” Weiler said.
Weiler is blind, so he always turned on the radio to listen to his favorite teams growing up. The life-long Illini fan got to live out his dream today by calling a game over the radio with his role model.
“I’ve always wanted to commentate with with Brian,” Weiler said. “I grew up listening to the planning alliance. And the broadcaster who got me interested in being around sports with the pictures that he painted for me.”
Illini play-by-play veteran Brian Barnhart has known Weiler for nearly a decade.
“He prepares himself really well. He studies both teams very hard. And he does his homework,” Barnhart said. “And no matter if you can see or not, if you do your homework, you know you can do well in this field.”
Barnhart has seen it all on the basketball court during his time with the Illini, but it’s stories like Weiler’s that make him take a beat and think about the job he gets to do.
“It makes you appreciate it. You don’t want to take anything for granted,” Barnhart said. “You know, we get to see the orange and the blue and the crowd and, you know, but radio is a different medium.”
Weiler doesn’t let his impairment keep him from doing what he wants to do, and he hopes his call Saturday proved to others that they can do the same.
“Anytime that I’m able to commentate a game on the radio, I enjoy giving back giving me opportunities that really shows people that no matter what someone’s disability is, if someone is just willing to give them an opportunity, then they can be successful,” Weiler said.