ECPA's Rush To Press

Behind the Scenes with Beloved Sports Journalist
and “Inside the NBA” Host Ernie Johnson, Jr.

New Autobiography, “UNSCRIPTED: The Unpredictable Moments that
Make Life Extraordinary,” delves into private life and fatherhood;
Scheduled to release April 2017

Kerry Gardner

“Truth is, I have started and failed to finish many books. But I finished UNSCRIPTED in three days, which in and of itself is a major thing for me. But more importantly it’s a testament to this: Never will I find a finer man than Ernie Johnson, whose profound humility and love for God and his family are so evident here.”
From Foreword by John Smoltz, Baseball Hall of Famer, former Atlanta Braves pitcher and television sports analyst

NASHVILLE, Tenn– November 21, 2016 –Three-time Sports Emmy Award-winner and popular host of TNT’s Inside the NBA, Ernie Johnson, Jr., has been in the game a long time. With one of the most recognized voices in sports broadcasting, he is a tireless perfectionist when it comes to preparing and delivering his commentary. Yet he knows that some of sports’ greatest triumphs – and life’s greatest rewards – come from those unscripted moments – the moments you could never predict. In his heartfelt, gripping and highly-anticipated autobiography, UNSCRIPTED: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary (Baker Books; April 4, 2017; ISBN: 9780801074103; $24.99), Johnson provides a remarkably candid look at his life both on and off the screen.

The deal was made between Chad Allen, editorial director for Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group and Chris Park of Foundry Literary + Media. Of the deal, Allen said: “We’re delighted and honored to partner with Ernie Johnson on this winsome, heartfelt memoir. The book is at times hilarious, at others heartbreaking, as Johnson masterfully captures the most dramatic parts of his life’s story. While UNSCRIPTED delivers the kind of uproarious entertainment we’d expect from one of the creators of ‘Inside the NBA, what excites us most is the book quietly commends something much more profound—a better way to live. We can’t wait to see the impact this book has on people’s lives. It certainly has left a mark on us his publishing team.”

In UNSCRIPTED, Johnson reveals the important lessons he’s learned from very private, never-before-told experiences in his life. From his relationship with his sportscaster father, Ernie Johnson, Sr., to his own rise to the top of sports broadcasting, from battling cancer to raising six children with wife, Cheryl, including a special needs child adopted from Romania, Johnson candidly shares the relatable ups-and-downs of life with readers.

“I may be naïve, but not naïve enough to think that there’s such a thing as a trouble-free life. We all have ‘stuff’ to deal with, and the stuff our family has, is different than the stuff yours has. And so our stories are going to have different twists and turns, and we’re going to have moments on mountaintops, and we’re going to spend what seems to be an eternity in the valley. But for the most part we’re going to be doing life somewhere in the middle, where if you’re not overly preoccupied with the goal of simply making it from this day to the next, you might notice for the first time blackberries ripe for the picking. And you may notice that love, and loss, and hope, and desperation, and courage, and understanding, and sorrow and exhilaration and forgiveness all live there. And you may just find that they all seem to make more sense when you Trust God…Period. Yeah, I love this life. And living it unscripted.”

UNSCRIPTED is Johnson’s untold story, the story he lives after the lights are turned off and the cameras stop rolling. Sports fans, cancer survivors, fathers and sons, adoptive parents, those whose lives have been touched by a person with special needs, UNSCRIPTED is for anyone who loves stories about handling life’s surprises with grace.

Ernie Johnson is available for interviews. Please contact Kerry Gardner at 865.621.0320 or t o request an advance reader’s copy of UNSCRIPTED or to schedule an interview. 

About Ernie Johnson, Jr. 

Ernie Johnson Jr. is a three-time Sports Emmy Award winner and host of TNT’s Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal. He is the studio host for NBA TV’s popular Fan Night and a studio host for Turner and CBS’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship coverage. He is the lead play-by-play announcer for Turner’s coverage of Major League Baseball and the PGA Championship, and has also covered the National Football League, The British Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympics. In 2007 Johnson was presented with the first-ever honorary John Wooden Keys to Life Award, presented by Athletes in Action, which is awarded to individuals who exemplify Wooden’s “Seven Keys to Life,” including character, integrity, and faith. In 2015 he was recognized with a Musial Award, presented in honor of Stan Musial’s legacy by celebrating iconic “good sports” and the year’s greatest moments in sportsmanship. In 2016 his alma mater, the University of Georgia, honored him with the Grady College of Journalism John Holliman Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Bill Hartman Award for Lifetime Achievement from the UGA Athletic Department. Johnson lives in Braselton, Georgia, with his wife, Cheryl, and their six children, four of whom are adopted.

About Baker Books 

Baker Books publishes books that are relevant, intelligent, and engaging. Our titles cover topics such as personal life stories, encouragement, faith, family, and relationships.

UNSCRIPTED: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary
By: Ernie Johnson, Jr.
Baker Books
ON SALE:  April 4, 2017
Hardcover: $24.99
ISBN: 9780801074103
224 pages