Pistons' radio voice Mark Champion needs heart surgery

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Mark Champion

Mark Champion, the longtime radio voice of the Detroit Pistons, will be sidelined indefinitely following heart surgery scheduled for Thursday.

Champion made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday, from Toronto, where he will call the season opener against the Raptors before taking his leave of absence.

Jake Chapman, who hosts pregame and postgame Pistons shows on 105.1 (WMGC-FM), will fill in as the play-by-play man until Champion returns.

Champion has been doing Pistons radio since 2001, and currently works alongside analyst and former member of the "Bad Boys," Rick Mahorn.

Champion said on Twitter that the surgery has been planned "for awhile."

"My trust is in my Heavenly Father," Champion wrote, "so I'll be back at it soon."