Brodersen brings ‘big game feel’ to Ravenna

Local4 News at 10
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 11:30 PM CST
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RAVENNA, Neb. (KSNB) - We’re still more than a month away from the State Basketball Tournament in Lincoln, but for teams who have played at Ravenna this season, they’re getting a little dose of the state tournament atmosphere before even loading up the bus for the capital city.

Rich Brodersen, is kind of an anomaly when it comes to being a well-known sports figure in Nebraska.

Many people can look at him and know who he is, but in Nebraska and particularly at the state basketball tournaments every spring, it’s when you hear him that you know exactly who he is.

He’s been the public address announcer for UNK for decades, and he just celebrated his 30th year of being the PA voice of the boys and girls state basketball tournaments. Now, you can add “Voice of the Ravenna Bluejays” to his growing resume, and for fans who aren’t ready for the booming voice - it’s a pleasant surprise.

“Yeah, there are a lot of people who when they first hear his voice kind of glance up there and are like ‘hey I recognize that,’” said Ravenna Athletic Director Tony Schirmer.

“I have people in the stands who will turn around and go ‘oh, that is him’ especially after I make my 3-point call or something of that nature,” Brodersen said with a smile.

Brodersen certainly isn’t a stranger to the PA mic, so when Ravenna figured out that he was already coming to their games to watch his kids play, it didn’t take long for an offer to reach the table.

“With a son playing basketball for Ravenna, I was going to be here anyway, and word got through my son to me to say ‘hey would you be interested in doing the games,’ so I said I’ll only do it if you want me to do it,” Brodersen said about his conversation with his son.

After getting the green light, even school officials at Ravenna were caught off guard by what happened next.

“I just kind of thought that he was maybe going to announce the starting line ups for us, but in Rich Brodersen fashion, he does the whole thing as far as announcing play-by-play,” Schirmer said. “He treats it the same way he would a state tournament game. He has to get rosters ahead of time, get all the pronunciations figured out.”

It hasn’t taken long for the teams to notice either. The Ravenna girls basketball team has shot out to an 18-1 start to the year, and coach Noah Maulsby says he can’t get enough of getting to play at home.

“Sometimes you don’t know how lucky we are or how good it sounds and how good he is at getting us fired up before a game, and then you go to away games, and it’s obviously a lot less,” Maulsby said. “He definitely makes it a lot of fun.”

So, when you luck into something that’s too good to be true like this, you have to ask - how long’s it going to last?

“For at least one more year because his son’s a senior next year, so I don’t know if we can con him into coming back after that, but we’re going to do our best to see if we can work something out,” Schirmer said with a smile.

After celebrating 30 years of being the PA voice of the state basketball tournaments recently, I asked Rich about his future as a public address announcer, not only at Ravenna, but across the state. He said as long as the voice box keeps working, there’s no place he’d rather be.