He’s still going 38 years later

Most memorable announcement wasn’t about high school basketball but about President Bush declaring a cease-fire in Operation Desert Storm.

In addition to Alan Gibson’s note about using Facebook Live, he told me he just hung his hat on his 38th season of being the public address announcer for the Clinton County high school basketball teams. That’s a bunch of games, considering both boys and girls. Almost makes it like announcing for 76 seasons since he’s doing double-duty.

There are no plans to hang up the mike for Alan. And his wife Janie is fine with it, except Alan says if he starts getting “stupid,” she’ll pull the plug on his microphone connection for good.

Al @ the mic

Alan shared some insight to how he got behind the mike:

“This all started when I decided as a young reporter that a seat at the official table would be a nice spot to keep game notes from.  My former high school coach, Lindle Castle, was still coaching and was Athletic Director as well.  On the day of the first game that season, I asked Coach Castle if he had a place at the table I could sit.  Having just been informed earlier that same day that the person who had performed P.A. duties the season before wasn’t going to return for the new season that started that night – he quickly agreed he did have a spot for me – “right behind that mic – you can talk can’t you?”  Sadly, Coach Castle passed away this past December at 86 years of age.  We had remained close friends until his passing. Lindle had been a sophomore on the U.K. 1951 championship team.

“That was 38 seasons ago. I’ve missed a handful of games through the years, but not many.  All volunteer except for the free bag of popcorn each night – I guesstimate it’s around 1,064 bags of popcorn.  I have also performed P.A. duties for absent announcers at several other gymnasiums in our area especially during tournament time. Also enjoyed one afternoon behind the mic at Rupp Arena several years ago when our team participated in a jamboree game that allowed teams to bring their own P.A. announcer.  The opposing team didn’t bring theirs, so I was able to do our entire game. Two biggest moments of pride were being inducted onto the CCHS Basketball Wall of Fame a couple of years ago, and being introduced as the Lady Bulldog Public Address Announcer during the team introductions prior to the Sweet 16 Championship game in 2005 (vs. Lexington Catholic).  Most memorable announcement was “President George Bush has declared a cease-fire in Operation Desert Storm.”

“It’s a great seat. I get to become acquainted with the players every year. Have an up close view of some of the game antics that the general public often isn’t aware of.  Have become personal friends with many of the game officials through the years. Get to develop an even closer relationship with the coaches. On the down side, I’ve been hit by more than one errant basketball and a few players as well.”

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