Oct. 31, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Rick Berkey, who has more than 25 years of local radio and television experience, has been named the radio announcer for the Michigan State women's basketball team. Berkey is the Director of Broadcasting for the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League, and is also the founder of Sportsplay, a company which produces local sports broadcasts.
"As a life-long Spartan fan, this is an absolute thrill for me," said Berkey. "With all my experiences, the one thing I have haven't had the chance to do yet is Division I play-by-play. To get that chance at the school I've rooted for my whole life is a dream come true."
As Director of Broadcasting for the Rampage, Berkey oversees all aspects of the team's broadcasts, including serving as a liaison between the broadcast media and the team, establishing format for radio broadcasts and serving as quality control for all broadcasts.
He previously spent 11 seasons with the West Michigan Whitecaps as the team's play-by-play voice. In addition, Berkey has served as the voice of the Grand Rapids Hoops and Grand Valley State men's and women's basketball. He left the Whitecaps after the 2004 season to found Sportsplay.
Berkey has also authored a book, Morning Drive, as well as several articles for local newspapers and magazines.
As he prepares for his first season, Berkey has been impressed with first-year head coach Suzy Merchant and her new coaching staff.
"The really good coaches have that special gleam in their eye, and it was apparent to me right away that Suzy has that," Berkey said. "For her to have the passion she does for her position and still have the perspective to take most of last year off to be with their first-born child shows me the kind of person I want to both work for and be around."
A native of Grand Rapids, Berkey and his wife, Jane, live in Comstock Park, Mich. They have two children, daughter Lindsey (23) and son Jacob (19).
Berkey's first broadcast will be for the season opener on Friday, Nov. 9 as the Spartans take on IUPUI in the first round of Preseason WNIT at 7:30 p.m. in the Breslin Center. Michigan State's games can be heard locally on WVFN 730 AM and on the internet at www.msuspartans.com.
Michigan State hosts Grand Valley State in an exhibition Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Breslin Center.