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Sports Person of the Week
Daley Doing Play-by-Play for Valley Hoops
Senior Jack Daley is providing commentary for the Warriors’ boys’ basketball and girls’ basketball teams on the school’s YouTube channel, Valley TV. (Photo courtesy of Jack Daley)
Jack Daley is assuming the mantle as the voice of Valley Regional sports for the 2021 winter season. After getting some experience commentating games for the girls’ volleyball squad last fall, Jack is now broadcasting the Warriors’ boys’ and girls’ basketball games on the Valley TV YouTube channel.
Jack, a senior at Valley Regional, is a huge sports fan and loves watching many professional sports. Jack enjoys the enhanced experience that he gets from listening to play-by-play announcers do the games.
“I watch a lot of sports, so I’ve heard a lot of great announcers like Kevin Harlan and Jim Nantz. It got me hooked into doing something about it,” says Jack. “I did commentary for the volleyball team in the fall, so then I started doing it during the basketball season. This is my [Capstone Project] this year. Even if it wasn’t, I wanted to commentate anyway. With no fans, I want to make every effort to make sure everyone can watch the game.”
While Jack watches a variety of sporting events and has played both baseball and lacrosse, he feels most comfortable calling basketball games at this young stage of his career. Basketball games have the types of sequences that Jack gets excited to call.
“I’ve watched basketball longer, and I got into football a little bit after, but basketball is really what got me into it,” Jack says. “My favorite things to call are transition threes, fast-break opportunities, great defensive plays, or a really nice crossover. Things like that.”
When it comes to following the action, Jack’s experience in watching sporting events helps him stay tuned to what’s happening on the court.
“It comes naturally because, when you watch a full game, you know who’s having a good game. Like in the last game, Jeremy Arnum was having a great game, and a kid on East Hampton had eight free throws in the first quarter. It’s easy to pick up on things like that during the game,” says Jack. “I try to keep it all in my head, because I don’t really have the ability to jot down the stats at the same time. I’m going to start trying to keep the stats more, though.”
Sometimes when Jack is watching an NBA game, he tries out some calls while following the action of his favorite team, the Boston Celtics.
“My favorite team is the Celtics. I love to watch Jayson Tatum. He’s really good, obviously,” Jack says. “Sometimes, I will commentate under my breath a bit. I like to keep the volume up, so I can learn what other things to say when I commentate, like more in-depth stuff.”
There’s been a bit of a learning curve for Jack as he’s been developing his voice and style as a commentator. However, Jack is feeling more comfortable as he gets more games under his belt.
“In the beginning, it was hard to keep up with the action at first, but every game, it gets a bit easier. With volleyball, I started mostly doing camera work. I had a headset, and Mr. [Brad] Pittman did the commentating,” says Jack. “I wanted to take on the challenge of commentating as I learned. I credit Mr. Pittman for helping me adapt to commentating. I took over after the halfway point, so I didn’t do too much commentary for volleyball. When I started doing the volleyball games, that’s when I really wanted to do basketball, too.”
Out of Jack’s favorite commentators is Mike Breen, who does play-by-play for nationally televised NBA games on ABC and ESPN, in addition to broadcasting New York Knicks’ games on the MSG Network.
“Mike Breen is probably my favorite. He does the games on ESPN, and he also does Knicks games,” Jack says. “It’s the, ‘Bang!’ when guys hit threes that really sticks out in my mind. He had that call for the Ray Allen in the Heat versus the Spurs in the finals. He did a good one when Luka Dončić hit a game-winning 3-pointer in the playoffs against the Clippers, too.”
Jack played baseball for the Warriors in his first two years at Valley Regional, but decided to change over to lacrosse as a junior. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of what would have been Jack’s first lacrosse season with the Warriors last spring.
“I played baseball my freshman and sophomore years. Then I decided to play lacrosse last year. Before the pandemic, I did a winter league in an indoor complex. I’m also doing the same winter league right now, actually. I really enjoy it. Last year, we played against other schools. This year is different. We’re doing scrimmages against each other,” says Jack. “Baseball is a non-contact sport. I wanted to play a sport with more contact. On defense, you get to check people, and I really wanted to do that. I’m kind of an aggressive player.”
Athletic Director Jeff Swan says that Jack is providing a dynamic way for Valley’s sports fans to enjoy games through his commentary.
“Jack really could be getting into communications. We had 700 views the other night, and everyone said that whoever was announcing was doing a fantastic job. Jack is really good at it, and he sounds professional,” Swan says. “He’s a great kid, too. He’s just one of those kids that loves sports and has the opportunity to call the game. I could see him on ESPN.”
Even though COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of what would have been Jack’s first lacrosse season, it also may also have given him the impetus to get behind the microphone. Jack thanks everyone who helps make the Valley TV broadcasts possible and knows that this experience will stay with him for a long time.
“I think it’s something I’m always going to be really proud of. I think this might be one of the best decisions I’ve made at Valley,” says Jack. “Last year, I was in the student section cheering the team on. Maybe if the pandemic didn’t happen, I would have been there again this year. This is something I am considering of doing in college, alongside sports management. I’ve been accepted to a few schools. I’m undecided right now, but we’ll see where that goes.”