Shay on the mic
A longtime volunteer for DB sports, Mike Shay is the announcer for the school’s basketball teams.
February 26, 2017
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For over 20 years, Mike Shay has been one of Diamond Bar High’s biggest sports fans. In fact, for the past five years, he’s been courtside for boys and girls basketball as the public address announcer.
However, Shay’s passion for school sports began over 60 years ago when he was a 15 year old in Iowa, attending Dowling Catholic High School. There, Shay connected to high school sports, playing baseball and watching as many sporting events as he could.
During his college years at the University of Iowa, Shay played an important role for the school’s basketball team, not as player but as the student manager.
“See that ring? People think I won the Super Bowl or something, but that’s the ring I got as the student manager at the University of Iowa. It’s the same ring the players got. Being involved is like being a part of the team,” Shay said.
Shay had no preference as to the title he held for the team, whether it was ball boy or equipment manager, as long as he was involved and helped in any way he could.
After graduating, Shay began working for a large appliance manufacturer, which led him to move all over the country, from Chicago to Oklahoma to Nebraska. Shay finally settled down in Diamond Bar, where he raised his two children.
Living in Diamond Bar, Shay’s passion for high school sports began when his son attended DBHS from 1989 to 1993. Shay’s son played both basketball and baseball, allowing Shay to become involved with the school as a volunteer and as his son’s biggest supporter.
After his son graduated, Shay continued to support DB sports as a member of the football team’s chain gang, assisting the team and providing himself with the best seat in the house.
Throughout his years at Diamond Bar, Shay had the experience of witnessing the growth and success of Diamond Bar legends such as Keith Van Horn and Jim Edmonds.
Shay’s commitment and unwavering support for the school’s teams made an impression on the Athletic Department, which offered Shay the position of PA announcer for the basketball team.
“They knew I was around here a lot, and they knew my background a little bit,” Shay said. “Then they asked, ‘Would you like to volunteer?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely!’”
To what does Shay attribute his passion for sports and success in life? Communication.
“I always believed that communication is the foundation of it all. You’ve got to be able to communicate whether you’re an engineer, a chemist or you’re in sales. No matter what you are, you’ve got to be able to communicate. I really enjoyed that, so [announcing] gave me a way to stay involved with the sports teams.”
At 75, Shay could be enjoying his years at the senior community center. However, Shay would much rather be on the court, calling out highlights and lineups.
“Being around young people is very special to me. I’d much rather be here with these young people because they make me think younger, feel younger, and be younger.”
As he finishes his fifth year working with the basketball teams, Shay looks at these experiences as treasured memories.
“I look back on my life and being able to do this, it’s really special to me.”