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Tom Ryan: Basketball announcer still loves his job

Titan legend Calihan gave Ryan his chance at UD

By Curtis Pulliam
On January 18, 2012

Tom Ryan loves basketball.

He's been the men's basketball public address announcer for nearly 30 years and remembers when he first fell in love with the game.

"In 1955, I moved across the street from the University of Detroit, right on Fairfield," Ryan said. "It was the summer before my eighth grade year and I was taking out the trash one day and the rest is

While taking out the trash in the alley, Ryan met a very important figure not only in his life but in the whole community.

"As I walked down the alley, a man came up to me and asked me if I played basketball," Ryan said. "I told him I didn't play but he told me that I could play on his basketball hoop at any time I wanted, so I took him up on the offer.

"Later I found out it was Bob

It wouldn't be Calihan's only offer to Ryan over the years.

Four years later, Ryan accepted a scholarship to play for Calihan at the university.

But after two years of playing, Ryan decided to pursue a new route and head in to the radio business.

"After college, I started working as a mail boy at WKMH, which is now WNIC," Ryan said. "I then worked there for 17 years with Dick Purtan and had a

From the 1970s into this decade, Ryan was one of the best-known names on Detroit radio.

But he said the arena announcing job has been what he wanted to do ever since he met Calihan.

"He got me a job holding the number of fouls up at the U of D games when I was in ninth grade," Ryan said. "Then the remaining three years in high school I helped with the scorebook at

Ryan has always enjoyed helping out and being around the basketball team. He has announced a countless number of games over the years.

"The key to the announcing is to pace yourself," Ryan said. "You have to make sure you're also on the same page with

Ryan has had the same style over the years and many memories to go along with the job.

"I would say my style is to just do what I am comfortable with," Ryan said. "I have announced plenty of games here and it never gets old.

"I still love

 

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