TONKAWA — If you want to find Lee Drake at a Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa basketball game, he will be courtside, but he is not a member of the team. He is the play-by-play announcer for KAYE 90.7 FM radio.
Drake loves to be behind the microphone at sporting events. “I really enjoy the games just because I love sports and I love having the opportunity to broadcast them,” he commented.
He also provided the on-air commentary for Tonkawa Buccaneer high school football last fall.
At the Oklahoma State University vs. Tulsa Christian University women’s game Feb. 15, he job shadowed OSU play-by-play announcers Casey Kendrick and Kevin Gum. At half time, the OSU broadcasters gave him the opportunity to join them on air.
A Ponca City native, Drake graduated from Ponca City High School in 2015 and will graduate from NOC in May. He plans to start the fall semester at OSU as a Media and Strategic Communications major.
Drake credits Dean Pearcy, the NOC Mass Communications broadcasting faculty member, with helping him improve. “Mr. Pearcy has done a great deal to help me better my broadcast and journalism skills,” he shared. To gain on-air experience, Drake volunteered to work all 18 home NOC basketball games.
Pearcy explained, “KAYE is focused on serving the community, and live sports broadcasts for high school and college sports is a great way to do just that. Our listeners understand the students are learning as they go and might make mistakes now and then. Our listeners are supportive of students like Lee who are getting hands-on experience while doing something they enjoy.
“Lee eats, sleeps, and breathes sports so he is good on the mic. His country drawl adds a unique flavor to his broadcasts and our listeners enjoy him,” Pearcy continued.
Dr. Rae Ann Kruse, dean of academic services, said, “What Lee is doing used to be called on-the-job training. Now it is called service learning. Service learning combines academics and community service, which benefits the student and the local community. NOC is fortunate to have students who value earning work experience while they attend college.”
LEE DRAKE, Northern Oklahoma College sophomore Mass Communications major (second from right), job shadows Oklahoma State University play-by-play announcers Casey Kendrick (far right) and Kevin Gum (not pictured) in Gallagher-Iba Arena Feb. 15. He joined the announcers on air at halftime of the OSU vs. Texas Christian University women's basketball game. At NOC, Drake is the Voice of the Mavericks on KAYE 90.7 FM radio. (Photo by Kevin Gum)