Dick Fain, the voice of the Seattle Storm, has served six years as master of ceremonies for the Highline School District's Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards banquet.

Voice of Storm has Mount Rainier roots; Dick Fain has a rich background in sports

By Tim Clinton
SPORTS EDITOR

Dick Fain competed in two sports at once in his days at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines.

He swam and played basketball during the winter of his freshman, sophomore and junior years before a rule change forced him to decide between the two for his senior year.

He opted for basketball...

Now he is working three jobs at once, all in the realm of broadcast journalism.

His main gig is as the host of the 5:30 a.m. sports show on KJR-Radio, and he also serves as a sports anchor for KING-TV.

But he is best known as the voice of the Seattle Storm professional Women's National Basketball Association team for its home telecasts on JOEtv.

"It makes for a long day, especially when I sports anchor at KING-5 at 3 p.m. and my last TV hit is at 11:25 at night, only six hours before I go on the radio," said the 43-year-old 1992 graduate of Mount Rainier. "Then the summer is busy with the Storm doing play-by-play on TV for them at KeyArena. But when you enjoy the job you don't worry about the weird schedule or a lot of hours."

Fain certainly enjoys his jobs after getting his start in "broadcasting" at a very young age.

"I've always wanted to get into broadcasting since I was a kid," he said. "I started when I was like five or six years old. I was running around calling Sonics games and Mariners games, you name it."

Fain focused on competing himself in high school during the winter season.

"My junior year we won a state championship in swimming," Fain said. "And I was part of a medley relay team that won."

He also played basketball.

"But then they made a rule that you couldn't play multiple sports in the same season," he said. "I had a choice to make. The swim coach said I could be team captain my senior year, but I chose basketball. With the state championship I had accomplished what I wanted in swimming, but not in basketball."

After graduating, Fain studied broadcast journalism at the University of Washington while it still had the program.
"I think I shut down the school," said Fain, who graduated from the UW in 1996.

Fain coached summer swimming for 10 years, but he also served 15 years as the head boys basketball coach back at Mount Rainier High School.

"Had I not played basketball, I probably would not have gotten that job," said Fain.
He held that position until five years ago.

"I'm just coaching my son now," said Fain, who lives in Normandy Park with his wife Janna of 10 years, 7-year-old son Dixon and 5-year-old daughter Aubrey.

His broadcasting career also blossomed quickly.

"I did a couple of internships at KIRO-TV and KIRO-Radio," Fain said. "I worked on the morning show with Jeff Aaron. I called him when I got out of college and asked if any jobs were open."
That led to the KJR job.

"I've spent 20 years total at KJR," Fain said. "I got the morning show."

Fain's stay with the Storm started with their inception in 2000.

"I started with the radio broadcast," he said. "I did stats and some reporting. Then I worked my way into play-by-play and if the color guy was gone then I'd step into that role. I started in 2008 as play-by-play and spent 2008-2013 on radio. Then I went from radio to TV. I do all of the home games on TV. I don't travel with the team anymore."

While on radio, Fain got to call the Storm's championship game in 2010.
"I did play-by-play for that," Fain said. "I was around in 2004 for the first championship, but being able to call the play-by-play in the final seconds of one of Seattle's few championships was great."
Fain remembers it well.

"When we were ahead with one or two minutes left, I thought 'Oh my gosh, they're actually going to do this,'" he said. "I was thinking 'This is your chance to call a championship, don't screw it up.' But I caught a break. Atlanta came back and just needed three to tie it with a few seconds left. Then the nervousness left. Then I was just able to call the action. I was just calling the action instead of worrying about what to say when the Storm won the title."
Fain sees more bright days ahead for the Storm.
"We kind of got out of a three-year rebuilding phase," he said. "Like they say, in basketball you got to win the (draft) lottery. We got No. 1 picks Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, and they're two Hall of Fame-type players who won two championships. Hopefully it will be the same with Jewel Lloyd and Breanna Stewart. You have two potential all-star players for years to come. The chances are very good they'll win another championship in the not too distant future."

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