Stingrays Announcer Nick Harvey Is Answering Life’s Call

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Posted February 5, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nick Harvey attended a South Carolina Stingrays game before he was even born.

On Jan. 15, 2002 his parents Laurie and Richard Harvey watched the Stingrays defeat the Charlotte Checkers, 5-3, at North Charleston Coliseum. Less than 12 hours later, Nick was born in his family’s hometown of Walterboro, South Carolina, about an hour away from the stadium.

Today, Harvey is in his first year at the University of South Carolina and has his dream internship: He’s the color commentator for his beloved Rays, a passion he inherited not just from his parents, but a man he never met: His uncle, also named Nick Harvey, a longtime sports talk show host on the ESPN radio affiliate in Charleston, and a Stingrays season ticket holder.

The job came after a childhood of play-calling his living room and street games, and a year after he was making a name for himself with Stingrays fans.

While still a senior in high school, he and his mother, Laurie, took a trip to the University of Central Florida on October 12, 2019, where they picked up tickets to the opening night Stingrays game against the Orlando Solar Bears.

Because Stingrays play-by-play broadcaster Jared Shafran was not traveling for away games, and thus not calling those game, Harvey decided to call one himself. He and his mother spent $300 at Best Buy for the proper equipment, including a microphone pack that hooked into Harvey’s phone. He printed out the rosters and headed to Amway Center, sneaking in the equipment in his hat. Shortly after warm-ups concluded, he went live on his newly created Mixlr account and posted the link in a Stingrays fan group on Facebook. He gathered 58 listeners throughout the game.

“I was astounded that he knew what to say and he was able to call that game and keep up with who was doing what,” said Laurie, who had no regrets about the cost of the stunt.  “I can watch a hockey game and tell you who won, but I can’t call a game like Nick and Jared do. They blow my mind.”

Shortly after, Harvey got a call from the Charleston Colonials of the USPHL, who hired him as their play-by-play broadcaster. In addition, the Stingrays brought in Harvey during the 2019-20 season to fill in on color commentator duty.

“I think the fans liked it,” Shafran said. “I think he was doing a good job.”

Due to the pandemic, longtime Stingrays color commentator Andrew Miller was no longer available for the season, opening the door for Harvey. Stingrays president Rob Concannon and Shafran talked and decided to give Harvey the gig.

“It’s a developmental league,” Concannon said. “So why not instead of just developing hockey players and coaches, why don’t we try to develop a radio broadcaster?”

Shafran called Harvey to give him the news in early November.

“When I got that phone call, my stomach kind of dropped,” Harvey said.  “It was such a special moment for me.”

After the call with Shafran, Harvey called his parents. Laurie said she cried when she heard the news.

“The first thing they said was, ‘I know somebody who is in heaven who is extremely proud of you and smiling down on you,’” Harvey said.

On Dec. 11, Harvey did his first broadcast as the full-time color commentator, and said he still gets butterflies before every broadcast.

“I didn’t really have to say too much. I think, actually to be honest, saying anything else would have just made him nervous,” Shafran said.  “We were in a good spot. He knew what he was doing. I don’t want to get him nervous at all.”

A little more than a month in, his confidence continues to grow and opportunities continue to arise. In addition to the broadcasting, Harvey is also writing features for the team website, such as this one on what it’s like to be a rookie in the time of COVID.

On Friday, he is going to accomplish his dream.

With the ECHL schedule coming out pieces at a time, the Stingrays public address announcer made other commitments. As a result, Shafran is going to be doing PA and Harvey will be doing play-by-play. Shafran is confident Harvey can do the job.

“I try to compare it to what I was as a freshman in college, when I started doing games, and I think Nick has more confidence than I did when I started,” Shafran said.

With his foot in the broadcasting door, Harvey thinks about the uncle he never met, who would certainly be proud of him.

“Hearing stories about him and being able to kind of learn more about him, I think that is where I got my love for broadcasting,” Harvey said. “Knowing how much fun it is and knowing you could be the on to make a [famous] call. The Miracle call for instance, is something that will live in history forever as a sports call, and that is something. Knowing I could do that one day would just be a dream come true.”