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Eyewitness to 4-2: Meet the Oklahoma announcer who called the lowest-scoring basketball game in years

Weatherford play-by-play voice interjected commentary while Anadarko was holding on to the ball

By Glen Brockenbush 

Photo of Weatherford play-by-play voice Chuck Ramsey by Chuck Ramsey's Twitter page 

It’s been more than two weeks since one high school basketball game became one of the major talking points not just in its own state, but nationally - even if it wasn’t for the most flattering of reasons.

And while the attention and discussion surrounding the game itself - a boys game between Weatherford and Anadarko on Feb. 7 that ended with a final score of 4-2 - has subsided, it is still confounding to those who are even remotely familiar with the sport, and it is still raising questions about the potential need for a shot clock in high school basketball.

Plenty of opinions have rained down, looking at the game from different perspectives - how would one feel experiencing that game as a fan? Parent? Player?

One perspective explored far less has been that of the announcer who had to call the game that was barely being played.

Chuck Ramsey is in his second year of doing play-by-play for Weatherford High School games. He had done radio work for years after his time as a police officer.

But no amount of experience in radio or law enforcement could prepare him for watching Anadarko’s boys basketball team simply hold the ball for all but a few minutes of their game on Feb. 7.

“I have seen four corners, stall ball. At my age, it used to be a thing,” Ramsey said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that early, or for that long.”

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As a play-by-play announcer for both streaming and radio formats, Ramsey’s job is to convey what is happening on the court.

But when all he saw in front of him was the ball being passed from one player to another without so much as a shot attempt, Ramsey figured the next-best thing was to offer some humor and banter, with monotony being the most difficult thing to avoid.

“I would say, just trying to avoid repetition and sound like a broken record,” Ramsey said. “Finally, I just realized the best thing was to just interject some commentary.”

There was one talking point that Ramsey had looked forward to entering the game, as Weatherford sophomore star C.J. Nickson was just three points away from 1,000 career points. Nickson made two early free throws, and later made the Eagles’ only field goal of the game to eclipse the mark.

But distracted by the bizarre, low-scoring affair he was watching, Ramsey went a few moments before even recognizing the feat that had just occurred.

“I think when you realize the dedication that was devoted to that game plan, you’re just kind of thrown off your game a little bit,” Ramsey said. “We were in big anticipation of C.J. hitting that milestone.”

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The game sparked statewide debate about a possible shot clock, an issue that had been shot down by vote just weeks earlier. The game - and the broadcast of it - also made national news, appearing on ESPN.

While Ramsey said he’s answered more interview requests in the past few weeks than usual, he’s not fazed by the level of attention he or the game have gotten.

“It’s just an anomaly and an unexpected thing,” Ramsey said. “Being a part of it, I guess, has entered me into the whole conversation.”

Weatherford's boys will be involved in regional action Thursday night, as the Eagles (23-1) are at home to take on Woodward in a Class 4A Area I regional semifinal. The Eagles, ranked No. 3 in 4A, beat Clinton, 46-21, in last week's district playoff.

Anadarko (16-8) - which scored a season-high 87 points in beating Chickasha to win its district playoff last week - will also be at home Thursday, taking on Bing in a 4A Area IV regional semifinal.