by Jared Grafenauer
For the past 11 years, fans attending Whatcom Community College’s basketball games have been hearing a voice. “Sixth man, make some noise!” This voice echoes through the gym as the low murmurs of the crowd turn into a roar of cheers and applause.
It is the voice of Brian Young, the announcer at Whatcom Community College’s basketball events.
“I like to refer to the crowd as the sixth man,” said Young. “I think it gives them the feel that they are part of the game.”
Young, 47, is finishing his eleventh year announcing for Whatcom, and his first year for Western Washington University.
He was born in Washington D.C. but moved to Canada to explore football options in Canada, which, “could have gone better,” he said. “But I enjoyed my time there.”
After that, he visited some friends in Bellingham and never left.
A friend of his heard about an opening for the announcing job at Whatcom and knowing that Young is a big “sports guy,” she thought he should apply for the job.
Having played minor league football with Whatcom’s men’s basketball head coach Chris Scrimsher, Young decided to “see what it was all about” at Whatcom.
“I went down and they gave me a live interview during a game,” said Young. “So I kept going with it and really enjoyed it.”
Young said that one of his favorite parts of announcing is interacting with the fans. “I really like it when there’s an energetic crowd and we can interact back and forth,” he said, “it just makes the game a lot more fun.”
Young also enjoys watching as players from Whatcom transfer to play at Western. “It’s very cool when players come up to me and say ‘hey, how are you doing?’ It’s always nice to see them,” he said. “Watching their basketball careers grow is pretty exciting for me.”
Along with announcing for Whatcom and Western, Young makes a living as a sales director for a local newspaper.
Young is still involved with football and is currently the head coach of the Bellingham Blitz.
In 2008, Young was inducted into the Minor League Football Hall of Fame, and coached the Whatcom County Raiders to an undefeated season and became the first minor league team from Whatcom County to ever win a national title.