Friends of Basketball


Steve Adams

Year Inducted: 1995

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations: Bloomington Pantagraph
Illinois State University


Steve Adams was a top flight basketball reporter for the Bloomington Pantagraph (1966-76) before becoming admissions director at Illinois State University.  He became the voice of the Redbirds at their home games. His opening statement, “This is Redbird basketball,” has adorned T-shirts, coffee mugs, and game programs ever since.  He is the first public address announcer to win a Stretch Miller Award for contributions to ISU sports in 1992.

Since 1984, Adams has been the public address announcer for state boys’ and girls’ tournaments both Class A and Class AA.  He meets with state tournament coaches at their pre-tourney banquet to check pronunciations and then prepares his own chart for each team, writing the names phonetically.  When Illinois State plays teams from other nations, Steve seeks people familiar with that nation’s language to help him with pronunciations.

Steve Adams leaves nothing to chance in the more than nearly 600 state high school and college basketball games he has served as the public address announcer.  Steve Adams died on May 8, 2020 at the age of 73.