(October 26, 2011) At 23 years old, JJ Hartigan already has his first NCAA Division I play-by-play job. An STAA client since July 2010, Hartigan is the new voice of South Dakota State University Jackrabbits women’s basketball.
“It’s a local job, its close to my hometown in Sioux Falls and its Division I basketball,” says Hartigan. “I’m moving up from basically doing high school stuff and some occasional [small] college basketball to a team that has made the NCAA Tournament the past three years.”
A graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa, Hartigan has gained considerable play-by-play experience the past four years. He has broadcast a variety of ILCC and high school sports. He also was the 2011 Co-Broadcaster of the Year in the Northwoods summer collegiate baseball league, where he recently finished his third season with the Mankato Moondogs. The SDSU job came to Hartigan through networking.
“Somebody mentioned my name to the university,” Hartigan says. He received a surprise call one day from Tyler Merriam, the former voice of Jackrabbits women’s basketball who recently moved over to the football and men’s basketball broadcasts. Merriam had already listened to broadcasting samples on Hartigan’s STAA Talent Page and on the South Dakota Public Broadcasting website for whom Hartigan has broadcast high school basketball.
“The call kind of surprised me,” Hartigan says. “I didn’t even apply for [the job]. They called me to see if I was interested.”
Jackrabbits games will air on 570 WNAX in Yankton, SD, a station with a very strong signal. “To know we’re going to have three or four states listening is pretty exciting,” says Hartigan. “Its good exposure.
“This is a huge opportunity for me, especially being just 23 years old.”