Longtime Swimming Announcer Sam Kendricks Battling Rare Form of Cancer

Sam Kendricks, the most recognizable voice in swimming in the United States for more than two decades, is currently battling a rare form of cancer and needs our support.

Kendricks was diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer, in August 2021, and has since undergone surgery and radiation treatments.

Though his recovery signs appeared promising, the cancer has recently shown signs of spreading and he is due to begin undergoing immunotherapy treatment.

Merkel cell carcinoma affects approximately 2000 Americans per year.

Kendricks has been a mainstay behind the microphone at major USA Swimming events for over 20 years, most notably serving as the on-deck announcer at the NCAA Championships and U.S. Nationals.

He has also announced the Big 12 Championships each and every year since the conference’s inception in the 1990s, but won’t be on deck this year as he continues to fight the disease.

Kendricks is well-known for his catchphrase, “Boomshakalaka,” frequently delivered after someone drops a big swim, and a Facebook group has been set up to support him entitled “BoomshakalakaSam,” where you can leave him a note and stay updated on his progress.

Kendricks currently resides in Los Alamos, New Mexico, with his wife Shay. In addition to his swimming announcing career, which has included him being part of the broadcast team for five U.S. Olympic Trials (2000-2016), Kendricks has worked as a residential realtor for the last 19 years.

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James Beam
8 days ago

oh man, no! Such a great voice!! Stay strong, you’ve got this!!

8 days ago

Great guy. Thoughts are with him.

8 days ago

Amazing man. This family adores him. Sending Sam strength and love.

Bob Staab
8 days ago

You can leave a message for Sam on FB Group I have started, https://www.facebook.com/groups/511610626811622

Rick Paine
8 days ago

one of the truly great people in our sport

8 days ago

F cancer, Best wishes, Sam

Everyone, please see a dermatologist regularly. Especially if you have family history or spend lots of time outside.

8 days ago

Immunotherapy very effective against Merkel cell

Good prognosis!!

Reply to  Doconc
8 days ago

Keytruda was approved for Merkel Cell cancer in late 2018. Why was he not given Keytruda as the first line therapy? It is a rhetorical question, off course, but one wonders. Good luck, Sam. Hope to hear you at the Big 12 Champs soon.

8 days ago

Has a fundraiser been set up to help Sam for whatever costs he may need help covered? I’d love to chip in.

Bob Staab
Reply to  HJones
8 days ago

Sam does not want anything like this done. If it changes I will let evyknow

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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