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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2 years ago

You can fight this Sam! Remember the energy you had when we coached the Forest North Stingrays? I know you can use that energy to defeat this!

Jenni (Wagner) S
2 years ago

Sam, I am sending you good thoughts and rooting for you as you did me, back in the 80’s. You are one of the most kind, caring & generous people I have known and I remember those Texas years so well. Your voice and smile were a huge part of my time there. Sending much love. ❤️

2 years ago

Hi, I am an almost 7 year survivor of Stage 4 MCC. Doing well, working full time and still pretty active. Cycle regularly. Been on Avelumab for 4 years. Keep up the good fight. Sounds like you have good care. That is a plus!

Laughlin P
2 years ago

Wishing all the best for Sam. Best announcer ever! Please be well sir. The swimming world needs you to stick around for alot longer.

2 years ago

One of the kindest people ever- all class.
Best wishes for a full and healthy recovery.

David Berkoff
2 years ago

Get well Sam. We all love and appreciate you!

2 years ago

Get well!

Last edited 2 years ago by Snar
stephen l wilson
2 years ago

You’re the man Sam! Stay strong and fight HARD!

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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