Nuggets Honor Black History Month: Recognizing Kyle Speller’s impact
When you attend a Denver Nuggets game at Pepsi Center, you will feel the energy reverberate off the walls over the course of the evening. From the energetic player introductions that get fans out of their seats before tip-off, to the chant of “one… two… THREE” following each 3-pointer, fans are enthused and uplifted by the voice of Kyle Speller, the Nuggets’ Public Address (PA) Announcer.
Speller was hired as the team’s PA announcer back in 2004 and has grown to become a staple of the gameday experience at Pepsi Center. Not only did Speller make history as the first African-American PA Announcer in Nuggets’ history, he was the first in the State of Colorado for any of the state’s major professional sports teams.
“It’s a huge honor to be the first black man in something, and this particular role just happens to be so unique,” Speller told the Athletic back in September. “I am so humbled every time I go into that arena. I’m so grateful and blessed and I don’t take it for granted. It’s like, ‘Woah, why me?’ I am fully aware of it and I try to honor it and do it with as much grace and integrity as I can.”
Speller grew up around his uncle (nicknamed DJ Bounce) in Brooklyn, New York and gravitated to voice acting from an early age. At Adams State University, Speller majored in broadcast journalism and got involved with the campus’ radio station.
However, the 48-year-old didn’t immediately pursue professional voice acting upon graduation. Instead, Speller continued his pursuit of playing in the NBA. Although he received offers to play overseas, Speller decided to play on an exhibition team in Denver while he occupied several ministry positions.
In the early 2000s, Speller saw a job opening for the Nuggets’ PA Announcer and recorded an audition that included announcing the team’s then-starting lineup. The rest is history.
However, Speller has also served the Nuggets in a different role for the past 13 years as the team chaplain. It’s a role that Speller cherishes as an opportunity to help any-and-everyone in Pepsi Center.
“It’s just about being able to give any kind of support,” Speller told The Athletic. “The other thing is, when I say, ‘team chaplain,’ I mean the whole team, everyone in that arena. So that’s the ushers, security guards, the media, coaches, players, fans. Do they need any encouragement, any prayer? I feel like that’s my real purpose there, and the announcing is just the icing on the cake.”
Speller has served the Nuggets’ organization for nearly two decades both on-and-off the court. He has paved the way for future PA announcers to make an impact in the community through a variety of platforms.