The Sioux Falls Skyforce has more than just one influential voice. As important as JD Collins is on the mic to the fans at the Sanford Pentagon on game nights, another voice is responsible for entertaining, engaging and informing fans who were not able to attend the game in person.
Dan Peters has been the radio and livestream voice of the Skyforce dating back to 2009 and has become a staple in the virtual experience that Sioux Falls fans have received over the years.
You can’t tune into a Skyforce telecast without hearing his voice. You can’t watch highlights the day after a Skyforce victory without sharing in his enthusiasm. Peters’ voice, whether you’ve realized it or not, goes hand-in-hand with Skyforce basketball.
“Getting the play-by-play position [with the Skyforce] was actually pretty simple,” said Peters. “I was contacted by management at KSOO that the opportunity was available, and began in the fall of 2009. At the time, I was working part-time with most of my focus being as a stay-at-home dad. I’ve been a part of Skyforce basketball ever since.”
Peters was a natural from the jump, but it’s his care for the position and desire to constantly be improving that has contributed to his long tenure with the organization.
“What I find most challenging, but also very rewarding, about the position is the preparation for each game,” said Peters. “Specific things like watching film, searching for written profiles on players and unearthing unique facts that can add texture to the broadcast.”
Few take as much pride in their profession and craft as Peters does in his, but it’s not just being one of the best on-air talents around that keeps him coming back. Peters has a heart for people. He cares about those he works with. He cares about those he works for. This heart spills out in his interactions with the players and coaches that rush in and out of Sioux Falls each year, often on their way to “bigger and better” things.
“I love the game of basketball,” said Peters. “Being able to build relationships with those who are at this level of the game is fascinating to me. I learn what drives players and coaches. It helps me to better read people, and to ask better questions of them post-game that can be informative to the listener, all while being respectful to the interview subject.”
Peters is one of the first staff members in the gym each night, and among the last to leave. Before each home game, he sits down with the Skyforce head coach, most recently Eric Glass, and discusses that night’s game to get a better idea of what he can expect from the Force in the next few hours. When the game ends, after he finishes with the nightly on-court post-game interview with a player, Peters is one of the first media members into the Skyforce locker room for media availability.
Whether the Force are playing on a Tuesday or a Saturday, in a blizzard or in mild winter-weather in Sioux Falls, on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving… one thing never changes. Dan Peters will be on time, and ready to roll.
Even after 11 years of the same work, it still never gets old.
“The best part about every home game is getting to the court early and having that sense of optimism that something very special will happen during the 48 minutes of basketball we’re about to see,” said Peters.
Peters’ sense of optimism and emotional transparency are contagious for fans tuning in, and his unbiased and informative approach to each basketball game is something that fans have grown to appreciate over the years.
So, having spent over a decade pouring over game film, studying and learning about players and their personal lives, spending time with and investing in relationships with players and coaches over the years, who are some of Peters’ favorite players to have donned a Skyforce uniform?
“I have a specific reason for each of my favorite players,” said Peters. “Reggie Williams was the first to develop right before my eyes into a player that could impact the game at an NBA level. Henry Walker brought a swagger and a clutch tendency to Sioux Falls that was impossible to ignore and was fun to watch. Briante Weber’s defensive ability at the guard position shifted into areas I had never seen before. Finally, Rodney McGruder was the most relentless worker who took advantage of almost every opportunity to help the team win.”
Switching from his favorite players to simply his favorite moments as part of the Skyforce organization, Peters says the 2015-16 Championship season stands near the top of the list.
“How can you top being a part of a championship moment,” asked Peters. “Over the course of a full season, winning 40 regular season games…that entire experience and group of players as a unit was so special. I was glad to be able to bring that experience to the fans.”
Trailing closely behind was an experience that not too many broadcasters have had the opportunity to share in, not just in the NBA G League but at any level of basketball…briefly sharing a booth with NBA legend and Miami HEAT President Pat Riley, who visited Sioux Falls to catch a Skyforce game early in the HEAT”s single-affiliation partnership with the Force.
“A very close second was being able to interview Pat Riley,” said Peters. “He is one of the giants in the game of basketball.”
— Sioux Falls Skyforce (@SFSkyforce) March 23, 2014
Peters’ heart and passion for others doesn’t just showcase itself on game nights, however. It’s how he lives his life. His genuine desire to connect with others and make a positive impact in their lives spills into his personal life and “day job” as well.
“My real job is driving pickup routes for Goodwill,” said Peters. “I enjoy visiting other parts of the region on those routes and working with both the clients and my co-workers in the warehouse.”
A man of many talents, Peters enjoys more than just watching and calling a basketball game. Whether it’s listening to music, baking desserts, staying in shape or watching NASCAR, Peters is “all-in” all the time.
If you ever get the chance to cross paths with him, ask him how he’s doing. He’ll respond in the same way he responds to everyone else who asks how he is, and the answer will be just as genuine.
“I am blessed.”
A light to others. A delight to listeners. That’s who Dan Peters is.
Next time you tune into a Skyforce broadcast (which will now have to wait until next fall during the 2021-22 season), pay extra attention to who’s on the call that night. Inevitably, it will be Dan Peters back for yet another round. Back for another chance to build new relationships with new players and coaches. Back for another opportunity to bring the passion and excitement of Skyforce basketball to viewers and listeners who aren’t able to be there in person.