As the Boston Celtics’ public address announcer from 1980 to 1997, Andy Jick just wanted to be himself at the microphone.
“I’ve never tried to emulate anyone. I never lose sight of the fact that I’m not the show,” he told the Globe in 1991, adding that he liked to believe that the way he announced a Larry Bird three-pointer had a certain uniqueness.
In that profile, Globe reporter Joe Burris described Mr. Jick’s memorable delivery: “The first word drags along like a snail in first gear, the rest rush by like a speeding Amtrak train — ‘Thre-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-epointsforLarryBird!’ ”
Mr. Jick, whose tenure included the closing of Boston Garden in 1995 and the first two years of the Fleet Center, died in his sleep May 3 in his Newton home, his family said. He was 66 and had been treated for cancer in the past.
Since 2001, he had been the Boston College men’s and women’s basketball public address announcer.
“Andy Jick never had a bad day. He was one of the most upbeat and personable people I have ever met,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who hired Mr. Jick as the announcer for the Boston Lobsters of the World Team Tennis league in the late 1970s, said via e-mail. “He was always smiling and was such a joy to be around.”
The Celtics organization said in a statement that Mr. Jick’s voice provided the soundtrack to the team’s iconic run to three NBA championships in the 1980s. Mr. Jick had first worked for the Celtics as a Brandeis University student, mailing out season tickets.
“You could always rely on him,” said former Celtics general manager Jan Volk. “Andy understood his role and filled it to perfection. He never let us down and he was a truly nice guy who saw the humor in everything.”
In 1993, Mr. Jick read a touching tribute after the late Celtic Reggie Lewis was honored at Boston Garden with a moment of silence. He was similarly honored with a moment of silence before the Celtics-Milwaukee Bucks playoff game Monday at TD Garden.
His introduction of the powerhouse Celtic starting lineup Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Bird was an integral part of his repertoire, but his memories of great opponents such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving playing their final games in the Garden were also special.
“I’ll never forget Kareem’s retirement,” Mr. Jick said in the 1991 interview. “We were out on the floor, and several speeches were being made. I was standing by him about to speak. He leans over to me, and says, ‘Would you please talk fast? I’m getting nervous out here.’ ”
He also stood next to Erving when Celtics president Red Auerbach spoke about the Philadelphia 76ers star. Mr. Jick said he would “always remember” the tears streaming down Erving’s face.
“Andy had a big voice and an even bigger heart,” said BC men’s basketball coach Jim Christian, who recalled a free throw challenge Mr. Jick had issued to the varsity basketball teams. That resulted in Mr. Jick donating $2,000 the past two years to the charities of their choice.
In 2014, when Mr. Jick returned to work at BC while still undergoing cancer treatment, he was warmly welcomed and presented with a floral bouquet.
Known for his meticulous game preparation, Mr. Jick was also the announcer for Harvard University men’s and women’s hockey. In addition, at the time of his death, he was the announcer for several University of Massachusetts Lowell teams, including men’s basketball.
“It was an honor to have Andy as the voice of Harvard hockey,” said former Bruin Ted Donato, who is now the Harvard men’s hockey coach. “We’re saddened by the loss of a great friend to the program.”
UMass Lowell director of athletic communications Pete Souris added that Mr. Jick “had such a distinct voice and a passion for doing games, like nothing I had ever seen.”
Andrew Jon Jick was one of four brothers and sons of Rabbi Leon Jick and the former Millicent Flink. To their children, they passed on the importance of community and loyalty to friends.
Rabbi Jick, who died in 2005, had chaired the department of Near Eastern and Judaic studies at Brandeis. Mrs. Jick, who died in 2010, was a gallery lecturer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Mr. Jick’s brother Todd, of New York City, said the siblings had an all for one and one for all relationship, and that “on one hand, Andy liked to be far away from the limelight, finding his alone time, and yet, as a public address announcer for almost 40 years, was to be the main voice in front of thousands of people.”
When Rabbi Jick came to Brandeis in 1966, the family moved from Mount Vernon, N.Y., to Lexington. Mr. Jick, a 1970 Lexington High graduate, was basketball team manager for coach Rollie Massimino, who went on to win a national championship coaching at Villanova University. They remained friends until Massimino died in 2017.
Mr. Jick graduated in 1974 from Brandeis, where he managed the basketball team coached by former Celtic Bob Brannum.
Four years later, Mr. Jick recalled, after announcing games at Brandeis, he was “in the right place at the right time” when on the Friday afternoon of John Havlicek’s retirement weekend the Celtics’ regular announcer was sick and his replacement was unavailable. Mr. Jick filled in and was hired for the position two years later.
After his stint with the Lobsters, Mr. Jick worked for Kraft as a sales representative with International Forest Products, including for a time in Israel. “He was a natural,” Kraft said in his e-mail, adding that “our customers loved him.”
Mr. Jick’s subsequent jobs included manager of travel and services for the Timberland Co. in Stratham, N.H., from 2000 to 2012.
A service has been held for Mr. Jick, who, in addition to his brother Todd, leaves his brothers Theo of Needham and Dan of Newton.
Mr. Jick cherished two framed collections of press passes accumulated over the years, along with an autographed picture of Bird.
He also collected and nurtured “a treasure trove of wonderful friends,” said Dan, who added that his brother even lent his announcing voice to friends for weddings and bar mitzvahs.
“The bottom line,” Dan said, “is that if you were in AJ’s orbit, you were treated with compassion and kindness.”