New Wolves PA announcer finds there’s more than one way to the NBA
There’s a new voice this season calling Timberwolves games at the Target Center, and it belongs to 24-year-old Jedidiah Jones.
The Minneapolis native with a baritone voice beat out a competitive field last summer to become the youngest public address announcer in the team's history.
“It's one of the greatest things of all time, to me, being able to work with amazing people, people that I get to talk to on a daily basis, to get to interact with coaches, interact with players,” he said. “The experience itself is just the best day to me.”
At a recent game against the Utah Jazz, Jones’ booming voice announced the Wolves’ starting lineup while loud music blared.
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The fans roared as Jones announced each team member.
“This is the biggest and the best thing that's ever happened to me, easily. Because the Timberwolves are taking a chance on me, a young 24-year-old man, they could have easily chose anybody else who had the experience,” Jones said during a call a day after the game. “But they chose a young man like me, with no experience, never did it at the high school level. Never did it at the college level. But now I'm doing it on the NBA level.”
It has been a long, sometimes joyous, and always complicated road for Jones to arrive where he is today.
When he was a child, doctors found tissues connecting Jones’ vocal cords, resulting in a rasp for young Jedidiah.
But when Jones hit 12, he said, his raspy voice changed to a “deep, manly Barry White-kind-of-voice.”
His friends constantly impersonated him, he said. Once, a coach asked him to say, “I can’t get enough of your love babe.”
“Turned out it was a Barry White song,” Jones said.
Jones enrolled in radio classes at North High and was a radio host for Jazz 88, KBEM-FM, the school district’s radio station. He went by the name “Quiet Storm.”
Paul Kraimer, currently the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at North High, was his radio teacher. Kraimer arrived in Jones’ senior year.
“He was probably one of the first students ever mentioned from the general manager of the radio station and he just said, ‘You've got to meet Quiet Storm.’ I’m like, that's someone's name?” Kraimer recalled.
Jones “was one of the easiest kids to teach because he just got it,” Kraimer added. He described Jones as a “quiet and curious” student. He knew how to run a soundboard and use software editing programs.
“I took his quietness as he was kind of looking around and taking it all in and learning,” said Kraimer.
Jones was honored as 2016 Broadcaster of the Year for his work at Jazz 88 and was the recipient of the Arthur Colberg Memorial Scholarship.
Jones also played basketball under legendary coach Larry McKenzie, who also coached Jones older brother, Levi. Jedidiah struggled a bit playing in the shadows, McKenzie says. He told Jones that he couldn't judge himself against anyone else. One night he realized that Jones’ voice would take him far.
"That's gonna be your ticket,” he said referring to a conversation he’d had with Jones. “And it's been a ticket.”
After graduating from North Community High School, Jones dropped out of a couple of local colleges. He moved on from job to job, never satisfied with any of them. He went back to school a third time to study acting. Jones made the Dean’s List and signed with an agent. Things looked promising, but then COVID-19 hit in early 2020. School ended and acting gigs were not an option anymore.
Jones found a job working in medical assembly and married his girlfriend in 2020.
The couple seriously talked about moving in the summer of 2022 to be closer to his talent agency and management team in Los Angeles. Jones said he didn’t think there was anything in Minnesota for him.
“I felt like I couldn't really get the amount of love and the amount of support that I felt like I should have gotten in my own state and own city,” he said.
But right around that time, Jones heard about the Timberwolves PA auditions and applied. He was one of 300 people who did.
“I told myself just off the voice I have to make the second round, just off the voice,” he said.
Jones was correct. He made it to the second then third round. A team official called him and extended the job offer.
“When I heard that, I lost it,” he said. “Me and my wife were in the living room just jumping around like kids jumping for joy. We couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe it.”
Jones found a way to make it to the NBA.
“I wanted to set an example that you don't always have to be an athlete to exactly get to where you want to be sports wise,” he said. “I always wanted to be an NBA player. So I'm not an NBA player. I still made it to the NBA as a PA announcer.”