EL DORADO HILLS — Grant Napear can be heard and seen in El Dorado County, Northern California and the country.
Since 1995, the El Dorado Hills resident has been the host of the “Grant Napear Show” on KHTK Sports 1140 weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. Napear also fills-in for nationally syndicated sports radio talk show host Jim Rome, whose show can also be heard on KHTK weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Since the early 1990s, Napear has been the play-by-play TV announcer for the Sacramento Kings. He’s also served as play-by-play announcer for Oakland Raiders’ pre-season games in the past decade.
Napear has coined many phrases over the years that include “Put it in the book and send him to the line!” and one of his famous and popular lines “If you don’t like that, you don’t like Kings’ basketball!”
Napear, his wife Starr and their five children love living on the west side of El Dorado County. Their sons, Trent, 16 and Chase, 14, attend Oak Ridge High School and play sports: Trent, a junior, plays in the Trojans’ basketball program and Chase, a sophomore, plays in the school’s boys lacrosse program.
“I love everything about El Dorado Hills,” Napear said. “There’s nothing I don’t like about El Dorado Hills. I like the communities, the schools are great. The athletic programs are outstanding. We have met great friends up there.”
During the NBA season, after announcing a Kings home game, Napear loves driving from Sleep Train Arena in Natomas to eastbound Highway 50 for home.
“The best feeling is getting off 50 and headed up Serrano Parkway and just seeing the beauty of the community,” said Napear, who moved to the Sacramento area in 1987 for a sports anchors job with one of the Sacramento TV stations. “It just puts you in a great mood. This is just my opinion, but I think that this is the best community to live in in the greater Sacramento area.”
In the last three years, the rumors regarding the Kings leaving Sacramento for Anaheim or Seattle, Wash. had thousands of listeners calling Napear’s radio show.
“What was going through my mind is that might have been the last season I ever announce NBA basketball,” said Napear, “because if the team moved to Seattle, the chances of me going up there would have been slim.”
No Kings in Sacramento would’ve meant new employment for Napear, a native of Syosset, N.Y.
“I would have, in all likelihood, tried to move out of the Sacramento community,” Napear admitted. “What was going through my mind was leaving El Dorado Hills. My kids are in high school, how difficult that would be. I would’ve had to uproot everything. It was a very tremulous time.”
Napear used his show to state the facts and feelings of what he felt was going to happen. As weeks and then months passed, Kings fans and a large portion of the Sacramento region rallied to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Two months ago, Vivek Ranadive purchased the Kings from the Maloof family. A new arena is projected in downtown Sacramento before the start of the 2016-17 season.
Many Kings fans have called Napear on his radio show to credit him as one of the many people who helped keep the Kings in Sacramento. Listeners continue to call and thank him. He feels Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is the key part for the Kings staying in Sacramento.
“I know what I did, I know what a lot of other people did,” Napear said. “There are a lot of people who did things behind the scenes. I truly believe it was a tremendous community effort. I say this on the air: ‘What we did in Sacramento was a group effort.’ I played a part of it, I have a strong voice and I’m aware of that.”
The Kings have not made the NBA Western Conference playoffs since the 2005-06 season. Sacramento has finished close to, if not, the bottom of the Pacific Division since the 2006-07 season. In addition, Sacramento has gone through six head coaching changes. Napear feels Kings fans in El Dorado County, as well as the region, should forget the past and be excited about the future.
“In a nutshell, what they had been doing has not been working, regardless if it was ownership, or management, it really doesn’t matter,” Napear said. “It was losing basketball without improvement. To me, what I’m so excited about is there’s a new philosophy about how to do things. I think (the new ownership) deserves a clean slate. I like the people in place. But this business is dependent if you win or lose.”
On July 11, Napear did his show from the Reunion Nightclub in El Dorado Hills. Mayor Johnson was one of his guests.
“The team had no chance of staying without Mayor Johnson,” Napear said.
Thanks to the efforts of Johnson and others including himself, Napear and his family can continue to call El Dorado Hills home for a long time.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.