MALIKA ANDREWS IS NOW THE FIRST WOMAN TO HOST THE NBA DRAFT

Malika Andrews has made history as the first woman to host the NBA Draft, USA Today Sports reports.

Andrews, an Oakland native, has always had a passion for journalism. Although she did not major in the field of study while attending the University of Portland, she served as the editor-in-chief of the university’s newspaper, The Beacon. It was her coverage of a men’s soccer game, where one player got seriously injured after he ran into a cement wall close to the field, that further sparked her interest in reporting. She followed up with the school’s athletic department regarding the cement wall and after she reported on it, the university padded the wall within a few days. Andrews, who saw how her words could influence action, has been in love with reporting ever since.

“Even if it was something as seemingly silly and innocuous as adding five inches of Styrofoam to a wall… to see that change that I put my fingers on. To me that was everything.” Andrews stated.

After college, she freelanced for various news outlets, one being The Associated Press. She moved on to a fellowship with The New York Times in their sports department, and then was hired by the Chicago Tribune as a beat reporter before becoming an online NBA writer at ESPN in 2018.

Andrews is now taking the sports television world by storm, along with her sister Kendra who joined her at ESPN earlier this year. Paving the way for her sister, in 2020, Andrews became one of the youngest sideline reporters for the NBA Playoffs and in 2021, served as a lead sideline reporter for the NBA Finals. The 27-year-old continues to work as an NBA reporter and host of ESPN’s “NBA Today,” appearing on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPN.com.

“Malika is one of the hardest workers I know, and she’s has set out such a great example for me, and other young women or young people of color, to follow,” the NBA reports Kendra saying. “She really understands all of the nuances of this business, and carries herself in a way that has earned her nothing but respect from the top people in this industry. It’s a blueprint I try to follow every day.”

Andrews is an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists and was named the organization’s 2021 recipient of the Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year Award. In May, she had the honor of hosting the NBA Draft Lottery – and most recently has made history as the first woman to host the NBA Draft.

“I am so excited to be the host of the 2022 NBA Draft, it’s really kind of beyond words,” Andrews said while filming a promotional video for the draft.

To top it off, the 2022 NBA Draft fell on the same day as the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a landmark legislation within the Education Amendments of 1972 that made gender discrimination illegal in any education program or activity that received federal funding. The sports world was greatly impacted as there was an increase of participation of girls and women in athletics after Title IX was signed into law.

Keep blazing your own trail, Malika! We thank you and all the other women who have and continue to open doors for women in sports.