Reporter Malika Andrews made history on Thursday, becoming the first woman to host the NBA Draft. “I am so excited to be the host of the 2022 NBA Draft,” the 27-year-old said in a video. “It’s really kind of beyond words.”
Andrews is the host of ESPN’s “NBA Today” and hosted the NBA Draft Lottery in May. She won a Sports Emmy for Emerging On-Air Talent earlier this year, beating out Julian Edelman, Eli Manning and Greg Olsen, who are ex-NFL stars that became broadcasters.
She also made it to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2021. She was recognized for her commitment to “advocating internally at ESPN for more nuanced coverage of race and gender topics.”
The Bay Area native, who previously worked for the Chicago Tribune and New York Times as a reporting fellow, became one of the youngest sideline reporters to work the NBA Conference Finals in the 2020 Orlando bubble.
She first appeared as part of NBA Draft coverage in 2020 as a telecast reporter, according to USA Today Sports. Due to Covid, the event was held virtually.
Andrews was drawn to journalism while a student at the University of Portland. She wrote in her school newspaper the dangers of a cement wall near a field and that made her realize how powerful the media is.
“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,” she said in an interview.
Andrews joined ESPN in 2018 and she is now an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Last year, she was presented with the organization’s Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year Award.
“Thank you to everyone who tuned in to the NBA Draft tonight. It’s an honor to play a small part in telling the stories of 58 remarkable men…” Andrews wrote on Twitter Thursday night after making history.
“And I may be the first – but I won’t be the last. We will keep pushing forward.”