Many Black American individuals have greatly influenced my life. Anyone from civil rights activists to favored artists have had an impact on me and contributed to my growth. However, the main individual who has inspired the most changes in my life is Malika Andrews. Not only did she make me realize what I want to do in life, but she actively provides a positive example of Black female success through a medium in dire need of diversity: sports journalism.
Malika Andrews works for ESPN as a sports journalist and sports analyst. She hosts the show NBA Today and can be seen on the sidelines interviewing players and in the studio analyzing various games. Her versatility in the sports world along with her success is what originally drew me to sports journalism. I was fortunate enough to catch the pregame show before a basketball game, and I was blown away by her. She used statistics to correctly predict the winning team, and she broke down that same game during halftime and the post-game show. Malika not only covered the highlights, but she also interviewed the lead scorer from the studio. Her work gave me the awakening I needed to determine what I want to contribute to this world which is entertainment and increased diversity in sports. The narrative of sports being “a man’s thing” is still believed by a handful of people, and my goal is to decrease or eradicate that handful by adding to the number of Malikas in sports journalism. She inspires me to avidly work toward making my dream a reality as a freshman Honors student majoring in broadcast and sports journalism at the University of North Texas. I made the Fall 2022 President’s List with a perfect 4.0 GPA, and I am on track to do so for the Spring 2023 semester. I am also gaining experience at North Texas Television, UNT’s esteemed broadcast network. Since last semester, I have been writing scripts for myself and other anchors to present live, creating voice-overs for live headlines and original content packages, and filming, editing, and interviewing people for original content packages as a sports anchor for their Tuesday and Thursday Noon shows. I also analyze different events in sports and provide detailed analysis on their Tuesday sports talk show Sportszone while occasionally working behind the scenes by timing the shows and providing time cues to ensure the show stays on time. I am the only Black female in a sports-related position on both shows.
My daily motivation comes from Malika Andrews who has had and always will have a lasting effect on my life. She led me to discover my passion for speaking about sports while making a difference in gender and racial equality, and I will forever be grateful for catching that basketball game on a whim three years ago. Not only does she have an impact on me, but she consistently provides a positive example of diversity to young Black girls across the country.