New Role, New Goals
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
8 years ago today, I stepped foot on the campus of ESPN for Rookie Camp. I was a bright eyed, bushy tail young producer, still in graduate school and ready to conquer all that would be placed in front of me on my way towards figuring out how to become the next on-air talent voice for the sports conglomerate known across the globe. And eight years to the day, I am happy to announce that on November 2, I signed a contract that officially added me to ESPN's on-air talent roster beginning January 2023. Can we say I'm hyped AF!
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, I'm not hosting SportsCenter (lol), and my role is classified as recurring, but I'm thrilled about the transition to talent. In my new role, I'll be appearing on various shows across the network's digital platform, like WNBA Hoop Streams, College Tourney Live and BBTN Live (I'm definitely going to put on for us brown girls who love baseball if that's true ). I will also be doing a bit more sideline reporting for WNBA coverage during the 27th season, and will of course continue to serve as co-host alongside my bestie and sister LaChina Robinson on Around the Rim. Side note- we really turned our podcast in a WNBA YouTube show and I need y'all to really respect how hard that was and how dope we are for it!
I’m beyond thrilled to be transitioning to this role. I have had the pleasure of working with the diverse and talented group of people at this company in many capacities over the years. It is a joy and a dream come true to now work alongside them in a more permanent on-air talent role. But, it's not been easy to get here. I've come a long way. I even had an executive tell me three days after I was hired that I would never make the transition from production to talent because "that just doesn't happen." He even giggled a bit when he said it. I didn't understand what was so funny because the one thing I never lacked was ambition and drive. And he really messed up when he said the word 'never.'
Back story: When I started ESPN December 1, 2014 as a part-time assistant podcast producer, I was on the bottom of the totem pole: no benefits, no real money, still struggling. I met people, networked, and took advantage of some awesome opportunities during that time, which allowed me to contribute to Andscape (then The Undefeated), espnW and ESPN.com. Around the Rim afforded me the chance to travel more and get more personal with the people and league I was primarily covering. But, I was still not where I wanted to be. I worked in that part-time role for 6.5 years (yup - you read that right... SIX AND A HALF YEARS) before joining ESPN Social as a full-time senior social media specialist, overseeing the team’s WNBA coverage and leading the company’s audio-social strategy. Side note: As much shit as people give ESPN, you guys really have no idea how hard that team works to get it right. Some of the best brains in the business and I have learned so much from them. Proud to call them all teammates and I'm really going to miss working with them!
Over the last year, I hustled like never before. I put myself out there. I started working with Alexxis Hutchinson as my PR Manager and sis came through! More hosting, more panel opportunities, and ya girl even served as play by play announcer and color commentator for the CIAA Tournament on ESPN+, making history alongside three other women (Angel Gray, Tiffany A. Greene, and Helen Williams) as the FIRST All-Women broadcast team in the conference's history. I owned the sideline of the Connecticut Sun games as the team's reporter. And with people like LaChina Robinson and Monica McNutt in my corner
(man I love Black women), I made guest appearances on the network's top-rated programs, such as NBA Today and This Just In, as well as a few hits on ESPN Radio.
This was all hustle. This was all grind. My confidence, ambition and lack of ever giving up forced people to see me. Forced people to respect what I can bring to the table, and forced folks to notice that if you don't make room for me at your table, I'll just bring my own! But now there is much more to do. I haven't "made it.' Not by any stretch. And this announcement isn't about pretending that I have. I have a long way to go within my own standards to reach that level of success. But, the first goal was to get the position, and I'm proud to say I did that. The next goal is to crush it, to be the VERY BEST, and to take my opportunity to the next level to ensure other brown skin girls can do the same. From the eastside of Detroit to graduating from a prestigious HBCU (Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC), to landing a gig at ESPN, on to now having a chance to fulfill my dream is a blessing. I am grateful and eager to see what the next part of my career will hold. New Role. New Goals. This is just the beginning!