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ESPN’s Malika Andrews Praised for Reporting at NBA Finals

The network designated her as the sideline reporter for the series just hours before it began

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ESPN's Malika Andrews is being praised for her performance during the NBA finals. (Photo: AP via Wibbitz)
By: Alyssa Wilson

ESPN sideline reporter Malika Andrews is being praised for her performance reporting during the NBA Finals, where the Milwaukee Bucks came out victorious against the Phoenix Suns. 

According to Newsweek, Andrews, who is 26 years old, became the youngest sports broadcaster to host the NBA Finals Trophy ceremony. She replaced Rachel Nichols, who is white, and was removed from covering the event after her comments about her Black colleague, Maria Taylor, were leaked.  

RELATED: Rachel Nichols Apologizes to Maria Taylor  

Many sports professionals, including J.A. Adande, the Director of Sports Journalism at Northwestern University, spoke highly of Andrews on social media after the game.  

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Andrews’ performance was “very impressive” and recognized her ability to handle the event with professionalism.  

Mike Hill, co-host of BNC’s Start Your Day and a former ESPN reporter, said Andrews and Bucks MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo were “spectacular” on the court in the series.  

WATCH: Mike Hill Talks Culture at ESPN Amid Rachel Nichols Fallout 

Citing the short-term notice Andrews had to prepare for the series after Nichols was ousted, Hill said she was well prepared. “She stepped up a day before the finals began to fill in in this role after the whole Rachel Nichols situation,” he said. “There’s a lot of preparation that goes into [the role], mental preparation of course, just the physical preparation of actually just looking up all the stats and getting ready for this type of series, and she came in and she was ready. She did her thing. She had insight, she had knowledge, she was poised down the stretch giving that trophy presentation and I could not be prouder of that young lady today.” 

Sharon Reed, Hill’s co-host on Start Your Day, gave Andrews props for being prepared. “She was ready. She was ready when they called her number,” she said. “And regardless of how she got there, I think she should stay. I think she should stay. I think we are ready for her fresh face, for her energy and for her skillset.”