June 05, 2018
By: Meghan Caffrey
On Monday ESPN announced they agreed on a multi-year contract extension with Doris Burke. The contract solidifies her role as a full-time NBA game analyst and reporter for the conference finals and NBA finals. This. Is. Huge.
Reading all of the articles on Burke’s extension as well as the recent coverage of her quality NBA coverage during this year’s conference finals and NBA finals has been incredibly motivating to me. Not only because Burke is a Jersey girl herself (heyo!), but because she has completely trailblazed success for women in sports broadcasting.
In case you didn’t know, Burke was the first woman to announce a Big East men’s basketball game on television, the first woman to announce a New York Knicks game on TV or radio, and the first woman to be a full-time NBA analyst on national television. She’s completely redefined the role of what people usually think of when they picture women in sports. People usually see females during a game broadcast and think, “Oh they’re just a pretty face that the network put on because they needed a woman.” That literally makes me cringe.
One thing that stands out to me the most about Burke as to why she is so incredibly successful and why I study her delivery, her verbiage, her body language, and so much more is because she has gotten to this level of greatness because of her work ethic.
Burke didn’t just magically start calling games one day. After a successful basketball career-she holds the all-time leading scoring record in Manasqaun High School’s history, she went on to play at Providence College where she became an All-Big East player, she went on to coach at her alma matter post-graduation. And when she decided to go into broadcasting, it was a struggle over many years to move from the typical female sideline reporter spot to calling games from the booth up top.
Doris Burke is just one of the many women in sports that I look up to. She’s not the only one who holds a full-time NBA analyst job for ESPN. Heck, last year we had a woman [Shout out to Beth Mowins] call NFL play-by-play for CBS for the first time ever. I am absolutely addicted to the work it takes to make it in this business. And when women as incredible and downright the best at their job get such positive national attention, I can’t help but let it press the reset button for me, and help motivate me to step up my game and work even harder to start to pave my own road to success.