ESPN’s Rowe, Spears get Curt Gowdy award
9:22 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN SALT LAKE CITY– The recipients of the 2023 Naismith Hall of Fame
Curt Gowdy Media Award, Andscape’s Marc J. Spears( print )and ESPN’s Holly Rowe( electronic), didn’t know each other well before sharing the stage at Vivint Arena on Friday afternoon. But through their decades of outstanding coverage of basketball, they’ve been united in their constant insistence on shining a light on subjects outside the spotlight.For Spears, it has been telling stories from behind the scenes and far from the court, in addition to pressing to increase variety in working with practices for teams.
For Rowe, it has actually been keeping a spotlight on females’s sports– even as she was told, at different times, to think about providing up to focus on higher-profile guys’s sports rather. And it’s led them both to the sport’s greatest media honor.”When I got the task at Andscape [in 2016], that was before the social justice motion hit,” Spears said after Friday’s ceremony.
“It was prior to there was turmoil at the White House. It was before George Floyd, right? So when we began writing at Andscape, a great deal of people sort of belittled it like,’Why is this essential?’But I enjoyed it, and I believe I have actually composed stories that have actually assisted Black coaches that weren’t getting took a look at get chances and eventually get jobs. Very same with general managers.”Whether it was coaches, front workplace people, whether it was women in sports … I felt like I wished to write something that had an effect beyond that day. There have been lots of, lots of people who have actually said thank
you to me, because they felt like I affected them having a chance, which, to me, makes this worth it. Attempting to tell stories that inspire, perhaps bring modification, bring a spotlight to something people don’t learn about and also discuss the uncomfortable. Why not have a conversation. Individuals are so terrified to have discussions about the uncomfortable when education and understanding can make the world a better place for everyone.”Rowe, on the other hand, said staying with ladies’s sports throughout her career was always a leading concern. And while she’s been thrilled to see the development of women’s sports over the last few years, she stated that isn’t why she thinks sticking with them is an important
thing to do.Editor’s Picks 2 Related”I think it’s truly unique what we’re seeing with females’s basketball,”Rowe said.”And if you think of it, they were simply behind. Women’s sports started later than guys. I believe this is a natural trajectory. But I believe it’s also actually essential for me.
At the start of my
career, I remember doing a Division III college football game between Pacific Lutheran and Mount Union. But this specific coach was a man named Wintry Westering with Pacific Lutheran, and he had this approach of ‘Making The Big Time Where You Are.’So, instead of chasing your entire life to make the huge time, whatever you’re doing, make that the huge time. And I believe that’s how I’ve approached my females’s sports coverage, however basically whatever I have actually done. “Whatever game I’m working, that’s my Super Bowl, that’s my greatest thing. I believe it’s really cool since I started covering games that nobody cared about, nobody blogged about, no one was taking note of, and I’ve plugged away at it for a really very long time and now people are seeing and paying attention and I do think the big time is where I’m at right now. Which is females’s sports, and we’re on this verge of this tipping point in ladies’s sports. So I’m really, actually pleased with that. I believe there’s a lot of people who start their career doing ladies’s sports, and then they get too big and go on and do guys’s sports, and I have actually never done that. I’ve stuck with my enthusiasm. I’m covering the biggest men’s sports today, however I’ve never given up my women’s and I’m actually happy with that. “Spears began his career covering college basketball at numerous stops, including the University of Arkansas, University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Cal State Northridge. In 1999, he began an NBA beat covering the Denver Nuggets for The Denver Post. Spears stated his profession changed permanently when, in 2007, he took control of the Boston Celtics beat at The Boston World in the wake of Kevin Garnett being traded there.”When I got that job, in 2007, or when I was up for it, I remember in the middle of me, the week before I spoke with, they got Garnett, “Spears stated. “And I resembled,’ I have actually got to get this job.’I got that task, and I keep in mind [NBA journalist] Ric Bucher informing me,’ Individuals are going to see your work in a different way now.’ Not that they didn’t think it was good in Denver. However it’s the Celtics, and Boston.”From there, Spears spent several years at Yahoo! Sports, working along with existing ESPN Senior NBA Expert Adrian Wojnarowski, before signing up with Andscape in March 2016. Along the way, he’s covered more than 20 All-Star Games and NBA Finals and cemented himself as one of the sport’s premier writers. And while he took a circuitous path to ESPN, Spears is pleased how it worked out. “It took me a long period of time to get to
ESPN, but I’m thankful the method I did because I’m writing about a lot of social justice concerns, I’m writing a lot about behind the scenes, players lives as individuals, coaches as people. Their trials, their successes, their discomforts and their triumphs, and I truly, really take pleasure in informing these stories. And I’m extremely grateful to the players and coaches and general managers and PR individuals for having the confidence in me to tell those stories, due to the fact that they do not let everybody behind the drape, and I have actually been able to get behind the drape, and the capability to support the curtain with players and speak about things individuals do not really wish to talk about, in between race and culture and things that are painful to speak about, I have actually accepted that.”For Rowe, who has actually been with ESPN on a full-time basis given that August 1998, Friday was unique for her on a couple of levels– most especially that she was back in her home town. From the very beginning of her profession, which began after graduating from the University of Utah in 1992, Rowe has blazed her own path, consisting of actually producing the very first ladies’s radio broadcast in Utah. “When I was leaving college, there weren’t a great deal of opportunities for females in sports
, “Rowe said.”I got the University of Utah ladies’s radio games on the radio, so I could reveal them. I had to go do a time buy for the radio station, get the games on. So I did the first women’s basketball games ever on the radio in Utah.”That was the beginning of what a respected career. Rowe has actually ended up being ESPN’s lead men’s and ladies’s college basketball press reporter, in addition to holding the exact same function with the WNBA.
She also deals with the Utah Jazz broadcast.Juggling all of those responsibilities results in a wild schedule– like the one Rowe went through over the past week: Jazz-Timberwolves on Wednesday Stanford-Arizona ladies’s basketball on Thursday Alabama-Auburn guys’s basketball on Saturday South Carolina-LSU ladies’s basketball on Sunday Jazz-Pacers on
Monday A visit to Baylor for a feature on Tuesday Jazz-Grizzlies on Wednesday”I don’t know how many hours of continuously basketball that is, “Rowe stated with a laugh,” however it’s all levels– men’s, women’s, college, pro– and I take pride in that.”And, while Spears and Rowe never ever met before Friday, they both respected each other from afar and enjoyed share the honor.”I have strong
respect for her, guy,” Spears said.”She’s a legend. She’s opened a ton of doors for
females. Brought spotlight to females. She’s one of the
greatest– not just females journalists, but journalists,
ever. I didn’t even understand if she
knew who I was. She’s a legend. I simply presumed she was in here currently. That was my first time actually fulfilling her and I seem like I’ve known her my whole life now. She’s a really excellent person.””I still do not know that I have processed it, “Rowe said with a laugh.”
I’m actually honored to be sharing Marc Spears. He’s somebody who I admire his work tremendously. He’s so well-respected in the NBA.
I read his work consistently. I retweet him consistently. I’m really honored to be going in with him. “They both shared an appreciation for being honored by doing this– something both stated would take some time to process. “You dream about this as a kid, however the important things kids need to comprehend is there’s a great deal of other ways to get in here,” Spears said.”Yeah, I would have liked to play in the NBA. But I have actually been able to see the world. I’ve probably seen more NBA games
than all NBA players have played. Simply be around the best players every day, be close to the game, and not harm my knees while doing so. To get in the Hall of Popularity? Dude, they can put my name in a closet somewhere, but I remain in there. Just the fact that I’m in there, I don’t know that there’s a greater honor on this world that I could get than to be in this Hall. I don’t understand how I can reveal how much of an honor it is to be there, journalists that are there prior to me, players, simply to merely have my name therein. It might be upside down, however I do not care. I remain in there. It feels amazing. “