Kendra and Malika Andrews, Sisters and ESPN Reporters, Are Thriving
How did you both develop the kind of confidence that allows you to get on a microphone in such a male-dominated space?
Kendra: We come from a family of strong women.
Malika: I was literally just going to say that!
Kendra: Our mother’s mom, Cathy, was the first female partner in her law firm. She was pregnant while she was going through law school, she was the first female lawyer at her firm, the first female partner, all these things. Our mother and our grandmothers made it very clear to us. Our mom always says, “Take up space, take up space.” She hates it when she sees us in pictures standing with our legs crossed because she says, “You’re making yourselves smaller. Take up space.”
Malika: She says that we owe her a pair of new shoes every time—
Kendra: Every time she sees us with our legs crossed. From super early on, we were taught to never be afraid to make our opinions known.
Growing up, what was your relationship to sports like?
Kendra: Sports was our family time. Both of our parents were working parents. By the time our dad got home at 7:30 or 8, it was dinner. And so our time together was spent watching the Warriors, some Niners, some Raiders.
Malika: We played every sport, but it was because that was a part of being a participant in the Andrews family—from volleyball and soccer to horseback riding and skiing and dancing. Then professional sports was something we came together at the end of the day to do. If we wanted to stay up late to watch a cartoon, that wasn’t an option. But if we wanted to watch the Warriors, then you could stay up past bedtime.
Viewers might have the perception that you just go on camera and talk about the most recent game or read cue cards. What does the prep work really look like?
Kendra: People always ask, “If games are at night, what do you spend your days doing?” You call agents. You call front-office people. You just talk to as many people as possible to get as much information so that you have news to report on and things to share, because if you don’t have anything to talk about, you’re not going to go on TV. You can just watch a game and then go on TV and talk about what you saw. Unless you’re a certain person, no one really cares what you think. I try to get as much information as possible so I can say, “Hey Malika, on your show you guys are talking about Steph Curry’s shooting struggles. Well, I talked to his coach about what exactly they think is going on with him.”
Malika: On NBA Today, my day starts with a 7 a.m. production meeting. It’s about a half an hour, we go over the show content for the day, and then I’m reading articles on espn.com, I’m talking to reporters who have become my friends, gaining insight. I’m prepping every day because biggest breaking news in the world or no games the night before, I have a show to do for an hour every day.