Malika-Andrews
Malika Andrews | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Malika Andrews
  • Occupation Sports Journalist
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace California, USA
  • Birth Date Jan 27, 1995
  • Age 26 Years, 6 Months
Youngest and the first black journalist to cover NBA finals as a sideline reporter from ESPN

Malika Andrews | Biography 2021

Malika Andrews joined ESPN in New York in 2018. Within a year, at 25, she was sent to report the 2019-20 season NBA Playoffs as an ESPN sideline reporter at the World of Sports Complex in Florida. In 2021, ESPN announced that Andrews will replace the primary sideline reporter of ESPN, Rachel Nichols, and will correspond to the NBA finals of the season, between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. This allowed her to make history, becoming the youngest and the first black journalist to report the NBA finals, as a sideline reporter, from ESPN.


Malika Andrews is a sports journalist who became the youngest and the first black journalist to cover the NBA finals as the ESPN sideline reporter.

Who is Malika Andrews?

Malika Andrews had grown up watching sports with her father and sister. But, she was plagued with emotional turmoil and control issues at a young age. As a result, she got expelled from middle school, and due to that stress, Andrews developed an eating disorder. To overcome the issue, she and her parents sought help. Andrews was then enrolled in a year-long therapeutic boarding school in Utah.

Andrews gradually overcame her problems. Upon return, she continued her studies and graduated from high school earlier than others.

After taking some time off from studies, Andrews took Bachelor in Arts Communications major at the University of Portland. While studying, she started working as a writer at the school's newspaper called the Beacon. She then went on to become the Sports Editor and Editor-in-chief of the paper.

From her work at the Beacon, she won the 2016 'Best Writer' that was given among Oregon College Scholars. She also received several recognitions from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She had won a scholarship from the National Association of Black Journalists and received media training from the Sports Journalism Institute, given to diversified young journalists.

Andrews was working as an intern in the Denver Post when she when received a year-long James Reston Fellowship at the sports reporting department from the New York Times. She then worked for the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2018.

Andrews was then chosen to report the NBA Bubble from Florida as the ESPN sideline reporter. She replaced the existing primary reporter Rachal Nichols due to Nichols' conflicting comments on the network's diversity practices.

Andrews became the youngest and the first black reporter to cover the NBA playoffs and the finals. She was then listed under the 2021 'Forbes-30 Under 30 in Sports Edition.'

Early Life

Andrews was born on 27 January 1995 in Oakland, California. Her father, Mike Andrews, was a personal trainer, and her mother, Caren Andrews, was an art teacher. She grew up with a younger sister, Kendra Andrews.

Fighting Demons

At the age of 11, Andrews started developing anger issues. She showed signs of emotional disparity, which manifested into a frequent quarrel with her parents. However, her mother believed that it was a part of growing up, and as a Jewish follower, she arranged a bar mitzvah for Andrews.

Meanwhile, Andrews's emotional turmoil was growing inside her, and it turned to affect her education. At the age of 14, she got expelled from 8th grade of Head-Royce School, Oakland. It became additional stress to her condition, which then advanced into an eating disorder.

Andrews recounted her emotional trauma with the disorder and said it was different from the conventional symptoms, "It doesn't really fit neatly into a box. I struggled with restricting and purging. It is not really anorexia or bulimia. It is more anorexia than bulimia, but it doesn't fit super neatly into a box, which I learned through my years of treatment that more and more eating disorders don't fit neatly into a box."

Understanding her problems, she talked to her parents for help. Her parents decided to enroll her in a therapeutic boarding school in Utah for a year. The decision showed improvement to Andrews's mental and emotional stability. She gradually dealt with her issues and got back on her feet. She also resumed her studies in Utah, and after returning to Oakland, she graduated high school early.

However, Andrews doesn't want to enroll in college at just 17, so she chose to work at her grandfather's Civil Rights Law Firm. After working a 9-to-5 job for a while, she garnered confidence to apply for colleges.

College and Early Journalism

Andrews joined the University of Portland to do a Bachelor of Arts, choosing communications as her major. At the university, she befriended people from the university newspaper, The Beacon. With their influence and positive reinforcements, Andrews began writing stories for the paper. And before she could graduate in 2017, Andrews had already worked as the Sports Editor and the Editor-in-chief of The Beacon.

While working for The Beacon, Andrews collected several accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Most importantly, she won a scholarship from the National Association of Black Journalists, and she was the 2016 'Best Writer' among Oregon College Scholars.

Further, she received media training from the Sports Journalism Institute, given to diversified young journalists.

Before ESPN

Before graduating from college, Andrews worked as an intern writer at The Denver Post. While working as an intern, she received a year-long James Reston Fellowship from the New York Times, and she worked in the sports reporting department. She then worked for the Chicago Tribune for a year.

Other than her sports commentaries, Andrews was part of a team of journalists who traveled to Lake Tahoe to cover the recreated events between Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels. She also presented a discussion on the equestrian industry's influence on the Sonoma County wildfires in the fall of 2017. She also covered the impact of Larry Nassar's sexual assault case on children's gymnastics.

ESPN

In 2018, Andrews joined ESPN in New York. Within a year, she was sent to report the 2019-20 season NBA Playoffs as an ESPN sideline reporter at the World of Sports Complex in Florida.

Although Andrews had joined as a writer, the network found her fit as a reporter due to her expertise in the field. She was only 25 years old when she landed the Playoffs reporting, also known as the NBA/Orlando Bubble. She was not only the youngest but also the first black journalist to report such heavy accounts.

She then gave the ESPN Eastern Conference telecast for Game 1. In 2021, ESPN announced that Andrews will replace the primary sideline reporter of ESPN, Rachel Nichols, and will correspond to the NBA finals of the season, between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. 

Andrews was pitched after a video of Nichols' conflicting comments on the ESPN and a fellow reporter's assignment surfaced in 2020. Nichols then apologized for her comments, yet, she was taken down from her position as a primary sideline reporter, and the network giving Andrews the position.

Personal Life

Andrews was listed under the 2021 'Forbes-30 Under 30- Sports Edition.' Her sister Kendra Andrews is also a sports reporter at NBC sports.

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