According to The Mercury News, a pair of Oakland sisters are rising through the ranks of sports writing, with both covering the NBA for ESPN.
Since they were tiny children, Malika Andrews (26) and her younger sister Kendra (24) have been immersed in sports. Mike and Caren Andrews, their parents, made it a point to have a family supper every night, where the four of them would discuss the sports games they were watching. Sports, rather than cartoons, became their primary source of enjoyment, with them spending hours watching the 49ers, Raiders, or Warriors. Their parents would invite them to discuss their team-building ideas and techniques over dinner.
Malika went to the University of Portland to study journalism and got a job covering the Milwaukee Bucks shortly after graduation, while younger sister Kendra shadowed Associated Press reporter Janie McCauley when she was still in high school. Following graduating, Kendra was offered a position as the Denver Nuggets beat reporter at The Athletic.
Malika’s major break came when she volunteered to work as a reporter in the NBA bubble during the pandemic, spending more than 100 days covering sports. During an otherwise shaky year in sports, her on-air reporting became a fixture. When the host spot for ESPN’s daily NBA show opened up, Malika was next in line to become the face of the NBA.
“The bubble was a big domino for me. How many moments do you get where you know the whole world is watching?,” Malika recalled.
Kendra, in classic little sister manner, was immediately behind her. After her tenure with the Nuggets, she came home to start covering the Warriors for NBC Sports Bay Area, making her first appearance on television. Kendra has already made her ESPN debut, taking over as the new Golden State Warriors beat reporter. Malika, her sister, was there to greet her live on air.
“It’s not every day you get to share the screen with your sister. Welcome to ESPN…I’m endlessly proud of you,” Malika tweeted under a clip of her and Kendra.
“I can’t think of two sisters, this young, who have accomplished this much when it comes to landing at what is the de facto, biggest sports media brand in the United States, and perhaps the world,” said Richard Deitsch, sports media writer for The Athletic.
Their parents have expressed their pride as well. Mom Caren, who works as an art teacher, listens to Kendra’s podcast on her commute to work and watches Malika’s show during her lunch break. Mike, a personal trainer, now spends his after-work hours grabbing a beer and watching Malika on ESPN instead of seeing his daughter Kendra on the Warriors postgame program.
“Mike and I joke now that they monetized our dinner conversation,” said Caren.
“It’s amazing to me. ESPN is just amazing. I keep waiting to wake up,” added Mike.