On rise, NBA playoffs, WNBA story lines, more

National TV show host. Emmy Award winner.

Inspiration to women of all colors.

And she’s just 28 years old.

Malika Andrews has become one of the most recognizable sports media personalities in the country.

Since joining ESPN in 2018, the talented Andrews has gone from being an online NBA reporter to hosting NBA Today, ESPN’s weekday NBA studio show – and doing State Farm commercials.   

USA TODAY recently caught up with Andrews to talk about travel tips, her meteoric rise, NBA postseason takeaways, major WNBA storylines and the craziest answer she has received doing a live interview. Her answers were lightly edited for clarity.

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Looking at your partnership with Sling TV, you talk about travel tips. What’s your best travel tip?

MA: “Always bring a neck pillow. Oh my goodness. Those $8 neck pillows, they save my life. I get teased because I forget them so often when I go to the airport. My front closest that holds all of our coats and stuff when you come in the house, I have like 15 neck pillows all stacked up because I forget them so often. I’m like, I can’t get on this plane without one or my neck is going to be too messed up when I land. There’s nothing worse than having to work through a headache when you get into a place. There’s nothing worse than that. Besides having all of your apps downloaded, your Sling TV downloaded, your movies downloaded, whatever it is that you’re going to need on the plane, I’m usually working on the plane, I need the neck pillow. That is the most important thing to bring for me because I get so messed up if I accidentally fall asleep or something. I know I’m 28, but my body is actually 107. That’s very important to me.”

Having a snack at the airport is of high priority for Andrews, too.

MA: “What is it about airports that you’re always hungry? I won’t be hungry and when I get to the airport, I’m like, you know what, I need that Chek Mix. I need that, but neck pillow is No. 1. They don’t sound good any other time. You never walk into a grocery store and go, you know what I’m going to get, I’m to get some cheddar Chex Mix, and then you do it at an airport. Yep, this is for me. This is luxury.”   

Your rise in this business has been amazing. You worked the 2021 finals, won an Emmy last year and you’re now hosting ESPN’s NBA Today. Clearly, a lot of work has gone into it, but how have you taken all of it in? Have you taken time to enjoy it or have you remained in the mode of, this is what you do, and this is what you’re trying to accomplish?

MA: “A little bit of both. I totally still have imposter syndrome. That I’m going to wake up tomorrow and it’s all going to be a dream and it’s all going to be gone. My wonderful bosses are going to wake up and realize, oh, we didn’t mean to give this to Malika Andrews….

Read More: On rise, NBA playoffs, WNBA story lines, more 2023-05-21 11:32:52

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