Women’s History Month Interview Series: Q&A with NBA TV Personality, Kristen Ledlow
Kristen Ledlow has broken barriers for female journalists everywhere.
With a strong work ethic, knowledge and love of the game and a great sense of humor, Kristen Ledlow has broken barriers for female journalists everywhere as the first and only female talent to be hired by NBA TV Network. From a student-athlete to 3rd Runner up at Miss Florida USA to co-hosting ‘Inside Stuff’ alongside Grant Hill, Ledlow has and continues to make strides as a prominent broadcaster and figure in the sports industry.
Anna Negron (AN): Where did you go to school and what opportunities were you able to explore before making it to the “big time?”
Kristen Ledlow (KL): I graduated from Southeastern University (FL), played basketball and volleyball and majored in broadcast and communications. While I was there, I took advantage of the broadcast department and ran and produced my own sports show so by the time I walked into local news as a very young broadcaster, I had already had a lot of experience in that department.
AN: What drove you to become a sports reporter?
KL: I wanted to do this since I was a little girl. The only thing I wanted to be aside from this was a marine biologist. It was this or dolphins.
AN: Did you face any challenges as you made your way into the industry?
KL: Every single day is a challenge. You’re in a position that invites so much criticism and wide spread opinion from men and women and sports fan bases. It’s a unique position… it would be impossible to go through all of them. For me, it’s ultimately about minding the things that matter the most and that everyday I’m getting the chance to live my dream.
AN: As a woman in sports, what do you find to be the best aspect and the worst aspect of working in the industry?
KL: Fortunately, the sports industry has expanded and has been very intentional about becoming diverse. The positive—there are a lot more opportunities available than before. It’s a good time to be a woman in this industry.
AN: What woman/women has/have served as your role model(s) and inspiration?
KL: Doris Burke I looked up to fromm the time I was very young. Within the industry now—Michelle Beetle, Rachel Nichols, Sage Steele, Charissa Thompson.
AN: Many aspiring journalists, myself included, look up to you and value your accomplishments. What advice would you give to up-and-coming graduates as they enter the “working world?”
KL: Prior to graduation, I would advise to intern and get involved as much as possible. Utilize any outlet that is available. Post grad—my advice, honestly, is to not stop. Much of the success of mine is because I never stopped trying. Strive to be the best, don’t settle for mediocrity. Doing it halfway is worse. I tell young women, if there is something you want to do more, do that thing. This industry requires a full commitment of everything you have—your time, your talent. Don’t settle for ‘no’ as an answer.
AN: What is it like being the first and only woman hired by NBA TV? Working with Grant Hill?
KL: It’s a very cool thing to be at our network. I’m not going to be the only one forever, but it’s cool to realize that no one will ever think that they can’t do it. It’s a very special thing that I don’t take for granted… I always feel like I’m sucking up when I’m taking about Grant. Everything you hear is true. He’s the kindest, classiest person and coworker.
AN: What is your most memorable interview to date?
KL: It’s never wasted that I get to sit down with coaches and athletes that I’ve been a fan of since I was 8 years old. It’s tough to choose. A handful of the interviews I’ve done are about interests off the court—we get a chance to see what they like to do. We took a boat ride with George Gervin on the Riverwalk in San Antonio and fans were lined up on both sides screaming ‘Go Spurs!’… Any legend that I meet is special.
AN: With that, what’s your favorite sports memory?
KL:  NBA All-Star Game. That was amazing. A chance to be at an event at MSG is great, but to be in it is so special and great to be a part of. [Playing in the Celebrity All-Star game], you spend a day with such interesting people in entertainment, music and sports.
AN: Favorite Sports movie?
KL: Space Jam
AN: If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
KL: 1. Bill Russell. He’s the ultimate champion and it would be privilege to be in the presence of the man who played the game I love.
- Michael Jordan was and is the reason, when I was little, that I wanted to play the game in the first place. He was everything. It would be a privilege to meet him, let alone have dinner with him.
- Taylor Swift because I think that we would best friends.
AN: (If you ever have one) What’s a typical day-off for you?
KL: I sleep. I do laundry. If I have more than one day off in a row, I go see my family. I have no social life outside.
AN: March is Women’s History Month. What type of legacy do you hope to leave, not only through your career, but as a woman?
KL: That’s a special question for me everything time I’m asked. I remember being a young girl and not having very many women to look up to in a male-dominated field.
For me, I want to leave a legacy of integrity. When a little girl says she was watching, to have been able to look at me and be able to do it also.
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