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ESPN planning all-woman crew to cover NBA game in Salt Lake City

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An NBA game next week between the Golden State Warriors versus the Utah Jazz on ESPN will be announced and directed by an entirely female crew, a first for the network. 

Play-by-play broadcaster Beth Mowins, who in 2017 was the first woman to call a “Monday Night Football” game, along with ESPN analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters will work the Feb. 9 game, as will 33 other women in production roles both on site in Salt Lake City and in the network’s control room at its Connecticut headquarters, ESPN announced on Thursday.

“I think it’s exciting to kind of celebrate,” Mowins said to The Associated Press. “There are a lot of the women that have been around the league for a while, and then others like me that are kind of new to it.”

“I think it’s important to still celebrate some of these big milestones, but I really do believe we’re getting closer to the day where it won’t be such a big deal and it will be very natural and very comfortable,” she added.

Coordinating producer Sara Gaiero also said in ESPN’s statement that the work was “incredibly rewarding.” 

“Each of these women make regular, valuable contributions to our NBA productions. I am so excited to watch them do what they do best — document an NBA game at the highest level,” Gaiero added.

The past year has seen several achievements for women working in the sports industry. 

In September, the Milwaukee Bucks announced they would hire Lisa Byington as the first female, full-time play-by-play TV announcer for a major professional men’s sports team.

Around the same time, Maia Chaka officiated a football game between the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers, marking the first time a Black woman officiated an NFL game.

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