BY LOREN BRANCH
They say, “There is a first time for everything,” and the January 25 late night match up between Gonzaga and BYU on ESPN2 featured one of those moments. It was an experience that was not only entertaining but potentially a huge historic step for women in sport media.
I have watched very few men’s college basketball games covered by one female announcer and before this game, I had never watched a game covered by two. Because I did not recognize Kara Lawson or Beth Mowins’ faces right away, two questions popped into my head; are they the first all female crew to cover men’s sports for a major network and how great of a resume do you have to build to be a part of such a rarity in sports?
I held off researching my questions until the end of the game in order to evaluate Lawson and Mowins’ coverage.
During the game, I was not surprised to find out that they are both very good announcers. They kept the game exciting and interesting with their comments and analysis, and even did a great job of incorporating information about other college basketball teams and the NBA including comments about Carmelo Anthony’s 62-point game. I usually don’t pay attention to announcers but their coverage definitely kept my attention.
It was after the game that I grew even more impressed with Lawson and Mowins. First off, I could not find any evidence of any other all female crews covering men’s sports for a major network. This means that even if they aren’t the first, they are one of the first teams to reach such a great achievement. Their experience certainly gives them the credibility to be a part of this rare situation.
It wasn’t until I began researching Kara Lawson’s career that I realized she was a WNBA player that I had seen play multiple times. As far as broadcasting, she has been working with ESPN since 2004 and became the first woman to serve as a national broadcast analyst for an NBA game in 2007 (espnmediazone.com).
Mowins’ resume also proves her credibility, which is highlighted by the fact that she has been working in sports casting since 1991 and became the second woman to call ESPN nationally televised college football games in 2005 (espnmediazone.com). Nonetheless, if this is a first in men’s sports, these two were great selections to make it happen