ESPN is constantly strengthening and evolving its NBA coverage across linear and digital platforms. One of the best recent examples of this is the launch of The Hoop Collective.
It is the central, daily ESPN.com podcast series that features a virtual “who’s who” of ESPN NBA commentators Monday through Friday. Monday editions of The Hoop Collective generally feature an all-women’s cast – ESPN’s first all-women’s NBA podcast.
The diverse, talented trio of commentators include Ramona Shelburne (ESPN.com senior writer, who was already part of the ESPN NBA podcast team), Cassidy Hubbarth (ESPN NBA reporter and host) and WNBA All-Star Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun, WNBA analyst). It is produced by Andrew Han.
The trio of Shelburne, Hubbarth and Ogwumike had an opportunity to record their podcast in person for the first time at NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles. Here they discuss how this podcast came together.
“When forming The Hoop Collective, Han asked Ramona and I who we wanted to do the show with and since we had a relationship we both suggested each other,” said Hubbarth. “I then suggested Chiney since I just loved her energy and basketball IQ from working with her this summer. The chemistry between the three of us clicked immediately from our first show.”
The importance of being involved in an all-women’s NBA podcast is not lost on Ogwumike.
“Many women involved in some form of the business of basketball have been marginalized because people tend to question our knowledge and passion of the NBA just because we’re women,” said Ogwumike. “It’s great to know as females in the sports industry that we’re not alone and that we’re breaking down barriers and walls together. We all have these cool perspectives about the game that people can learn from.”
Shelburne echoed Ogwumike’s sentiments.
“We have incredible women who cover the NBA day in and day out,” said Shelburne. “Two of them are actual Hall of Famers — [ESPN The Magazine’s] Jackie MacMullan and [ESPN NBA analyst] Doris Burke —so it’s awesome to even be in that line.”
And what’s Shelburne’s quick pitch to NBA fans about why they should listen-in on Mondays?
“We talk about Lil’ Pump and LeBron James in the podcast. Where else will you find that?”
Check out this week’s edition of The Hoop Collective here: ESPN Podcenter.
Gianina Thompson contributed to this post.