— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) July 29, 2021
EDITOR’S NOTE: Linda Schulz is a coordinating producer for ESPN, leading efforts across men’s college basketball, NBA Draft, NIT, and other sports properties.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The NBA Draft is back. After a one-year hiatus from the in-person event, ESPN crews are locked in as we prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft presented by State Farm, exclusively on ESPN AND, for the first time ever, ABC (tonight, 8 p.m. ET).
We return to Barclays Center, where we expect appearances from 20 prospects and stands full of fans as we celebrate the achievements of so many incredible athletes.
On ESPN, led by producer Brian Boyle, director Jeff Nelson and coordinating producer Kim Belton, coverage will include in-depth news, player analysis and team needs.
Our ESPN telecast will be hosted by Rece Davis, alongside Jay Bilas, Mike Schmitz, and contributions from Kendrick Perkins, Rachel Nichols, Richard Jefferson and Bobby Marks. And, of course, the draft would not be complete without the breaking news from Senior NBA Insider, Adrian Wojnarowski.
— ABC (@ABCNetwork) July 26, 2021
ABC coverage, led by producer Eric Mosley, director Rodney Perez and coordinating producer Baron Miller, will be anchored by Kevin Negandhi, who will be joined by Jalen Rose and Chiney Ogwumike, with Malika Andrews handling all player, family and friend interviews. ABC will be where we embrace the players emotions, journey to this night and bring new backstage access to a broader audience.
Miles Brown, actor/rapper/dancer and star of ABC’s black-ish, will serve as our ABC Draft Correspondent, providing behind-the-scenes access and interviews for the telecast, including a red carpet interview with projected first overall pick Cade Cunningham.
This year’s show open is provided by the CCU team, Aimee Stokes, Rico Labbe, Oliva Powers, Emmie Polinchock, Kathryn Davidson and Melissa Rule. The tease is a high-tech animation world created by Miguel Oldenburg and edited by Justin Belcher. It will be scored with original music from rapper Benny ‘the butcher’ (Roc Nation), embracing throwback rap style with an early 2000s party vibe.
Throughout the night, our team will utilize 50 total cameras (9 robotic, 13 RF, 2 RF Steadicams, five jibs (virtual), a 2-point cable camera and one 8K shallow depth-of-field camera). Our operations team, led by Michael Foss, Steve Carter, Jack Coffey, Jim Munn, Kevin Wendling, Brittany Dippolito, Kelsey Hahn and Jayne Bonn – also confirmed that there were 1,360 pieces of equipment shipped in for the event.