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“First Take’s” Friday Roadshow Presents Unique Homecoming Opportunity for Florida A&M Alum Kareem White

ESPN senior talent producer and Rattler (Class of '97) played key role in setting up guest lineup for remote

ESPN senior talent producer Kareem White, Florida A&M alum (Class of ’97), speaks to students on campus in 2016. (Kareem White/ESPN)

Friday, ESPN’s First Take will be live from Florida A&M for the university’s homecoming weekend, marking its first roadshow since Jan. 2020.

Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim Rose will be joined by Hollywood filmmaker Will Packer – and a full star-studded, virtual and in-person celebrity guest lineup – as the school dedicates the Will Packer Amphitheater, where the show will take place.

The commitment of the team behind the scenes is on full display with every episode of First Take. Still, it means just a little bit more when it’s a remote event at your alma mater. Front Row talked with Florida A&M alum (Class of ’97) – who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism – and current ESPN senior talent producer Kareem White about what it means to be back on campus with First Take.

What’s your role on First Take?
I primarily work on the NBA but was assigned to First Take for this remote. I am responsible for booking all the guests (athletes, celebrities, and influencers) for the show that will make for good television.

How did this star-studded guest lineup come together?
For the past couple of months, I’ve been brainstorming with the First Take producers and senior coordinating producer Antoine Lewis about which guests would make the best show possible. I have also been working with Will Packer’s reps, along with multiple publicists and agents, to make it happen. Teamwork made the dream work on this project.

What does First Take’s continued commitment to celebrating and highlighting HBCUs mean to you?
I think it’s incredible. It makes my heart smile. For [ESPN SVP, NBA, and Studio Production] David Roberts, Antoine Lewis, and Stephen A. Smith to have the foresight to spotlight HBCUs displays their commitment to diversity. It also simultaneously provides a window to the sports and media world to showcase how the HBCU experience is amazing and like no other.

What will it be like heading back to campus for this show?
This will be a full-circle moment to go back to my alma mater’s homecoming for work. I was especially passionate about working on this assignment given the fact that it is marrying my career and my school life together. If you’ve ever talked to any HBCU alum, they will tell you how much homecoming means to them.

What are you most looking forward to seeing?
I’m looking forward to seeing the people, enjoying the events surrounding homecoming, and being back in my old stomping grounds. FAMU’s homecoming is always a special time, and it’s like a family reunion. Of course, I’m biased, but I do truly believe that FAMU has the best homecoming.

What’s your favorite FAMU memory?
I have two. My freshman year, I got a chance to attend a concert for a young up-and-coming rap group named OutKast on campus (and made me a lifelong fan). My senior year, FAMU was named the first-ever Time/Princeton Review College of the Year.

Kareem White visits FAMU. (Kareem White/ESPN)
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