‘Malika Andrews’ battle painful demons before meteoric rise ESPN


Malika Andrews looks so perfect. At just 25 years old, she is ESPN’s lead reporter in the NBA’s Orlando bubble.

She’s been on national TV almost every day for three straight months.

If she isn’t already a star, she is far from being a star. It all sounds so simple.

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However, everything is not always as it seems.

As a middle-schooler only 11 years ago, Andrews was, in her words, “angry, sad and anxious.” Though she may appear carefree, her pain lurks deep inside, an unseen enemy who distorts her emotions and wreaks havoc on her family. He felt neglected and it manifested in various forms.

She fought with her parents. She dropped out of middle school. And she was suffering from an eating disorder.

These issues plague so many families, and Andrews was no different.

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It was quite confusing for him and his family. Her father, Mike (a personal trainer), and her mother, Karen (an art teacher), were supportive and loving. There were family dinners almost every night. While in Oakland, they all bonded with the Golden State Warriors. Malika goes skiing, horse riding and rock climbing. Her younger sister, Kendra idolized her.

Malika, whose mother is Jewish, had her bat mitzvah. It was becoming a girl.

With her outer shell firmly in place, it all seemed so perfect. However, it was not growing in.

By the time Malika was 14 years old, it was a matter of living.

“I can’t even describe how hard it was to go through,” Mike said.

Malaika shunned her family and left her studies. He was expelled from the Head-Royce School in Oakland in the eighth grade. Stress gives rise to disease.

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“It doesn’t really fit neatly into a box,” Malika said of her eating disorder. “I struggled with restricting and purging. It’s not really anorexia or bulimia. It’s more anorexia than bulimia, but it doesn’t fit super neatly into a box that I’ve put myself in over the years.” Have learned through treatment that most eating disorders do not fit neatly into a box.

Malika has always been determined, and paradoxically this strength came when she accepted vulnerability. Malaika steps on the growing rift in her relationship with her parents.

Malika said, “I got to the point that I said to my mother, ‘I think I need some help. I don’t think I’ll be able to figure it out on my own.’

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“I Think I Need Some Help”

When Malika was 14, her parents sent her to a one-year therapeutic boarding school in Utah. This hurts Mike and Karen, but it is what she wanted.

He found himself again and recommitted to his studies in Utah. He also graduated at the age of 17.

Malika said, “Now, I look back on it as one of the best things that could have happened to me.”

a young media sensation
Just 17 years old, Melka didn’t want to go to college yet. She returned home to Oakland and worked for a year at her Zayde (Jewish for paternal grandfather) civil rights law firm.

The 9 to 5:30 cubicle grind has her convinced that she wants to have a job like her parents’. His passion was his work.

Malika went to the University of Portland, but didn’t know exactly what she wanted to be. She chose to study communication to avoid maths.

From there he made friends who appeared in the school newspaper.

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The only positions available on paper were in sports. Her sister, Kendra, was already fascinated by the idea that she could be paid to write about athletes.

Malika was also there. She was good at it, even writing a story that forced the school to add padding around the soccer field walls for safety. She was surprised that her words could make a difference.

She would go on to become sports editor and then editor-in-chief of the college paper. With the added value of being able to learn from journalists such as Mark Spears and Sherrod Blackley, he won a National Association of Black Journalists scholarship. She trained at the Sports Journalism Institute, which fosters the development of young journalists to bring diversity to the newsroom.

In 2016, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski will be on Portland’s campus for a day to record a podcast with the university’s new head coach, former Trail Blazers point guard Terry Porter.

Wojnarowski picked up the student paper The Beacon, where he read a feature on Porter. The strong lead and byline stuck in Wojnarowski’s mind.

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A year later, after graduating from Portland in 2017, Malika would introduce herself to Wojnarowski at a summer league game and, to her surprise, she already knew his name. It was just the beginning. She was becoming a sensation.

“Have you ever thought?”

Malika jumped from a Denver Post internship at the Chicago Tribune to a job at the New York Times Fellowship before Christina Douglas ran ESPN. Shortly thereafter, he was flown to New York to cover the Knicks and Nets.

In late June, ESPN offered her the job of daily on-site reporter in the Orlando bubble. Even though she is a writer at heart, she fits the bill on TV despite her lack of rep.

Back in Oakland, his parents and grandparents have ESPN on at night, which is not unusual. He always looked up to Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. The trio began calling the NBA Finals when Malika was having her bat mitzvah at age 13. Now Malika is his ally.

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“I still can’t believe this is happening,” said her father.

Family is again number 1 in Malika’s heart. The sister who idolized him is on the same career path. The 23-year-old center is a Nuggets beat writer for The Athletic. She is also dubbing in some TV shows. Malika is a career mentor who helps and advises in every way.

Malaika said, ‘I am not perfect yet. “I don’t think it’s something you can ever get over.” It’s something I have to actively work on every day.”

Her mother thinks that her work helps Malika. She is already known to be serious and focused in business.

A decade ago, Malika was in Utah trying to figure herself out. Her relationship with her parents is renewed.

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Malaika said, ‘My mother reminds me all the time. “My mom and I have a wonderful relationship now. She says, ‘Man, have you ever thought? Have you ever thought?’ I say, ‘I never thought.’

On Tuesday, Malika Andrews, again just 25 years old, was the sideline reporter for Game 1 of an Eastern Conference title game broadcast on ESPN. She is believed to be the youngest ever to receive such an assignment.

Her mother said, “When I look at it objectively, it’s like an after-school special for me.” “She was a sweet kid, had a rough spot and then she was able to get over that and now she’s working on national television, which I think she enjoys.”


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