Jemele Hill

National Columnist, ESPN.com

Hill arrived at ESPN in November 2006, and since then has established herself as one of the network’s most provocative, popular and versatile personalities.

In addition to writing a twice-weekly column for ESPN.com, she makes regular appearances on a variety of ESPN’s shows, including “First Take,” “Jim Rome Is Burning,” “The Sports Reporters,” “Outside the Lines,” and “Around The Horn.” And in the fall of 2012, Hill spent the entire college football season as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s Friday night telecasts.

Hill began her professional career in Raleigh, North Carolina as a sports feature writer for the News & Observer. In 1998, Hill won the North Carolina State Press Association Award for best feature writing for her story on Mandy Garcia, the Citadel’s first female athlete.

In the fall of 1998, Hill was hired by the Detroit Free Press, her hometown newspaper, to cover Michigan State men’s basketball and football. She covered the Spartans for six years, but she also reported on a variety of major sporting events. She covered six Final Fours (including the Women’s Final Four in 2003), four Bowl Championship Series national championship games, the 2004 Summer Olympics, and the NBA playoffs in 2003 and 2004.

Those invaluable experiences prepared her for her next move to the Orlando Sentinel, where she became the only black female sports columnist among 305 daily newspapers, according to the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) 2006 Racial and Gender Report Card. She left the Sentinel in the fall of 2006 to join ESPN.

At ESPN, Hill has made a significant impact as both a columnist and television analyst. Her column for ESPN.com on former Colorado kicker Katie Knida was given an honorable mention in the 2007 edition of Best American Sports Writing. She also wrote a piece on the dearth of white running backs, and “Strike A Pose,” which questioned the “animalistic pose” Vogue magazine used in their issue featuring LeBron James.

Because of her sensitive and skillful approach to addressing race and gender issues, Hill has made numerous appearances on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. She also has been a guest lecturer and panelist at several colleges and universities, including Penn, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Ole Miss, and University of Central Florida, among others.

Hill also was the first recipient of the Poynter Sports Summit’s McKenize Cup, which is bestowed upon exemplary, young sports journalists. And in May 2007, Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences gave her The Rising Star Award, an honor bestowed upon recent graduates for commendable work in their field.