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Veteran NBA Reporter, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Marc Spears to speak at Loyola about the intersection of race, sports and culture

By Loyola University on Mon, 03/04/2024 - 16:15

Loyola University New Orleans is hosting an evening with Marc Spears, a veteran NBA reporter and recent Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium to discuss the cross-section of race and sports, and how race and culture intersect.

Spears has worked as a national NBA reporter for ESPN's Andscape, a Black-led media platform that tells the diverse stories of Black identity, since 2016, said Gregory Lee Jr., Extraordinary Professor of Practice at Loyola, and the Marion M. and John S. Stokes Jr. Visiting Professor in Race and Culture in Media. 

In addition to his work at Andscape, Spears regularly contributes to other ESPN platforms, and has covered the NBA for more than two decades, including 18 NBA All-Star Games and 18 NBA Finals. 

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Spears into its ranks last year and named the longtime reporter as its 2023 Curt Gowdy Media Award winner. The organization presents the award to members of the print, electronic and transformative media whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.

Lee invited Spears to speak at Loyola to give his students the chance to learn from a journalist who is working in the field and writing about the topics he is presenting in class. 

“We want to give them exposure – the opportunity to hear from someone on the ground – not only from an NBA standpoint but on the ground-level of covering a major entity at the crossroads of race, culture and sports,” Lee said.

Lee and Spears have long been friends, with Lee even helping to get Spears hired at the Boston Globe when he was an editor there. He noted that Spears has strong ties to the area, calling New Orleans a “third home” for Lee, as his mother lives in the city. In addition, Spears obtained his master’s degree in sports business management from LSU. 

In his work with Andscape, Spears regularly breaks NBA news and has written about Black players embracing their time playing with the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics, NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki on his interracial marriage, and a multimedia profile on how former NBA player Stephon Marbury found stardom in China.

Earlier, he brought together fathers of Black NBA players Chris Paul, Ja Morant, Wendell Carter Jr. and Darius Garland for a candid conversation about stereotypes of Black fathers raising NBA sons. Spears also worked for Yahoo! Sports, writing about the NBA and USA Basketball, among his many professional accomplishments.

The event is free and open to the public.