OAKLAND, Calif. — Basketball has been part of Doris Burke’s life for as long as she can remember.
And it’s not going away anytime soon.
Burke and ESPN announced Monday they have agreed on a multi-year contract extension, one that will see her retaining her role as a full-time NBA game analyst as well as a reporter for the conference finals and NBA Finals. She has been with ESPN since 1991, not long after her playing career at Providence ended.
“It is hard to put into words how grateful I am to continue my career with ESPN,” Burke said. “I’ve loved basketball my entire life and to be able to cover this sport is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. My love for the game, and for my colleagues, both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes, make this job such a rewarding experience every day.”
Burke grew up in Manasquan, New Jersey, and can still recall how she used to run through some hedges — as if she was running out of the locker room — as a 7-year-old on her way onto the basketball court at a park near her home.
Now, 45 years later, she still has the same zest for the game.
“Doris is exceptional at what she does. Her ability, knowledge, passion and versatility are virtually unmatched and it’s evident every time she calls a game,” said Connor Schell, ESPN’s executive vice president of content. “She is dedicated to documenting the sport for the fans in the most prepared and informed manner possible. Our NBA coverage is better because of Doris and we’re thrilled that she’ll be with us for a long time to come.”
Burke has had a hand in virtually every level of ESPN basketball coverage over the years — including game and studio coverage for the NBA, WNBA, women’s college basketball and men’s college basketball.
At the start of this season, she became the first woman to have a regular, full-time national NBA game analyst role. Later this year, Burke will be honored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award — honoring what the Hall said is her “significant contribution to the game of basketball.”
“The company that I’ll keep now because of that … I’m pretty amazed by it to be perfectly honest with you,” Burke said. “The game has been great to me. It continues to give and I’m kind of blown away by it.”