BRISTOL, CT – APRIL 16: Shenise Johnson talks with ESPN broadcaster Holly Rowe after being drafted number five overall by the San Antonio Silver Stars during the 2012 WNBA Draft Presented By Boost Mobile on April 16, 2012 at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images)

Reporter Holly Rowe returned to the ESPN airwaves in March, after taking roughly a month off for treatment on a new tumor in her chest that was discovered last spring. She continued to work while still undergoing chemotherapy treatment, getting back to reporting at the end of the college basketball season.

Since then, Rowe has taken on a regular workload, pushing herself to cover as many women’s basketball events as possible during the past three months. That included working the NCAA Women’s Tournament regional in Bridgeport, Connecticut as part of UConn’s run to its fourth consecutive national championship. Rowe was in Indianapolis for the Final Four, as the Huskies beat Washington and Syracuse for the title.

But Rowe also followed Huskies star Breanna Stewart to the next stage of her basketball career, beginning with her being the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft. (Teammates Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck were the next two selections, making UConn the first school to have the top three picks in either the men’s or women’s draft.)

Being at the draft to kick off the WNBA’s 20th season was important to Rowe, as she described to Excelle Sports’ Gabriella Levine for an excellent feature on the ESPN reporter.

“That was Breanna Stewart’s draft,” Rowe explained, “And I was there to work it, but I met her years before that, when she was just 17 years old. She was sitting in the stands watching the Final Four. She was not even in college yet. You feel like you watch these kids improve and grow and reach the highest levels right before your eyes, and that’s what’s so rewarding to me.”

Since then, the WNBA’s 20th season has begun and Rowe said covering the season opener was the most difficult game she’s dealt with while continuing to undergo treatment. Levine’s article obviously goes into further detail on that, which is worth your reading time. Besides Rowe’s determination and love of her work, what comes across most strongly in the piece is how much the athletes she’s covered admire her.

[Excelle Sports]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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