Doris Burke Wins 2018 Curt Gowdy Award
PC Grad Continues to Make Headlines
by Sullivan Burgess ’20
On Feb. 17, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that former Friar and ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke ’87 would receive the 2018 Curt Gowdy Media Award.
The award is named after American sportscaster Curt Gowdy, who served as the president of the Basketball Hall of Fame for seven consecutive years. The award is usually awarded to most outstanding basketball writers and broadcasters for all media outlets.
Past winners include Craig Sager, Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, Marv Albert, and Jim Nantz. Burke sets a great example for newcomers trying to find their way in the world of analyzing basketball.
When she played for the Providence College Women’s Basketball Team for four years, Burke led in assists during three of her four seasons and was a three-time All-Big East selection. She ranks second in all-time assists in PC history with 602 in 113 career games.
She is not only a member of the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame, with a newly retired number in Mullaney Gym, but she is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Last year, for the first time in school history, Burke served as Master of Ceremonies for the annual PC Late Night Madness. It was a high honor to be brought back at the beginning of this year for Madness to hype up the students. She also had the opportunity to talk to Coach Cooley and Coach Crowley, as well as their respective players.
Burke’s media career began as radio analyst for PC until she eventually moved to the WNBA and began reporting for the New York Liberty. She made a name for herself and was finally hired by ESPN. She served as a sideline reporter and analyst for ESPN since 1991, Burke made headlines by being named a full-time NBA game analyst. This made her the first woman in the history of the channel to hold that role.
Burke has even appeared in the NBA 2K videogames in recent years as a sideline reporter and commentator. When discussing her career after receiving news of her nomination, she stated, “I fell into this. I thought I would be a high school teacher and coach, I started my career as an assistant basketball coach and wanted to have children and be a stay-at-home mom. I thought, Division I coaching and being a mom is sort of mutually exclusive, so I happened into the business… To be honest with you, when I was a kid, and even through college, public speaking terrified me. It still terrifies me. When I am on the air, I never think of it as, ‘Oh, millions of people could actually be watching this basketball game.’ Because if I ever thought of it in that context, I would freak out.”
While she might be nervous on screen, we certainly have never been able to notice, as Burke climbs the rankings to be one of the most popular NBA analysts of all time. As this is her first season serving as a full-time commentator for ESPN, time will only tell what else in store for Burke.
Burke Takes the Court
by Eileen Flynn ’20
There are few things that Providence College students enjoy more than bragging about successful alumni. Students are filled with pride thinking about the adults who had the same professors and sat in the same cafeteria, and are now achieving incredible things in the real world.
Not only do they act as an inspiration for students to study harder, but alumni success stories help contribute to the life-long connection that comes with being a part of the Friar Family.
Doris Burke ’87 is one name that students have been increasingly mentioning on campus over the past couple of days.
Doris Burke has been a prominent basketball analysist since 1990, but within the past week, Burke was promoted as a regular ESPN NBA game analyst. This accomplishment makes her the first woman in history to be assigned to cover a full NBA season.
Burke moved to Providence College in 1983 as a recruited freshman. Burke excelled on the court and by the end of her senior year, she held countless records. She was the College’s female athlete of the year in 1987 and left the team as an all-time leader in assists.
Her talents would later make her the fifth woman to be inducted in to the Providence College Hall of Fame. Burke received her degree in health service administration/social work as an undergraduate and then later recieved her master’s degree in education.
Her Providence College education gave Burke the skills she needed to continue to be involved with the sport she loved, even after she was forced to hang up her black and white jersey.
Burke jumped into the reporting world quickly after graduation. She began as a broadcast journalist in 1990 which led her to join ESPN and ABC networks in 1991. In 1996 she was back within the familiar Big East atmosphere, but this time, on the sidelines and analyzing the teams playing.
Burke continued to positively impact the sports world with her basketball intuition. She recieved the Rudy Award for Best New Face in Sports Television in 2003.
Burke has been seen most recently as lead ESPN NBA sideline reporter in the important games, including the most popular NBA finals. This past year, Burke was the recipient of the 2017 WISE Women of the Year award.
Students continue to be amazed and inspired by this Providence College alum and the career she has built for herself.
Oct. 8 will mark the first day for Burke as a full-time ESPN NBA game analysts. Burke is returning to campus for Providence College’s Late Night Madness event. There is no doubt the cheers will be resounding as one of PC’s most renowned alumni once again takes the court.