Cassidy Hubbarth hopes for even playing field in sports

Published April 3, 2023, 7:00 PM ● liboplay:Lei Macaranas
Lei Macaranas

Filipino-American reporter and host Cassidy Hubbarth is an epitome of hard work and dedication to one’s craft.

Long-time NBA fans would recognize Cassidy Hubbarth’s voice in a heartbeat. As one of the most prominent reporters in the world of sports, she has established herself as a staple in delivering important and interesting news to the whole basketball community. 

Hubbarth is nothing short of a wonder woman. She’s an accomplished reporter and host. She’s a full-time NBA reporter for ESPN game telecasts all throughout the regular season and NBA Playoffs. She’s also the host of Hoop Streams, ESPN’s innovative digital show that features NBA marquee games, and the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Telecast.  

Other than that, she also comes in as a guest for some of ESPN’s shows like Get Up, SportsCenter, and First Take. She also contributes to NBA Today and   When she’s not talking or writing about the NBA, she regularly comes into ESPN and ABC as a college football or WNBA studio host. 

Being in an industry dominated by male counterparts, Hubbarth gained footing not just because of her love for the game, but because she was able to capitalize on her strengths and resourcefulness. 

Hubbarth rose to fame as she co-hosted several shows on digital platforms. She joined ESPN in 2010, appeared as a digital host for college football, college basketball, and NBA content on ESPN3. 

“I really feel like growing up with the rise of social media has allowed me to ride the digital wave to my dream position and understanding each voice and culture of the NBA,” Hubbarth shared in a press conference hosted by SLAM Philippines in celebration of Women’s Month. 

The veteran reporter then panned out to co-host bigger shows including Buckets on Twitter with social media influencer Rob Perez, SportsCenter on SnapChat, and ESPN’s first all-female NBA podcast The Hoop Collective with Ramona Shelburne and Chiney Ogwumike. She hosted two ESPN NBA studio shows concurrently – NBA Tonight and NBA Coast to Coast from 2013 to 2016. 

Through these shows, she’s grown an innate sense of what the fans like or dislike. She knows how to keep the fans in the loop, and at the same time, feed their need to be updated on the different facets of their favorite teams and players.

Despite taking advantage of every opportunity presented to her, Hubbarth nonetheless had to face challenges en route to her success. Like any other broadcaster, she first had to refine her reporting skills. “The hardest to cover was Major League Baseball in 2014. There was no rundown, no scripts. I only had sheets like highlights and plays,” Hubbarth says. “I was absolutely terrified because I didn’t know much about the sport, but I worked hard and studied.”

Aside from focusing on how to be a better reporter, she also had to encounter the difficult task of balancing work with raising a family. She felt like she had to hide her pregnancy whenever she’s on air just to ensure that sports would be the main thing she’s going to be recognized for. 

“The biggest problem is knowing how to find a balance. [You have to know] when to have a kid when you’re career-focused,” she said. “I was afraid that if I’ll be pregnant, they [the network] will take opportunities from me.” 

Hubbarth, however, looks back and feels she can now freely go on air and fully embrace her motherhood at the same time. “You can’t plan everything. You have to take challenges head-on.”

From her stellar rise from reporting on collegiate sports to now becoming one of the most well-known voices of the NBA, Hubbarth is definitely a prime example that women have what it takes to succeed in the world of professional sports.

Currently, she is co-hosting the podcast Hoops Paradise: The Philippines’ Love for the Game with TITAN’s Nikko Ramos where she provides a voice for the Filipino basketball-crazed fans out there. 

“What I’m hoping for the next generation is that they don’t have to answer the question of what’s it like to work in a male-dominated business,” she said. “I’m hoping by the time the next generation is at the top of their game, that we’re in a position of: it is an even playing field.”