Sarah Kustok has been promoted from Brooklyn Nets sideline reporter to full-time analyst, making the former DePaul star the NBA’s third female color commentator on regional television broadcasts. She will replace 70-year-old former Coach of the Year Mike Fratello, who will now serve as a studio analyst.
“Sarah has proven herself time and time again throughout her five years covering the Nets for us,” YES Network president of production and programming John J. Filippelli said in a press release, “and Mike’s move to the studio will enable us to take full advantage of his Xs and Os acumen gained from more than 40 years in the NBA.”
Kustok joins Ann Meyers Drysdale and Stephanie Ready as the league’s only regional female TV color analysts. Drysdale, who Bill Russell once called “one of the best basketball players ever,” joined the Phoenix Suns broadcast crew in 2012 and shares color analyst duties with former Suns player Eddie Johnson alongside play-by-play man Steve Albert. Three years later, the Charlotte Hornets promoted Ready to full-time booth duty with fellow analyst Dell Curry and play-by-play announcer Eric Collins.
Ready was considered the first full-time female color analyst for an NBA team, and now Kustok will be the league’s only female operating solo as an analyst for a team this season. ESPN’s Doris Burke, of course, has been a color analyst for national TV broadcasts since 2013. Cheryl Miller became the first female to serve as an analyst for a national TV broadcast when she appeared on NBA on TBS in 1996.
“I’m psyched,” Kustok told the Road Trippin’ podcast, via the New York Post. “It’s incredible. …The opportunity to call games, this is not work. It’s a dream to get to do. You talk about being a female — I don’t always love the attention on that. I just want to show up and do my job and be a part of a team. It’s the opportunity to still be part of a team and have that adrenaline rush. It’s an incredible thing.”
Kustok played four seasons at DePaul, making two NCAA Tournament appearances and captaining the team as a senior, before serving as an assistant coach at her alma mater for the 2005-06 season. She also worked courtside covering college basketball at ESPN and the Chicago Bulls for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. She made her debut as an analyst filling in for Fratello with the Nets in March 2015.
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