NBC Sports

Kings, NBCSCA to have exclusively women, non-binary telecast

NBC Sports

NBC Sports California and the Sacramento Kings are partnering to make history.

Saturday’s Kings-Cleveland Cavaliers game at Golden 1 Center will feature the first-ever exclusively women and non-binary announce and coverage team across the live-game telecast, pregame and postgame shows, and social media content. 

A talented group that includes Kayte Hunter, Krista Blunk, Layshia Clarendon, Laura Britt and Morgan Ragan will handle all pregame, game call, postgame and social media duties. The standard coverage team of Doug Christie, Mark Jones and Kyle Draper will take the night off in support of other diverse voices being heard.

Pregame will begin at 6:30 p.m., with game tip-off scheduled for 7, all on NBC Sports California.

“Each of these individuals are such valuable contributors to sports broadcasting and we are excited to bring them together to showcase their talent,” Sacramento Kings president of business operations John Rinehart said Wednesday in a team-issued statement. “It is critically important to provide opportunities and pathways for more diverse voices to be included in the industry while also highlighting the incredible ones working in sports currently. As a father, I have seen firsthand the positive impact athletics can have on the next generation and it is my hope that all young people see themselves as having a place in sports.”

Hunter and Blunk will handle the game call. In her 11th season with the Kings, Hunter works a variety of roles, including sideline reporter and lead analyst on pregame and postgame. She’ll be the color analyst on Saturday’s game telecast.

 

Blunk currently calls games for Pac-12 Networks, but she is widely known in Sacramento after working as a Sacramento Monarchs analyst from 1997 to 2009. Blunk will handle the play-by-play call Saturday.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with the Kings to highlight the unique talent, expertise and passion that each of these professionals embody, and excited for the engaging coverage they’ll create for Kings fans and basketball fans throughout the region,” Devon Fox, NBC Sports California’s senior director of live events and special projects, said in the statement. “Advancing new and diverse perspectives is key to serving sports fans great content and in promoting opportunity and inclusivity in sports media and beyond.”

Britt will assume pregame and postgame hosting duties, and Clarendon will be the lead analyst on those shows, as well as provide in-game segments. Britt is a regular on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, as she hosts San Francisco 49ers programming and also has handled Oakland A’s show duties. She’s filled in multiple times on Kings coverage in past years, and should be a familiar face to Sacramento fans.

Clarendon is an eight-year WNBA veteran and a former Cal star. Clarendon is the first WNBA player to identify as trans and gender non-conforming or non-binary, using she/her/they/them/he/his pronouns interchangeably. 

Like Hunter and Blunk, Ragan is well-known in Sacramento. A former morning host on KHTK-AM and reporter for Good Morning Sacramento, Ragan currently is an analyst for the Stockton Kings of the G League, and co-hosts the Deuce and Mo Podcast. She will take over the NBC Sports California’s @NBCSKings Twitter account for the event and contribute other game-day coverage.

In addition, Sophia Jones, a San Jose State freshman guard majoring in radio, television and film and the daughter of Kings play-by-play announcer Mark Jones, will work as a special guest on pregame.

It should be an entertaining night of firsts as the Kings face the Cavs for the second time in the span of a week.