Jemele Hill is a columnist and television personality for ESPN. Hill arrived at ESPN in November 2006, and since then has established herself as one of the network’s most provocative and popular personalities. In addition to writing a twice-weekly column for ESPN.com, she is a regular contributor to several of ESPN’s television shows, including “1st and Ten,” “Jim Rome Is Burning,” “Around The Horn,” The Sports Reporters,” and “Outside the Lines.”
Hill was born and raised in Detroit, graduating from Mumford in 1993 and from Michigan State in 1997. She developed her passion for journalism at Mumford, where she wrote for the school’s newspaper. She began her professional career 14 years ago in Raleigh, North Carolina as a sports feature writer for the News & Observer. In the fall of 1998, Hill was hired by the Detroit Free Press to cover Michigan State men’s basketball and football. She covered the Spartans for six years, but reported on a variety of other sports. She covered six Final Fours (including the Women’s Final Four in 2003), four Bowl Championship Series national championship games, the 2004 Summer Olympics, and the NBA playoffs in 2003 and 2004.
In 2005, Hill became a sports columnist at the Orlando Sentinel, where she was the only black female sports columnist among 305 daily newspapers, according to the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) 2006 Racial and Gender Report Card.
Hill has received a number of awards for her work. In 1998, Hill won the North Carolina State Press Association Award for best feature writing for her story on Mandy Garcia, the Citadel’s first female athlete. She also was the first recipient of the Poynter Sports Summit’s McKenzie Cup, which is bestowed upon exemplary, young sports journalists. And in May 2007, Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences gave her The Rising Star Award, an honor given to recent graduates for commendable work in their field.