President Kent J. Smith, Jr. announced on Monday that Mr. Marc J. Spears, Senior NBA writer for ESPN’s Andscape, will serve as the distinguished speaker for the 123rd Commencement of Langston University on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., in the W.E. Anderson Stadium.
Marc J. Spears, an award-winning sportswriter, began his journalism career in 1995. He has covered the NBA since 1999, including over 20 NBA All-Star Games and NBA Finals. Spears has been writing for Andscape (formerly The Undefeated) since its inception in 2016. Andscape is a Black-led media platform dedicated to creating, highlighting, and uplifting the diverse stories of Black identity. Magnified by the power and reach of The Walt Disney Co., the Andscape umbrella includes an editorial division, book publishing arm, film and television division, and music publishing group, each united by the shared mission of illuminating the culture and experience of Blackness. Founded in 2022, Andscape is a reimagination, expansion and diversification of The Undefeated’s former platform.
Prior to Andscape, Spears worked for Yahoo! Sports (2009-16) as a senior NBA reporter (2009-16), The Boston Globe (2007-09) covering the NBA, the Boston Celtics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics; and The Denver Post where he covered the NBA and the Denver Nuggets. His earlier newspaper work began in Oklahoma at the Tulsa World and included stints with the Los Angeles Daily News and the Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, where he covered college football and basketball as well as Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball.
Spears regularly contributes to several ESPN television platforms, including the award-winning “Outside the Lines” and “E:60”, “NBA Today,” “SportsCenter,” “SC Featured,” ESPN Radio programs, and more. Spears co-wrote “The Spencer Haywood Rule,” a novel recognized by The New York Times. Moreover, the award-winning journalist also co-produced a documentary entitled “Katrina Cop in the Superdome,” which can be viewed on several streaming services. The long-time member of the National Association of Black Journalists is also a former chair of the NABJ Sports Task Force which represents the organization’s sports journalists. Spears’ career has taken him to India, Sweden, China, England, France, Monaco, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, The Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and Italy. He has also been the host of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s press conference three times.
Spears was recently honored as a 2023 recipient of the Naismith Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award in recognition for his writing. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s media award is named in honor of Curt Gowdy, who served as president of the Hall of Fame for seven consecutive terms. The award was established to recognize members of the electronic and print media for outstanding contributions to basketball.
Spears played college basketball at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA, the University of the District of Columbia, an HBCU in Washington, D.C., and was a redshirt at San Jose State University before a knee injury prematurely ended his playing days. The San Francisco Bay Area native earned a master’s degree in sports business management from Louisiana State University, a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from San Jose State University, and an associate of arts degree from Foothill College.