Cassidy Hubbarth wears a lot of hats in her day-to-day life. She's a host and reporter for the NBA on ESPN, plus the Hoop Streams pre-game show on Twitter—which she'll be hosting during the NBA Finals starting tomorrow. She's also fittingly a host for SneakerCenter on ESPN+, which is ESPN's home for all things sneaker culture. And most importantly, she's a doting mom—a super stylish one at that. In the midst of her busy NBA playoff coverage, Cassidy was kind enough to connect with us and talk about her rise to the top of sports journalism, her personal style and individual fashion influences, and plenty more in a really fun and enjoyable conversation.
ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth Talks Career Journey, Style and Motherhood
We caught up with Cassidy ahead of the NBA Finals
ONE37pm: Thanks for chatting with us Cassidy! Let's start with style. How did you develop your sense of fashion growing up?
Hubbarth: Oh man! It's strange because there are times when I really feel like I have a good sense of fashion, and other times where it's just about feeling comfortable. I think that has to do with my childhood because I was an athlete growing up. Oftentimes I would wear athleisure before that was even a thing, and that's kind of carried over to my style today. When I'm on the air I dress up, but when I'm not on the air I like to be an athlete in athleisure wear. A big thing for me are my hats and comfy sweats, but with a little style. Knowing when to turn on my style and making my comfortable clothes stylish pretty much sums up who I am.
ONE37pm: Makes sense! Now let's hop over into sports. When did you know sports journalism was going to be for you?
Hubbarth: I actually knew I wanted to be in sports broadcasting in middle school. One day I decided it after watching Pam Oliver on the FOX Pregame show for the NFL. One of my core memories is sitting on the couch after having breakfast with my family getting to watch the Chicago Bears—I saw one of Pam's interviews and it just clicked. It's the only job I've ever wanted and the only thing that I've ever pursued. It's been a dream come true for sure!
Growing up in Chicago as a Bulls fan during the Michael Jordan era and now covering the NBA is really a dream come true.
- Cassidy Hubbarth
ONE37pm: For those unfamiliar, can you walk us to your path to ESPN?
Hubbarth: I went to Northwestern—which is actually in the town that I grew up in—Evanston, Illnois. I wanted to go there because of their journalism program, and a big part of that is that I got my first two jobs from the Northwestern job fair working at a sports production company in Chicago called Intersport, and then also collecting data for the NBC news station in Chicago for their weekend traffic reporting. At Intersport I went straight from a production assistant to doing some on-air stuff for their exclusive entertainment, which was this moment in time before there were smart phones where we were creating on demand content in 2007.
I built a reel, and from there I was able to go to Fox Sports South as a reporter covering SEC Football and then also working for Comcast Sports as a producer. I was doing a lot of odd-end jobs until I got a call in the summer 2010 to audition to be the host of ESPN3, which was a digital network before the app. I flew out out there, got the job two weeks later, and decided I was headed out to Bristol, Connecticut. From there I was able to work my way up from digital media to International SportsCenter to Highlight Express on ESPN News, and so on.
Around 2012 is when I got my big break within ESPN hosting NBA Tonight. I hosted that for a couple of years, and then moved to the sidelines full-time around 2015. Since then I've been hosting shows and launching digital shows. As much as being in sports broadcasting was a dream come true, growing up in Chicago as a Bulls fan during the Michael Jordan era and now covering the NBA is really a dream come true.
ONE37pm That's amazing! Alright let's tie it together. Style-wise, how were you able to make it work during those early years, and how did you evolve?
Hubbarth: I didn't know what a tailor was! I just found clothes and worked them even if they didn't all the way work. The big part was mixing and matching certain staples that I had, and trying to come up with outfits that I thought were made well that I could change up with an accessory. Unfortunately for women, it's hard to repeat outfits because it's not like a suit—especially when you're on national television—people tend to pay attention to those things. I got called out a couple of times because I would share clothes with a couple of my girlfriends at ESPN.
When I would do SportsCenter or Highlight Express—it would be five or six days later, and someone would tweet me like "Didn't Diana Russini just wear that exact dress?" Yes! Mind your business! That's part of making a work and be creative with things that you have. It was going to H&M and trying to make what I bought look like Prada! I think I still struggle with trying to build my capsule wardrobe. It's tough when you want to buy a staple piece. I'm still trying to figure out how to be as efficient as possible so I can pass it down to my daughter.
My goal is to be stylish and comfortable.
- Cassidy Hubbarth
ONE37pm: How has motherhood changed your style?
Hubbarth: Aside from changing my whole body! No just to be real, I had a c-section, which is something I don't think enough people talk about. It changes your body. Some people have an ability go right back, but I have not. So it's like do I still have my favorite pants from high school in the hopes that I can one day be that size again... yes, but I definitely need to do a weeding out process of getting rid of the clothes that don't fit me because that's the big difference in putting together a good outfit. If the clothes are fitting you properly, regardless of price, it will look great on you. It's about understanding what is the right fit and going to a tailor. Sometimes fit is the most important thing with style.
I'm leaning into more comfortable clothes and being able to be stylishly comfortable since I'm multi-tasking by being on-air, and then having to run and pick up my daughter and take her to the park. My goal is to be stylish and comfortable.
ONE37pm: You mentioned wanting to pass down clothes to you daughter. With it being AAPI Heritage Month, and with your Filipino heritage, is there anything customs/tradition that represent your fashion in that regard?
Hubbarth: For me, I have this necklace from my lola, which means grandmother in Tagalog, that she was very proud of that has my C initial on it, and I got the same thing for my daughter with her initials. When it comes to jewelry, I don't really accessorize outside of meaningful jewelry such as my necklace, wedding ring, and these bracelets my husband got me for special occasions and milestones. These are all things I want to pass down to my daughter. It's what I always wear—my earrings are the only things I change.
In terms of Filipino traditions—I'm Filipino-American—my dad is German-Irish. We pretty much grew up in an American household. My lola passed down some clothing, and it's something I keep to think of her.
My holy grails are the Bred 11s, which I never had as a kid. When I finally got them as an adult I was like, 'Oh, they're amazing!'
- Cassidy Hubbarth
ONE37pm: Let's talk about your shoe game. It's sick! Have you always been interested in sneakers.
Hubbarth: I've always had a love for sneakers, especially growing up in Chicago and wanting Jordans. My holy grails are the Bred 11s, which I never had as a kid. When I finally got them as an adult I was like "Oh, they're amazing!" I go through different phases. Obviously I find 1s the easiest to style, but as far as my go-tos—it's Dunks. Jordan 1s are what I wear most often when it comes to Jordans, the 11s are my favorite Jordans, and I have respective for 3s and 4s, but I don't really like to walk around New York streets without them because then my heels are going to be hurting. I also had a little love affair with Yeezys at one point, but I don't wear them anymore—those were my pregnancy shoes!
I love sneaker culture—I wouldn't call myself a sneakerhead because I haven't invested enough time and understanding of the culture and sneaker world, but I have a deep appreciation and will always take a sneaker birthday gift.
ONE37pm: With you living in New York—Timbs are a right of passage! You got a pair?
Hubbarth: Are you kidding me?! Of course I do! Walking around NYC in Timbs is a calf workout though!
ONE37pm: Cool! Well do you work with a stylist? I thought you mentioned something about that earlier.
Hubbarth: I've worked with a few. I actually worked with a woman named Madison Guest Tomares during my ESPYs run where I hosted the red carpet for a few years. I was pregnant—I'm a very private person about my private life—that's why you never see my family on social media. During that same time I was coming to grips on how my pregnancy was going to change my professional life because my husband and I waited a long time. I got pregnant with my daughter at 34, so I was working in this business for a while, and I was struggling with how my life was going to change with having a baby.
That kind of translated into now wanting to share with the public that I was pregnant. In hindsight I wouldn't have done it, but I think that experience has shaped me being a mom and its beautiful. I bring up Madison because I was six months pregnant, and I told her she needed to get me a dress that covered my baby bump for the red carpet—and I was bumpin! She came through in a big way. There's was this dress she got me for the ESPN party and you couldn't even tell. She really came through. She's awesome! She also did my first All-Star Celebrity Game after giving birth, and she made me feel like myself again. I also work with another woman named Annette who helps with my day-to -day.
ONE37pm: Final question for you—you've accomplished a lot in your career so far. Is there anything else you would like to do?
Hubbarth: What I'm doing right now is what I want to do for the rest of my career. I love coming off these playoffs and covering these games in the post-season. I always want to be covering the NBA on this stage, but I think if there's one more milestone I want to achieve it would be to one day cover the NBA Finals and hopefully one day be a part of the trophy ceremony. That's definitely a goal of mine, and hopefully one day I can be on that stage with Adam Silver handing over the MVP trophy.
You can keep up with Cassidy in the NBA Finals and beyond via Instagram.
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