This host and sideline reporter for TNT and NBA TV relays the stories of basketball players and coaches
Kristen Ledlow, host and sideline reporter for TNT and NBA TV, was destined to have a career in the basketball industry. She grew up with parents who met each other at basketball camp, and at 12 years old, Ledlow was close to 6-feet-tall, an advantageous height for the game. “It was my first love,” Ledlow says about basketball. “It was the first place where I felt entirely comfortable in my own skin, where my height, as such a young girl, felt like an advantage.”
Ledlow started playing basketball at 8 years old and continued throughout high school and college. “It was sometime during the stretch in high school when basketball became my first priority,” Ledlow remembers. “I wanted my life and my career to revolve around it in some capacity, and specifically the league. I have loved the NBA since I was very little.”
The Buckhead resident graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, with a double major in broadcast and communication and a minor in business. Ledlow moved to Atlanta in 2012 to cover recruiting in the ACC and SEC for FOX Sports Next, the network’s now defunct college recruiting channel. In 2013, she was hired to co-host the morning show on 92.9 FM The Game. After an audition at NBA TV, she was chosen to co-host “NBA Inside Stuff” alongside Grant Hill. She soon worked fulltime at Turner Sports. “My first TNT assignment was in 2015, a Lakers vs. Warriors game featuring Kobe Bryant in his final season,” Ledlow recalls.
Ledlow has turned her love of the game into a career asset, drawing upon her basketball experience when she interviews the biggest names in the sport. To prepare for the oncourt interviews, she gets to know the players and coaches and talks with them any chance she has. On non-game days, she watches teams practice for hours, takes handwritten notes and waits for the practice to finish so she can ask one or two questions. “What is seen on TV is a fraction of the work that is going on behind the scenes,” Ledlow says.
Ledlow keeps busy in the studio and on the road. She heads to NBA TV’s Midtown studio two to three days a week to help host and record the Ledlow & Parker podcast, which she co-hosts with WNBA legend Candace Parker. The show brings insight to the off-court lives of NBA players.
During the basketball season, which runs from October to June, she’s on the road Wednesday through Friday covering Thursday night TNT games before heading back to Buckhead each Friday morning.
Every season, Ledlow travels to different cities depending on which teams are performing best. “We tend to cover the teams that the fans are watching, those teams that are among the best in the NBA,” Ledlow explains. “It always feels special to get to interview a player you know will go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever.”
Ledlow appreciates the opportunity to witness many important and iconic moments in basketball history. “To help relay these stories of the coaches and players, playing the game that I love, to the millions of fans that love it the same way I do is beyond what I could dream of,” Ledlow says. “Whenever I stop recognizing the weight of the position I’ve been put in, it should probably belong to someone else.”
On Stage Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Family and Adventure Travel Writer, wife, and mother.