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'I'm not the first and won't be the last': Milwaukee Bucks reporter reflects on making history in Friday night's game

"Whatever your dream is you can do it. Now, that doesn't come without hard preparation has to meet opportunity."
Posted at 6:43 PM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 06:14:19-04

MILWAUKEE — History is something we often look back at or in this case, make as NBA fans are starting to see a shift in what once was a male-dominated profession.

March was women's history month and the Toronto Raptors had an all-female announcer lineup for their game against Cleveland.

The Milwaukee Bucks organization is also echoing the call for diverse voices.

Milwaukee Bucks Sideline reporter Zora Stephenson took on the role of doing play-by-play in Friday night's game against the Charlotte hornets. Making her the first woman in the Bucks Franchise history.

"Women do everything and anything. I'm the first in like this specific niche, I'm definitely not the first to take on this role and I will not be the last," Stephenson said.

Since joining the Bucks in 2019 she's been trying to get better in all aspects of sports broadcasting, and it's been months of hard work.

"This has been a process I mean it's not like they came to me and said Zora we want you to make history," Stephenson said. "Again, like this was just me working hard and trying to get better and learn a new role. It wasn't until a few days before that I really took in the significance of what was about to happen.

Stephenson's love for basketball dates back to her time playing Division basketball at Elon University in North Carolina, and her love for storytelling comes from her time as a news reporter.

"I enjoyed my time in news and I learned so much," Stephenson said. "The professional Zora is today and the reporter, broadcaster, and the storyteller all of those things are because of the time I spent in local news."

For Stephenson, she knew she wanted to leave news after covering the murder case of Christopher Watts in Colorado.

Her life has come 360 since then and says this would not be possible without her strong support system.

"Nobody does anything alone in mu village that includes amazing women, but also powerful men and it takes a combination of both for us to continue to see progress in all areas that we need to move forward in," Stephenson said.

For the Bucks franchise a glass ceiling shattered, and in Stephenson's eyes she maybe the first but certainly not the last.

"Whatever your dream is you can do it. Now that doesn't come without hard preparation has to meet opportunity," Stephenson said.

Sunday night, Stephenson is back in her role as a sideline reporter while Jim Paschke is back in his role doing play-by-play.

As for the next time, Stephenson will back doing play-by-play she said whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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