Kate Scott has one of many hardest jobs in Philadelphia in the intervening time: changing Marc Zumoff as the brand new voice of the 76ers.

On Wednesday, Scott, 38, will start her tenure because the group’s play-by-play announcer on NBC Sports Philadelphia towards the New Orleans Pelicans. In doing so, she’s making historical past by turning into the primary full-time feminine broadcaster of a serious sport in Philadelphia tv historical past and simply the second lady to deal with play-by-play duties for an NBA group.

“I’m still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that people are now referring to me as the voice of the Philadelphia 76ers. I think it’s gonna take me awhile to feel like I have earned and deserve that title,” Scott stated.

But Scott didn’t get the job as a result of she’s a lady, and sources at NBC Sports Philadelphia stated executives weren’t making an attempt to make a press release by hiring her. She earned her stripes calling a wide range of sports activities — from highschool to varsity to the Olympics — and beat out a big group of broadcasters to land the extremely coveted Sixers job.

Philadelphia generally is a powerful tv market, and Scott has little connection to the area, past calling a handful of video games for the Atlantic 10 convention. In reality, the primary time her spouse, Nicole, set foot in Philadelphia was a couple of weeks in the past.

In a means, Scott is following the mannequin of one other Philadelphia broadcast character born elsewhere. Beloved Phillies announcer Harry Kalas was from Chicago, and like Scott, started within the shadow of an area legend — in his case, Bill Campbell — earlier than successful over followers.

“My only advice to Kate was to allow her love of the city, and of the team, to just grow organically,” Zumoff stated. “And as that happens, I think the fans will learn to grow and love her in much the same way.”

So how did a California native and UC Berkeley graduate with out ties to Philadelphia and almost no expertise calling NBA video games change into the brand new voice of the Sixers?

Like all the things else in her profession, it was a mix of exhausting work, pure potential, and a little bit of luck.

“I just thought, man, whoever tries to follow him is an idiot,” Scott recalled pondering in June, when Zumoff announced he was retiring after calling Sixers games for 27 years. “Then a couple of days later my agents call and said, ‘Hey, did you see that Marc Zumoff retired? We really think you should apply.’”

Scott was certainly one of 80 sportscasters NBC Sports Philadelphia thought of to interchange Zumoff. That area was narrowed to fifteen candidates, who then needed to carry out a screentest.

When it was Scott’s flip, Sixers colour analyst Alaa Abdelnaby was sick and wasn’t capable of check alongside her. But it finally didn’t matter — her audition was so sturdy executives at NBC Sports Philadelphia had been bought on her ardour and character, and thought she’d be a becoming substitute.

“You could just tell from the audition tape,” Abdelnaby stated. “That’s why she’s here — she was the best. She’s here because she earned it.”

Scott and Abdelnaby didn’t meet in individual till a couple of weeks in the past at Sixers observe, and their first recreation collectively was a dry run calling the group’s preliminary preseason recreation. But by means of two preseason broadcasts, the duo had been already cracking jokes and appeared comfy. Scott is quick-witted and jovial, and opened her first recreation by joking that “Marc Zumoff looks different all the sudden.”

“The catchphrases that everybody’s itching for, those are just going to come naturally over time,” Scott stated. “One of the hardest things to do is to just be yourself on the air, because there’s so much else going on during a game… and you need to give viewers a reason to listen and feel like they know you.”

The variety of firsts on Scott’s resume is intensive — first lady to name an NFL recreation on the radio and school soccer for the Pac-12 Networks, the play-by-play voice for the first all-female NHL broadcast, a part of the first all-female crew to call an NBA game. She cohosted a morning sports activities discuss radio present in San Francisco, an business dominated by males, and known as basketball video games throughout the Tokyo Olympics for NBC and soccer video games throughout the Copá America for Fox.

Scott nonetheless confronted a slew of misogynistic vitriol after she landed the Sixers job, including from former Phillie Lenny Dykstra. Despite her expertise and keenness, Scott stated she didn’t see play-by-play in her future when she graduated from school in 2005 — she thought sideline reporting and studio work can be her ceiling.

“I’ve been underestimated and questioned and challenged for the things I’ve wanted to do and loved since I was a little girl, just because I was a little girl, not a little boy,” Scott stated. “I do this because I love it. Because I wanted to be a superstar athlete, and that didn’t work out, and then I realized I could potentially be the voice to the soundtrack of all of these incredible sporting events that I wanted to play in.”

Scott additionally stated the adversity she’s overcome pales in comparison with the revolting tales from earlier feminine broadcasters, together with veterans like Ann Meyers Drysdale, Doris Burke, and Beth Mowins.

“My career doesn’t exist without their pioneering, and having to deal with a lot of really awful s—, if I’m being honest… Because of them, I have not had to go through any of that,” Scott stated. “Have I had doubters, and people who questioned my ability to do this? Of course. But nothing to their level.”

Scott sees herself as a part of a second wave of feminine broadcasters, and feels a accountability to honor those that got here earlier than her. That consists of Zumoff, who she stated supplied her a significant piece of recommendation about succeeding in Philadelphia.

“Zoo really said you have to call it like you see it,” Scott stated. “If you see something that doesn’t sit well with you, chances are it’s not going to sit well with the majority of Sixers fans, and and you need to say something about it… to be honest, it’s really refreshing because as a play-by-play voice of a team, that’s very rare.

“It’s one of the multitude of things that makes me feel I couldn’t be coming into a better situation,” Scott added. “I’m pinching myself that I’m the one here, taking over for Zoo.”