ESPN's Holly Rowe will speak at the 2024 Radiance Technologies I-Bowl Kickoff Dinner

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl officials announced Monday that veteran ESPN commentator Holly Rowe will be the guest speaker at the bowl’s annual kickoff dinner in July at the Shreveport Convention Center.

Most recently, Rowe was a sideline reporter during the NCAA Women’s College World Series won by Oklahoma. She has been a regular contributor on Saturday Night Football, College Football Playoff, Women’s Final Fours and the WNBA, among others for ESPN.

"I am thrilled to come to Shreveport and share some of my favorite football stories from 30 years on the sidelines," said Rowe in a release. "Football is one of my great passions in life, and I love speaking being with those who share that same feeling. See you soon."

Dick Enberg Award winner Tamika Catchings, from left, U.S. Navy nuclear submarine commander Andrew Cain, emcee Holly Rowe of ESPN, Marlborough High grad Rick Miller and Chicago Bears President Kevin Warren at Tuesday's College Sports Communicators Academic All-America Hall of Fame ceremony in Orlando.
Dick Enberg Award winner Tamika Catchings, from left, U.S. Navy nuclear submarine commander Andrew Cain, emcee Holly Rowe of ESPN, Marlborough High grad Rick Miller and Chicago Bears President Kevin Warren at Tuesday's College Sports Communicators Academic All-America Hall of Fame ceremony in Orlando.

The annual dinner is the first event designed to get local folks charged up about the annual bowl in Shreveport’s Independence Stadium. The 48th event is slated for Dec. 28 at 8:15 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Previous kickoff dinner speakers include Drew Brees, Kim Mulkey, Terry Bradshaw, Lou Holtz, Archie Manning, Bobby Bowden, Emmitt Smith and Herschel Walker

A barrier breaker since debuting on ABC in 1995, Rowe was the first female color commentator in Utah Jazz history during the team’s contest with the Sacramento Kings in 2021.

Rowe became an advocate for cancer research and prevention after being diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma in 2016. Her broadcasting awards include winning the 2022 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Personality/Reporter and the 2022 Mel Greenberg Media Award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

“(Rowe) has had a front-row seat for some of the most exciting sports moments, has an incredible personal story of her cancer diagnosis and treatment, and always asks the kind of questions that we as viewers want to hear the athletes and coaches answer,” said I-Bowl Foundation Chair Claire Rebouche. “I’m sure everyone will leave the Kickoff Dinner wishing they could hear even more from her.”

Jimmy Watson covers Louisiana sports for the USA TODAY Network. Email him at jwatson@shreveporttimes.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.

This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Radiance Technologies I-Bowl lands Holly Rowe as ‘Kickoff’ speaker

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