Amina Hussein’s role as a coordinating producer at ESPN has driven the success of some of the network’s top programs like NFL Sunday Countdown, SportsCenter and NBA Countdown. While she works behind the camera, there is no shortage of praise from her on-screen colleagues like Maria Taylor and Jalen Rose.
Rose, an analyst for NBA Countdown, spoke to The Athletic about the transitions at the show over the years.
“Ultimately, the change that plays out on TV is happening behind the scenes. So (coordinating producer) Amina Hussein has been our rock, our leader, and she has done so much for the creative of the show.”
Hussein has an impressive resume which includes an Emmy award. She manages a high-profile cast and everyone from producers and production assistants to researchers.
“I see the opportunity for not only women, but women of color doing Countdown as a landmark moment,” host Maria Taylor said in an interview with Forbes. “At ESPN, I’ve only worked with one other African-American female and that was Julaine Edwards of the SEC Network. So,having Amina involved is everything to me.”
She became coordinating producer in 2008 and helped launch the weekday morning segments of Sportscenter. Since her time at ESPN, she takes great responsibility and pride in mentoring other people of color who want to break into sports media.
“As a woman of color in my position, I value being able to look at things a little bit differently than some of my other counterparts in the industry,” she toldEssence magazine. “I also value having the opportunity to at least start the conversation to get other people to look at things from a different perspective when it comes to covering Black athletes.”
Hussein got her big break at ESPN after working as a radio producer in her hometown of Oakland, California. With her strong athletic background, she had little trouble adjusting to the demanding and stressful environment of live television at a major sports television network.
“Being captain of my basketball team in high school, I know communication is crucial,” Hussin told TheFootballGirl.com. “And I know how to deliver messages differently to motivate different people. I also learned how to handle challenges and stressful moments.”
Amina Hussein definitely has game.