From soups to nuts, this girl knows sports. ESPN SportsCenter Update anchor Sage Steele’s ability to report on plays that are of no interest to most pretty girls might have a little something to do with the fact that she holds great admiration for her father, Gary Steele, who was a darn good varsity football player at West Point, not to mention the fact that he broke the color barrier. Or maybe even the fact that she wasn’t twirling on her toes and playing with dolls when she was a kid, but was enjoying sport outings alongside her two younger brothers.
Don’t let her tall stature fool you. Growing up, Steele wasn’t averaging triple-doubles on the court. As a matter of fact, she says, “People think I played sports in high school. I was never a good enough athlete … I knew the second best thing would be to talk about it.”
With her model figure and chiseled features, Steele easily captivates ESPN viewers. Recently, she had the wonderful opportunity to conduct a one-on-one interview with former track star and Olympic athlete Marion Jones before participants at Black Enterprise’s Women of Power Summit in Orlando. They discussed Jones’ reclamation of her life and power.
On how she prepares for these intimate sessions…
“I was a little bit nervous in preparing for it. It’s a different setting — a televised interview in the room with a thousand people,” offers the lady who is always poised when she’s on set, adding a little something extra to the screen: beauty and excitement.
The Indiana University alum had her heart set on journalism long before she graduated high school. “I knew from the eighth grade what I wanted to do with my life. So, for me, this is just the fulfillment of my dream and my goals. I had four internships during and after school. My first job was at the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. From there, I went to Tampa, Fla. … It’s my 16th year in [broadcast journalism].”
Besides getting a little nervous before her interview with Jones, Steele says there just might be one other interview that, if given the chance to conduct it, would give her butterflies. “There are so many prominent people in the sports world. I have to treat them as normal people. I’ve interviewed all kinds of people. If it could be anybody, it would be Tony Dungy.”
A stunning and statuesque Steele is a wife and mother of three, who works out avidly — waking up at the crack of dawn for boot camp that, she says, is grueling but gives her satisfaction. –yvette caslin