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Photos: Meet Maria Taylor, ESPN's Reporter At The NBA Draft

maria taylor posts a photo on instagram

ESPN's 2018 NBA Draft coverage will featured one of the biggest rising stars at the Worldwide Leader. Maria Taylor, who's seen her presence at the network increase a lot over the last year, will serve as the reporter for the draft coverage. She'll be interviewing the top picks after their selections on ESPN.

Taylor, 31, has been with ESPN since 2013. She first made a major presence at the network by helping with the launch of the SEC Network in 2014. Since, she's gained an even bigger presence.

The rising reporter replaced Sam Ponder on College GameDay this past season. Ponder had left the show to work on Sunday NFL Countdown.

Taylor was a standout college athlete herself. She attended the University of Georgia, where she played basketball and volleyball. Taylor was an All-SEC volleyball player for three years.

Taylor has recently been seen as a replacement for Michelle Beadle on ESPN's new morning show, Get Up! The morning show is struggling ratings-wise, but reviews of her performance in a fill-in role have been very good. There are some who are arguing for her to get a more permanent spot on the show.

"If I were booking the show, I would replace Michelle Beadle with Maria Taylor, who guest-hosted during the NBA Finals and for whatever reason immediately clicked better with Greeny than Beadle has in 2+ months.

It’s hard to explain exactly why chemistry works sometimes and others it doesn’t, but it was just noticeable that Taylor brought a fresher energy to the show," writes The Big Lead's Ryan Glasspiegel.

Here's her bio, from ESPN:

Maria Taylor is in her third season as a college analyst & reporter and joined ESPN and SEC Network in 2014. In 2017, Taylor was named a reporter for College GameDay Built by Home Depot and ABC Saturday Night Football. She had previously served as the host of SEC Network’s traveling pregame show SEC Nation, alongside analysts Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum. In addition to her football duties, she is a host of Big Monday and NCAA Women’s Final Four studio coverage. She also serves as a sideline reporter for men’s basketball, and is an analyst on other SEC and ESPN telecasts, including volleyball, and women’s basketball. Prior to her role on SEC Nation, she served as a college football reporter on SEC Network with commentator Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer.

In 2013, she was the sideline reporter on ESPN2’s weekly Saturday night primetime college football telecast in addition to the Orange Bowl, her second consecutive year covering the annual bowl game. Additionally, she has been an analyst on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection ShowNCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Preview Show and also ESPN’s coverage of both the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and Women’s Volleyball National Championship for the previous two years.

Prior to 2012, Taylor was reporter and host for IMG College at the University of Georgia for three years. She also appeared on various studio shows including Dawg ReportSEC Men’s Basketball Tonight, and SportsNite.

Taylor will surely be an exciting part of ESPN's draft coverage on Thursday night.

The 2018 NBA Draft starts at 7 p.m. E.T. It'll be televised on ESPN.