allie clifton

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American sports journalist Allie Clifton created history as the LA Lakers registered a 138-127 victory over the Utah Jazz by becoming the first female commentator to serve play-by-play for the Lakers. Clifton was a Spectrum SportsNet analyst before she became the first woman in Lakers history to call a game on their local broadcast. The Ohio native was a former University of Toledo Rocket player, and she stepped up to fill in for Stu Lantz, who is currently recovering from a medical issue. 

The 36-year-old started off her career as a broadcaster and initially worked as a sports reporter for WTVG Channel 13. Clifton then joined Fox Sports Ohio in 2012 and worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers broadcast team before switching to the Lakers pregame show on Spectrum SportsNet in 2018, which coincided with LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers. In 2018, Clifton won a pair of Lower Great Lakes Emmy Awards as a member of the Cavaliers broadcast team. 

Lebron James reacts to Allie Clifton's historic day

Lakers icon LeBron James praised Clifton after learning that she became the first woman to commentate on an LA game. Clifton shared the excitement on her social media, and tweeted, “An opportunity to fill in for a Legend, sitting next to a Legend … tonight was an honor and such a BLAST! To the LA Lakers,  & my Spectrum SN family - thank you for trusting me in the seat. Real LOVE! Laker Nation, y’all rock 💜 - see y’all after the break! #LakersDub

Apart from that, the Lakers also extended their support to Clifton, and one of their spokespeople was quoted by Pinkvilla as saying, “We are proud to have Allie Clifton as the first female play-by-play commentator for a Lakers game. She is the ideal candidate to shatter the barriers and motivate generations of women in sports broadcasting with her commitment, enthusiasm, and knowledge.”