Oregon Women's Basketball's Deja Kelly Appears on ESPN's WNBA Countdown

Oregon women's basketball's Deja Kelly pushes for success on and off the court. Saturday, Kelly took a big step in her pursuit of becoming a sports broadcaster: Kelly appeared on ESPN's WNBA Countdown. 
Mar 22, 2024; Columbia, SC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Deja Kelly (25) drives around Michigan State Spartans guard DeeDee Hagemann (0) in the second half at Colonial Life Arena.
Mar 22, 2024; Columbia, SC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Deja Kelly (25) drives around Michigan State Spartans guard DeeDee Hagemann (0) in the second half at Colonial Life Arena. / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

EUGENE- University of Oregon guard Deja Kelly is making strides toward her future, both on and off the court. Saturday, Kelly appeared on ESPN's WNBA countdown, alongside analysts Andraya Carter and Chiney Ogwumike, and host Elle Duncan to discuss the WNBA matchup between the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces.  

"Great day on WNBA countdown also a great day to get the next wave of analysts ready to go," Carter said after the show. "She was great."    

On the court, Kelly is a true offensive powerhouse who hopes to boost Oregon women's basketball's frontcourt in the upcoming season.   

"Just being able to add value to an already really good roster... I'm excited to see what we can do and what we do," Kelly said.   

Kelly played her first four seasons of college basketball at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. As a Tar Heel, she was the program's eighth leading scorer with 1,851 career points.   

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Deja Kelly makes the shot to tie up the game against Ohio State Buckeyes.
Mar 20, 2023; Columbus, OH, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Deja Kelly (25) makes the shot to tie up the game against Ohio State Buckeyes during the fourth quarter of the NCAA second round game at Value City Arena. / Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Kelly graduated from UNC in May, earning her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism, demonstrating her dominance on the court and in the classroom.  

Growing up, Kelly watched a lot of basketball, including the pre-game and post-game talk shows and interviews. This early exposure to broadcast journalism inspired her to pursue a career in that industry.  

North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Courtney Banghart speaks with guard Deja Kelly.
Mar 22, 2024; Columbia, SC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Courtney Banghart speaks with guard Deja Kelly (25) against the Michigan State Spartans in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

"At a young age I knew that's what I wanted to do," Kelly revealed to Go Ducks' Rob Mosley. "I would practice in the mirror and practice to my mom."   

Kelly's pursuit of broadcast journalism is far from over. In the Fall, she will continue her studies at the University of Oregon, where the school of journalism and communication is one of the top in the nation.  

Inspired by influential women in broadcasting, such as Holly Rowe and Maria Taylor, Kelly saw herself reflected in their success. Since that realization, Kelly has actively pursued opportunities that would help her advance in the ever-competitive broadcast industry.

Kelly has had opportunities to shadow reporters at the NBA Draft and NBA Summer League in previous years. Now, she has another experience under her belt: Appearing on ESPN. 


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Olivia Cleary

OLIVIA CLEARY