Elle Duncan on Winning Another Emmy With 'SportsCenter' and Finding a Home
By Liam McKeone
It was quite a week for Elle Duncan in New York City. On Tuesday night, she was onstage alongside her SportsCenter compatriots, receiving the team's second Sports Emmy in three years for Outstanding Studio Show. On Wednesday, she was walking the red carpet in Times Square, on her way to co-host the 2023 Sports Business Journal Awards alongside fellow ESPN personality Jay Williams. It's quite the 48-hour stretch even for one of the faces of SportsCenter.
She was, however, eager to heap praise upon her coworkers who all pitched in to help SportsCenter win the Emmy.
"SportsCenter is an entire, giant white whale," Duncan said. "I loved looking up on stage and seeing my producer, my director, and my CP on stage. They’re the ones who really make SportsCenter go. I think all the talents certainly take a little part of it and we all enjoy that, but there is such an absolute roster behind the scenes that make it happen every day: the ones who are watching games, who are working at two in the morning, cutting highlights, coming up with storylines while we’re all asleep."
This year will mark Duncan's seventh with ESPN. She joined the SportsCenter desk in 2016. That was several Emmys ago, and Duncan is glad to have found a home at the Worldwide Leader. A lot has changed since then, though.
"I started and I was single and now I have two kids and I’m married," she said. "I like to think I’ve become a better broadcaster in my seven years at ESPN, but I think more than anything I was always targeting what’s next. I was working in two-year increments. Next step, next step, achieve next thing. I finally landed at a place where I feel like I’m at home, and it’s really cool to reach the zenith, the place you always wanted to be. And then to figure out how to do better and explore within the company. I finally found a home in Connecticut with ESPN and it feels really cool."
Duncan and the rest of the SportsCenter team are some of the best in the business. They don't need to show off to prove that. But Duncan couldn't have been happier that her coworkers, the ones who aren't on-screen every day, got their moment in the spotlight.
"I think for them, just taking part in that and the pride they’ll have in getting their Emmys and statues from the APs all the way up, it’s really, really special."