Jackie MacMullan is one of the most accomplished and respected journalists in sports. Previous to her retirement from ESPN in August 2021, MacMullan was an analyst for ESPN and Comcast Sports Net and a columnist for ESPNBOSTON.com. From 2002 to 2007 she was a columnist and associate editor of the Boston Globe, and from 1995-2000 she was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated covering the National Basketball Association.
MacMullan began her career with the Globe in 1982, where she covered a variety of sports, including the 1986 World Series, 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, the 1988 Olympic Games, as well as numerous NBA Finals and Final Four tournaments.
Tufts awarded her with its Distinguished Achievement Award in 1995. The New England Women’s Leadership Awards honored her in 1997. In 2000 was named the New Fund Hall of Fame media recipient. In 2003, she was chosen by the Institute of Sport in Society as its Hero in Sport winner. In 2005, MacMullan was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in the media division, the youngest media member to be recognized.
In August of 2010, MacMullan was recognized by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Award for a career of excellence in basketball writing and reporting. She is the first (and only) woman selected in the history of the award.
A year later, in 2011, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell honored her as its first recipient of the For the Love of Sport Award, given to the member of the community who “embodies talent, character and enthusiasm in a sports-related field.”
In 2014, the organization WISE (Women in Sports Events) presented MacMullan with its inaugural Women of Inspiration award.
In 2015, the Women’s Leadership Exchange presented MacMullan with its Compass Award and Muhlenberg College presented MacMullan with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
She served as Emmanuel College’s commencement speaker in May, 2017, and received an honorary degree from the school.
An accomplished author, MacMullan’s fifth book, Basketball: A Love Story, was released in September 2018. Co-authored with Rafe Bartholomew, this comprehensive oral history is culled from interviews with more than 177 athletes and coaches at all levels, including the likes of Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry, LeBron James, Rebecca Lobo, Mike Krzyzewski and Geno Auriemma.
Her book Shaq UnCut was released in November of 2011 and was a New York Times bestseller. Previously MacMullan authored a book with Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird entitled “When the Game Was Ours,” which spent 8 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was later adapted into a Broadway play. She also collaborated with Bird on a book chronicling his coaching career entitled “Bird Watching” and teamed with Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma to write his memoir “Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection.”
MacMullan has won several national writing awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, including first place for investigative reporting (on the death of Reggie Lewis) and feature writing (a profile of Patrick Ewing).
MacMullan is a cum laude graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she played four years of basketball, leading the team in scoring as a sophomore and serving as a team captain in her senior season. She was the recipient of both the Robert Perry Student-Athlete of the Year Award and the Dean Williamson Award, given to that student that “excels in scholarship, athletics and loyalty to the University.” She was inducted into the University of New Hampshire’s Hall of Honor in 2001.
For many years MacMullan has been heavily involved in charitable work for Huntington’s Disease and was honored in the fall of 2007 by its New England chapter for her tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. Tewksbury Hospital also recognized MacMullan in 2004.
The New England Patriots awarded MacMullan its prestigious Ron Burton Sr Community Service Award in 2009 for her charitable endeavors, which also include efforts on behalf of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, the New England Hemophilia Association, and the Shooting Touch foundation.
In addition to her duties at ESPN, which included weekly appearances on Around the Horn as the only female panelist, MacMullan was a regular contributor to WHDH-TV (Channel 7) and WEEI radio. MacMullan will continue to do podcasts for The Ringer, something she began in 2020.