Since Kate Scott is a notable “first,” her identity is a central part of her narrative.
Scott, the new television voice of the Philadelphia 76ers for NBC Sports Philadelphia, is the first woman to call an NFL game on the radio, an NHL game on television and Olympic men’s basketball in general, among several other “firsts.”
Now, alongside Milwaukee Bucks announcer Lisa Byington, also hired this year, Scott, 38, is about a week away from becoming the “first” female voice of a major professional sports team in North America. The Sixers open their 2021-’22 season on Oct. 20 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
As a gay woman, too, Scott is well aware that fans and media will often see her as a representative for her identity groups. At the same time, there is one Scott identity that gets a little less attention in the narrative about her career.
Much like her predecessor with the Sixers, Marc Zumoff, Scott is Jewish.
Or, to put it more accurately, Scott has a Jewish mom: Maggie Cone. But as Scott knows, that’s what counts.
Though the broadcaster is no longer religious, she did say, “I’m Jewish,” when asked.
“It’s a really important part of who my mom is,” said Scott. “I try to honor that.”
One way she honored it was by revealing some fun Jewish facts about herself.
“My sister and I went to Sunday school”
Scott’s father is a Methodist Christian, so when Scott and her sister were young, they were exposed to both religions.
Growing up in Clovis, California, they went to Jewish Sunday school, but they also attended church activities with their paternal grandmother. Cone and her husband wanted their children to understand both faiths so they could choose their own, if they wanted to, once they got older.
The sisters celebrated Jewish holidays with their parents and family friends and got Chanukah gifts from their maternal grandparents, who lived in Connecticut, every December.
They did, however, stop going to Sunday school before they were old enough to have b’not mitzvah.
“It wasn’t an in-depth Jewish upbringing. We didn’t have Friday night dinner,” Cone said. “But it was very important to me. So I tried to instill it in the kids.”
“I worked at a Jewish deli in Berkeley”
After blowing out her knee playing travel soccer, Scott couldn’t earn a collegiate scholarship in her favorite sport. So later in high school, after showing her speaking and leadership skills as class president, Scott was encouraged by a teacher to pursue broadcasting.
The new voice of the Sixers started her journey at the University of California, Berkeley. While there, she also worked at a Jewish deli, Saul’s, to earn extra money.
Scott spent her weekends making Reuben sandwiches and gathering whitefish orders for California Jews who relocated from New York. On breaks, she would eat chicken liver sandwiches…with pickles on the side.
Whenever Scott’s parents would visit, the family would eat at Saul’s.
“That was another thing that made my mom very happy,” Scott said, laughing.
“I am a member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California”
In 2016, Scott was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California.
She did much of her earlier broadcast work in the San Francisco Bay Area, including for the PAC 12 Networks and NBC Sports Bay Area. A couple of the hall’s board members knew of her background and liked her work, according to the broadcaster.
They also knew she had achieved a couple “firsts.”
“That was a wonderful ceremony,” Scott said of her induction.
“Every year we FaceTime with my mom and light the candles”
Scott and her wife are not religious, but they do celebrate Chanukah with Cone. Every year, they FaceTime Cone, and they all light the candles together from their respective locations.
She carries her menorah with her wherever her career takes her.
“That makes my mom very happy,” Scott said.
Cone is excited for her daughter to go to Philadelphia, one of the biggest Jewish markets in the country.
After Scott arrived in the city, she met Zumoff for lunch at a deli to discuss her new role. Then, naturally, she told her mom about where they ate.
“It’s where she was meant to be,” Cone said.
Scott, for her part, said that, if she reached a point where she wanted to consider a faith, she could see herself reconnecting with Judaism.
“It’s always seemed like a very kind, welcoming and inclusive religion to me,” she said. “Those things have meant a lot to me in my life and career.”