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About Kate Fagan


By Adam Zielonka

Kate Fagan is a journalist, columnist and on-air personality for ESPN and an author of two nonfiction books, “The Reappearing Act: Coming Out as Gay on a College Basketball Team Led by Born-Again Christians” and “What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All‑American Teen.”

Fagan played basketball at the University of Colorado, where in four seasons she appeared in 116 games, averaged 8.2 points per game and shot .409 from 3-point range. She majored in communication at Colorado and interned at “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” during the summer of 2003.

After a brief professional career playing in Ireland and the United States’ now-defunct National Women’s Basketball League, Fagan began stringing for the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera as a sports reporter. She spent 10 months at the Ellensburg (Wash.) Daily Record and almost two years at the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star before she was hired by the Philadelphia Inquirer. She covered the Philadelphia 76ers for three seasons for the Inquirer.

Fagan wrote an article for ESPN the Magazine in 2011 called “Unhealthy Climate,” and began regularly contributing to ESPN in 2012, from appearing on “Around the Horn” to working on the company’s Title IX 40th anniversary project. In 2014, Fagan released her first book, “The Reappearing Act,” a memoir of her time at Colorado and her journey to coming out as gay to her basketball teammates.

In 2015, Fagan wrote a long-form feature piece for ESPN the Magazine about Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania track and cross country athlete who died by suicide the year before. That article, “Split/Image,” was read and shared on social media millions of times upon its release. She soon expanded her reporting on Holleran’s life and mental health issues in the millennial generation overall, which became her second book, “What Made Maddy Run,” released in 2017.

Fagan still appears on “Around the Horn” as well as “Outside the Lines” and other ESPN programs. She and her partner, Kathryn Budig, co-host the espnW podcast “Free Cookies.”