ESPN reporter Holly Rowe is known as a fighter.
Two years ago, Rowe was so determined to get an interview with Kansas State’s Thomas Gipson, after they lost to rival the Wildcats, that she climbed a scorer’s table during a court storming, Yahoo Sports recounted.
Holly also kept a point guard, Juwa Staten, on his feet so she could ask him about a game-winning layup against the Jayhawks last year. On Monday night, Rowe helped cover the Texas-Baylor basketball game (Texas won), the eve of a serious surgery to remove a second tumor from her chest.
“If Rowe fights cancer with the ferocity she fights through a crowd, there’s little doubt she’ll be healthy again in no time,” wrote Jeff Eisenberg.
Indeed, as Holly lay recovering from her surgery later Tuesday, she tweeted a photo of herself in the hospital with a college basketball game playing on TV in the background. She told fans that her surgery went well.
Eight months ago, Rowe had a tumor removed from her chest and announced on Tuesday — just before her procedure — that doctors had discovered another one, ESPN reported. That one would also need to be removed.
Holly shared the news and the pertinent details in a statement.
“I wanted to share some personal news as I face a new challenge ahead. In May, I had a tumor in my chest removed and I have recently learned that there is a new tumor, which needs to be removed via surgery today. In the coming days, I will know more about what potential additional steps I may take to address this situation.”
Rowe has worked at ESPN since 1998, primarily covering college football and college basketball as a sideline reporter, NBC Sports added. She’s a graduate of the University of Utah, and before coming to ESPN, worked as a sports reporter and anchor for various news outlets in Salt Lake City.
These days, she works with Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge’s crew in the fall during the network’s coverage of this season’s Orange Bowl. Holly has also been on the radio for the College Football Playoff Championship, covered the NBA, WNBA, and softball.
According to her boss at ESPN, president John Skipper, Holly’s “display of professionalism, teamwork and work ethic” is “admired and respected” by her colleagues and people across the industry.
“Every time I run into Holly Rowe at a game, it is a delight… We know how strong she is, we are with her and we look forward to her return.”
Rowe looking forward to getting back to work as well, “doing what gives me so much joy in life,” she said in her statement.
Despite her health issues, Holly has seemed upbeat and determined, fighting to get healthy as hard as she does to get an interview.
“I am very grateful for the support of my bosses at ESPN, who are fully behind me as I take the time to beat this, as well as the incredible connections to The V Foundation. I also sincerely appreciate the guidance of colleague Shelley Smith, who battled cancer so courageously last year… I once ran a marathon and as I was struggling to finish, I said to the strangers on the side of the road, who were there to cheer for others, ‘my name is Holly, can you cheer for me too?’ I know I can conquer anything with prayer, love, positive energy and the support of good people behind me, and I am thankful for my son and amazing family.”
[Photo By Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]