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Volume 20 No. 42
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ESPN producer Hussein moves to ‘NBA Countdown’

ESPN picked Amina Hussein to produce its “NBA Countdown” studio show from Los Angeles this season.

Hussein, who has been with ESPN for 10 years, is moving from Bristol, Conn., to Los Angeles to take the job as coordinating producer. Since August 2011, she produced the network’s popular “Sunday NFL Countdown” from Bristol.

“It was a difficult decision to leave the crew at ‘Countdown,’” she said. “But the opportunity to work on a sport that I actually played and have more of an insider perspective was too good to pass up.”

Hussein was captain of the Holy Names University women’s basketball team in Oakland in 1998-99.

Last year, ESPN produced its NBA pregame show without a host, using a quartet of analysts — Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon, Jon Barry and Chris Broussard. Hussein said the studio show will not have a dedicated host again this year. She did not address rumors that ESPN’s Bill Simmons was in the running to be a regular on this year’s show. A source said Simmons has had discussions about the show, though nothing has been finalized.

“The opportunity to work with Magic and Wilbon was very intriguing to me,” Hussein said.

Hussein says she wants the show’s conversation to be “free flowing” and focused on the issues of the day. In the first few weeks, for example, she expects a lot of talk on the league’s new flopping rules.

Hussein is one of the few women to produce studio shows in sports. Hussein credited Stephanie Druley, who is Longhorn Network’s vice president of production, with helping her get a start in producing NFL studio shows. Druley had been a senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s NFL studio shows.

During her career at ESPN, Hussein was a coordinating producer for “SportsCenter” and “NFL Live” before “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

“I take some pride in being able to make a path for myself in a male-dominated field,” Hussein said.