Before concluding a short interview before the Big 12 tournament title game on Saturday, ESPN reporter Holly Rowe wanted to put in a word for Kansas City and college basketball.
“I know (Kansas City) is putting in a bid to host the Final Four,” Rowe said. “I cannot recommend this site and these people and this sports commission highly enough. The NCAA needs to bring the women’s Final Four to Kansas City because I know firsthand how great tournaments are in this community and its love for basketball here.”
The feeling is mutual from the Big 12 community and has been even more heartfelt over the last two years, since Rowe was diagnosed with desmoplastic melanoma in 2016.
It started with a mole she said looked odd. Since her original surgery, Rowe has had two recurrences.
“I’m good, things are good,” Rowe said. “My treatments are going well. I’m doing treatments every 21 days. I’m holding steady.”
Rowe has covered the Big 12 from the sidelines since 2004. Her first conference game: Missouri’s 2006 victory over Kansas, when the Jayhawks’ Christian Moody missed a pair of free throws that would have decided the game in regulation.
Since then, she’s become inseparable with the Big 12, working Big Monday broadcasts and conference tournaments.
"Because it was basketball season when it (originally) happened, the most response I got was from my Big 12 family," Rowe said. "I fly home tomorrow, I have chemo on Monday.
"It's still a reality of my life that I'm dealing with but I appreciate everybody's love and support very much."