Andraya Carter and Jacques McClendon are the latest alumni from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) to join the UT Knoxville Alumni Volunteer 40 Under 40 class for 2024. The Volunteer 40 under 40 recognizes alumni who have made incredible accomplishments in their careers as well as impacts in their communities, on campus, and with other alumni.
Carter graduated in 2017 with a Master of Science in Kinesiology. She joined ESPN as a game analyst, working primarily on SEC Network in 2018. Over the past four years, Carter has established herself as one of ESPN’s rising stars across the network’s comprehensive sports coverage. What was a part-time contract with approximately 40 assignments per year ballooned to 128 assignments in 2022. While continuing her role as a color analyst, 2022 featured expanded roles as a studio analyst, studio host, sideline reporter and sideline analyst (a hybrid role created for her) not only for Women’s College Basketball but also for the WNBA, NBA, and Men’s College Basketball across ESPN platforms, including ABC.
While there are many commentators who have countless assignments every year, the multitude of assignments and various roles is what sets Andraya apart. Andraya was also added as a studio analyst for the Brooklyn Nets pregame, halftime and postgame shows this NBA season. Andraya also had the honor of being an analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft alongside JJ Reddick, Jay Bilas and Malika Andrews.
As a member of the Rising Media Stars mentorship program, Andraya has committed to helping guide young aspiring women in sports. She often welcomes current student-athletes shadowing her on the road and is brought in by teams for media training. She has already formed long lasting connections and earned the respect of many. Andraya hosts coffee meet ups, dinners and zoom calls with aspiring sports broadcasters and sideline reporters. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Andraya put on outdoor PE classes for kids in the metro Atlanta area and over the past few years has visited different schools, organizations and team events to speak to young boys and girls about overcoming adversity, embracing being uncomfortable and being your authentic self.
Jacques McClendon received his Master of Science in Sport Management in 2010. He is in entering his seventh season with the Los Angeles Rams and serves as their Director of Football Affairs. McClendon serves as a key liaison between football and business operations for the organization and has multiple touchpoints throughout the organization.
He also serves on the organizational leadership team. McClendon’s department is tasked with leading and aligning Player and Alumni Affairs and their integration within the overall organizational strategy. He assists the Scouting department with conducting interviews and evaluations during the draft process. Jacques is also involved in football staff talent recruitment efforts, with a specific focus on inclusion and diversity, leveraging his experience with the Rams scouting apprenticeship program as well as his advisory board role for the ID council.
Jacques serves as the Rams liaison for the Nunn Wooten and Bill Walsh Fellowship Program. Jacques serves on the Player Benefits, Bill Walsh, DEI and Legends steering committees with the NFL league office. He also serves as the club liaison with the NFLPA. In May 2022, McClendon graduated with his MBA from Brown University.
McClendon serves on the Chairman’s Forum for Unify Credit Union. He is also on the advisory board for the Black Sports Symposium which was created as an opportunity to create networking, professional development, and job opportunities for black sports professionals. McClendon also serves on the Knight Commission for Intercollegiate Athletics. In 2022, he was also selected to attend and participate in the Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum.
McClendon spent 7 years as an NFL player, which included time with the Colts, Jags and Dolphins. A four-year letterman at the University of Tennessee, McClendon was an Academic All-SEC choice and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and master’s degree in Sports Management from Tennessee.