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Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless will have to find some new Bangin Candy to peer mediate their heated sports debates (don’t worry, ESPN has plenty of them).

Cari Champion has just been promoted to SportsCenter anchor and her future looks brighter than that of the Golden State Warriors.

Reports TheWrap:

ESPN2’s Cari Champion is heading to the big leagues.

The co-host of the ESPN2’s “First Take” for two and a half years has been named the newest anchor of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” TheWrap has learned.

She is expected to work on morning segments of the broadcast beginning in mid-July, particularly a series of upcoming “interactions” about sports and entertainment with members of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ABC and ESPN are both divisions of Disney.

“I grew up watching ‘SportsCenter’ — it is the flagship show so I am living the dream,” Champion told TheWrap. “When I first started working here, I would casually petition for it — but there’s always a long line.”

ESPN brass had high praise for Champion.

“On the handful of previous occasions that Cari joined ‘SportsCenter’ shows, her wit and enthusiasm lit up the set,” Rob King, senior vice president of “SportsCenter” and news, told TheWrap. “Having her presence on a regular basis is a win not only for audiences watching ‘SportsCenter,’ but also for all of us who work on the show.”

Cari Champion has sat down with so many rappers over the past couple of years, we can’t wait to see the wit she’ll add to the show. Salute!

Photo: Instagram / Cari Champion

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