MIAMI — ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt knows all about Miami thanks to his “grandma” – Letha Robinson.
Van Pelt discussed Miami and nailed the pronunciation (My-am-uh) during an interview with University of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops following the Sooners’ win over Auburn in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“The reason I know how to pronounce Miami is because my grandma was from Miami,” Van Pelt said via email. “If you have family from there, you understand it. My great-grandfather, the man I call ‘Pappy,’ was John Robinson, who was from Miami, and my grandma was Letha Robinson.
She went to Stephens College (a women’s college in Columbia, Missouri), Baylor and then American University in Washington, D.C., where she met John Robinson, Van Pelt said..
“My grandma settled in Washington, D.C., which is where she raised my mom and my aunt,” Van Pelt said.
Van Pelt graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in radio/television and film.
He’s anchored the 11 p.m. edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter since 2015.
Van Pelt was a nominee for a 2015 Sports Emmy for his work on the network’s flagship program.
“She was a Sooner fan, which is why when Coach Stoops talked about it, I said we can name the Owenses,” Van Pelt said. “He was like ‘yeah, Steve Owens.’ I said of course, he was a legendary Miami, Oklahoma, guy, which is why my grandma was such a big Sooner fan.”
Van Pelt said he visited Miami several times as a youth, “but once my great-grandfather passed away, which was when I was young in the late ‘70s, I haven’t been back there since forever.”