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Miss America Cohost Sage Steele: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me (‘I’m 43 Years Old But Still Sleep With My Baby Blanket’)

Sage Steele
Sage Steele at the Body at ESPYS event on July 12 in Hollywood. Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Scoring a gig as cohost of 2017's Miss America competition messed with sportscaster Sage Steele's game face. 

"When I was first asked if I was interested, I couldn’t stop smiling because it brought back wonderful, funny memories from my childhood," she recalled to ESPN's Front Row in July. "I would wake up in the morning and walk downstairs with big, poofy, out-of-control hair, and my grandmother and aunt would start to sing, 'There she is … Miss America …' the theme song for the pageant; in jest, of course!"

Before she emcees this year's show with The Bachelor's Chris Harrison on Sunday, September 11th, at 9 p.m. ET, live on ABC, the NBA Countdown anchor, 43, shared 25 interesting facts about herself exclusively with Us Weekly!

Related: PHOTOS: Miss America 2016 Bikini Bodies Pictures

1. I'm constantly asked if Sage Steele is my real name. Yes, it is! It's not a "stage name."

2. I've got a serious sweet tooth. I can't go to bed at night without dessert. It's a problem.

3. I love cars, and I love driving fast … which is also a problem.

4. When I was 12 years old, I announced to my family that I wanted to be a TV sportscaster. I feel blessed to be living my dream.

5. I have huge feet. Size 11 is hard to find — help!

6. I grew up as an Army brat and lived in four different countries by the time I graduated from high school.

7. My first job was at Dairy Queen.

Related: PHOTOS: Stars — They're Just Like Us!

8. I have three kids: Quinn, 14, Nicholas, 12, and Evan, 10 [with husband Jonathan Bailey].

9. I competed in equestrian events as a teenager and am back at it again. Horseback riding is my escape.

10. I have to go to the salon every three weeks because my hair is 100 percent gray. Thank goodness the curls distract everyone!

11. My love of sports comes from my dad [Gary Steele], who was a 1970 West Point graduate, a retired Army colonel and an Army Sports Hall of Famer. He was also the first black man to play varsity football at West Point and was later drafted by the Detroit Lions.

12. I'm 43 years old but still sleep with my baby blanket.

13. If I wasn't a sports broadcaster, I would be a real estate agent.

14. The greatest honor of my career was giving the 2015 commencement speech at my alma mater, Indiana University.

15. I was in the Air Force ROTC in college. 

16. I love baking.

17. I pick out all of my own on-air clothes and accessories.

Related: PHOTOS: Best Dressed TV Show Hosts

18. I'm proud to be biracial. My dad is black, and my mom is half Irish and half Italian — the best of both worlds.

19. I couldn't land a TV sports job after graduating from college, so I began my career as a news producer in South Bend, Indiana.

20. I'm a huge NASCAR fan (go, Jimmie Johnson!) and got to drive the pace car at the 2013 Brickyard 400.

21. One of my all-time favorite jobs was waiting tables at Bobby's Colorado Steakhouse in Bloomington, Indiana.

22. My brother, Chad, is the VP of public relations for the Baltimore Ravens.

23. I get choked up every single time I hear the national anthem.

24. I was the spelling bee champ at my elementary school in Belgium.

25. If I was a Miss America contestant, my talent would be "fast talking" — you know, like the guys who race through all the legalese at the end of radio and TV commercials.

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