SC Featured updates new father Pete Frates’ inspirational story


One of SC Featured’s most popular segments of 2014 was “Pete’s Challenge,” which told the story of former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, the inspiration for the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon that raised awareness — and millions — for ALS.

For Father’s Day, SC Featured will update Frates’ story in a new segment airing Sunday on SportsCenter with reporter Tom Rinaldi, and co-producer Drew Gallagher, who produced the original story, and was happy to again have the chance to be part of the process.

“The idea to revisit Pete’s story came up, and I was asked if I wanted to jump back in and do it,” said Gallagher, who moved from the ESPN Features Unit to college sports production after the original piece aired last summer.

“I think any producer wants to see a story through all the way,” he said.

Since the first story aired, Frates has become a father, and his own father, who helped care for Frates before he required full-time nursing assistance, has continued spreading Pete’s message of perseverance. Father and son became close as they traveled together with the BC baseball team, and Gallagher felt that there was more to the story than just that Pete was going to have his first Father’s Day.

“That was part of the story that intrigued me,” he said. “We’ve called the piece ‘A Father’s Legacy,’ and I think that reflects two things: obviously Lucy is going to be Pete’s legacy, in addition to the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the ALS Awareness; he’s done things that no one else could have dreamed.

“But Pete’s father also has a legacy,” he said. “I think every father wishes their son would impact the world in the way Pete’s done.”

The original feature had a strong presence on social media, including more than 37,000 re-tweets (#SCFeatured), the most-ever re-tweets for a long-form ESPN feature (more than 27,000) and 8.9 million total video starts across all platforms.

Gallagher gave credit to co-producer Chad Minutillo, who has shouldered much of the work while Gallagher was traveling earlier this week.

“He’s been on the shoots, he’s been really crucial in helping organize the footage and assemble select reels, and help us plan out the feature,” he said, noting Minutillo also had done extensive editing. “He jumped in on this piece and has been an integral part of the collaborative process.”

“A Father’s Legacy” will debut in the 10 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on Sunday, June 21, and will re-air in other editions of the program throughout the day.

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