Journalism Showcase

ESPN’s “Journalism Showcase” – May 6, 2016

Peggy and Gregg Nibert hold Marcus, the first child fostered by the Nibert Family. (Photo courtesy of Peggy Nibert)
Gregg and Peggy Nibert hold Marcus, the first child fostered by the Nibert Family.
(Photo courtesy of Peggy Nibert)

For Mother’s Day, Sunday’s SC Featured segment on SportsCenter tells the story of an important decision made 10 years ago by Peggy Nibert, wife of Presbyterian College basketball coach Gregg Nibert, that changed their lives and the lives of a number of suffering children.

As Tom Rinaldi reports, by choosing to be foster parents, the Niberts have taken in more than 40 children, many with injuries such as concussions and broken bones. Peggy has given these children a chance at life, a chance to love, and most importantly, a mother. “A Mother’s Mission” will debut in the 10 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter and will re-air in other editions throughout the day.

NEW SC FEATURED LOGO JPEG (new)

Ben Webber, producer of the piece for the ESPN Features Unit, was intrigued when first hearing about what the Niberts had done.

“It just stuck out to me as a powerful story and a powerful message,” Webber said. “I didn’t know exactly how we would tell it and then we got to thinking of Mother’s Day stories. I looked at this as the ultimate mother and the ultimate gesture of a mother’s love and how it can be impactful, and that led us to try and do it for Mother’s Day.”

Webber said the Niberts were happy to share their story.

Obviously the sport tie is Gregg Nibert the coach at Presbyterian, but it’s really a story about his wife Peggy and the sacrifices she’s made not only as a coach’s wife with their children but the decision she made 10 years ago to become a foster family. – Ben Webber, ESPN Features Unit producer, on the Niberts

“They are proud of what they’ve done,” he said. “But they also want to get the message out there are kids out there that are struggling and need help and need somebody to step in and help make their lives better.”

Webber and his team spent time with the Niberts in Clinton, S.C., where Presbyterian College is located, and visited the home and new family of a boy named Marcus, the first child fostered by the Niberts.

“Obviously the sport tie is Gregg Nibert the coach at Presbyterian, but it’s really a story about his wife Peggy and the sacrifices she’s made not only as a coach’s wife with their children but the decision she made 10 years ago to become a foster family,” Webber said.

“It was just really inspiring to see the number of lives that she’s been able to change through this. A coach impacts the lives of all the kids that come through his program and they become his sons in some way, but it’s nice to look at the other side and see the number of lives Peggy has impacted in her own way.”

ESPN’s SC Featured receives more awards

ESPN’s SC Featured was honored with a Vision Award by the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) for the feature “Life on the Streets.”

The piece, which originally aired May 31, 2015, on SportsCenter, told the story of two St. Louis Rams players, William Hayes and Chris Long, who went undercover for 24 hours to learn more about the plight of the homeless. Gustavo Coletti and Steve Buckheit were co-producers for the ESPN Features Unit. The NAMIC award was in the Reality category.

The NAMIC Vision Awards recognize original, multiplatform television programming that best reflects the diversity of the global viewing audience. Entries are judged by a panel of entertainment industry executives and content creators. Judging is focused on overall imagery (creative merit, originality and presentation quality), sensitivity (the consideration given to cultural nuances), writing (the depiction of issues relevant to people of color) and the quality of acting in the performance categories.

SC Featured was also honored at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards on April 21, receiving first place in the category of Documentary Special Under an Hour for “At the Top of the World,” a story about the Sherpa of Nepal and the hardships they faced following a devastating earthquake. The SC Featured story “Central High” received an Honorable Mention in the category. – Andy Hall

Journalism on Display

  • In the “Fame” issue of ESPN the Magazine, Eli Saslow writes that Cavs fan Charles Wakefield’s five-month-old daughter was shot in Cleveland in October, the fourth infant killed by random gunfire in a historically terrible time for gun violence in the city. Hours after it happened, LeBron James tweeted about it, condemning gun violence in Cleveland and elsewhere and then calling for gun restrictions. Then he went silent. Against that backdrop, Saslow examines James’s struggle to embrace activism and establish his cultural legacy under the intense scrutiny his fame engenders. “Waiting for LeBron” also appeared on ESPN.com.
  • In “Basketball Wives Learn to Live and Love Overseas” on espnW, writer Steven Braid has an in-depth look at wives of Americans playing professional basketball overseas, whose high-stress, low-security worlds sometimes include having to deal with isolation, safety and late-arriving paychecks. As Braid reports, some love the life, and some do not.
  • Also on espnW, a Mother’s Day story: For some members of the L.A. Derby Dolls, roller derby is more than a sport — it’s family, with mothers and daughters bonding over their time on the rink. Mirin Fader wrote the feature.
  • At 21, he is the face of Houston, the face of Puerto Rico and the face of baseball’s future. For E:60, Buster Olney traveled with reigning American League Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa to Puerto Rico for an all-access look at the people, and places, that helped make this homemade star. Olney talked to Front Row about the piece.
  • Sunday morning’s Outside the Lines (9 a.m., ESPN) on Mother’s Day will look back at the E:60 story of Chris Singleton, a college baseball player whose mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, was one of the nine people killed at Charleston (S.C.) Emmanuel AME Church last June. ABC News’ Bob Woodruff reports and will join OTL host Bob Ley in the studio.
  • Panelists on Sunday morning’s The Sports Reporters (9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN; 10:30 a.m. ESPN2) will be John Saunders (host), Mike Lupica, Howard Bryant and Mitch Albom.
  • – Andy Hall

An espnW feature examines roller derby culture. (Robert Beck/ESPN)
An espnW feature examines roller derby culture. (Robert Beck/ESPN)
Close