Reunited Honolulu classmates venture home as ESPN colleagues for SC on the Road

Ashoka and Jenny in their High School year book Senior Class photo. (Courtesy of Ashoka Moore)
Classmates – and future ESPN colleagues – Ashoka Moore and Jenny Keagan – beam in their Kaiser High School Class of 2002 yearbook photo. (Photo courtesy of Ashoka Moore)

After ESPN’s Ashoka Moore and Jennifer Keagan graduated from Kaiser High School in Honolulu in 2002, they weren’t sure they’d see one another again.

Ashoka Moore (left) and Jennifer Keagan. (Jim Bowdon/ESPN)
Ashoka Moore (L) and Jennifer Keagan have returned to Honolulu this week. (Jim Bowdon/ESPN)

But last year, the two reunited thousands of miles from home in Bristol, Conn. Now they’re part of the SportsCenter team that is bringing the show to their hometown as part of the “America’s Heroes: A Salute to our Veterans Week.”

Anchors Hannah Storm and Kevin Negandhi will be co-hosting SportsCenter live from the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11. They will also host a one-hour special on ESPN2 Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET to honor veterans and active military.

The funniest part about working with Jenny now is that we were classmates from eighth to 12th grade. And then once we graduated high school, we didn’t speak to or see each other until she came to work for ESPN – some 5,000 miles away from where we both grew up.
SC producer Ashoka Moore on working with ESPN colleague Jennifer Keagan

“The funniest part about working with Jenny now is that we were classmates from eighth to 12th grade,” said SC producer Moore, who has worked at ESPN for 11 years. “And then once we graduated high school, we didn’t speak to or see each other until she came to work for ESPN – some 5,000 miles away from where we both grew up.

“It means a great deal to me to be able to bring SportsCenter to my hometown,” he said. “Growing up, I used to attend the NFL Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium every year and for a long time ESPN carried the game. I’d always see Chris Berman, Tom Jackson and Chris Mortensen among others anchoring coverage from the field and I dreamed of being a part of a production like that for ESPN, so it’s a full-circle moment for me personally to bring a full SportsCenter show to Hawaii for I think, just the second time ever.”

For production coordinator Keagan, the daughter of a Navy veteran, bringing the show to the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor is extremely meaningful.

“This show has a special meaning to me as my father served in the military as a Chief Engineer of the Navy,” she said. “He actually retired in Honolulu and served his last years at Pearl Harbor. Visiting the sites at Pearl Harbor reminds me of him and his dedication to serving his country.”

I feel extremely lucky to have been given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in the place I called home for so many years. I am so excited to share it with the world.
– Production coordinator Jennifer Keagan

SportsCenter will honor those who served at Pearl Harbor by telling their stories and telecasting a live show from the memorial.

“It’s an honor for me to be able to help tell some of the stories of the people who served during that time and survived the attacks of December 7, 1941,” Moore said.

Moore enjoys producing SportsCenter on the Road but being familiar with the site will be a great advantage for the producer.

“Producing on the road is always a fun challenge. You get out of the studio and all the comforts that come with that and often go to locations you aren’t familiar with at all,” Moore said. “For this assignment, it’s like a home game for me, to use a sports analogy. In the months leading up to this trip, I’ve been able to use my extensive knowledge of the area and culture to help select the best parts of Oahu to showcase in both our taped and live programming that fit the tone of our content. As a producer, that’s a huge advantage.”

Moore and Keagan are excited to capture everything they know and love about their home and deliver it to the viewers.

“I feel extremely lucky to have been given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in the place I called home for so many years. I am so excited to share it with the world,” Keagan said. “Hawaii is an extraordinary place filled with what we call ‘Aloha’. You instantly feel it when you get off the plane and it stays with you. I hope our viewers get a sense of that through our Veterans Day coverage.”

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